The WWE won’t have to worry about finding Randy Orton a new opponent at No Way Out. The company officially announced on WWE.com that Orton has been suspended for 60 days due to a second violation of the company wellness policy.
This is a crushing blow to the WWE and Orton. Orton now becomes the second headliner to earn a suspension in the last week. Chris Jericho was suspended over the weekend after an incident at WWE show in Brazil. Rey Mysterio was also suspended a few weeks ago although Rey is currently not wrestling.
Orton is now a two-time offender of the Wellness Policy and could be fired with a third infraction. Three years ago I would have expected this kind of behavior from Orton. However, it appeared that Orton had really turned his lifestyle around over the last couple of years. I became a big Orton fan after watching his DVD which showed the devotion Orton had to his family. Additionally, Orton seemed a lot more mature than his previous wild days. The news is certainly a surprise to me.
Orton’s problems with drugs have been well documented. Orton covered his past drug issues on the DVD mentioned above. Orton described an experience on the DVD in which he almost died. Between that and his recent history of concussion issues, one has to wonder how many more years Orton has or wants in the pro wrestling business.
In addition to his out of the ring maturity, I felt that Orton turned a corner last year. I nominated Orton as the Wrestler of the Year for 2011 on the Camel Clutch Blog. I felt that Orton had his best series of matches last year with Christian, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, and others. I expected Orton to get another title run on SmackDown. He didn’t and I’d be shocked if he gets one in the near future.