Randy Orton has only wrestled on WWE television four times since WrestleMania 35 and has been kept off of TV all together since his match with Triple H at Super ShowDown back on June 7. It turns out there's a reason why the 13-time world champion has been used so sparingly, as Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp reported on Sunday that Orton has been dealing with a neck injury.
Sapp reported that Orton "jammed up his neck" in a dark match with Aleister Black back on June 10, hence his removal from the past few weeks of touring. However Sapp also added that Orton is expected to return to action as quickly as tonight's live event in Glens Falls, New York as part of WWE's "SummerSlam Heatwave Tour."
Orton spent a chunk of time on the shelf in 2018 after undergong surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his knee. He returned at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view as a heel and quickly kicked off a feud with Jeff Hardy, which eventually led to his infamous spot involving a scremdriver and one of Hardy's earlobes. Since then Orton feuded with the likes of Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles, the latter of whom beat "The Viper" in a match on WrestleMania's undercard.
One feud that's ready-made for Orton upon is return is with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. Orton was famously accused of stopping Kingston's push up the card during their feud back in 2010. Kingston played off their history during his rise to the main event back in March, as Kingston managed to beat Orton in what he thought was his last opponent in a five-man hour-long gauntlet match on an episode of SmackDown.
Black, who has been kept out of the ring since WWE broke up the tag team of he and Ricochet after WrestleMania, is expected to make his return at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view on Sunday against a mystery opponent (latest rumor is that it's Cesaro but that could change).
Other matches booked for Extreme Rules thus far include Kingston vs. Samoa Joe for the WWE Championship, Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch vs. Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans for both the Universal and Raw Women's Championships and The Undertaker and Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre.
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