X

WWE Rumors: Latest on Randy Orton's Back Surgery and Potential for Return

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVNovember 26, 2022

World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton poses for photographers during the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Super Showdown event in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah late on January 7, 2019. (Photo by Amer HILABI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read AMER HILABI/AFP via Getty Images)
Photo credit should read AMER HILABI/AFP via Getty Images

There is reportedly no firm timetable for Randy Orton's return to WWE after undergoing back surgery.

According to Fightful Select (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), Orton underwent a fusion surgery on his lower back. It isn't known when the procedure took place, but it is expected to keep him out for "an extended period of time."

Orton last wrestled on the May 20 edition of SmackDown when he and Matt Riddle dropped the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Usos in a winner-take-all title match for the Raw and SmackDown tag team titles.

It was noted by WWE at the time that Orton was on the shelf with a back injury, but the exact nature of the ailment was never revealed, nor was the fact that he needed surgery.

Per Fightful, Orton "insisted" to people within WWE that he would be back at some point, but some in the company believe "they'd be fortunate" to ever get Orton back in the fold because of the severity of the injury, plus the pounding his body has taken over the course of a long career.

The 42-year-old Orton, who is the son of WWE Hall of Famer "Cowboy" Bob Orton, signed with WWE in 2000 and has been on the main roster since 2002, making him the longest-tenured member of the active roster.

Orton is also one of the most decorated Superstars in WWE history, as his 14 world titles are tied for third on the all-time list with Triple H and behind only John Cena and Ric Flair, who are tied for first with 16.

There was some thought that the world title record would belong to Orton one day, especially since he has raised his performance level significantly over the past few years.

The Viper has always been an excellent and effortless in-ring performer, but before getting injured, he was likely doing the best promo and character work of his entire career.

Orton's absence leaves a massive void on WWE's roster, and while he has nothing left to prove as a pro wrestler, he has earned the right to close out his career on his terms rather than being taken out by an injury.

Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).