According to the report, the match was stopped after “The Viper” landed awkwardly after trying to hit the RKO. Although no details about the severity of the injury have been made public at the time of this writing, he was reportedly helped to the back by company officials.
Many fans in attendance took to social media to discuss the incident afterward, with the general consensus speculating that the Monday Night Raw superstar had injured his knee. However, WWE haven’t released a statement yet, and the WrestlingNews.co report states that a diagnosis won’t be released until tomorrow.
Assuming that the injury is as bad as it looks, the timing is unfortunate for Orton and WWE. WrestleMania season is set to begin, with the Royal Rumble just around the corner. The rivalry between Orton and Styles has been one of the red brand’s biggest storylines recently as well, and a serious injury will derail the plans for everyone involved.
Orton and Styles have been at odds with each other since the lead up to TLC, after “The Viper” cost “The Phenomenal One” the United States Championship. It’s clear that WWE has long-term fans for the feud, and with current Universal Champion Brock Lesnar out of the picture, losing a star of Orton’s stature is a major blow, especially during a period where Monday Night Raw‘s viewership has been dwindling.
— James Crummel (@jamescrummel) December 30, 2019
This isn’t the first time that Orton has injured his knee, either. As noted by WWE, he required surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his left knee. He was out of action for several weeks afterward, and if he has damaged the same knee this time around, he could be absent for the foreseeable future.
Orton’s injury will also raise questions about the necessity of WWE’s busy house show schedule. In the past, superstars have left the company because it makes them more susceptible to unnecessary injuries.
While getting hurt is a natural part of wrestling, critics of WWE’s live events system think the extra risk to the superstars’ well-being isn’t worth the additional weekly matches.
More information about Orton’s situation should emerge in the coming days, and here’s hoping that he won’t be out of action for an extended period of time.