WWE Superstar Randy Orton ‘NOWHERE CLOSE’ Upon Returning To Ring After Severe Back Injury…Despite Reports The Multiple World Champion Would Return For WrestleMania Weekend
- According to reports, Randy Orton is “a long way from” making an in-ring return to WWE
- The former world champion has been out of action since last summer with a back injury
- There was hope that ‘The Viper’ would be part of WrestleMania last week
Randy Orton is no closer to a WWE return, despite hopes the former world champion would be back for WrestleMania weekend.
Orton has not been on WWE TV since he and RK-Bro tag team partner Matt Riddle lost their tag team title unification match with The Usos on SmackDown in May 2022.
The Viper has been sidelined with a serious back injury and underwent fusion surgery in November, a procedure that was expected to keep Orton out for quite some time.
At the time, there was no timetable for his return, and despite the severity of his injury, reports surfaced last week that the 43-year-old would be ready for a WrestleMania return.
With WrestleMania now passed without any sign of the multi-time world champion, his return still seems “nowhere near” according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
Randy Orton is nowhere near ready to return to WWE action after back surgery
The report appears to offer some possibility of an imminent comeback for Orton, either as a challenger to Roman Reign’s WWE Undisputed Title or returning to the side of partner Riddle, who himself returned to WWE on Monday following his own hiatus from the company.
There have been previous indications that at this stage in Orton’s career, the injury has raised concerns about his ability to perform consistently again.
WWE would currently have no long-term plans for Orton, and there’s no word on what effect the time off could have on Orton’s contract.
On this week’s Friday Night SmackDown, Triple H announced that the 2023 version will take place in the coming weeks, with EVERY WWE superstar eligible for a trade.
That would suggest that Orton would be in the mix for a potential move to SmackDown, but his involvement may depend on how soon he’s ready to return to action.
Triple H has announced there will be a WWE draft in the coming weeks, but Randy Orton is unlikely to be part of the trades