Randy Orton had a message for Jinder Mahal on tonight's SmackDown Live, and despite being a man of few words (besides the voices in his head) he made it clear he's got the current WWE Champion square in his sights, along with the belt that formerly hung around his own waist.
Jinder made another long grand Panjabi entrance into the ring, announced by his cohorts, the Singh Brothers (fka "The Bollywood Boys") to resounding boos from the New Orleans crowd.
"Rise and show some respect for your WWE Champion" commanded The Modern-Day Maharaja, insisting he would prove this Sunday that his opponent is "nothing but a coward" in front of his hometown friends and family, including his father, WWE Legend "Cowboy" Bob Orton.
Jinder made clear his intent for Sunday, snarling "He hides in the weeds like a scared, de-fanged garden snake, but I will use his fear as a sword of enlightenment, until I cut down Randy's legacy piece by piece... until there is nothing left of the Orton name"
Mahal continued, "For the Day of the Viper has passed, and the sun has risen on a New Era, the era of the Modern Day-Maharaja" then addressing "his people" in their native language, as we've seen both he and French-Canadian United States Champion Kevin Owens employ in classic heel fashion more and more lately.
Until Randy Orton made his entrance and swiftly landed an RKO "outta nowhere," exiting through the crowd and leaving the current champ laid out in the ring with the Singh brothers rushing to his aid.
Orton didn't mince words. When asked for comment backstage by Renee Young, The Viper clarified that he said all he needed to say in the ring, and that "The time for conversation is over."0comments
The stakes are incredibly high for both men going into their rematch this weekend at Money in the Bank. For Randy Orton, it's a chance to redeem himself and claim his 14th World Championship in his hometown of St. Louis after his shocking loss to Jinder Mahal at WWE Backlash. For The Modern-Day Maharaja, it's the opportunity to cement himself as WWE Champion after surprising the entire WWE Universe, and The Viper himself.