Booker T Discusses Randy Orton's WWE Return, How Injuries Can Change Wrestling Styles

After well over a year away from the ring, Randy Orton made his return at WWE Survivor Series: WarGames on Saturday. Orton injured his back in May 2022 and eventually was forced to undergo serious surgery. Speaking on his podcast, "Hall of Fame," Booker T reacted to Orton's return, specifically in reference to his back injury.

"I saw Randy about ... a month ago at the [WWE Performance Center]," Booker said. "He looked great even then. I was like, 'Wow, man. You look like you put on about maybe a good 10 pounds of muscle.' And of course, having that back issue, he's gonna have to try to protect it as much as he possibly can."

Booker noted how many people complimented Orton on his physique over the last few days, comparing the veteran wrestler to a vintage muscle car. Co-host Brad Gilmore then asked Booker about Orton's "WWE Raw" match, wondering if the WWE Hall of Famer noticed any specific differences in Orton's style after coming back from a major injury.

"Yeah, I think he changed," Booker continued. "Of course it's conscious, but I think it's subconscious at the same time. You don't even really know you're doing it; you're just doing it. You know you got to figure out how to do it, and you gotta cross that bridge when you actually get there."

The former King of the Ring remembered not being able to jump as high as he once had after returning from injuries earlier in his career and changing his style as a result. However, Booker doesn't believe Orton has too much to worry about.

"He's not going to have to change up a whole lot. I wouldn't even think the RKO is the reason he had to have back surgery. That [injury] probably happened picking someone up — giving someone a body slam."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Hall of Fame" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.