We all know by now that WWE Superstar Randy Orton took a major beating at WWE SummerSlam in his match with Brock Lesnar. Many were worried about his health before the match as he just got back from an injury that kept him out for the better part of a year. That said, going in to face Brock Lesnar was certainly a worry among many fans. Those fears made total sense when you look at the match itself.
Orton got his butt kicked, figuratively and literally. The biggest issue from the match is not the numerous suplexes, but rather the open head-shots that Randy Orton took toward the end of the match that helped end the match with a TKO. Brock Lesnar hit Orton with several strikes, one being his elbow which opened Orton up pretty bad. Enough to where he was pouring blood badly. Lesnar then continued the numerous strikes to the head and Orton just had to lay there and take them.
Some experts have claimed that Randy Orton may have a job for life, because if he wanted to, he could point to this night as a night when WWE was careless with a WWE Superstar knowing the risks of head trauma. Beforehand, WWE could claim ignorance, and a lot of the time it is really tough to point to a moment where you know a guy got a concussion or some sort of head injury. For Orton, he easily could point to WWE Summerslam in 2016. That being said, WWE never wants to see Orton go either, so there is no worry about him leaving then suing WWE at this point at least.
The real issue with this entire thing is that Randy Orton had a concussion post-SummerSlam and WWE still had him jump into a program with Bray Wyatt for WWE Backlash, the first WWE SmackDown Live brand exclusive PPV. It made sense to have Orton on the show, but not if he was unable to compete. Interestingly, WWE knew Orton had not been passing the concussion testing consistently, and only pulled him the day of the event because they had no alternative but to keep him out.
It should go without saying that WWE clearly was trying to hope Orton’s concussion away rather than treat it with having Orton stay off television for a while. According to The Wrestling Observer, WWE indeed did try to cover up the concussion Randy Orton suffered at SummerSlam. They knew he had it and still pushed him to compete. Orton wasn’t helping himself either, as he helped to cover up the concussion by downplaying his symptoms.
Randy even basically lied to those close to him to help support the idea that he was fine. However, since he could not consistently pass the concussion testing, WWE really had no alternative but to remove him from Backlash. However, some believe this was not the original plan for Randy Orton. There are many who believe that WWE would have had Orton work Backlash if not for the internet causing a problem.
Pro Wrestling Sheet first reported that Randy Orton was not medically cleared to compete at WWE Backlash, and that was picked up by every major wrestling outlet in the world due to PWS being a very credible source. This was a story WWE could not escape and that virtually killed off Orton working the event, simply because the evidence was clear that he was not good to go medically and the world knew it as much as WWE by then.
The idea ahead of time was that WWE felt Randy would be fine by the time Backlash came about, as the concussion happened about three weeks before and oftentimes a concussion can heal up within that period of time. WWE was hopeful that Orton would be good by then, but it just didn’t happen and the internet pretty much forced WWE to remove The Viper from the card by having Wyatt attack him before their match started.
Clearly this was done with Randy Orton to write him out for the night just because they had no alternative, but at the same time, it was also a good way to continue the storyline with Bray Wyatt going into WWE No Mercy early next month. The question now is, will Randy be medically cleared by No Mercy? WWE has had Orton work tag matches since, so it does seem that he might be now, but the company feels he would be better off being used as minimally as possible.
[Featured image by WWE]