Despite recent speculation that his days with WWE were numbered, it appears that Randy Orton will not only return when his suspension concludes, but he will remain a main event level star.
Orton failed the second drug test of his WWE career and has been on the shelf since May. Officials were rumored to be fed up with Orton and were possibly considering moving on without him.
Orton's face run has grown a bit stale and the St. Louis native is reportedly unhappy with his current character. "The Viper" would like to return to a heel role.
WWE is currently lacking top heel stars. Alberto Del Rio is the only true heel in the main event picture as Daniel Bryan, Chris Jericho (when he returns), and Big Show are very much over in actuality.
Orton rose to prominence as a heel and anchored feuds against John Cena and Triple H in 2007 and 2008. Orton's character put stars such as Shawn Michaels and Rob Van Dam out of commission with brutal "kicks" to the head.
WWE has been using him as a face since 2011. Much in the same vein as Edge, who finished out the final months of his career as a face, Orton had become too popular to be constantly hated by the audience.
That said, he could easily switch back to the persona he demonstrated five years ago and give WWE another villain to insert in top feuds.
WWE is reportedly not interested in changing Orton's face status until they feel that Sheamus can replace him as the marquee fan favorite of Smackdown.
When he is allowed to return to his villian persona, the recent rumors of legitimate heat between him and Cena could make for an excellent storyline. Former WWE star, Kenn Doane, has claimed that Cena is likely the one legitimately lobbying for Orton's release at this point in time.