The WWE Backlash pay-per-view event was already lacking in talent for the first ever WWE SmackDown Live-exclusive pay-per-view event. Now, it appears that the talent pool is even smaller than it was before. PWInsider reported that Randy Orton has been pulled from his Backlash match against Bray Wyatt and he won’t be on the show.
This is a tough break for WWE SmackDown Live, as the only real PPV caliber match left at Backlash is Dean Ambrose defending his WWE World Championship against AJ Styles. The second best match on the Backlash card was looking to be Randy Orton against Bray Wyatt. Now, Dave Meltzer reported that it looks like Kane might end up stepping up to wrestle in place of Randy Orton, which is a huge letdown.
There are some people who think this might be a work to sell the beating he took at the hands of Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. According to an updated PWInsider report, the reason for Randy Orton pulling out of the Backlash card is concussion-related. It seems like the WWE would not use a fake concussion to sell an angle with them involved in a lawsuit with numerous former wrestlers concerning concussions.
While it seems like the WWE wouldn’t do that with a Randy Orton Backlash angle, they did run a fake injury retirement angle with Sasha Banks on WWE Monday Night Raw. As the Inquisitr previously reported, there are some people backstage who felt that was in bad taste, especially with Daniel Bryan and Tyson Kidd both being forced to retire in real life based on injuries. With Bryan forced to retire due to concussions, a fake Randy Orton concussion angle would be low.
— WWE (@WWE) September 11, 2016
This is also another stumbling block in the career of Bray Wyatt. For the past three years, Bray Wyatt was supposed to be the next huge heel in the company, but the WWE has booked him to look strong, only to lose every feud he has been involved in. It might have helped him to win a feud with Randy Orton, but a match with Kane at Backlash does nothing for him at all.
The reason that Kane is rumored to step into the Backlash match is because Kane stepped in as a replacement for Randy Orton at a WWE live event over the weekend. What is even worse for Bray Wyatt is that Kane beat Wyatt in that match, meaning that the Bray Wyatt push still isn’t happening yet.
— TopRopePress.com (@TopRopePress) September 2, 2016
If the Randy Orton concussion story is true, and that is why he is pulling out of the WWE Backlash event, it brings up an even more disturbing problem for the WWE. The WWE pulled an angle at SummerSlam where Brock Lesnar beat Randy Orton so bad that the officials awarded the match to Lesnar by TKO.
The Randy Orton beating was so realistic that Chris Jericho got into Brock Lesnar’s face after the match. According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, Vince McMahon said that the beating was scripted, but Lesnar was legitimately beating up Randy Orton. Orton was legitimately bleeding and had to get his head stapled after the match.
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If the Brock Lesnar beating of Randy Orton was severe enough to cause a major concussion, that is a problem the WWE can’t afford to have right now. Many former wrestlers are suing the company for past concussions, and if the WWE booked a legitimate beating that caused a Randy Orton concussion, it makes them look bad.
For the fans, the bad news is that Randy Orton pulling out leaves Backlash without one of its biggest matches. Kane replacing Randy Orton is almost a joke and makes the first SmackDown Live-exclusive pay-per-view a huge disappointment.
[Image via WWE]