Randy Orton hasn’t been seen on WWE television since May when he and RK-Bro tag team partner Matt Riddle lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Usos.
It was later reported that after more than 20 years in WWE, the Viper was dealing with a severe back injury. Randy Orton’s father recently revealed that doctors have told his son not to return to the ring.
Speaking on the latest episode of his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T, who’s retired from competition himself, spoke about Orton’s career and noted that despite not being injury-prone, he’s always had some nagging issues.
“Randy’s been off ever since dropping the tag team championships, RK-Bro dropping the tag team championships. I didn’t know what Randy was dealing with, but Randy has always been a guy that’s been very durable. He hadn’t been a guy that has been injury prone or anything like that.
“He’s always dealt with little ailments like his shoulder. He always had a bad shoulder. He always had this little flex thing he would use. I would see him with that thing every day, you know, working with it, working his shoulder, back issues, you know, some minor stuff.”
Continuing, Booker T noted that while working hurt is part of professional wrestling, it’s important to listen to physicians when it comes to protecting one’s long-term health. Booker T himself went through a similar situation, choosing to step away when it became clear that he would require more operations if he kept wrestling.
“One thing about the business and we talk about it all the time, you’re going to be hurt. You’re going to be hurt all the time. It’s just a hurt business. Being injured is something that’s totally different. Obviously, he’s dealing with an injury now because from what I was reading, the doctors are advising Randy Orton to not come back to in-ring competition. I don’t know how true that is, but if it is true, I know what Randy Orton is going through.
“A doctor advised me, same thing, not to return back to the ring because of neck issues from a full-time perspective. That’s why I totally took an exit from the ring when I did because of the curvature my neck could get to the point to where it could start messing with the nerves, tingling in the hands, numbness and then it could lead to paralysis and whatnot, whatnot, whatnot.
“The doctor told me you can stop and we don’t have to have surgery or you could keep going if we do the surgery, so I chose, you know, hey, let me take a step back. So I do know what Randy may perhaps be going through at this point in time.”
“My Heart Goes Out To Randy Orton” – WWE Hall Of Famer Booker T
Booker T also spoke about how difficult it was to make the decision to step away from the squared circle, saying that he wanted to get second opinions from doctors who told him his body was not able to compete at the same level anymore. He said that despite the hard decision, it’s best to listen to physicians to avoid long term damage.
“It’s not easy. It’s not easy to hear a doctor tell you that you got to stop doing something that you love doing. You’re gonna say, ‘Man, let me go get a second opinion. I gotta get another.’ It’s one of those types of deals, I tell you if this is the case, man, my heart goes out to Randy.
“Hopefully, it’s not. Hopefully, we’ll see Randy back inside the squared circle again, but when doctors start talking like that, sometimes you just got to listen. I understand exactly what that doctor is talking about because after the Rumble, I had like a little tingling in my finger, so it just reminded me that problem hadn’t gone away or anything and if I was out there doing this on a regular basis, I could really be putting my life in a bad, bad situation.”