Backstage News on Top WWE Superstar Potentially Returning From Injury Soon

-- Randy Orton has been sidelined for almost a year with a back injury that ended up requiring surgery in the fall of 2022 and not much has been heard about plans for him in 2023 or beyond. is reporting that lately there have been some "rumblings" about Orton internally after a period of significant time when his name wasn't even mentioned. The report speculated that if Orton is indeed ready to finally return, he would logically be a ready-made top heel for Cody Rhodes if WWE chooses to move forward with Rhodes as the new champion following WrestleMania. The consensus seems to be that WWE doesn't have a natural list of heels ready for Rhodes if the title changes hands.

-- For those wondering, there is no news on the status of Matt Riddle, who has also not been seen on WWE TV since last year with reports of him getting a second violation of WWE's wellness policy as the reason for his absence. However, it was believed that the penalty for such an infraction would be 60 days and recently on Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer noted that Riddle has been out of rehab for a while while his inactivity has outlasted both the suspension period and WWE's storyline reason that he would be sidelined six weeks due to an injury. Meltzer speculated that his continued absence may simply be that WWE didn't have any plans for him leading into WrestleMania 39.