Randy Orton is still on the crest of the wave, having been able to renew his character and silence critics. The strange and bizarre alliance with Riddle did his career good, as it allowed the WWE Universe to discover a different side of his character.
In addition to being a 14-time world champion, the 'Viper' has won the Raw Tag Team Championship twice and once each the Intercontinental title, the United States Championship, the World Tag Team Championship and the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, becoming the 10th wrestler in history to complete the Grand Slam.
He has also won the Royal Rumble match on two occasions and the 2013 edition of Money in the Bank. The 'Legend Killer' was making a comeback in singles too, before a back injury knocked him out. According to the latest rumors, the pain has progressively worsened and an operation may be required.
If so, Orton is expected to be out for the rest of 2022. In the latest edition of 'Smack Talk' on Sportskeeda, Dutch Mantell said WWE had huge plans in store for Randy.
Dutch Mantell reflects on Randy Orton
"If Randy Orton hadn't been injured, WWE would have pushed him very high" - began Dutch Mantell.
“Orton would certainly be the star in the coming months, eventually becoming Roman Reigns' great opponent. His injury forced the company to act differently and bring Brock Lesnar back” - he added. As part of his now-famous podcast, two-time WWE Hall of Famer Booker T spoke extensively about Randy: “People love this version of Orton, but would love to see him back in singles before he retires.
This experience with Riddle has really done him a lot of good, he has worked excellently over the past year. The Legend Killer is in perfect shape and would have no difficulty competing against younger athletes. I really hope WWE puts him back in his natural habitat." Anyone who knew of The Viper's history of turning on tag team partners was waiting for this union to explode.
But it never happened. The outcome was quite the opposite: Orton embraced his newfound friend, took him on as a protege and eventually took him in like a little brother. The 20-year veteran has a lot of miles on his odometer, and he's been running pretty hard for a while now.
He's not expected to return for at least a few more weeks, and it's unclear what his role will be when he finally comes back.