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June 24, 2024

Orton vs Sikoa Set for SmackDown as tensions rise heading into Royal Rumble

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Jan 20, 2024

WWE has announced that 14-time world champion Randy Orton will go one-on-one with Solo Sikoa this Friday night on SmackDown. This blockbuster match comes as tensions continue to escalate between Orton and The Bloodline faction headed by Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.

Orton and Reigns exchange words ahead of Royal Rumble contract signing

As reported by Cageside Seats, this week’s SmackDown featured the contract signing for Reigns’ title defense against Orton at the Royal Rumble. While Reigns was predictably confident, Orton warned that while he has a lot of respect for what Reigns has done over the past few years, he won’t hesitate to RKO anyone who gets in his way en route to becoming a 15-time champion.

Reigns dismissed Orton’s threat and claimed The Viper simply got lucky in winning the fatal four way on last week’s show to become number one contender. Sami Zayn tried to play peacemaker, but that only angered both men more. In the end, no physical altercation took place, but the tension was palpable.

“While Reigns and Orton kept their cool, it’s clear tensions could boil over at any moment between the veteran Orton and Reign’s dominant Bloodline faction.” – Dave Meltzer, Wrestling Observer

Sikoa steps up to confront Orton

Later in the show, as Orton was being interviewed backstage, Solo Sikoa suddenly approached. Still fuming from his loss to Sheamus last week, Sikoa got in Orton’s face and made it clear he wouldn’t let Orton disrespect his family.

A fired up Orton welcomed the challenge and told Sikoa to name the time and place. WWE later confirmed that the two will go one-on-one this Friday night on SmackDown.

“Sikoa is stepping up to defend The Bloodline’s honor after feeling Orton crossed the line. This is his chance to prove he deserves his spot alongside Reigns and The Usos.” – Alfred Konuwa, Forbes

What to expect from Orton vs Sikoa

This will be the first ever singles match between Orton and Sikoa, both multi-generational wrestlers looking to cement their family legacies.

Sikoa only recently debuted on the main roster back in September, but has already made an impact as the enforcer for The Bloodline. Orton will represent Sikoa’s biggest test to date. Meanwhile, Orton would love to score a win over Reigns’ right-hand man heading into the Royal Rumble.

Given the tensions between both men’s factions, expect plenty of potential interference. Don’t be surprised if The Usos and even Reigns himself get involved on Sikoa’s behalf. Orton will need to have eyes in the back of his head.

Potential Match Card for 1/20 SmackDown

Match Stipulation
Orton vs Solo Sikoa Singles Match
Sheamus vs Sami Zayn Singles Match
Imperium vs Hit Row Tag Team Match

How Reigns & Bloodline have tormented Orton

Reigns and his cohorts have gone out of their way in recent months to make Orton’s life miserable through savage beatdowns:

  • Survivor Series: The Bloodline took out Orton backstage prior to the WarGames match, taking him out of the bout
  • Raw after Survivor Series: Sikoa ambushed Orton from behind during a match against Baron Corbin
  • December SmackDown: The Usos and Sami Zayn ambushed Orton backstage. Reigns later teased hitting Orton with a con-chair-to

The message has been clear – Reigns and his crew will stop at nothing to protect Roman’s seemingly endless title reign by taking out potential threats like Orton.

“Reigns continues to show a ruthless edge in decimating possible challengers. His cousins The Usos have followed his lead as the locker room lives in fear.” – Bill Apter, Sportskeeda

What’s next after the Rumble?

All eyes are now on the Royal Rumble in San Antonio on January 28th. If Orton can survive not just his match with Solo Sikoa but the chaos that Reigns and The Bloodline will likely unleash, can he recapture the championship that has eluded him for several years now?

And who might emerge from the iconic 30-man Royal Rumble match to challenge either Reigns or Orton for a title shot at WrestleMania Goes Hollywood? Speculation abounds that major stars like The Rock and even John Cena could return to mix it up with Reigns on Hollywood’s biggest stage.

“Never count out Randy Orton. He always manages to pull an RKO out of nowhere. Reigns’ title reign may be in more jeopardy than he realizes.” – Aaron Rift, NoDQ.com

The road to WrestleMania promises twists and turns along the way. But it all starts by raising the stakes this Friday night as Orton battles Sikoa while Reigns watches closely, contract in hand for a date with destiny at the Rumble.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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