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  • Tarrian Rodgers

CM Punk and Randy Orton return in a star-studded WWE Survivor Series

Chicago was the scene for the final premium live event on the WWE calendar this year. And to quote every fan in the Allstate Arena  “Holy Sh#*t” WWE Survivor Series lived up to the billing and provided tons of WTF moments with two wargames matches and two title matches. However, the biggest and most talked about moment was the return of CM Punk. Punk, who is one of the most popular but controversial superstars in the history of sports entertainment, is now back. Punk returned to WWE, after a bitter split in 2014 with years of Punk bad mouthing the promotion for the treatment he received during his tenure.

Survivor Series ended with a bang and certainly started with one. The night started with the women’s war games match. Damage CTRL (Iyo Sky, Asuka, Bayley & Kairi Sane) vs. Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Shotzi (WarGames Match): Lynch and Bayley started the match off for their teams, getting things going with a bit of brawling before Bayley was able to toss Lynch into the cage and then suplex her onto the metal plate between the two rings. The match wasn’t short of aerial attacks as Iyo Sky was given a trash can by Dakota Kai. Sky then put the can over her head and dove from the top of the cage onto everyone below seconds before Asuka entered the match. Asuka brought along four kendo sticks, a table and a fire extinguisher. One of the biggest narratives of the match is how Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair would coexist both women have been in a long historied rivalry of who the top women in the WWE is. Lynch and Flair stared at each other before hugging to a rambunctious crowd. The faces hit Bayley with a series of big moves. Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam from the second rope through a table for the win. 

The next match featured Intercontinental Championship -- Gunther (c) vs. The Miz: This was a solid match that allowed The Miz to feature his wrestling moves. A narrative that has followed Miz in his career even though he’s a double grand slam champion is that he isn’t a technically sound wrestler. It's matches like this that prove the critics wrong. Miz had a helluva performance in this match. Gunther laid in some trademark chops and used a German suplex. Miz tried using heelish tactics even though he’s currently a face. Miz yanked the pad off the turnbuckle, using that as a distraction for the ref to set up two low blows and a Skull-Crushing Finale for a two-count. Gunther came roaring back, hitting a top-rope splash onto Miz's back and then locking in a Boston crab and driving a knee into the back to force the submission. Guenther continues his reign but it was a tremendous match

The other title match on this card was Women's World Championship -- Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark: This was a very short to the point match. Stark was made to look very good in  the match but Ripley was too much and she’s meant to continue her dominant reign.  Ripley countered the Z-360 before delivering a headbutt and Riptide for the pinfall. Another short to the point match was Santos Escobar vs. Dragon Lee: Escobar went on the offense quickly, going for early pins before tossing Lee from the ring. Escobar hit a Phantom Driver to win the match. This is one of those matches that had so much more potential and the storyline will be much better with the continued build up.

The star of the show was the men’s war games match. Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Drew McIntyre, Dominik Mysterio & JD McDonagh vs. Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Jey Uso & Sami Zayn (WarGames Match): Throughout the night, it was said that Orton wasn't at the arena, with Judgment Day celebrating the fact and Zayn insisting to his teammates that Orton would show up when it mattered most. The story arch of the match played off as if Orton was going to no show allowing the heels to completely control the pace of the match.  Priest and McIntyre chokeslammed Rhodes, Zayn and Rollins before McDonagh hit Zayn with a moonsault. Priest then put Rollins through the table with a Razor's Edge. The 10-second countdown hit and nothing happened before Rhea Ripley's music hit and she ran to the ring with the Money in the Bank contract, ready for Priest to cash in but before that could happen, Orton's music hit and he made his way to the ring, officially starting the match. Orton ran through Mysterio and McDonagh before dropping Balor with a hanging DDT as McIntyre and Priest watched on waiting for a shot. As soon as Orton came he ran a rough shot in the match converting a 5 star RKO. Rhodes dropped Priest with Cross Rhodes for 123.

CM Punk returned to WWE following the conclusion of the main event. The crowd exploded when his music hit and Punk made his way to the entrance ramp. Punk posed and celebrated with the crowd as the show went off the air. "This was one of those lightning-in-a-bottle moments that came together very quickly, but we are really excited about it," Paul “HHH” Levesque said. "It's been a long time and in some ways it has been a long time coming. You can say this about CM Punk, love him, hate him, positive, negative whatever you want to say, people talk about him all the time. He is a magnet for that. He is a conversation starter ... And for me, if our fans want it, if the WWE Universe is excited to have it, then let's go, and we'll figure out the rest of it from there."

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