Randy Orton has admitted that a recent injury almost ended his career.
At Survivor Series, Randy Orton stepped back in the ring for the first time since May 2022. The Viper was written off television after an attack by The Bloodline, but the beatdown was more than simply giving the veteran some time off.
It was quickly reported that Orton had been dealing with a serious back injury which ultimately required surgery. There were also reports that he’d been advised by doctors to never wrestle again.
Appearing on the Impaulsive podcast with Logan Paul, Orton lifted the lid on his injury struggles and began by toasting his new lease on life.
“I’m like the only guy that’s never left and come back, other than John Cena. I’m going to be here for the rest…this is me. I’m not moving on to Hollywood. I love what I do. I just had 18 months off recovering from spinal fusion. I was kind of faced with the fact that I might not be able to do this again.
It’s almost like I got a second lease on my career here. I’m not going to take a day for granted. Not a second in that ring for granted. Even now, more so than the matches you would have seen a year ago when you first started or a couple years ago, I’m feeling even more in my element now,”
Orton went on to break down exactly how the injury affected him, and his gratitude for Matt Riddle who he says carried him during their tag team run.
“I changed a lot of stuff off these last 18 months. I really needed the time. I had a lot of ailments. I couldn’t stand for more than a couple minutes without having pain shoot down my legs. When I would sit, I had a disc slipping every time I would bend. On a plane, sitting here, my feet would go numb and I had pain shooting down my legs. It really sucked. It was really hard.
That last year, before I had to leave because of the back, I was in a tag team with former WWE superstar Matt Riddle. I have to give him props because that year we tagged together, I was not able to be in the ring unless i was in there with someone like him. He was able to take the brunt of the physicality. He tagged me in, I come in, do my sh*t. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have made it that far.
I had some great doctors, they fixed me up right. They didn’t cut through any muscle, which would enable me to get back in the ring. Once you start cutting muscle, that’s never going to heal back. You’re done. I’m blessed, all the way around.”
Randy Orton Moves To SmackDown
Following his return to WWE, Orton headed to Raw to face Dominik Mysterio before appearing on SmackDown. At the end of the December 1st episode of the show, the former World Champion officially signed with the blue brand.
It’s since been reported that to fully capitalise on Randy Orton’s return, WWE delayed attaching him to a brand. Interestingly, the Orton segment was produced by Michael Hayes who usually deals with everything involving Roman Reigns and The Bloodline.
This has only added to rumours that Orton will face Reigns at the Royal Rumble.
H/t to Fightful