Although he probably didn't receive the reaction from the Pittsburgh crowd that WWE thought he would, Randy Orton finally made his return at Extreme Rules on Sunday night.
The match he decided to get involved in had it all in terms of shock value.
Shinsuke Nakamura landed his vicious and reliable low blow on Jeff Hardy when his back was turned, only to connect with the Kinshasa to claim the United States Championship in less than five seconds.
Cue The Viper, and the immediate assumption was that he'd be targetting The King of Strong Style - the new United States Champion.
Instead, Orton finally turned heel by attacking the Charismatic Enigma to cement his status as one of SmackDown LIVE's biggest villains.
Now, PW Insider has revealed exactly how WWE managed to keep Orton's return a big surprise from everyone.
The reason it did initially come as a surprise, however, is because Orton may have come back earlier than expected, per Mike Johnson.
According to Ringside News, he said: "Obviously Randy Orton is back.
"He was originally believed to be returning sometime in August from the knee surgery back in May.
"Either they were kind of obscuring his real return date when they made that announcement or Orton was able to recover and rehab from the surgery much quicker than they expected.”
Ringside News has also shared PW Insider's report on the secrecy surrounding Orton's return and how they kept their cards close to their chest regarding the news becoming public knowledge.
The source is claiming that Orton was hidden backstage in a bus for around 30 minutes before he made his return, while his wife was also brought ringside for his segment.
Evidently, if she was spotted there all night, then fans would have known Orton was going to be returning, so it was a smart move by WWE.
She was brought out so she had a seat for Orton's return segment after recovering from a knee injury.
It's being claimed that the majority of people within WWE were in the dark regarding Orton returning at Extreme Rules, while both Nakamura and Hardy knew exactly what was going to go down at the conclusion of their quick match.
While the WWE went to great lengths to keep Orton's return under wraps, the reaction perhaps wasn't as loud as the company would have hoped for a surprise of that magnitude.
What do you make of the lengths WWE went to keep Randy Orton's return a secret? Have YOUR say in the comments section below.
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