Randy Orton and Matt Riddle were two of the top tag team wrestlers in WWE up until this year. As an unlikely duo teaming together, they were one of the most entertaining teams we’ve seen in years with a surprising amount of chemistry. Their clash of personalities somehow worked perfectly together and Orton helped Riddle learn more about working in the WWE than he ever had before.
Both men have been at their peaks when they are teaming together. Orton looks like he’s having more fun than he’s ever had, having been accused of “phoning it in” over long periods of his career. He looked motivated, happy and putting on his best matches for over a decade. Riddle has also benefitted from the partnership, learning so much from the 14 time world champion that he can take for his own career.
However, the pair have not been seen for a number of months. They haven’t teamed together since the summer, with Riddle going off on his solo career whilst there is no mention of Orton on WWE TV. Riddle has co-opted the RKO as a tribute to Orton, but the question remains – what happened to Randy Orton and Matt Riddle?
What happened to Randy Orton and Matt Riddle?
Randy Orton and Matt Riddle‘s last match as a tag team together was the 20th May 2022 edition of Friday Night Smackdown. The match RK-Bro lose their tag team championships to The Usos, who unified the Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Championships, just as Roman Reigns did for the WWE and Universal Championship.
The Legend Killer was set to take on Roman Reigns in the main event of Summerslam, given he was the most popular he had been in years, teaming with Riddle. However, in that match with Jimmy and Jey, Randy Orton aggravated a back injury that had been bothering him for years. There were rumours that he changed the finish of the match and that his team were originally planned to win, but there is little truth to that fact.
Riddle also suffered an injury in that match, although it would not keep him out for long. He was booked to wrestle Seth Rollins at Summerslam, but that match too was cancelled. However, his injury had healed by then and it was purely a creative decision from new WWE boss Triple H.
Orton has been out of action since that injury. While originally it was considered to be a bad one, that he has since had surgery on, there were hopes for a return at the 2023 Royal Rumble. Sadly, reports from the Wrestling Observer indicate the injury could be worse than first though and could spell the end of his career.
Dave Meltzer wrote “There is a lot of concern regarding Orton’s back injury and its severity”, with other sources suggesting that an early retirement could be an issue for the 41 year old WWE legend. Orton may have to undergo surgery for his back injury, which would obviously add considerable time to his recovery period.“
Meanwhile, Riddle has fully recovered from his injury, although he can no longer tag team with Orton. Randy Orton and Riddle were two time tag team champions together, but now he is forced to go out on his own. He had huge matches with Seth Rollins at Clash at the Castle and Extreme Rules, but hasn’t come as close to championship victory than when he was teaming with The Viper himself.
Hopefully Randy Orton can return in time for Wrestlemania 39. A reunion with Riddle would be the perfect comeback for him, although their storyline naturally leads to the pair battling it out in the ring on a huge stage, of which Wrestlemania would be perfect. Riddle vs Randy Orton at Wrestlemania is the dream match right for fans of RK-Bro and would be a good goal for the Legend Killer to aim for in his recovery journey.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.