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Backstage News on Possible WWE Plans for Randy Orton’s Return

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WWE reportedly had plans for Randy Orton to return on Matt Riddle.

A new report from Wrestlevotes notes that when Orton went down back in May, the plan was for him to return and immediately turn on his former RK-Bro tag team partner.

There’s no word yet on if WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H will have something different in mind for The Viper when he does return, which might not be until some time in 2023.

Orton has not wrestled since he and Riddle took a loss to Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos on the May 20 SmackDown, which was the match where the RAW and SmackDown tag team titles were unified. Orton has not been seen since then, and WWE noted on TV how he was dealing with a back injury. It was then reported that Orton may need surgery, which would likely keep him away from the ring for the rest of 2022, and Riddle also indicated Orton had a “big operation” planned. At one point Orton was planned for a big role this past summer, including a SummerSlam match with Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.

Orton had been dealing with a back injury for quite a while, to the point he actually had work done to improve his condition before the match to unify the tag team titles on May 20. There’s no word on the extent of the work that was done. Despite Orton having some work done, things had gotten progressively worse, and WWE officials were worried that Orton will be forced to undergo surgery. Word from within WWE was that if surgery was needed, Orton would likely be out of action for the rest of this year. It was also noted that the exact injury was unknown, and there is still no confirmation that he did undergo back surgery.

There is also still no official timeframe for Orton’s return to the ring, but it was reported in late September that internally there was still a lot of concern over Orton’s back injury, and the severity of the injury.

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