The WWE's been going through a lot of changes as of late, and it's becoming a bit difficult for fans to keep up. Because of releases that genuinely shocked and bewildered longtime viewers (like Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Billie Kay, among others) and yo-yo'ing Samoa Joe, anytime a superstar doesn't show up for a RAW, SmackDown, or NXT performance, then fans begin fearing for the worst. And there are tons of people right now who are wondering: What happened to Randy Orton?
What happened to Randy Orton in the WWE?
There are some pro-wrestlers who are multi-generational stars who then use the celebrity they've created to branch out into other career opportunities. Andre the Giant was one of wrestling's first "cross-promotional" stars, but the biggest, most beloved, and successful of all time has to be Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
But Randy Orton arguably is one of the most cherished names for pro-wrestling fans for a variety of reasons.
Like The Rock, there's a certain amount of legacy that Orton carries with his name. The Rock is a third-generation professional wrestler.
Similarly, Randy's grandfather, Bob Orton, and his father, Bob Orton Jr., were all in the business. So was his uncle, Barry Orton. And although he's acted outside of the WWE, he doesn't seem too concerned with transitioning into Hollywood like Dave Bautista, The Rock, and John Cena.
His in-ring skills are top-notch. Orton is continually counted on by the WWE to put on staggering performances, and when a headliner is needed for a ginormous pay-per-view, Orton always delivers. He's also one of the longest-running perpetual heels in the WWE and has helped develop tons of "good guys" since his March 18, 2000 debut.
Then there's the fact that Orton's is not only great in the ring but is also tremendous on the mic. He can bring "the heat" when needed to hype a match or sell a rivalry.
So where is Randy Orton now?
Currently, Orton's been paired up with Matt Riddle and the two have formed the group RK-Bro. However, "The Viper" was absent from Monday Night RAW, which had fans worried he would be going the way of other popular superstars.
But that simply isn't the case, according to Billi Bhatti, who discussed the matter with former WWE writer Vince Russo on the Nitty Gritty Dirt Show.
Billi stated that Randy's disappearance from RAW is because the wrestler took the week off due to "personal reasons." Orton is a family man, who's lovingly talked about his wife, Kim Orton. He's even said that his retirement plans entirely hinge on her; Randy trusts Kim to be the one to tell him whether or not he's still got it or he's become a parody of himself.
The personal reasons are up for Randy to divulge (if he ever wants to) but considering that he's got a family and five children to tend to. Plus, he's extremely dedicated to the WWE and his craft, so if anyone on the roster can take a week off of shows, it's probably Randy Orton.
That doesn't mean that fans weren't worried for a second there, however. Billi Bhatti had nothing but praise for The Viper and according to the superstar, we'll probably see Randy back in action soon.