At WWE SummerSlam last month, WWE Superstar Randy Orton got beaten up badly by Brock Lesnar. This is not up for debate or speculation. Orton was told to go out and take a beating, and he did exactly what he was told. He then took open head shots from Brock to get opened up, which caused him to bleed heavily. Many felt he had a concussion, but it was reported that Orton passed all the tests he needed to be cleared. Or did he?
Randy Orton did not wrestle after SummerSlam, but he did appear on television for the WWE SmackDown Live brand the last few weeks regardless. WWE felt Orton would be fine by WWE Backlash, the new SmackDown Live brand PPV. This is why the company set up a match between Orton and Bray Wyatt for the event. The match seemed like a good idea since Wyatt is known to be a safe worker who can deliver a good match with just about anyone.
After the issue with Lesnar, it was speculated by some experts that Randy Orton would have a job for life with the WWE due to how stupidly they treated the entire situation and knowing the issues head shots could cause for the human brain. Beforehand, WWE could make the excuse that they ignorant about the head shots, and claim that they, along with everyone else, just didn’t know. Now that we do know, and we have more science than ever telling us how dangerous and damaging a concussion could be, WWE can’t cry ignorance this time. They sent out a WWE Superstar to take open head shots for the crowd’s entertainment.
This wasn’t what you would see in the MMA world either because at least they try to defend themselves, and the fight is stopped when they can’t do so. WWE had Orton take initial shots and then had Lesnar pull the heel move and continue attacking the Viper after the match concluded. Then on top of this, it is being rumored that WWE tried to hide Orton’s true condition from the public and would have let him wrestle at WWE Backlash last night without getting fully cleared.
However, the internet put one over on the WWE. When Pro Wrestling Sheet managed to report that Randy Orton had not been fully cleared, it began to surface that Orton would not be competing at WWE Backlash. Still, WWE had not made any sort of announcement about it, and no one really knew what was coming. Some speculated that we would see an attack that would remove Orton from the event, and that is exactly what WWE did.
PWInsider reports that WWE had clear knowledge of Randy Orton’s concussion issues this past week. He had passed some of the ImPACT testing, but he was not doing it consistently enough to be cleared. This became an issue, but WWE never decided to pull Orton from the event prior to this because they always assumed he would be fine by the time WWE Backlash came around. However, if he was not consistently passing tests for weeks, one would imagine that making a match with Bray Wyatt and Orton for the event would show questionable judgment on the part of all concerned.
The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer was shocked WWE event let Orton hit the RKO last night. Although a very simple thing, even being at a small risk to hit your head could cause a concussion to get worse. Luckily, Orton didn’t have any problems, but it does seem that WWE was more than open to the idea of Orton competing before the news got out that he had not been cleared. There would be no way that they would see all of the testing every week and even this week, then still have a match scheduled for Backlash anyway.
As PWInsider reported, the company knew all along that Randy Orton had not been passing the tests completely, and his concussion was not healing as quickly as they had hoped. Keep in mind, this man had his head bashed open at SummerSlam just a couple weeks ago. He should have been kept off of television and given time to heal up, but instead, the company brought him back two days later for WWE SmackDown Live. Then, on top of this, they planned a match for him a few weeks later.
WWE allegedly tried to hide any issue Orton had, and that seems obvious. However, news got out, and that put a stop to the match. Reports came out days after saying Randy Orton was tested and turned out to be okay, so fans did not over-speculate. Now that we know he was not cleared to compete, it does seem that WWE would have had Orton wrestle at WWE Backlash if reports didn’t surface about him not being cleared.
[Image via WWE]