Randy Orton’s return to WWE has been imminent for quite some time. When he went down with a major shoulder injury back in October, WWE had to move on without its Apex Predator. A lot has changed over the past nine months, and the WWE of today is much different than it was the last time Orton stepped foot inside a WWE ring.
Over the past nine months, Orton has been a ghost in WWE. He’s been mentioned a few times. There have been stories told about him, but he hasn’t been seen or heard from on WWE programming since he went down with an injury until last week when it was revealed that Randy Orton would be Brock Lesnar’s opponent at SummerSlam.
We learned that WWE has booked The Viper to face Lesnar at the biggest show of the summer, but that was six weeks away and didn’t make it clear if Orton would be back beforehand to hype the match, or if he’ll be returning at SummerSlam. The answer to that question was revealed tonight on Monday Night Raw.
During tonight’s edition of Monday Night Raw, it was revealed that Chris Jericho would be hosting a “Highlight Reel” segment during the WWE Battleground PPV in less than two weeks. Randy Orton will be his special guest during the segment and will break his silence about going one on one with The Beast Incarnate.
WWE has posted the following preview about Orton’s return at WWE Battleground on WWE.com. Part of which, you can read below.
“The reveal of Randy Orton as Brock Lesnar’s SummerSlam opponent came — yep — outta nowhere, and The Viper is set to break his silence on a special edition of Chris Jericho’s ‘The Highlight Reel’ live at WWE Battleground.
“Will The Viper be able to compete at 100 percent following a recovery that has been thus far shrouded in mystery? How aggressively did he scout Lesnar during his return to the Octagon? And can the master of the RKO manage to defeat The Beast in what is now unmistakably the peak of his second prime?”
Many people would call Lesnar vs. Orton at SummerSlam a “booking nightmare.” You could look at the match as a lose-lose situation because you have two of WWE’s top stars fighting at one of the biggest shows of the year, but one must lose. Another way of looking at the match is that WWE can’t lose because there is no possibility for an upset, and big matches are big money.
However, there was a recent report that WWE has already chosen Brock Lesnar to win the match, which is going to force Orton to restart in WWE with a major loss. Orton is one of WWE’s top veterans, and he’ll be able to recover from the loss, but that’s a poor situation for him to return to WWE with, especially considering that there are rumors about him only being back part-time.
For now, we know when The Viper will return to WWE programming, but we still don’t know when he will return to the WWE ring. The latest is that he is training and shaking off the ring rust from his nine-month recovery at the WWE Performance Center. It’s been said a lot over the past few weeks that Orton is not yet 100 percent, even nine months later.
It will be very interesting to hear about what Randy Orton has been doing away from WWE over past nine months from his own mouth, how his shoulder and body feels, and what he thinks about stepping into the ring with Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. We’re not going to have to wait long for the answers. We just have to wait until WWE Battleground in less than two weeks.
[Image via WWE.com]