This week, Randy "The Viper" Orton made an appearance in the latest SmackDown Live episode to announce that he refuses to challenge Bray Wyatt over the World Wrestling Entertainment Championship title.
Orton won the 2017 Royal Rumble, which automatically gives him the shot to challenge Wyatt's claim to the WWE Championship belt. However, during Orton's Tuesday appearance at SmackDown Live, the Viper did the unexpected by declaring: "As long as you are the master and I am the servant, I refuse to face you at WrestleMania. I pledge my undying allegiance to you, Bray Wyatt!" Orton sealed his oath by kneeling before Wyatt.
While the Viper joined the Wyatt Family as early as October 2016, it was still highly unlikely that he would act like a 100 percent slave to Wyatt. Orton's words and actions were naturally booed by the entire arena. The disappointment is understandable considering that Orton is known to be one of the strongest personalities in WWE.
Now that Orton has officially turned down his chance to defeat Wyatt, SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan announced shortly afterwards that next week's show at Ontario, California will feature another battle royal match where the winner will replace Orton in fighting Wyatt at WrestleMania 33.
Some fans are hopeful that Orton's shocking move is just one of his brilliant ploys to sneak in on an unassuming Wyatt and steal the title at WrestleMania 33. One YouTube commenter, through WWE's official SmackDown Live Feb. 14 snippet video, said: "[You] can never trust a viper. Randy Orton is just going to break the Wyatts one by one until he gets to Bray and that will be the conclusion of their rivalry."
On the other hand, shortly after Orton kneeled before Wyatt, another WWE big name mentioned he wants to take on Orton. Talking to IndianExpress.com, AJ Styles said: "There are many whom I am yet to compete with. There are some Raw guys but one person I would like to lay my hands on is Randy Orton."
All the interesting fights and plots will lead to WWE's biggest annual event, WrestleMania 33, which is set to be held on April 2 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.