More on Randy Orton's injury status; Backup SummerSlam opponent for Roman Reigns already planned - Reports

Randy Orton/WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns
Randy Orton/WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns

The rumored plan for Roman Reigns at SummerSlam was for him to face Randy Orton. Unfortunately, The Viper is suffering from back injuries and might be out for an extended period of time. While WWE is hoping for Orton's return soon, they have a backup plan in place in case he doesn't.

Randy Orton was written off television when The Bloodline, led by Roman Reigns, brutally attacked him and his partner, Riddle. The original plans were for the Original Bro to face Reigns at MITB and Orton to face him at SummerSlam. Those were reportedly nixed and Riddle will now face The Tribal Chief on SmackDown.

As per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Randy Orton may not be able to make it for his planned match against Reigns at SummerSlam. He said that it will not be against Riddle, which leaves Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley and Omos as the possible choices:

''Orton may need back surgery and those with knowledge of the situation said that the planned Reigns vs. Orton main event for 7/30 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville is in jeopardy. There is a backup plan for Reigns but we were told at press time the plan was not Riddle,'' said Meltzer.
As revealed by @HeymanHustle, if @SuperKingofBros does not defeat @WWERomanReigns this Friday in the championship match on #SmackDown, Riddle will not be able to challenge for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship as long as Roman Reigns is champion!#WWERaw

Who could face Roman Reigns at SummerSlam?

There is a dearth of credible opponents for The Tribal Chief with big names like Cody Rhodes, Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton out of the equation.

Meltzer noted that the company might pull the trigger on a much-awaited Bobby Lashley vs Roman Reigns feud or could go with him facing a newer face like Gunther or Omos:

''They can put anyone in there, but aside from Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, or possibly Gunther, nobody besides Riddle seems even remotely ready for that level. I suppose he could destroy Omos, but Omos lost the feud with Lashley, not that it matters with WWE booking,'' said Meltzer.

Drew McIntyre is set to face the Universal Champion at Clash at the Castle in September, so it is unlikely that WWE will have the marquee match at SummerSlam in July.

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Edited by Arjun