In a surprising turn of events on WWE SmackDown, General Manager Nick Aldis convinced Randy Orton to join the blue brand over Monday Night Raw, promising him a direct path to Roman Reigns and the Undisputed Universal Championship.
However, the storyline took an unexpected twist when it was announced that Orton would first have to compete in a triple threat match against LA Knight and AJ Styles on the Jan. 5 episode of SmackDown, titled "New Year’s Revolution." The winner of this match will earn the opportunity to challenge Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
This development has sparked considerable debate among WWE fans. Initially, Orton's move to SmackDown was viewed as a straightforward setup for a blockbuster showdown with Reigns. Now, with the introduction of the triple threat match, WWE seems to be shifting gears, potentially delaying the highly anticipated face-off between Orton and Reigns.
WWE's Strategic Shift
Speculation abounds regarding WWE's strategy with this plot twist. Some fans suspect the triple threat match could be a strategic move to extend television storylines, while others fear a possible interference from the Bloodline, leading to a no-decision outcome.
This scenario could pave the way for a fatal-four-way match at the Royal Rumble, including Reigns, Orton, Knight, and Styles. Critics argue that such a development would be a disappointment, deviating from the expected one-on-one clash between Orton and Reigns.
This sentiment is echoed by those who believe that a direct confrontation between these two superstars would be an ideal way to start 2024 in WWE sports entertainment. As WWE navigates this storyline, it's crucial for the creative team, led by Triple H, to address the narrative gap regarding Orton's reaction to Aldis's apparent deception.
While Orton did retaliate with an RKO post-signing, his character is not one to easily forgive or forget. Fans are eagerly awaiting a storyline resolution that justifies Orton's current position and sets the stage for what's next in his WWE journey.
With the Royal Rumble approaching, WWE is at a critical juncture in shaping its narrative direction. Whether it leads to a multi-person match or a direct showdown, the upcoming "New Year’s Revolution" episode of SmackDown is poised to be a pivotal moment in this unfolding saga.