Reason For Randy Orton's Absence from SmackDown

Randy Orton was noticeably absent from last night's SmackDown Live. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Orton was scheduled to miss some time on SmackDown and WWE live events, as he is in Thailand finishing up filming for his new film Changeland.

According to Meltzer and other sources, the former WWE Champion is set to return for the 18th July episode of SmackDown Live, which will be the go-home show for WWE Battleground.

The WWE Superstar posted the below update to Instagram yesterday

Changeland is an upcoming WWE Studios film which is being directed by Seth Green. Little is known about the film at this time, other than that it is a comedy, starring Orton, Seth Green, and also Macaulay Culkin.

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Randy Orton certainly is no stranger to Hollywood, having been a part of films in the past such as That’s What I Am, 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded, The Condemned 2, and Countdown. He has also been a notable part of TV shows such as Deal or No Deal and Shooter, which airs on the USA Network after SmackDown-- although both of these projects filmed and aired almost a decade apart.

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At present, Orton is very much an active part of WWE storylines, slated to face Jinder Mahal in a Punjabi Prison Match for the WWE Championship at the upcoming WWE Battleground pay-per-view event on Sunday, July 23.