At WWE Backlash, Randy Orton lost the WWE Championship to Jinder Mahal in a shocking upset. Shortly afterward, it was announced that The Viper would receive his rematch at the WWE Money in the Bank PPV in a few weeks. Orton only just made his first appearance on SmackDown Live during last night’s show, but many fans are wondering about Randy Orton’s schedule with WWE since losing the WWE Title to Mahal.
A week ago, it was reported that the former WWE Champion would be missing some WWE live events over the next few weeks. Naturally, the rumors about Orton’s status with the company came into question. Some rumors about Orton being injured, being upset after dropping the title, or something else. However, it’s now being reported that Randy Orton has been missing WWE live events for a much less interesting reason.
Apparently, The Viper has it written into his contract that he’s not required to participate in those WWE live events. It’s unclear if his deal states that he only needs to perform on a certain number of house shows each month or if there is another reason why it’s been written into his contract. However, the real reason why he hasn’t been performing on house shows over the past few weeks is that Randy Orton isn’t required to do so.
Last night on SmackDown Live, Randy Orton made his first appearance on WWE television since losing the WWE Championship to Jinder Mahal. He cut a promo regarding his rematch and made it very clear that he isn’t going to talk a big game heading into WWE Money in Bank. Instead, Orton is planning to take back the WWE Championship. However, the likelihood of that happening seems slim based on WWE officials’ plans.
It’s been reported that Jinder Mahal’s title reign is designed to target the Indian market, and WWE officials don’t have enough proof that the company has broken into the market yet. Because of that, Mahal’s reign is expected to last for some time. He may even keep the WWE Championship on his shoulder until after WWE tours India in Septemeber. On paper, it’s highly unlikely that Randy Orton will reclaim the WWE Title soon.
There is a lot of speculation about who Jinder Mahal will defend the championship against after the rivalry with Orton is over. However, the WWE Universe is at a loss regarding what the powers that be have planned for The Viper after he leaves the title picture. He has been booked as the top babyface for SmackDown since Wrestlemania 33, but that may change with Shinsuke Nakamura’s star on the rise and John Cena’s return.
Randy Orton has not been given enough credit for putting over Jinder Mahal at WWE Backlash. The WWE Universe is assuming that he will do the same for Mahal at the WWE Money in the Bank PPV. A WWE Title win over Randy Orton is a big deal, which will help elevate Jinder Mahal to the main event level and give his title reign legitimacy. Mahal may get credit for breaking WWE into India, but Orton’s role is pivotal to that.
On paper, that’s exactly what the powers that be want in their top guy. Randy Orton is a thirteen time WWE Champion. At this point, him holding the championship isn’t as valuable as it once was for the company, but putting over the next guy is extremely valuable. In fact, it’s a genuinely good thing for the product, especially for SmackDown Live. Make no mistake; Randy Orton is as important to the company as he has ever been in his career. Therefore, a few house shows off to give him some more time at home isn’t out of the question.
[Featured Image by WWE]