WWE legend Randy Orton will make his return at Survivor Series this weekend in a comeback almost two years in the making.
The 43-year-old has faced a lengthy fight to comeback to wrestling having been told by doctors to retire from the sport.
The Legend Killer’s appearance inside a WWE ring will be his first in 18 months having been missing since May 2022.
It has been a rollercoaster journey for Orton, who had battled hard to get himself into peak condition prior to his latest injury.
The future Hall of Famer contracted COVID-19 in June 2021 with complications from the illness sidelining him for two months.
Orton then embarked on an epic transformation over the next six months having lost over a stone in weight.
He told The Ringer Wrestling Show, as reported by WrestlingInc: “I missed seven weeks of TV because my blood inflammation levels were so high that they were worried that it was going to turn into a mild cardease or echo cardease or something with the heart.
“I lost 20 pounds during Covid. I had it so bad. I was stick skinny, stick thin.
“I had a chance to rebuild. I’m either going to do it this way or I’m going to do it that way.”
Orton revealed he cut out alcohol and sugar as part of a clean diet and by January 2022 was feeling in his best shape in years.
The Apex Predator added: “I cut the alcohol. I cut the sugar. I started training a little harder.
“I started seeing another physical therapist for some issues with my shoulder and my back because we’re always staying up on those injuries.
“Here we are six months later [January 2022] and I think I’m feeling the best that I’ve felt physically since I can remember to be honest with you.”
Orton was riding high after his body transformation having captured the RAW tag-team titles as part of RK-Bro alongside Matt Riddle.
The 14-time world champion has overcame various shoulder injuries, concussions, and broken collarbones during his two-decade career.
However, Orton suffered a near-career ending back injury after dropping the Raw Tag Team Championship to The Usos in May 2022.
He underwent back fusion surgery last November and his father admitted his son was warned against returning by medics.
WWE Hall of Famer Bob Orton explained to Sportskeeda in May 2023: “He’s training, so we’ll see what happens; I don’t know.
“If he feels like he’s ready to go back, I think he might, but again he’s pretty well taken care of. I don’t think he needs to.
“And I think the doctors have told him not to. But Randy will do what Randy wants to do.”
In the six months since updates on Orton’s health have been scarce but he returned to the spotlight last month.
His wife, Kim Marie, shared several pictures of Orton on a hike and the WWE superstar can be seen holding a stick and wearing knee pads.
The third-generation wrestler will now be strapping his knee brace back on for Survivor Series – aptly named considering the journey Orton has been on…