WWE superstar Randy Orton — who has been out of action since October — is expected to make his long-awaited return to WWE television during tonight’s live SmackDown. Yesterday, Orton made an appearance in Washington, D.C., and was telling people that expects to be on tonight’s SmackDown. This — of course — is subject to change.
Randy Orton was last seen getting curb-stomped by Seth Rollins, so one would assume that he’ll confront Seth Rollins at some point tonight, should he return.
On the last Raw of 2014, Orton returned to the ring, but after Raw went off the air. Since then, it was announced that he needed Deviated Septum Surgery, and would miss another four to six weeks of action.
Orton has been wrestling at select WWE live events since he was taken off of television, and his opponent on those live events has been Kane, who will likely be his opponent at WWE Fast Lane, as WWE wants to save Randy Orton vs. Seth Rollins for WrestleMania.
When WWE announced SmackDown would be moving to Thursday nights, their goal was to make SmackDown equal to Raw in terms of importance, hence why Daniel Bryan’s first match back was on SmackDown. It’s possible that WWE originally wanted Orton to return on Monday’s Raw, but due to the snow storm, his return was pushed back until tonight.
Orton was originally supposed to return back at Survivor Series, which took place in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. However, WWE decided to have Sting make his WWE debut instead, beginning his storyline with Triple H. Orton was also scheduled to return at this past Sunday’s Royal Rumble, but — like at Survivor Series— WWE changed their mind at the very last minute.
Unlike the last Raw of 2014, where Orton appeared after the show went off the air, Orton isn’t advertised for tonight’s SmackDown. So, WWE is hoping that Orton’s return tonight will surprise the live audience, and most of the viewers at home.
Orton’s role from here on out will be the exact same as Dean Ambrose’s was several months ago, which is every time Seth Rollins decides to attempt to cash in his Money in the Bank contract, Orton will run down and interrupt Rollins’ cash in. This, of course, will lead to a match at WrestleMania between the two.
[Image via WWE]