Nearly four months later, Brock Lesnar leaving Randy Orton in a pool of blood at SummerSlam remains one of the indelible images in WWE this year.
The ending to their SummerSlam match in August was so brutal that longtime superstar Chris Jericho confronted Lesnar afterward to make sure everything was on the level. WWE, in turn, fined Lesnar $500 for his subsequent F5 on Shane McMahon, who came to the ring after the match was stopped to see what was going on.
For his part, Orton suffered a concussion and needed multiple stitches to close the laceration on top of his head (for a photo of the wound, click here). He was out of commission for the next few weeks, although he did eventually get some measure of revenge in an untelevised rematch against Lesnar, when Orton hit an RKO on a chair on the Beast Incarnate.
Article continues below ...
And earlier this week, the Viper finally spoke out on his match with Lesnar, saying that while he knew what he was getting himself into, he was still pissed off by the result.
I think with Lesnar, it’s always going to be him coming in every few months as a monster who destroys guys who work 200 days a year … There is a tendency for that to get old. I could have looked a little better that night and that would have helped me a lot regardless of the finish and not hurt Brock’s character at all. But the fact that you’re asking me about it three-four months later, means we created a buzz. But the fact that I had a concussion and was out for three weeks and wasn’t able to do anything pissed me off.
We say this a lot in the back when someone gets hit harder than intended, we knew what we were signing up for. It’s a rough sport. It’s a rough business and very physical. A few more people need to respect how things can go sour out there.
That last sentence, about people needing to respect what can happen in the ring, is particularly cryptic. I'll leave any speculation to you, wrestling fans.
Instead, I'll leave you with Orton lifting the tag-team titles at TLC 2016 as a member of the Wyatt Family. It's incredible how much can change in a few months in the WWE universe.