The Internet was abuzz Sunday with unconfirmed rumors that former WWE champion and Smackdown star Randy Orton may be off Sunday’s Backlash PPV.
Our Dave Meltzer confirmed the story and indeed, Orton is out as he hasn’t been cleared to wrestle. There is no word yet on how the show lineup will change.
The story began with a tweet from a Pro Wrestling Sheet reporter that he was told Orton was off the show, nursing an undisclosed injury that he still hasn’t been cleared from. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson then ran a confirmation, adding that the injury is concussion related.
Meltzer has additional details:
“Since then, we had several people within the company say that they believed (Orton off the show) was the case but were unable to say with certainty. It has not been confirmed exactly what the injury is, although Orton took a legitimate beating from Lesnar’s elbows on the ground, which sliced him up (at SummerSlam).
WWE hasn’t responded regarding the question. Kane subbed for Orton on Sunday’s show in Raleigh, NC. Unless they were to bring in a surprise, he’d be the most likely replacement.”
Orton was scheduled to face Bray Wyatt on the first PPV of the brand split era, headlined by WWE Champion Dean Ambrose vs. AJ Styles. As of now, he is scheduled to rematch Lesnar on September 24th on a WWE Chicago, IL, house show.