Why was Randy Orton upset before his Survivor Series return? Orton returned to the WWE after an 18-month injury-related absence, teaming up with Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, and Seth Rollins to defeat The Judgment Day and Drew McIntyre in a War Games Match. However, "The Viper" recently revealed that he was initially upset when the WWE announced his return on RAW, taking away the element of surprise.
Orton appeared on The Bump, explaining:
“Funny little side story to that day. For a month prior, there was all these rumors online that I was coming back, but there was also rumors that CM Punk was coming back. Instead of it being a surprise that it was me, instead of Punk, they let everyone know a week prior, Randy Orton is gonna be the one joining Cody’s team in War Games. Kinda let the wind out of my sails a little bit because I’ve been gone for a year and a half, there’s all this anticipation, people have been expecting me to return for the past six months because I’ve been out so long.”
Indeed, Orton's return became a running joke as fans heard rumor after rumor that Orton's return was imminent. Pictures of Orton looking absolutely jacked led to fans thinking Randy's return could be any day. However, these rumors turned out to be false. To be fair, the WWE told fans Orton's return wouldn't be soon but given the company's habit of working fans, the WWE Universe was skeptical.
By the build-up to Survivor Series, the rumors of Randy's return were stronger than ever and with good reason. Reports of "The Legend Killer" reporting to the WWE Performance Center had fans suspecting he was putting the finishing touches on his return.
However, the WWE didn't make Randy's return a surprise. Instead, Cody Rhodes made it clear he was calling on an old friend who he had a legacy with to help him out at Survivor Series. Although Orton's return was well-received, it was somewhat anticlimactic.
Nonetheless, Randy explained that he didn't worry about the situation for long:
“I can tell that I’ve matured a lot, because part of me wanted to be irate that this was taken from me, this reaction from the crowd that I’ve been looking forward to for 18 months. But after all was said and done, I came out, got a great reaction. Punk came out, got a great reaction, and I realised after the fact that nobody stepped on anyone’s toes, it was really just a really fun night for the fans. They got Randy Orton back and they were very happy about that. They weren’t even thinking about Punk, and then here comes Punk."
Orton also shared his thoughts about CM Punk's return:
“So that reaction, there were two different reactions, two different people, everybody was excited to see us both. Personally, on a personal level, I was happy to have him back, he’s a hell of a worker, a hell of guy, but it was funny because here I am after 18 months, ready to go and their like, ‘oh no, we’re going to announce your return’, and then he comes back anyway!”
H/T Transcription WrestleTalk
The WWE hasn't wasted time booking Randy Orton into a top program. Orton made it clear early on after his return that he was focused on getting revenge on The Bloodline for knocking him out of action for a year-and-a-half. Orton's jump to SmackDown only made it easier for him to achieve this as he's targeted Roman Reigns' Undisputed Championship and will face him at The Royal Rumble in a Fatal Four-Way Match along with AJ Styles and LA Knight.
What do you think of Randy's reaction to the WWE spoiling his surprise return? Do you think the company made the right decision?