Randy Orton's match with AJ Styles at a WWE live event took an abrupt turn on Sunday night when Orton attempted an RKO early in the match and landed awkwardly, seemingly injuring his knee. The match was stopped, medical trainers rushed out to help Orton and "The Viper" had to be helped to the backstage area. On Monday morning WWE gave a brief update on the former WWE Champion's status, writing on WWE that he was "undergoing medical evaluations." WWE's Twitter account followed up that report three hours later, stating that Orton would make an announcement regarding his status during tonight's episode of Monday Night Raw.
Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer reported on Monday that Orton's knee is actually fine and that the injury is merely part of an ongoing storyline. While that's certainly a possibility, it's rare to see WWE use its live events (which are effectively non-canon) as part of a storyline.
If Orton is indeed injured, then the timing is incredibly unlucky for both he and the WWE given that he just signed a lucrative new multi-year contract a couple of months ago. Despite teasing the idea of going to AEW on social media, Orton made it clear on the After The Bell podcast that he never intended on leaving the company.
"I was just having fun," Orton said. "I'm not in the WWE bubble as much as I've been for almost the last two decades. I'm learning to appreciate other styles a little more instead of just quickly seeing something that isn't how I would do it or how I would sell it. This might be upsetting for some people but I never really saw myself leaving WWE. I started here, my father was here, my grandfather wrestled for Vince's father. There's a lot of history here. Yeah I could've left and I could've come back, but man, why? I made it here this long and I really shouldn't have. Against all odds, I'm still here and Vince and I were able to come to terms.
"I'm definitely happy being a WWE Superstar," he added.
Orton's latest feud has him working as a babyface against AJ Styles and the rest of The OC. Back in November Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson cost Orton a shot at Styles' United States Championship, so Orton got his revenge by costing Styles his title in a match with Rey Mysterio.