This year has seen two big names primarily connected with WWE in the past — Chris Jericho and Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose) — leave Vince McMahon’s company and join the recently formed All Elite Wrestling. Could Randy Orton be the next main-event talent from WWE to jump ship once his contract with the company expires?
Early on Monday morning, Orton took to Instagram to share a photo of himself standing in an elevator. What stood out as interesting, however, was the fact that the 39-year-old WWE veteran was posing next to a sign that read “Elite Level,” as he also hinted in the caption that the clock is ticking on something. “The Viper” made sure not to mention any rival company in his post, though he tagged a few wrestlers who have been rumored to be unhappy with WWE in recent months, including The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) and Luke Harper, as well as AEW mainstays Jericho and Cody Rhodes.
Also tagged in the post were Friday Night SmackDown star Elias and NXT’s Riddick Moss, which, as noted by WrestlingNews.co, came as a surprise as they aren’t among the usual superstars thought to have plans of leaving WWE in the near future.
As further pointed out by the publication, Jericho was one of the 900-plus commenters who replied to Orton’s photo within the first two hours of posting, as he asked the 13-time world champion to “send in a tape and some pix” so that he can see about bringing him over to AEW.
Orton’s latest AEW tease came a little more than two weeks after he praised the company during a video game livestream, asking a fan if he was able to catch the first episode of the promotion’s new primetime show, AEW: Dynamite, on TNT. The veteran WWE superstar went on to congratulate Rhodes for having a great match against up-and-coming youngster Sammy Guevera.
“I thought that opening the show with that match was a good idea and well-received,” Orton said, as quoted by The Inquisitr.
As Orton’s current contract with WWE is reportedly due to expire in 2020, rumors have long been swirling about his plans to join longtime friends Jericho and Rhodes in AEW. Although he has yet to come to terms on an extension, WrestlingNews.co also brought up the possibility that Orton might have simply been acting as the “biggest troll” on social media by repeatedly putting AEW over and teasing a jump to the rival company after nearly two decades with WWE.