Way back in 2010, it was widely reported that Randy Orton signed a ten-year contract with WWE. So with 2020 fast approaching, it wasn’t hard to do the math to see that his contract was about to run out. Of course in 2010, nobody could have expected how much more interesting the wrestling world would be on the eve of 2020, with All Elite Wrestling on TNT giving wrestlers more employment options than they’ve had in years.
To the surprise of everyone who’s come to think of him as a WWE lifer (a ten-year contract will have that effect), Randy Orton has been the subject of rumors that he might go to AEW for months now. He’s even deliberately played into it himself on social media:
Whether that was a negotiation tactic, something he was actually considering, or just Randy joking around and messing with fans is hard to say, but we now know for sure that the Viper won’t be showing up on Dynamite anytime soon. Orton has signed a new five-year contract with WWE, as initially reported by PWInsider and then confirmed by Randy himself on Twitter:
The 3 most dangerous letters in sports entertainment- #RKO
just re-signed with the 3 most dominant letters in sports entertainment- #WWE
Looking forward to pi$$ing off the #WWEUNIVERSE for at least 5 more years #WWEBACKSTAGE @FS1 @WWE
— Randy Orton (@RandyOrton) November 6, 2019
AEW’s current champion Chris Jericho was unsurprised by the news. In an interview with Sportskeeda, Jericho had this to say on the subject:
I can’t say anything about it because I don’t know anything about it, no one’s calling me to tell me about these things. But I know this – nobody is getting out of WWE, especially Randy Orton, because unless he’s very, very committed to saying “I don’t care if you pay me 20 gazillion dollars I’m leaving,” that’s not what he’s doing. I mean, obviously Vince is going to pay millions and millions of dollars to not have Randy Orton go.