CM Punk, Randy Orton’s WWE returns help boost ‘Survivor Series: War Games’ to record-breaking heights

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WWE’s “Survivor Series: War Games” set records as CM Punk and Randy Orton both made their epic returns to the company.

Orton returned for the War Games match along side the team of Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and Jey Uso as they defeated the Judgment Day and Drew McIntyre. Orton was the last participant in the match and interrupted Damian Priest trying to cash-in his Money in the Bank contract.

It was Orton’s first match back since he had back surgery.

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As the event was ending, Punk’s music hit, and the fans at the Allstate Arena in Chicago went wild. It was his first time at a WWE event since 2014, and it came just weeks after All Elite Wrestling fired him over multiple incidents with other wrestlers in that company.

WWE’s video of his shocking return has since garnered more than 30 million views on X alone and more than 70 million across all social platforms.

Team Cody wins the match

The company touted “Survivor Series: War Games” as a success as a whole on Tuesday. WWE said the premium live event set records for highest viewership, largest gate and the best merchandise sales in the event’s 37-year history.

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“Viewership for Survivor Series was up 44 percent versus the previous record set in 2022. With 17,138 in attendance, the event broke the previous Survivor Series gate record set in Brooklyn in 2021,” WWE said in a press release.

JD McDonagh flies

“In partnership with Fanatics, Survivor Series broke the premium live event’s all-time merchandise record. Sponsorship revenue was up 24 percent versus 2022.”

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TKO TKO GROUP HOLDINGS 79.23 +0.73 +0.93%

“Survivor Series” was the last WWE premium live event for 2023. The next premium live event is Royal Rumble in January, which kicks off the Road to WrestleMania 40.

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