X

Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper: Winner and Reaction for WWE SmackDown Live Match

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJanuary 25, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23:  Randy Orton enters the ring at the WWE SummerSlam 2015  at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
JP Yim/Getty Images

In a battle between Wyatt Family brothers Tuesday night on SmackDown Live, Randy Orton defeated Luke Harper. 

WWE shared how the match finished: 

Wrestling Inc had high praise for the finish and the match in general:

After the match, Bray Wyatt would deliver a Sister Abigail to Harper, via WWE:

Prior to Tuesday's bout, tension had been building significantly between Orton and Harper, as the latter cost the former several victories in the weeks leading up to their meeting.

A miscue by Harper caused the Wyatts to lose the SmackDown Tag Team Championships to American Alpha. Then, Harper botched his interference in a rematch for the titles, which resulted in The Viper getting pinned once again.

Harper attempted to kick Orton after he got in his face, but he accidentally hit Wyatt, which caused even greater animosity within the group.

Things truly boiled over last week on SmackDown when Harper once again distracted Orton and caused him to lose a singles match to Dean Ambrose.

Wyatt slapped Harper during the aftermath and announced that his two disciples would face each other in a match to get past their differences.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

The Eater of Worlds further explained the reasoning behind his decision on Talking Smack, as seen in this video courtesy of WWE's official Twitter account:

Wyatt also revealed that all three Wyatt Family members will be part of the 30-man Royal Rumble match, so the timing of the contest was undoubtedly strategic.

The New Face of Fear is aware of how strong The Wyatt Family can be when everyone is on the same page, and pitting Orton against Harper was clearly an effort to ensure that the Family is a cohesive unit entering the Rumble.

There are no guarantees that will be the case, but all three Superstars will be better off if they can work together in a match that is generally predicated on being every man for himself.

The Apex Predator prevailed over Harper Tuesday night, but the bigger picture for The Wyatt Family is far more important, as it has a golden opportunity for one of its members to vie for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania.

                             

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).

                                

Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.