At WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs, the WWE Universe will bear witness to a match 11 years in the making.
With not one, but both World Titles hanging in the balance, World Heavyweight Champion John Cena will face WWE Champion Randy Orton in an historic Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match. The watershed contest will leave one Superstar in possession of both World Titles, a feat that has never been accomplished since the World Heavyweight Title was introduced in September 2002.
Simply put, the bout has true game-changing implications.
Per match rules, tables, ladders and chairs will all be legal objects, and to claim victory, one Superstar must climb a ladder and retrieve the titles, which will hang high over the ring. Metaphorically, The Champ and The Viper have spent much of the past decade climbing up opposite sides of the same ladder.
The parallels between the two Superstars — arguably the most dominant competitors to have entered WWE this millennium — run deep. They battled in former WWE developmental league Ohio Valley Wrestling before making their WWE debuts within months of each other in 2002. Both Cena and Orton enjoyed meteoric rises to the top of WWE —journeys that repeatedly brought them into conflict against each other — and now, some 11 years later, they stand as immensely decorated Superstars, boasting a combined 25 World Championship reigns between them.
That’s to say nothing of the underlying debate over which Superstar is the true “face of WWE.” The ambassadorial Cena had been unofficially tagged with that label years prior to The Authority’s public assertion that Orton is, in fact, the chosen representative of WWE.
Such labels will likely fall by the wayside on Sunday, Dec. 15, however, when the most important distinction of all — WWE and World Champion — is determined in what will assuredly be a physical Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match. The Cenation leader has greater experience in the match type, having defeated Edge for the WWE Title in a Tables, Ladders & Chairs Match in September 2006. WWE’s Apex Predator, in contrast, has never competed in such a contest. Nonetheless, his capacity for malice is well documented and never in doubt.
The final pay-per-view of 2013 also happens to be headlined by the biggest match of the year, if not many years. What will happen when longtime enemies John Cena and Randy Orton set out to one-up each other? Just what type of physical punishment can the WWE Universe expect to see when the unforgiving tables, ladders and chairs are brought into action? And, most important of all, who will be left standing with both the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships when the dust settles?
There will be only one way to find out, and that’s by watching WWE Tables, Ladders & Chairs live on pay-per-view Sunday, Dec. 15, at 8 ET/5 PT.