WWE Randy Orton Injury Update: Why Couldn’t He Compete at Backlash?

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Randy Orton was not cleared to compete at the recent Backlash pay-per-view. (WWE.com)

Last night at Backlash, a match between Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton had to be cancelled because Orton was not cleared to compete. Now we’re beginning to find out more about that real-life injury and when the company knew about it.

While we have not yet heard any official word from the WWE, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio is reporting today that Orton suffered a concussion during his match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. It is believed that the company was aware of this but decided to book the Wyatt match anyway, even though they knew there was some chance Orton would not be cleared for it.

Backing this up, Pro Wrestling Insider (via Wrestling Inc) is reporting the same thing, that the injury is concussion related and that the company knew about this at least a week ago. They report that Orton passed some concussion tests but not others, and because of that, doctors would not clear him for Backlash.

At SummerSlam, Randy Orton was brutally assaulted by Brock Lesnar, and he ended up with a nasty gash in his head. The match ended with Orton laying in a massive pool of blood, and the graphic nature of this lead some to wonder if Lesnar had taken things too far and had legitimately injured Orton. Now, that does appear to have been the case.

World Wrestling Entertainment is quite strict about not letting superstars with a potential concussion into the ring, especially because of how big of an issue this was for wrestlers in the past. The company’s employees must pass ImPACT tests at least a few times a year.

“If a WWE Talent show symptoms of a concussion or has suffered a concussion, then that WWE Talent will not be cleared to return to wrestling until he/she passes an ImPACT test and is clinically cleared by a certified physician,” the company says.

SummerSlam was Randy Orton’s first major return to the ring after a 10-month absence. He needed to take time off after sustaining a serious shoulder injury in October 2015.