Randy Orton to be at WrestleMania, but may work backstage

Randy Orton has been absent from WWE television for over a year. The 14-time world champion suffered a back injury after his and tag partner Matt Riddle's loss against The Usos in May 2022, which resulted in Jimmy and Jey becoming the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions.

Randy Orton in a file photo. (Image credits: wwe.com)
By Blesson Daniel | Mar 23, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Randy Orton is one of the most recognizable superstars in the WWE, and fans were saddened to learn that he is currently recovering from an injury. Fortunately, the latest update on Orton’s condition is positive, and it looks like the WWE legend may be back in action sooner than expected. On May 26th, 2021, it was announced that Randy Orton had suffered an undisclosed injury, forcing him to miss the upcoming WWE Payback event. Following the announcement, there was a lot of speculation about the extent of the injury, with many wondering if the veteran would be out of action for a long period of time.

Given that he has been a fixture at the event since 2004, a WrestleMania without Randy Orton would seem unnatural. Yet it also appeared bound to happen this year, since the multi-time world champion has been out of the picture for over a year while he recovers from a back ailment.

WrestleMania without Orton, how is it possible

Yet, WWE may not be able to have a WrestleMania without Orton. Orton will be in attendance at WrestleMania 39, according to PWI Elite. While it has not been confirmed if Orton would appear on camera on either night of WWE’s main event, or on “WWE Raw” the following Monday, it is doubtful that Orton would be brought in merely to hang around backstage.

This possibly positive news for Orton contrasts sharply with reports in late 2022 that “The Viper” had had back fusion surgery, a treatment that would appear to sideline him for an extended length of time. Nevertheless, in February, it was reported that Orton had approached a boot maker to develop new wrestling boots, implying that his return will be sooner than expected. PWI also stated that an internal WWE conversation about Orton’s position has recently resurfaced.

Before his hiatus, Orton had been working as RKBro with Matt Riddle, winning the “Raw” Tag Team Championship until losing to the Usos in a unification match. With Riddle now missing from WWE, it’s unclear what path Orton will pursue when he returns.

READ MORE: Three ways the Rock can make a comeback at WrestleMania

WWE’s tragic plans for Randy Orton’s ‘severe’ injury comeback

The Wrestling Observer reports that individuals within WWE are very concerned about the seriousness of Randy’s injuries, which indicates that Orton is the subject of much worry at the moment. Despite this, some fresh details regarding what WWE could have in store for Randy when he eventually returns to television have surfaced.

There is currently no information available on when WWE fans may anticipate seeing Orton back on television, although it is widely accepted that any return will almost certainly take place in 2023 rather than this year. Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport about how WWE may bring him back, WrestleVotes said that the initial plans were designed with Randy turning on Matt Riddle right away.

“When Randy Orton went down, the plan was for him to come back and immediately turn on Matt Riddle.”

It’s important to note that these plans were created around the time of Randy’s injury, which occurred not only in May but also when Vince McMahon was still in charge of WWE.

However, now that he has stepped down from his roles as CEO and Chairman of WWE, Triple H could wish to go in a different route.

It’s noteworthy to note that WWE intended for Randy to flip on Riddle as soon as he returned, rather than delaying the turn until RK-Bro had recovered, as it did throughout the first few months of 2022.

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