Randy Orton Talks Shane McMahon's WWE Departure After Royal Rumble 2022

Randy Orton briefly mentioned the backstage drama that took place during Royal Rumble weekend while playing a game of "Know Your Bro" with Riddle on BT Sport. For those who missed it, Shane McMahon played a heavy role in booking this year's Men's Royal Rumble match and was met with plenty of criticism over how hard he pushed himself to look good compared to full-time wrestlers, making it all the way to the final four before getting eliminated. Orton, who entered the match right after McMahon at No. 29, noted how Shane was sent home following the chaotic weekend. 

Via POST Wrestling, Riddle said, "I know when you were supposed to enter [the 2022 men's Royal Rumble] and then somebody did...

Orton said, "That's like Shane McMahon got axed after that because of the whole... [laughs] Sorry Shane, love you man. Riddle added, "I didn't even remember what number I came in," to which Orton responded with, "I think I was 29. I was supposed to be 30. I was supposed to be. I might have been 28...29."

Orton and Riddle announced on Raw that they'll be appearing on Friday's episode of SmackDown to confront The Bloodline and demand a unification match for the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The bout was originally supposed to take place at WrestleMania Backlash, but Reigns tore up the contract and eventually made a six-man tag match (also involving Drew McIntyre) with no gold on the line. 

"The Viper" spoke with The Ringer back in January about how much he's enjoyed teaming with "The Original Bro," — "One of the main reasons me and Riddle come across as so happy in the ring together is...he's the one guy that can grow my favorite strain. I'm not lying. Seriously, I'm having fun out there. Monday, they had me put on a graduation cap and gown. Whenever they are tasking me some with kind of ridiculous stuff, you wouldn't think you would see Randy Orton in a cap and gown. I laughed because I was excited because I knew the fans were going to be like, 'what the hell is he doing?' After the career that I've had and all the somewhat monotonous intensity, I did that for so long, if I crack a smile and break the fourth wall or whatever, if you can tell I'm having fun at this point in my career, I feel like it draws you in more because I was so against letting people in before. It was just 'character, character, character. I have to be mean and angry and intense and they have to believe I want to rip this guys head off.' Now, I can still do that, but I've been around long enough to where, I get let off easy when I break character or when I do things that maybe a babyface wouldn't do. There might be a sign in Gorilla that says 'no eyepokes,' and even though in parenthesis it doesn't say 'except Randy Orton,' I know it's still there. I can get away with this, but compared to the stuff I used to get away with, if I get away with an eyepoke, it's okay. I'm having fun and staying true to who I am as a heel, which is what brought me to the dance, but I'm able to have more leniency with how I do that."