Brock Lesnar versus Randy Orton was the main event of SummerSlam 2016. The Viper had been out of action for nine months. In early July 2016, he was revealed as Lesnar's opponent for SummerSlam.
The two would face off in an interbrand match as Lesnar was drafted to RAW the previous month, and Orton to SmackDown. The match between the two legends had a shocking finish, as Brock Lesnar sliced Randy Orton's forehead open with a series of elbow-shots.
The contest had to be momentarily halted and the medical team had to be called in to check on Orton. A pool of blood leaked out of The Viper's head. Nothing about it was fake.
But despite WWE's PG rating, this was reportedly the original plan, as Dave Meltzer reported on the Wrestling Observer Radio:
"Obviously the idea was to get hardway blood. The elbow was designed to cut him open, and I don't know how badly [Orton] was hurt. From what I can gather, due to no one talking about anything going awry, that was probably close to what was supposed to happen, if not exactly what was supposed to happen... There was no doubt that [Lesnar] was looking to open him up," Meltzer revealed.
Randy Orton was unable to continue and the match was called to a halt, with Brock Lesnar winning by TKO. It wasn't a conventional SummerSlam finish.
Referee Mike Chioda admitted to James Romero of Wrestling Shoot Interviews that he wasn't aware as to whether it was a call from the higher-ups, but said that he was surprised that the company would approve of it given their strict concussion protocols:
“Brock gashed him open and I could tell there was something going on. But I didn’t know if it was really Brock towards Randy or if it was just Brock listening to what the office wanted him to do,” Chioda said. “Randy had a little bit of heat at that time. He gashed him open real bad over the forehead. You could tell he was going for it because he was just elbow to forehead. I was kind of shocked that they would do that because concussion protocol was still strong at that time.”
The aftermath of the Brock Lesnar-Randy Orton match
The outcome of the match caused a lot of tension. Post the main event, tempers flared between Chris Jericho and Brock Lesnar backstage. Jericho wasn't aware whether the attack was planned or not, so assumed Brock Lesnar had gone to business for himself and was livid.
This resulted in Lesnar and Jericho yelling at each other. Jericho revealed that he stood face-to-face with The Beast Incarnate and thought of biting his nose if Lesnar attacked him.
Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. Chris Jericho declared he's over what happened, and he respects Brock Lesnar and what he has done for the business.