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The Viper and The Eater of Worlds’ dramatic rivalry has been one of the most unusual and personal conflicts in recent memory. Add the fact that these two feared competitors were battling for SmackDown LIVE’s most prized possession, and it’s not surprising that their clash at WrestleMania 33 was such a memorable one.
After weeks of mind games, The Apex Predator and The Reaper of Souls charged at the sound of the bell, wasting no time in unleashing a flurry of blows on one another. However, even in the middle of the ring, the mental – or perhaps supernatural – side of this rivalry continued. As Wyatt, perched upside down in the corner of the ring, looked at his opponent, images of maggots consumed the entire canvas. Moments later, while a dazed Orton again lay prone in the middle of the ring, images of worms appeared all over the mat.
Despite Wyatt’s mind games, Orton let his actions speak for themselves when he hit an RKO on the WWE Champion outside the ring. Amazingly, the pinfall attempt produced only a two-count, forcing the challenger to continue wearing down the titleholder with his calculated attack. Orton’s momentum was soon halted, however, when Wyatt delivered Sister Abigail on his former Family cohort.
Roaches appeared to fill up the ring around Orton as the champion stalked his foe with his spine-tingling spider walk. Yet, as Wyatt readied himself to deliver the final blow on his adversary, Orton struck out of nowhere with another RKO. This time, it was enough for Orton to pick up the win and claim his ninth WWE Championship. Whether it was enough to end his bitter rivalry with Bray Wyatt, however, is a question that will be answered another time.