After Cody Rhodes, Another WWE Superstar Will Reportedly Be Sidelined From Action For A While

Randy Orton in WWE
(Image credit: WWE)

The WWE is really struggling to keep its biggest stars in the ring on a consistent basis, as it seems that more and more wrestlers are away for various reasons. Now, on the heels of Cody Rhodes pausing his magnificent return to the WWE to repair a freaky-looking torn pec, it sounds like yet another major superstar will spend more time away dealing with an injury. Randy Orton, who hasn’t been on television for almost a month now, is at the center of reports claiming he's likely the next to be sidelined from action for a while. 

Randy Orton was last seen on TV when RK-Bro lost their tag-team titles to The Usos on SmackDown back on May 20th. Fans initially suspected Orton was just taking scheduled time off, but recent reports from Fightful Select imply that WWE execs fear that he might be out for the rest of the year. Orton is allegedly suffering from a back injury that was possibly plaguing him even before he left. 

The WWE legend reportedly had some “work” done in an attempt to improve his back ahead of the tag-team title unification match, but it’s unclear what that means exactly. It’s unknown at this time what injury Orton might be suffering from specifically, but he's apparently getting worse, and there are said to be worries that he'll need surgery. If that’s the case, Orton will likely be sidelined for the rest of 2022. 

It’s understandable why anyone within the WWE would be nervous about losing Randy Orton for the rest of any given year, especially with the recent rumors about Roman Reigns’ upcoming opponents. Reigns, who hasn’t been prominent on TV or pay-per-views much as of late, is reportedly scheduled to defend the Universal and WWE titles at SummerSlam. Previous rumors mentioned Orton was his planned opponent for that matchup, but if "The Viper" is out for the rest of the year, another opponent will need to be found. 

Rumors that Randy Orton might be injured are hard to hear. The wrestler celebrated the 20th anniversary of his WWE debut this year and enjoyed a helluva babyface run with his tag-team partner Riddle. For him to be gone the rest of the year would hurt RK-Bro, which is one of the most entertaining tag teams in wrestling as of late. Right now, it's alleged that Riddle could take on the plans WWE had for Orton if he can't return, which might be interesting to see. 

It’s also worth mentioning that losing someone like Randy Orton also vastly reduces the pool of main event talent that the WWE has available at the moment. Roman Reigns isn’t doing a lot of shows, Cody Rhodes is injured, Charlotte Flair is taking time off, and Sasha Banks and Naomi haven’t been on the small screen since their suspension. This is to say that the brand is hurting for available star power, which might give some fans pause about attending live events in the near future.

Fortunately, there’s still a good number of available talent for fans to see, and even a guaranteed appearance by John Cena is just around the corner. All these injuries and absences, however, might cause a stir in previous behind-the-scenes plans as far as what the WWE originally planned for storylines. This means unexpected wrestlers could get opportunities in the near future, so it’ll be interesting to see who rises in the ranks in the coming weeks. 

Though WWE superstar Randy Orton may have stepped away from televised events, anyone with a Peacock premium subscription can revisit the litany of his matches that are streaming on the platform whenever they wish. In the meantime, continue to keep an eye on what’s happening on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown, as it could help clue in who’s taking home that briefcase at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.