Is Randy Orton really injured? That was one of the biggest questions WWE fans had for the 13-time champion going into the Dec. 30 RAW event in Hartford, Conn.
The RKO originator hurt his knee during a match with AJ Styles in Hershey, Pa. Audience members shared video footage of Randy sinking to the canvas and clutching his leg in pain as officials tended to him.
He was ushered out of the ring after his bout with Styles and taken backstage. WWE officials confirmed that Randy was indeed injured and would be forced to undergo a medical evaluation to compete further in the organization.
The 39-year-old Superstar has seen some mileage in his career and sustained some gnarly injuries in the past, so fans began fearing for the worst.
Randy Orton didn't make matters any better, either, when he announced on social media that he was aware everyone saw the fan video of him tending to his injury and that he would be addressing the future of his career on Dec. 30th's episode of RAW. He wrote, "I know everyone saw the video, @WWE's given me some time to address the situation tonight on #Raw."
His tweet resulted in a litany of support from fans who wished the wrestler well. One wrote, "really hope you're OK" while another said, "I hope you can still compete at Royal Rumble but if you can't we will support you always Randy."
Losing Orton, one of the organization's most recognized stars for the 2020 Royal Rumble would put the WWE in an unfavorable position to kick off the new year.
Was Randy Orton really injured on RAW?
The WWE made good on its promise to give Randy some time to address the audience and discuss the severity of the injury he sustained in his previous match with AJ Styles. He entered the ring on crutches with assistance from a WWE official and, of course, got on the mic to talk about his knee issue and how it would affect his upcoming matches in the WWE.
He said that he would be out of action for a while because he hurt his leg badly, but vowed to be back in action for Wrestlemania 36 to see to it that someone would get RKO'ed. Before Randy could finish his monologue, he was cut off by AJ Styles who then approached the ring in an effort to goad the injured superstar to hit him.
AJ remarked that Randy must really be injured, because he wouldn't attack him, and promised that he would end Randy's career with a calf crusher at Wrestlemania 36, right before kicking one of his rival's crutches out from under him. Before the bit was over, however, Randy told AJ that he has one thing the other doesn't: and that's patience.
After delivering that line, Randy dropped his crutches to the floor and immediately RKO'ed Styles. Soon after, he began posing at all corners of the ring, a picture of perfect health. Looks like it was all a ruse to mess with AJ's head and while Randy may have sustained a sprain or minor injury, he was medically cleared to fight.
While Randy and AJ are confident that they'll have a Wrestlemania 36 bout lined up, the WWE hasn't officially added it to the event card. Another interesting tidbit from Randy's monologue is that he mentioned his former tag team partner, Edge, as an example of a Superstar who had to drop their title due to an injury. There's been rumors circulating that Edge is making a comeback to the WWE, but the wrestler's denied that for some time now, so the reference could just be a coincidence.
If you missed the action leading up to Randy's big act that led to Styles' RKO, you can check it out in condensed tweet form below:
Sorry, AJ, Randy just put on a masterclass, Grade-A, pro wrestling deception. Anyone excited to see these two stars take their beef even further?