WWE announced earlier this week that reigning WWE Champion Drew McIntyre had suffered a (storyline) injury after being punted in the skull three times by Randy Orton on this week's Monday Night Raw. Just before Payback got underway on Sunday, the company released another statement — "Ahead of WWE Payback, WWE Digital has learned Drew McIntyre sustained a hairline jaw fracture as a result of the three kicks to the skull from Randy Orton on Monday Night Raw. Charly Caruso reported on Raw that medical staff were fearful of a skull fracture and potential brain bleeding to Drew McIntyre after Randy Orton delivered the vicious attacks to thee WWE Champion. The medical officials did also express concern the injuries could potentially be career-threatening. McIntyre was eventually loaded into an ambulance and transported to a local medical facility for further testing."
While the injury likely won't keep McIntyre off television, it will play a role in McIntyre's storyline with Orton going forward. "The Viper" will take on Keith Lee at Sunday's Payback event.
- WWE Universal Championship: "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt vs. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
- WWE Women's Tag Team Championship: Sasha Banks & Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
- Keith Lee vs. Randy Orton
- United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs. Bobby Lashley
- Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio vs. Seth Rollins & Murphy
- Matt Riddle vs. King Corbin
- Big E vs. Sheamus
- (Kickoff Show) The Riott Squad vs. The IIconics
"There was a big buzz around the whole situation and I personally felt like, 'If I'm able to win this one, it really cements me as the top of the card, especially beating Randy Orton at the level he's at right now.' And with all the buzz around it, I feel like we probably didn't have to do too much it'd still feel like a big deal, just because of the build and the nature of the situation," McIntyre said.
"But we went all out in there," he continued. "There was no holding back. This is a different Randy Orton, he's going to go all out the promos, he's going all out in the ring. Randy Orton has never been thrown around like that very many times, but he's not brought that kind of physicality too many times, I think, either. He busted me open all over the place, he busted himself open, headbutted me, we're both bleeding, we're both sore. But I think it delivered not just the match quality wise, that people really enjoyed and were proud of, but the story is the biggest thing. As far as he's concerned, as far as I'm concerned, it's about that story, and I'm really proud of the story we told, even if we beat the crap out of each other."