Randy Orton underwent knee surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his left knee, according to a WWE.com report. Orton says he knew for a while he had knee issues. “I’ve known I needed the surgery since late last year, but I’ve been waiting for the right time to get my knee cleaned out,” Orton told WWE.com. “Right now was the right time.”
Orton says he is “staying motivated to comeback and dominate the blue brand.”
Smackdown was already weak on the babyface depth chart, with only A.J. Styles, Daniel Bryan, and Jeff Hardy among top tier babyfaces. In contrast, the heel depth chart runs seven deep in terms of wrestlers who would be believable competing against the top tier babyfaces – Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, The Miz, Big Cass, Andrade Cien Almas, Rusev, and Shelton Benjamin.
With Orton likely missing several months of action, this could lead to babyface turns by one or two heels. Rusev has been cheered loudly for months, and Samoa Joe is popular with a big part of the fanbase and is matched against heel Big Cass, so those are the two top candidates robe turned. Otherwise, WWE may have to look at wrestlers currently in tag teams for some babyface singles matches such as members of New Day and The Club.