Randy Orton made headlines on Monday when he took to Instagram and teased a potential move to the rival AEW promotion.
The Viper posted a photo of himself beside a sign that said "Elite Level," and he proceeded to take numerous WWE and AEW talents in the photo - including Chris Jericho and Cody Rhodes.
That had fans wondering what the deal is with Orton, and if he's serious about a move to AEW. As it turns out, Orton's contract is running up very soon, and he'll have the option to join the rival promotion if he so wishes.
According to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com, Orton's contract expires "next summer." It was noted that Orton had reportedly signed a lengthy 10-year deal with WWE back in 2010, although it's possible that the contract term could have changed over time.
And so, the stars are aligned for Orton to join AEW if he so wishes. If his contract is about to expire, and if Orton decides he doesn't want to stay, there's absolutely nothing WWE can do about it.
Related: Randy Orton Teases A Move To AEW
Mike Kanellis and Luke Harper have expressed their desires to be let go by WWE, but so far, the company hasn't granted their wishes. It's easy to believe that WWE is worried about losing their talents to the rival AEW promotion.
But Orton could follow the footsteps of Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose in WWE) by simply keeping quiet, and then when his contract expires, tell WWE officials that he's not planning to re-sign. Only time will tell how this process plays out, but it's something for all WWE fans to keep an eye on until Orton makes a decision on his wrestling future.
WWE Should Be Worried
Everyone knows that Vince McMahon doesn't like losing top talents to his rival company, but losing Orton would especially be a giant blow. The future Hall of Famer has been with WWE for nearly two decades now, and he's been one of their top main event performers. Losing a long-time and loyal soldier in Orton would be brutal for the WWE, so it'll be interesting to see how they go about keeping him.