I hear voices in my head, and they are telling me that Randy Orton is poised for a WWE return. Orton has been sidelined for over a year due to a serious back injury requiring fusion surgery. The Viper was recently spotted at the WWE Performance Center, sparking widespread speculation that he is poised for a return. Unlike his patented RKO, it does not appear his comeback will come OUT OF NOWHERE!
WrestleVotes reports that a source they spoke with indicated that new merchandise and branding for Orton has been approved. They added that WWE is planning a large social media promotion/digital marketing campaign for his return, which is “indeed happening.” It was noted that his return will likely happen at WWE Survivor Series in Chicago or sometime that weekend, possibly on the SmackDown before.
Orton’s last WWE match took place on the May 20, 2022 edition of Friday Night SmackDown. The bout was a “Winner Takes All” WWE Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championship unification match, which Orton and Matt Riddle lost to The Usos. Orton and Riddle had been WWE Raw Tag Team Champions for a little over two months at that point and successfully defended their titles in a triple threat match at WWE WrestleMania 38.
Riddle was released by WWE last month as part of the cuts that took place following the formation of TKO Group Holdings. The Original Bro reportedly received heat for a promo he cut following Orton’s injury becoming public. In the promo, Riddle spoke about the pain Orton has been in during the latter half of their title run, and his comments were praised by many for their authenticity. However, the lines were not pre-approved and landed the former UFC star in hot water backstage. With Riddle no longer part of the company, an R-K-Bro reunion is off the table if/when Orton gets back to action.
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