Thanks to Randy Orton's inability to adhere to World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) Wellness Policy, he's been suspended for 60 days. This means he will miss out on the upcoming No Way Out pay-per-view (PPV) on June 17 in New Jersey, the Money in the Bank PPV on July 15 in Phoenix, the live Independence Day Smackdown show on July 3, and the three hour Raw marking its 1,000th episode on July 23. "The Viper" will be eligible to return on July 30. In total, there are 35 dates he will miss out on, including house shows.
That puts a strain on WWE, of course, seeing as he's one of the biggest stars on the Smackdown brand. Tickets sales were sagging even with him, to the point where the company decided to start using Raw superstars on the show, like John Cena, CM Punk and Triple H.
When looking at the rest of the roster, it gets worse. Chris Jericho is also suspended for another 23 or so days for an incident at a house show in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he was nearly arrested for denigrating a national flag. Rey Mysterio's knees are probably healthy enough for him to return to action but he cannot do so because he's still serving a suspension for his latest Wellness Policy violation. Mark Henry is out after getting surgery. , yet another main event talent, is also off TV while he apparently plays WWE and UFC against each other.
Add in The Miz bailing to go film The Marine 3 and there's a dearth of talent right now on both brands.
This could be a blessing for talents like Dolph Ziggler, though. Whereas he may have been left to languish in a mid-card tag team with Jack Swagger that was never going anywhere, now he has the chance to step up the card and, who knows, maybe even occupy the big gaping hole Orton left behind.
Others will surely get their chance, too. They have to, really. Even when WWE is operating at full capacity, the roster is relatively thin, at least in comparison to times past. It's sad that the booking was so short sighted with regards to guys like Cody Rhodes because this would have been the prime opportunity to push him into the main event scene and elevate him higher after his long Intercontinental title reign.
That's not to say this is all on WWE. The pressure is on those who are left to maximize their TV time and make themselves while they have the opportunity. Hopefully, one or two of them are able to do so.