Set number: X161332 TK1
After being out of action since May 2022 due to a back injury, 14-time world champion Randy Orton will make his return to WWE programming at Survivor Series WarGames.
Cody Rhodes announced the news on Monday at the end of WWE Raw:
Rhodes teased Orton as the fifth member earlier in the show:
“I have an old friend I can call…”#WWERaw < a href="https://t.co/zwHI8vtwvF">pic.twitter.com/zwHI8vtwvF
Fans just have to wait a little longer to see the superstar in action.
Orton was last seen in WWE on the May 20, 2022 episode of SmackDown when he and Matt Riddle dropped the Raw Tag Team Championship to the Usos in a winner-take-all match for the Raw and SmackDown titles.
After The Usos won, they put Orton at the announce table, and Riddle revealed on the following episode of Raw that The Viper would be gone for a while due to a sore back.
Combative selection (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News) reported in November that he had undergone fusion surgery on his lower back. Although no specific timetable was given for his return, it was noted that he would be away for “an extended period of time.”
Before he got injured, Orton was one half of RK-Bro with Riddle, and they were among the most popular groups in the entire company.
While The Viper was previously best known as a solo actor who generally played a serious and villainous character, fans supported him showing his more jovial side.
This further proved Orton’s ability to be an asset to WWE in multiple ways, as he can get consistent reactions as a heel or babyface, singles star or tag team wrestler, and in the main event or at middle of the map.
At 43 years old, Orton has seen and done it all in WWE, and he doesn’t have much left to prove after a 20-plus year career.
Still, The Apex Predator is among the most popular and well-known artists in the industry, and his presence has a hugely positive impact on the business.
WWE already has a roster of male superstars including Roman Reigns, Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins and more, and Orton should once again be among the best now that he’s back.
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