WWE may be losing a big live event attraction if former world champion Randy Orton has his way.
On this week’s edition of Wooo! Nation, Hall of Famer Ric Flair stated that Orton was looking to work a reduced schedule, similar to that in which Shawn Michaels worked towards the end of his career. Michaels would rarely work live events, instead appearing mainly on television and pay-per-view. There were some exceptions to the rule, however.
Orton is 35, which is relatively young in the pro wrestling business, but the mileage on his body is likely stacking up after 13 years on the WWE main roster.
Last year, similar rumors emerged that Orton had already signed a new deal that had limited dates. Orton, however, took to Twitter to shoot down the claims.
It's come to my attention the net is stating I signed a new deal with lesser dates. Remember people, you can't believe everything you read!
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) October 11, 2014
Orton never stated that he didn’t want the limited schedule, simply that he hadn’t signed a deal with lesser dates.
The irony of this whole situation is that Orton, albeit by differing circumstances, has worked somewhat of a limited scheduled during his WWE tenure. Orton has already missed a month in 2015, in addition to two in 2014, and two in 2012 (due to suspension). Orton missed a lot of time early in his career due to injuries and suspensions as well.
Orton has been out of the main event picture for a while, coming up short in his four championship matches against Seth Rollins earlier this year. As of now, it appears WWE is content to have Orton perform in mid-card feuds. Either way, Orton is still a huge name to have tacked on to any live event.
Flair didn’t give reasons as to why Orton wanted the limited schedule, but one can speculate that thirteen years of working television and live events has taken its toll. Orton started with the WWE main roster at only 22 years old, and has been performing in main event angles and story lines since he was 23.
The WWE would certainly be dealt a blow to their depth chart if Orton stepped away for long periods of time, but it seems as if he’s been removed from the deck as it pertains to the main event shuffle. Kurt Angle asked for a similar contract last year, but was turned down. Angle’s proposition being rejected likely had much more to do with his physical condition than the schedule itself.
In addition to his vicious wrestling schedule, Orton will also have to promote The Condemned 2: Desert Prey, which he filmed last year. Orton also has a 7-year-old daughter to care for, which could be a motivating factor for his decision.
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