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WWE News: Roman Reigns should be challenging Bray Wyatt, as per the WWE rule book

If Randy Orton doesn't want to face Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania, then Roman Reigns should get the opportunity instead.

How WWE Universe would have reacted to this?

What’s the story?

Wrestling Inc has looked at the news that Randy Orton has decided not to use his Royal Rumble win as his opportunity to challenge for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania, and found an interesting loop hole that would determine the next challenger for Bray Wyatt instead.

In case you didn’t know...

Randy Orton was the winner of the WWE Royal Rumble back at the end of January. Usually, the winner of the Royal Rumble goes forward to WrestleMania to face whoever is the WWE Champion at that time. Now that the Brand Split is in effect, the winner should automatically go on to face whoever is the champion of their brand. With Orton being a member of the SmackDown Live roster he should be facing WWE Champion Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania, but as Orton is a member of the Wyatt Family, he has chosen not to face his leader. 

The number one contender for Wyatt’s Championship will be decided on SmackDown Live next week, with a battle royal announced by Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack.

The heart of the matter

When you take Randy Orton out of the picture, according to the WWE’s own rules, the man who finished as the runner-up in the Royal Rumble should become Bray Wyatt’s next challenger. The runner-up was Roman Reigns. The fact that Reigns is a member of the Raw roster may throw a spanner in the works, but that shouldn’t stand in the way of WWE’s own rules.

Parallels from history

This kind of scenario has occurred before. Back in 1999, Vince McMahon won the Royal Rumble match, last eliminating his great rival Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince should have gone on to face The Rock, the WWE Champion, at WrestleMania 15. The night after his Royal Rumble win, Vince announced that he woudn’t be taking up his title opportunity. Vince stated that he would choose who should challenge The Rock instead, but Stone Cold intervened and announced that he would be the man to head to WrestleMania in his place. 

Then WWE Commissioner Shawn Michaels announced that according to the WWE’s own “Rule Book”, if the winner of the Royal Rumble is “unwilling or unable to go to WrestleMania to fight the champion, then the runner-up gets all rights and privileges”. Austin took that opportunity, after beating Vince McMahon in a number one contenders match at St Valentines Day Massacre, and eventually defeated The Rock for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 15.

SportsKeeda’s Take

This would be an interesting way to make the WWE look like they actually take notice of their history, but is extremely unlikely to happen. If Orton doesn’t officially want to take up his title opportunity, then WWE apparently cannot force him to. The fact that the battle royal to find Wyatt’s challenger has been announced tells you that they are going to totally ignore their own rule from the past.

There’s a pretty good chance that Randy Orton will still end up facing Bray Wyatt for the title at WrestleMania. We still have plenty of time for the Orton and Wyatt allegiance to crumble and have Orton change his mind about taking up his title shot. It should make for some interetsing developments on SmackDown Live in the coming weeks.

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