Randy Orton hasn’t appeared on WWE television since the May 20th episode of Friday Night SmackDown. On the show, Orton teamed with Matt Riddle to take on The Usos, as the two teams attempted to become WWE’s Undisputed Tag Team Champions.
After being defeated RK-Bro were beaten down by The Bloodline, and Orton hasn’t wrestled since.
It was then reported in June that Orton was undergoing treatment for a back injury that was becoming increasingly troublesome. The report suggested that those within WWE were concerned that the star may miss the rest of the year should he need to undergo surgery, and a report in September echoed the concern over the severity of his injury. Orton was spotted in Birmingham, AL recently and did indeed undergo surgery on his back, something Kurt Angle says could be instrumental in saving his career.
“He Literally Couldn’t Do Anything” – Kurt Angle On Severity Of Randy Orton’s Back Injury
Speaking on The Kurt Angle Show (available early via AdFreeShows), the Olympic gold medalist opened up about a back injury he suffered in 2002 before taking the time to comment on Orton’s injury. According to Angle, back injuries are debilitating, and Orton’s recent surgery could be the only thing saving his career after working through injury for some time.
“Your back controls everything. You can’t do anything when your back is hurting. I’ll give you an example. Randy Orton just had surgery on his back. He literally couldn’t do anything, and this surgery is hopefully saving his career. But that’s how much back problems can affect you as a pro wrestler.”
Prior to Orton’s hiatus due to injury, it was reported that he was scheduled for a huge confrontation with Roman Reigns at WWE SummerSlam, but his injury made the clash impossible. Instead, Reigns faced Brock Lesnar in a last man standing match that saw The Beast Incarnate use a forklift to lift the entire ring onto its side. In the end, Reigns was able to retain his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship and recently passed 800 days as Universal Champion.
There is currently no timetable for Orton’s in-ring return.