Seth Rollins’ first defense of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship will come at Extreme Rules against the very Superstar who pinned the self-proclaimed “Future of WWE” at WrestleMania, Randy Orton.
Orton, a 12-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, was named Rollins’ challenger on the April 6 Raw, after defeating Roman Reigns and Ryback in a No. 1 Contender’s Triple Threat Match. Now, he looks ahead to his opportunity against the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at Extreme Rules.
The WWE Universe is still raving about Orton and Rollins’ last encounter at WrestleMania, where The Viper ignited The Show of Shows by inconceivably countering Rollins’ Curb Stomp into a high-elevation, highlight-reel-worthy RKO. Whereas Rollins and Orton’s deeply personal and longstanding grudge was the foundation for that bout, their rematch at Extreme Rules will be not only emotionally charged, but also for the grandest prize in sports-entertainment.
Since then, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion has appeared less-than-eager to again cross paths with The Viper, but he will have no choice on Sunday, April 26, when Extreme Rules airs live on WWE Network.
Can The Authority’s boundlessly athletic poster boy — a CrossFit-conditioned machine who is arguably the most dynamic in-ring competitor to wear the WWE World Heavyweight Title — silence the doubters and cement his first championship reign with a pivotal victory over the more seasoned Orton, a third-generation Superstar who was pegged as a Legend-in-the-making his rookie year? Or will The Viper, who craves the opportunity to tap into his extreme and most sinister instincts, remind Rollins why he is the master of the RKO “outta nowhere,” and return to championship glory at Rollins’ expense?
Watch this gigantic WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match live when Extreme Rules takes over WWE Network Sunday, April 26, starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
@ShawnMichaels: This one’s really tough because they’re both very talented and really good at what they do. I think Seth Rollins has to win in order to prove that he’s not just a flash in the pan. And I think he will. WINNER: Seth Rollins
@HowardFinkel: Will this contest be a strict singles meeting, or will J&J Security have a presence outside the ring? In the interest of fairness, I believe Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble should not be at ringside. Let bitter rivals Randy Orton and Seth Rollins battle it out, one-on-one. Rollins has blossomed into a major player in WWE over the past year, while Orton is consistently cunning and methodical. Orton’s break from The Authority was the best thing he did in recent memory, and The Viper will emerge victorious, no matter where J&J Security will be. WINNER: Randy Orton
@JoeyStyles: What a butt-kicking! The Viper gave the self-proclaimed “Future of WWE” payback with interest when he battered and beat him all over the arena, then RKO’ed him through the announce table on Raw. Though an awesome athlete and a Money in the Bank winner, Rollins has been unable to win big money matches without The Authority in his corner. However, it’s safe to assume that Big Show, Kane and J&J Security will indeed be running interference for Rollins. I see Orton having Rollins ready for a match-ending RKO several times, only to be thwarted by Authority interference. Sooner or later, though even a myopic Cyclops in a referee shirt is going to catch them in the act and disqualify Mr. Money in the Bank. WINNER: Randy Orton
@Apter1wrestling: Seth Rollins has plenty of insurance to destroy Randy Orton. With J&J Security, and possibly Kane and Big Show, in his corner, it will be tough for Orton to gain a victory. However, as we have learned from the past, The Viper has a highly unpredictable, combative persona. That, coupled with his deep hatred for the entire Authority, will see him RKO his way to victory against Mr. Money in the Bank and his henchman. WINNER: Randy Orton
@MichaelPSHayes1: Seth Rollins seems to always figure out a way, but he hasn’t faced The Viper in a singles match. Nonetheless, I’m going to go with the ever-resourceful Seth Rollins. WINNER: Seth Rollins
Randy Orton: 3, Seth Rollins: 2
With both men fueled by bitterness and a mutual disdain for one another, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins prepare to do battle on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
The animosity dates back to November, when Orton was not only kicked out of The Authority, but also ambushed by Rollins, who drove The Viper’s head onto the steel steps with a vicious Curb Stomp. That attack cost Orton four months of his career, while Rollins continued to flourish, with Mr. Money in the Bank even challenging for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Royal Rumble. Orton sat at home biding his time, planning his retribution against those who had done him wrong.
At WWE Fastlane, Rollins’ worst fear came to fruition, as Orton returned to WWE, landing RKO after RKO on members of The Authority as The Architect fled the building. In the ensuing weeks, however, Orton — despite the skepticism of some Authority members — won the trust of Rollins, even aiding Mr. Money in the Bank in a victory over Roman Reigns. For a while, it seemed as if all was forgiven, and Orton was ready to pick up where he left off as a member of The Authority. Yet as Rollins would find out, you can never trust a snake.
On the March 9 edition of Raw, Orton’s true motives became known as he unleashed a brutal assault on Rollins, even driving him through the announce table with a thunderous RKO. The next week on Raw, Orton and Rollins’ WrestleMania showdown became official, though not until after Rollins attempted to play his own mind games against WWE’s Apex Predator.
Orton has racked up a string of legendary accomplishments since making his WWE debut nearly 13 years ago. At WrestleMania, Orton looks to decimate Rollins, showing no mercy for his past sins. Rollins has been called the “Future of WWE” since he joined The Authority last summer, and winning the Money in the Bank Ladder Match did nothing but fuel the belief that he is destined for greatness. Now, Rollins looks to finish what he started last fall, taking out the 12-time World Champion once and for all.
Will Orton’s thirst for payback be satisfied at WrestleMania? Will Rollins be able to de-venomize The Viper? And will the course of history change as the “Future of WWE” is determined?
Find out which Superstar will be victorious in their showdown at The Showcase of The Immortals when WrestleMania 31 takes place live on WWE Network Sunday, March 29!
@JoeyStyles: The anti-Authority trio of The Showoff, The Big Guy & Erick Rowan has yet to fully taste vindication since being fired and, as a result, humiliated by The Authority. Unfortunately for all three, they are not going to get their hands on Triple H and Stephanie McMahon any time soon. That being said, Authority enforcers Seth Rollins, Kane & Big Show will be lined up like bowling pins at WWE Fastlane. While Rollins has looked picture perfect lately, I can’t remember the last time Kane and Big Show had a decisive victory. I expect this match to end with the half-suit-wearing former demon getting his shoulders pinned to the mat as the result of a Zig Zag. WINNERS: Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan
@HowardFinkel: There is absolutely no love lost between these two teams, and I look for a combative contest. However, there are two underlying factors: First, all is not well between Kane and Big Show — how will that play out (if at all)? Second, will we see the involvement of the pesky J&J Security, who have no business being at ringside during Rollins’ matches? Ultimately, the dissension between The Authority’s giants will result in a victory for the Ziggler/Ryback/Rowan trio. WINNERS: Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan
Jeff Laboon: Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan are sick of getting held back. Ziggler, Ryback & Rowan defeated The Authority once, and they can do it again. WINNERS: Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan
Mike Murphy: This is quite possibly the hardest match to call of the event. On one side, you have a unified Dolph Ziggler, Ryback & Erick Rowan going up against a dysfunctional Kane and Big Show, with Seth Rollins set to be his team’s mediator. However, The Authority always seems to have something up its sleeves to secure victory. WINNERS: Seth Rollins, Kane & Big Show
John Clapp: Big Show and Kane have clearly hit a snag as partners, but if we’ve learned nothing else, we know The World’s Largest Athlete and The Devil’s Favorite Demon are exceptionally capable of forgiveness (or, at least, forgetfulness) when it comes to in-ring flare-ups. Expect the big men to work more cohesively than anyone would reasonably assume, and the pair of giants — combined with the self-proclaimed “future of WWE” — will be too much to topple. WINNERS: Seth Rollins, Kane & Big Show
Dolph Ziggler, Ryback and Erick Rowan: 3 | Seth Rollins, Kane and Big Show: 2
#16 Seth Rollins’ Curb Stomp
The Curb Stomp is as breathtaking as it is brutal. When Seth Rollins executes the devastating maneuver on a fallen foe it’s as if he is jumping in slow motion with his foot finding the back of his opponent’s head. Then, like snuffing out a cockroach, The Architect thrusts his foot down, smashing the unfortunate recipient’s face straight into the ground below.
The high-flying Rollins could easily pull off a stunning top-rope maneuver, but instead he chooses to stomp his adversary’s head into the ground. It may not be pretty, but it sure is cool.