14-Time WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton is currently out of action with a back injury.
He hasn’t wrestled since May 2022 and was written off WWE programming after a vicious storyline assault led by Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns along with The Bloodline.
The Viper underwent a lower back fusion surgery, which resulted in the original plan for the SummerSlam 2022 main event being canceled – Roman Reigns (c) vs. Randy Orton for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
There have been rumors going around for the past few months that Orton would return to in-ring action in WWE soon, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Fightful Select reported that Orton is healing up, but he hasn’t recovered enough to return to the ring.
WWE creative sources noted that Orton has not been factored into their plans as they’re not sure about his recovery timetable.
The veteran has reportedly resumed weight training, and sources were told that he’s “huge”. However, he hasn’t gotten to training in the ring yet and hasn’t taken an in-ring bump for a long time.
Later, Sean Ross Sapp asked a source in WWE about Orton’s SummerSlam 2023 status, and below is the actual quote of what the source told him:
“Who am I to say that Vince might not call in on pain meds screaming about how they need Randy to punt someone Saturday? I can’t say it’s impossible.”
In an update on this situation, PWInsider is reporting that Orton has arrived in Detroit for SummerSlam.
No word yet on why exactly he’s there (he could be there to attend the 2nd biggest WWE show of the year, film content for WWE Network / Peacock, meet friends, possibly make a return, etc).
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