Randy Orton has been out of action with a back injury since late May, and news on his return has been scarce. This week, PWInsider reported that Orton was spotted in Birmingham, Alabama, where WWE frequently sends wrestlers for surgery or rehabilitation. Orton’s wife, Kim, shared an anniversary photo of him in the hospital, though it’s unclear how recent that photo was.
With Orton out, his tag partner Matt Riddle has been carrying the torch for him on Monday Night Raw by employing a large portion of his moveset, including the RKO. As RK-Bro, they won the Raw Tag Team Championships twice, but fell short against the Usos in a championship unification match in May. Since then, the Usos have set a record for the longest tag team championship reign in WWE history.
Orton discussed his retirement plans on The Ringer Wrestling Show in January, saying he plans to retire by the age of 50 — “I’m 41. I believe I will be finished by the age of 50. But I’m not like that; I’ll do auditions now and then, but mostly because my wife says, ‘Oh, do them, because what if you don’t?’ Then you’ll wonder what would happen if you did.’ So I go to auditions here and there, hoping not to get a callback because I enjoy what I do. I don’t want to come to a halt. I don’t want to be forced to stop because of my health.
So I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure I’m doing everything I can on the daily that physically I’m able to continue. But if it was up to me, and I knew physically it wouldn’t be a problem, I’d say I’d wrestle until I’m 50 years old. And I would go out and have that last match when I’m 50 and be able to say I did it on my own terms. That’s 9 years from now. But I don’t see an end to my career any time soon. I’d like to continue to go.
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