Randy Orton Explains Why His Big WWE Return Had to be Spoiled

Top WWE Superstar and longtime veteran Randy Orton recently revealed some details surrounding his WWE return that took place last November at WWE Survivor Series: WarGames.
WWE Paul Heyman and Randy Orton

Top WWE Superstar and longtime veteran Randy Orton recently revealed some details surrounding his WWE return that took place last November at WWE Survivor Series: WarGames. Orton was sidelined with a serious back injury for 18 months and many wondered if he would ever be able to return to WWE. He finally made his long-awaited return during the WarGames match last September, serving as the last member of Team Cody Rhodes in their fight against The Judgment Day.

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Randy Orton’s return should have been the big surprise of the night, but it was spoiled on Raw by Cody Rhodes. Orton explained how CM Punk ruined his return to WWE in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated. He stated the following:

“I was supposed to be a surprise in WarGames at Survivor Series. All these CM Punk rumors started a month prior, and everyone thought–since we were in Chicago for Survivor Series–that CM Punk would be the surprise. So they had Cody a week before WarGames say that he had a friend–me–that was going to come. The surprise was spoiled all because Punk was rumored to be there, and WWE didn’t want people to be pissed.”

– Randy Orton via Sports Illustrated
WWE Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes
Courtesy Of WWE

Randy Orton Recalls the WWE Return of CM Punk

It was smart of WWE to do it like this. Everyone expected that CM Punk would make his return to WWE in his hometown of Chicago. Punk was fired from AEW after a backstage brawl months prior. It was heavily rumored that he would return to WWE at Survivor Series. However, there were still questions surrounding it due to the circumstances of his WWE exit that took place almost 10 years earlier.

WWE fans knew someone would make their return in the WarGames match and they would have been disappointed if it wasn’t Punk. The final member of Cody Rhodes’ team was Orton, who helped turn the tide against The Judgment Day, helping Team Rhodes win the match. However, as the premium live event was ending Punk made his return.

Orton talks about the nerves he felt before his return match and also revealed his reaction to hearing about CM Punk coming back at the show directly from Triple H. Randy Orton continued:

“The day of Survivor Series, I’m about to get my boots on. I’m feeling the nerves, it had been a year-and-a-half. Triple H is like, ‘Hey Randy, I’ve got to talk to you for a second.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, what’s up, man?’ So he told me a couple things. And then he went, ‘One more thing–Punk’s returning tonight.’ I thought he was f****** with me. I said, ‘You’re joking,’ and he was like, ‘No, I’m not. This is something that just happened in the last few days, yada yada yada.’”

– Randy Orton via Sports Illustrated
Courtesy Of WWE

Punk’s shocking return easily overshadowed the return of Randy Orton and became the moment everyone was walking about after Survivor Series. To make his return even more surprising was his past bad blood with Triple H. Punk made his issues with Triple H no secret after his WWE exit. In recent years, Triple H has taken the reins of the creative, on-air product, gaining more power in WWE.

Triple H in recent years has taken on a larger role within WWE. By Survivor Series, Vince McMahon took more of an office role with WWE’s parent company, TKO Group Holdings, at the time Vince McMahon has since resigned from his role as Executive Chairman of the Board of TKO following a lawsuit by former WWE employee Janel Grant, alleging McMahon of sexual assault and sex trafficking. However, with Triple H in charge of the company’s creative product, it made Punk making amends with Triple H that much more surprising.

WWE Triple H and CM Punk
Courtesy Of Triple H’s X/Twitter

Immediately following the WarGames match videos of Seth Rollins irate hit the internet. Rumors contradicted each other whether anyone in the match knew of Punk’s return. Orton confirmed that at the very least he knew. Orton admitted that he was a little upset that his return wasn’t the big moment of the night. However, he was proud of himself that he didn’t make a big deal out of it as the old Randy Orton would have. Orton added:

“I was so excited for this surprise return. That’s never really been the case. They’ve always kind of stooged off the fact I was returning; they wanted those views. So I’d never had that surprise return. I could have been really pissed, and old Randy would have been pissed. It was a defining moment for me. I went out there, we had a great WarGames match, everybody was excited that I returned, everybody was excited that Punk returned, and neither return stepped on each other. It was a testament to how much I’d grown. It would have been an issue only if I made it one, so I was proud of the way I handled it.”

– Randy Orton via Sports Illustrated

Orton has returned to WWE full force and has inserted himself back on top. Last month Orton competed at Royal Rumble in a Fatal 4-Way match for Roman Reigns’ Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. This Saturday he will compete at Elimination Chamber: Perth in the Men’s Elimination Chamber match to determine who will challenge World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins at WrestleMania.

Orton’s return has been handled very well and it is a testament to how well Triple H is doing as head of creative. Orton talked about how excited he is to work with his old Evolution teammate, Triple H.

“So much happened while I was out. When I left, the old guard was still doing its thing. Vince was still around. TV’s were getting rewritten over and over again. The writers were being held up until all hours in the morning. And all that changed. I am excited to work for WWE. Nick Khan is amazing. Triple H being in charge of creative is amazing. I’ve had a relationship with him for over 20 years.

“I went to his wedding back in ‘03. We’ve been at odds before when I was a f— up when I was young, and I won him back. He’s seen me go from an adolescent assh— prick who didn’t know what I was doing–I was an insecure punk, that’s what I was. I’m the oldest sibling in my family, but he’s like an older brother to me in many ways. He’s always been there and had the best of advice.”

– Randy Orton via Sports Illustrated
WWE Triple H
Courtesy Of WWE

So far Triple H appears to have been well in his role and it will be interesting to see how he uses Orton after WrestleMania. Orton can be thrown into any position, feud, and division within WWE which opens up a lot of possibilities for how to use him.

What have you thought of Randy Orton since he returned to WWE? Do you think he has lost a step or is he better than ever? Do you think CM Punk’s return took anything away from Orton’s return? Was it necessary to spoil Orton’s return to make sure Punk’s was a surprise? Let us know on social media who you think will win the upcoming Men’s Elimination Chamber match.

SOURCE: Sports Illustrated

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Robert Watson

Just a guy reading comics, watching wrestling, and wondering if aliens exist