Did the RKO cause Randy Orton's career-threatening injury?

Randy Orton catches Seth Rollins mid-air for an RKO at WWE WrestleMania 31.
Randy Orton catches Seth Rollins mid-air for an RKO at WWE WrestleMania 31.

Randy Orton underwent back transfusion surgery last year to deal with his injuries. The Viper was forced to take a break from television due to nagging injuries. Orton dropped a bombshell last year when he said his back injuries had piled up because of his finishing maneuver, the RKO.

During an interview with Fox 2 Now from his hometown of St. Louis, MO, Randy Orton said he would come up with a different finisher had he known the brutal toll RKO takes on the body of the performer as well as the receiver.

“I kind of wish I could go back in time and create a finishing move that didn’t entail me jumping up as high as I can and landing on my back.'' said Orton. ''After doing that a couple of thousand times over the last few decades, I’m starting to feel it.”

Orton is extremely fluid with the execution of the move. However, the finisher itself hurts a lot as revealed by the Viper himself. The 14-time world champion has performed RKO countless times over the course of his accomplished WWE career.


Randy Orton’s RKO has put an end to the title reigns of some of the biggest icons of the business, including John Cena and Triple H to name a few. The iconic finisher might’ve dethroned Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns had he and Orton fought at SummerSlam 2022.

Doctors worried about Randy Orton’s possible return to WWE ring

Orton was written off television after the May 20, 2022, episode of WWE SmackDown. The Viper and Matt Riddle dropped the RAW Tag Team Championship to The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) that night. The duo were then destroyed by The Bloodline in a shocking turn of events.


According to Orton’s father, Cowboy Bob Orton Jr., the doctors have advised his son against returning to the ring for action. The WWE Hall of Famer told Bill Apter of Sportskeeda Wrestling that Orton is training. But Bob also stated that there are concerns his injuries might aggravate in case he bumps in the ring again.

Orton went undrafted during the WWE Draft 2023. It remains to be seen if he will return to the company in the foreseeable future.

What’s your take on this story? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Edited by Ashvinkumar Patil
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