Despite being one of the most pushed superstars on WWE television at the moment, Randy Orton won’t be wrestling at this Sunday’s The Horror Show at Extreme Rules pay-per-view. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, per Sportskeeda, his services are needed on Monday Night Raw.
Orton has been involved in a high-profile feud with The Big Show on the red brand’s weekly show in recent weeks. All the signs pointed toward the pair having a blow-off fight at Extreme Rules. However, WWE’s dwindling ratings have made company officials book the bout for television in hopes that it boosts the viewership.
“[The decision] does make sense because that match isn’t going to add any network buyers, which is how you make money today off a PPV, but after this past week’s record low, Show vs. Orton should avert coming even close to another record low next week. At least they’d better hope for that because it will be scary if they put that match on television and don’t get a significant improvement.”
The veteran performers will have an unsanctioned fight on the upcoming episode, meaning that it will presumably be an entertaining brawl. However, Meltzer doesn’t believe that the showdown boasts enough appeal to sell pay-per-views, which is why it’s been relegated to regular programming.
The belief is that this is only a placeholder storyline for Orton, who has spent 2020 feuding with Edge. That angle is reportedly set to resume when the injured Hall of Famer recovers from his tricep injury. There were reports of the former allies having a final showdown at SummerSlam, as they’re currently tied for victories.
It’s also highly likely that Orton will win his current feud, as his opponent is a part-time superstar who’s primarily been used to put over talent. The air of predictability surrounding the bout isn’t enticing to fans who want to be surprised, and that could also affect the ratings.
As documented by Ringside News, Showbuzz Daily revealed that the latest episode of Monday Night Raw saw a record-low viewership. The company’s ratings have been low throughout the pandemic, but fans appear to be getting frustrated with the overall product.
The Horror Show at Extreme Rules might miss Orton’s presence, but the pay-per-view does have plenty of other interesting matches in store. Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio will collide in an Eye for an Eye match, while Braun Strowman will take on Bray Wyatt in a non-title swamp match.