WWE Wrestlemania 34: Predicting Randy Orton’s Opponent


After a rough end to 2017, Randy Orton needs a hot feud and show-stealing WWE WrestleMania 34 Match to reinvigorate his career.

What a difference a year has made to Randy Orton. This time last year, Orton was fresh-off his second Royal Rumble victory, and was awaiting his guaranteed world championship match at WrestleMania 33. This year, Orton will likely not be challenging for the WWE Championship in New Orleans. In fact, at present time, he does not have a feud or match as the WWE heads into WrestleMania 34.

In late 2016 – early 2017, Orton was one of the most intriguing characters in all of WWE. In a surprising move, he joined the Wyatt Family. Orton, along with the Family’s cult leader, Bray Wyatt, dominated the competition on SmackDown.

They were the sole survivors in the SmackDown vs Raw Survivor Series 2016 main event, and also captured the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. Orton would go on to win the Rumble in January. Wyatt captured the WWE World Championship the next month in the Elimination Chamber.

Photo Source: WWE.com via Twitter

Eventually, Orton left the Wyatt family in unceremonious fashion. He told the Wyatt leader that he had infiltrated the group to find out his weaknesses–weaknesses he would be using at WrestleMania. Orton had decided to use his guaranteed title shot to challenge his one-time partner. With the toss of a match, Orton set the Wyatt Compound ablze, and set his feud with Bray in motion.

Sadly, things went downhill for Orton from the moment the bell rang in Orlando. The match was a total snorefest. The only memorable moments from the bout came when, bizarrely, maggots, and later worms, were suddenly projected on the ring canvas.

Things got even more bizarre with an over-the-top, and downright cheesy “House of Horrors” match at Payback the next month. The exclamation point on Orton’s fall from the main event came just weeks later, when he lost the WWE title to Jinder Mahal. Orton would go on to lose a series of rematches against the Modern Day Maharajah.

Randy Orton now seems to be treading water on SmackDown Live. He is in dire need of a feud that will re-energize him, and re-elevate his standing. Enter the Glorious One, Bobby Roode.

Photo Source: WWE.com

Until recently, Roode was in a position similar to Orton. He arrived on SmackDown with much fanfare after an excellent run in NXT. After debuting on the main roster, however, he got saddled with Dolph Ziggler, and the program was anything but glorious. Thankfully, Bobby has made it out of SmackDown purgatory, recently winning an eight-man tournament to become the United States Champion.

This feud was teased on the most recent SmackDown. Orton, in typical out-of-nowhere fashion, hit Roode with the RKO. WWE should turn that small preview into the real deal. A feud between the Viper and the Glorious One, two men who have never crossed paths, would undoubtedly be entertaining. More importantly for Orton, it would provide a creative spark.

Both of these superstars are currently faces, but quite frankly, I don’t think either needs to turn full-fledged heel for this program to work. The crowd is going to be split regardless of what role each man plays, as both have huge fan followings. What I do think would help the feud, though, would be both men re-introducing some of the heel traits that got them over in the first place. For instance, Bobby Roode should get back to channeling his inner-Ric Flair by bragging about how his suits, money, and lifestyle. Orton should get back to channeling his inner-Brian Pillman by being nothing short of a ruthless and unpredictable loose cannon.

Ideally, a storyline between this two would be straight out of the 80s NWA playbook:  Roode has the title. Orton wants the title. The match is made. The talents verbally spar leading up to the match. The match happens. After an intense 20 minutes, one man wins. No bells and whistles are needed when booking a feud between two guys who are equally good both on the mic, and in the ring. As an added bonus, two big names fighting for the US Championship at the biggest show of the year would elevate the title to a level it has never-before-reached in WWE.

Next: Buy Or Sell: Is Ronda Hurting The Women's Division?

The match is there for the making. Now it’s up to the WWE to put the pieces in place for what would surely be a… glorious…boost to a legend killer looking to get back on track.