It is being reported that the WWE had originally hoped that Randy Orton would be cleared to return to the ring in time for Backlash. That is one of the reasons, the WWE kept advertising Orton for the event. Our credible information source, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reports that if Randy Orton would have been cleared for Backlash, they would have never announced news of his concussion.
Orton has been in a unique position ever since his match with Brock Lesnar. He was not written off television, nor was he competing in matches. He did sow the seeds for a feud with the eater of the worlds, Bray Wyatt, but it involved promo work and very less in ring work. After Summerslam, it was only last week that we saw Orton RKO Eric Rowan, just after RKO’ing Bray Wyatt at Backlash, thereby costing Bray his match against Kane.
Even during a house show recently, it is being reported that he did not do much and did not take much offense during his tag match along with John Cena. Apparently Cena carried Orton throughout the match and did most of the work in the ring. A few sources say that Orton taking the RKO bump may also be hurtful to his brain while suffering from a concussion and that is why WWE is being extra cautious with Orton, giving him enough time to recover.
This would be the last thing that the WWE would have hoped for, especially with the lack of a ‘pro’ on the SmackDown Live brand, in the wake of even John Cena turning part time soon and making limited appearances. WWE hoped to use Orton, but then the concussion happened.
From a business stand point, WWE are currently in the middle of a half a million lawsuit filed by a group of former WWE wrestlers for concussion related issues. They would not want to treat anything lightly currently and are taking one step at time, treading cautiously and in a meticulously planned approach.