Card Subject To Change: Why Would Randy Orton Leave WWE For AEW?

Photo: WWE

This is an ongoing LWOPW feature where our own “Hot Sauce Willie” starts to unveil the secrets in the shadows that he receives from his WWE sources. A lot of his internal reports have come true. A few don’t. But like they say, “Card subject to change.” This week looks at reports that Randy Orton may jump ship to AEW in 2020.

Earlier this year, it was rumored that Randy Orton was going to AEW with several reports indicating that his contract was up, however, Orton’s contract is up in the summer of 2020. This comes off the end of a second five-year term Orton had agreed to sign back in 2015. At that time, Orton was at the end of his first five-year term which began in 2010. A lucrative contract to say the least, which also includes a higher than average percentage of all his merchandise sales, a tour bus, first-class travel, and a reduced schedule of working 150 dates per year.

Photo: WWE

Assuming Orton was to sign another long-term deal similar to his current one, which is technically a five-year deal with the option to roll over for another five years for more money, fewer dates, and a higher percentage of his merchandise sales, Orton would certainly become the highest earners in history considering the financial position the WWE is currently in right now with an estimated three one billion-dollar contracts (FOX, USA, Saudi Arabia – $800 Million after all expenses are paid by Saudi Arabia).

A near twenty-year career for the Viper, Randy Orton could be done next June with the WWE. Over two-thousand matches ago with his first match against Ace Strange in a co-promoted show between Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance (MMWA) and Southern Illinois Championship Wrestling (SICW) to being part of an elite Ohio Valley Wrestling class with the first ballot WWE Hall of Famers such as Batista, John Cena, Shelton Benjamin, and the current WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar, to becoming the youngest WWE Champion of all time at the age of time, Orton has won a WWE title nearly 60 different times in his career with the company. Orton has deservedly become a legend in his own right. However, things could certainly change for the Viper.

Recently, Orton had a picture up on his Instagram page next to a sign which said “Elite Level”. There is a saying that goes, “perception is reality” and the impression here is Orton teasing a possible AEW run. But why, when he has it so good in WWE? There could be several factors that play into this.

Photo: WWE

One, Orton may just want to try something new and still be able to make great money while working one or two days a week in a calendar year with All Elite Wrestling. Two, perhaps it’s the thought of having fresh matches with new faces in a new setting. AEW does have a fresh feeling to it with only less than a month since the company’s flagship show has aired with a new fan base that Orton may not be used to. A hardcore fan base that seems as though they appreciate just about everything AEW does.

Three, if merchandise money is a driver for him, perhaps Orton could enjoy the sales off whatever T-Shirts he sells through Pro-Wrestling Tees. It’s no secret that after the cost of goods and production, Pro Wrestling Tess and the wrestlers share approximately a 50/50 split. With an AEW run for Orton, along with the savvy business minds of Ryan Barkan, Dana Massie, and company, Orton could potentially see profit more merchandise money than he ever has during tenure in WWE.


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