Wrestling Star Randy Orton Reflects on Career

“And then he went, ‘One more thing–Punk’s returning tonight.’ I thought he was f—— with me. I said, ‘You’re joking,’ and he was like, ‘No, I’m not.’”

Those were the words spoken to wrestler Randy Orton before CM Punk made his shocking return at the Survivor Series event held in November 2022 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Orton was set to make his own surprise comeback that night after being away from WWE for over a year due to injury. But those plans changed quickly when Orton learned of Punk’s return.

Orton Details Time Away and Feelings on McMahon Departure

The last 18 months have been filled with physical pain and uncertainty for Orton. Issues with his back left him unable to perform simple daily tasks, let alone wrestle. At one point, retirement seemed likely as doctors informed him that his injuries may be too severe to continue his career.

However, after connecting with the right medical team, Orton underwent spinal fusion surgery in June 2022. The procedure has alleviated his back troubles, allowing Orton to not only return to wrestling but also increase his size and strength in ways he hasn’t been able to for years.

When asked about the recent major changes in WWE leadership and allegations against former CEO Vince McMahon, an emotional Orton expressed gratitude for the opportunities provided by McMahon over the years but admitted the emerging details have “hurt his heart.”

Orton Welcomes WWE’s New Era Under Triple H

Since returning at November’s Survivor Series event in North Carolina, Orton has been encouraged by the direction of the company under the leadership of WWE President Nick Khan and Chief Content Officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque.

He believes they are fostering a safer culture that shows more care for talent. Orton specifically pointed to their willingness to modify his schedule to prolong his career – something he unsuccessfully lobbied for in the past. Their collaborative approach has Orton feeling he’s “right smack dab in the middle of [his] prime” despite being 43 years old.

North Carolina Rolls Out Sports Betting

In July 2022, sports betting became legal in North Carolina. This opened up new wagering opportunities for local sports fans, including on wrestling events held within the state like November’s Survivor Series.

One popular North Carolina sportsbook is BetMGM. New BetMGM users in North Carolina can take advantage of the current welcome offer by using the BetMGM North Carolina bonus code. This unlocks a $1,000 risk-free first bet that can be used on any sport or league.

With wrestling events frequently visiting venues across North Carolina, the advent of legalized sports betting provides local fans an added level of engagement. Apps like BetMGM now allow them to put some extra stakes on matches happening in their backyard.

Upcoming A&E Special to Reveal More on Orton

This Sunday, Orton’s story will be profiled on an A&E Biography special entitled WWE Legends. Unlike past network documentaries on his career, Orton promised he dug deeper into certain topics during filming. Areas like his early discharge from the Marines will finally be expanded upon for viewers.

Orton admitted he hasn’t always been as open with fans over the years as some wrestlers. But the now veteran competitor recognizes the value of letting the audience in and showing more dimensions of his character. He believes the A&E special will accomplish that for new and long-time fans alike.

After staring down retirement less than a year ago, Orton sounds invigorated by the changes in his health and in WWE leadership. With a prime spot booked at this weekend’s Elimination Chamber event in his wife’s hometown of Montreal, the newly transparent Orton seems poised to make the most out of the latest incarnation of his record-setting career.