Randy Orton’s back injury forced WWE to shelve major storyline plans in 2022. The Viper was supposed to feud with a top superstar following his and Riddle’s stunning loss to The Usos for the RAW Tag Team Championship on the May 20, 2022, episode of WWE SmackDown.
WWE reportedly had plans for Randy Orton to feud with Roman Reigns in the summer of 2022. The feud would’ve put The Viper in contention for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam 2022. Of course, the match never happened due to Orton’s injury.
Having said that, Reigns and Orton have a history of competing against each other at SummerSlam. The two squared off against each other at SummerSlam 2014. The match is famous for its underrated RKO spot.
Randy Orton’s back injury changed the course of several major storylines in WWE. RK-Bro was viciously assaulted by The Bloodline after they lost the RAW Tag Team Championship to Jimmy and Jey Uso. WWE used the angle as a reason to remove The Viper from programming.
Roman Reigns ended up working with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam 2022. The two superstars collided in a chaotic Last Man Standing match. The Tribal Chief ultimately emerged as the last man standing.
Randy Orton’s back injury is worse than fans think
The 14-time world champion hasn’t wrestled in a whole year. His tag team partner, Riddle, was drafted to RAW as part of the WWE Draft 2023. Orton, on the other hand, was excluded from the draft eligibility along with several other superstars.
Randy Orton’s father, Cowboy Bob Orton Jr., recently provided an update on his son’s medical condition. According to the Hall of Famer, Orton’s doctors have advised him against making an in-ring comeback.
“He’s training, so we’ll see what happens; I don’t know,” the WWE Hall of Famer told Bill Apter of Sportskeeda Wrestling. If he feels like he’s ready to go back, I think he might, but again he’s pretty well taken care of. I don’t think he need [sic] to. And I think the doctors have told him not to. But Randy will do what Randy wants to do.” [2:12 - 2:36]
It remains to be seen if WWE’s apex predator will make his return to the squared circle.
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