Randy Orton Was Unsure If He Would Be Able To Wrestle Again, Feels He Got A Second Lease On Career

Randy Orton discusses his time away from wrestling.

Randy Orton took 18 months off from May 2022 to November 2023 to undergo spinal fusion surgery to get healed up. Orton was in the middle of a tag team run with Matt Riddle when they lost the WWE Raw Tag Team Titles to The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso), putting Orton on the sidelines.

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Orton returned at WWE Survivor Series, fully recovered from his injury.

"I'm like the only guy that's never left and come back, other than John Cena. I'm going to be here for the rest...this is me. I'm not moving on to Hollywood. I love what I do. I just had 18 months off recovering from spinal fusion. I was kind of faced with the fact that I might not be able to do this again. It's almost like I got a second lease on my career here. I'm not going to take a day for granted. Not a second in that ring for granted. Even now, more so than the matches you would have seen a year ago when you first started or a couple years ago, I'm feeling even more in my element now," said Orton on Impaulsive.

When Logan Paul noted that Orton looks in great shape, Orton replied, "I changed a lot of stuff off these last 18 months. I really needed the time. I had a lot of ailments. I couldn't stand for more than a couple minutes without having pain shoot down my legs. When I would sit, I had a disc slipping every time I would bend. On a plane, sitting here, my feet would go numb and I had pain shooting down my legs. It really sucked. It was really hard. That last year, before I had to leave because of the back, I was in a tag team with former WWE superstar Matt Riddle. I have to give him props because that year we tagged together, I was not able to be in the ring unless i was in there with someone like him. He was able to take the brunt of the physicality. He tagged me in, I come in, do my shit. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't have made it that far. I had some great doctors, they fixed me up right. They didn't cut through any muscle, which would enable me to get back in the ring. Once you start cutting muscle, that's never going to heal back. You're done. I'm blessed, all the way around."

Riddle was released by WWE in September.

Orton returned to team with Jey Uso, Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, & Sami Zayn inside WarGames to defeat Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest, JD McDonagh, & Dominik Mysterio) & Drew McIntyre.

Orton was billed as a free agent and signed with WWE SmackDown.

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