18 months after his serious injury, Randy Orton celebrates his return to the wrestling ring: He joins Cody Rhodes’ team at the “War Games.”
The wrestling empire WWE has one of its biggest stars back: The 14-time WWE and World Champion returns to the ring after a long injury break!
On the latest edition of the Monday Night RAW TV show, the league unveiled Orton as the fifth member of Cody Rhodes’ team at Saturday’s big event Survivor Series: War Games.
WWE RAW: Randy Orton enters the “War Games “
The Rhodes-led team of World Champion Seth Rollins, Jey Uso and Sami Zayn will face the Judgment Day faction, bolstered last week by former WWE Champion Drew McIntyre, in Chicago this weekend.
Following on from that, Adam Pearce, who plays the General Manager on RAW, challenged Rhodes’ team on Monday to find a fifth team member by the end of the night as well.
Rhodes stoked the anticipation by saying he’d have to call an “old friend” – which hinted at Orton: Orton was once the leader of WWE’s Legacy grouping with the young Rhodes and Ted DiBiase Jr.
Cody Rhodes points to shared history
At the end of the show, McIntyre and Jey Uso faced off in a match to determine the “War Games Advantage” between them – the right to be the team in the big cage match that sends out a new entrant first and thus has the advantage for longer.
McIntyre won the match, but Rhodes’ team had the last laugh: Speaking in the ring, the “American Nightmare” revealed the identity of the fifth man – without naming him.
Rhodes explained that he had a “legacy” with his fourth partner – an unambiguous reference, after which the fans erupted in cheers. Rhodes added that an “Apex Predator” – Orton’s nickname – would be at their side at the “War Games”.
This was followed by chants of “Randy, Randy”, which Rhodes commented on by saying that the fans weren’t just hearing voices in their heads – a reference to the central line of Orton’s theme song “Voices”. They would be right.
Rhodes then dropped the microphone and the show went off the air. So Orton’s big performance won’t be until Saturday – the cheers should be all the bigger then.
Picking up on a loose thread?
For 18 months Orton had been suffering with a serious back injury, after a few months it came to light that there were even serious concerns that it could force the 43-year-old into retirement. Father Bob Orton also reported this year that Randy’s doctors had advised him to end his career – but let it be known that he would not necessarily follow the advice. Two months ago, Orton was spotted back at WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando.
Orton had his last WWE match in May 2022, when he and his then-partner Matt Riddle – since fired by WWE – lost the RAW roster’s tag team titles to Jey and Jimmy Uso and were subsequently attacked by The Usos and their uncle Roman Reigns, who is still WWE’s reigning Universal Champion.
According to insider reports, the scene was supposed to lead to a match between Reigns and Orton at SummerSlam 2022, which was prevented by Orton’s injury (Brock Lesnar stepped in). Now the storyline from back then may be picked up again: It was noticeable that Jey Uso – although according to the script he has since turned his back on Reigns and his Bloodline – was the only one to take the revelation of Orton as a partner rather reservedly.