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5 Talking Points From WWE Survivor Series 2023: Best And Worst Moments

7 months ago By Sports Desk

This year’s Survivor Series kicked off with a thrilling women’s WarGames match that saw the superstars put their bodies on the line with daredevil moves and high-risk acts. However, the event culminated in mayhem with the shock returns of major stars Randy Orton and CM Punk, much to the surprise of the fans who only expected Orton’s comeback.

Best Moment: Randy Orton’s Late Arrival: There’s no denying that having Randy Orton arrive late in the men’s WarGames match intensified the crowd’s demands for CM Punk’s return. Some may argue that this booking decision distracted from the in-ring action, but it undoubtedly made Orton’s first WWE appearance in 18 months more impactful. Rather than just walking out and standing in the cage for 30 minutes, The Viper entered to a rapturous ovation from the Chicago faithful, hitting the ring to spark the babyface comeback for his team.

This shock arrival blew the roof off the iconic Allstate Arena. It was a heartwarming reminder that no matter how long Orton was absent, a legendary superstar of his reputation will always receive an affectionate hero’s welcome upon his return. However, as we saw later in the event, introducing such an iconic performer under the right circumstances could elicit an even stronger crowd response.

Worst Moment: No Follow-Up to Orton-Uso Tension: Randy Orton’s shocking return at Survivor Series was executed perfectly, with one glaring exception. At one point during the match, Orton set up Jey Uso for an RKO, appearing poised to retaliate against the man who injured him 18 months ago. However, the two stars then proceeded to cooperate and work together towards victory, ignoring their tense history.

This was an odd creative decision given Orton and The Bloodline’s interconnected storyline arcs. It seemed The Viper was finally getting payback on Jey for the attack that put him out of commission. Instead, they brushed it under the rug and united to win the match. This confusing interaction requires further explanation or elaboration down the line for narrative completion.

Given the meticulous detail underlying the Bloodline saga, it would only be fitting for Orton and Jey Uso to cross paths again – whether in a heated promo or high-stakes match – to resolve their differences. If only to provide a sensible conclusion to this personal issue planted at Survivor Series. Their unsettled score remains the one glaring loose end coming out of an otherwise excellently produced event.

Worst Moment: Rushing Zoey Stark’s Title Shot: Rookie Zoey Stark has rapidly ascended WWE’s ranks after standout performances in NXT earned her a main roster call-up earlier this year. Initially assisting legend Trish Stratus in her rivalry with Becky Lynch, Stark was later deemed Stratus’ protégé and would frequently accompany her to ringside.

However, with Stratus winding down her wrestling schedule, Stark was left seeking traction as a singles star. Impressively, she made a tremendous impact by winning a Battle Royal to become #1 contender to Rhea Ripley’s Women’s World Championship at Survivor Series – merely months into her main roster jump.

While Stark has star potential, catapulting her into the title picture so prematurely seemed rushed. She ultimately fell short against the dominant Ripley, though one expects WWE to continue pushing the upstart despite losing in her first championship match. Still, Stark would have benefited from a longer build before vying for the gold.

Best Moment: Bayley Does Her Best, Falls Short: Entering Survivor Series, it was evident Bayley’s leadership over Damage CTRL was slipping, with the return of Kairi Sane and the addition of Asuka weakening her standing. Perhaps in a desperate last attempt to maintain control, Bayley put on the performance of a lifetime at Survivor Series – though her best efforts ultimately fell short.

Against daunting odds, The Role Model single-handedly kept her team alive by continuously breaking up pinfalls, all while enduring merciless offense from adversaries like Shotzi, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Bianca Belair. Displaying tremendous heart, Bayley refused to allow her side to be easily defeated despite facing a numbers disadvantage.

Unfortunately, the odds proved too insurmountable as she succumbed to Belair’s Kiss of Death finisher and was driven through a table by Lynch’s uranage slam. Though she gave it everything she had, Bayley failed to score the victory for her squad – likely sealing her fate with disgruntled Damage CTRL partners Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai and Asuka.

Bayley’s immediate future is unclear after this defeat and impending stable implosion, as confirmed in her post-match interview. A creative direction could see her turn babyface for the first time in three years to feud with her former allies in a lengthy storyline culminating at WrestleMania 39 in Philadelphia.

While nobody knows if this will unfold, Bayley’s awe-inspiring effort at Survivor Series reinforced her status as a revolutionary figure in modern women’s wrestling. Though she came up short and Damage CTRL’s days appear numbered, The Role Model proved her enduring excellence. Whatever she does next will undoubtedly continue reshaping the division.

Best Moment: CM Punk Closes the Show: The phrase “never say never” defined the absolutely shocking scene that closed Survivor Series. As Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality” suddenly blared throughout Allstate Arena, CM Punk emerged to a roof-rattling ovation in his first WWE appearance since angrily exiting the company in 2013.

Images of the Straight Edge Superstar walking back through the iconic curtain will forever be ingrained in the minds of fans who believed this reconciliatory moment would never occur. Punk’s acrimonious split left hard feelings on both sides, with the wrestler lobbing incendiary verbal barbs at his former employer afterwards. Mending such a badly damaged relationship felt impossible.

Yet there stood Punk, remarkably basking in the Chicago crowd’s adulation despite the surreal circumstances of returning to WWE after all that has transpired. He didn’t immediately call out an opponent or explain what prompted this comeback. The Second City Saint merely reminded the WWE Universe that it was “clobberin’ time” before vanishing backstage just as quickly, leaving everyone speechless.

This genius cliffhanger demands that viewers tune into Monday Night Raw seeking answers. What motivated Punk’s shocking reconciliation? Who will he target first? Fans will flock to see the next chapter unfold.

This surprise ending perfectly embodied WWE’s “never say never” mantra under Triple H’s leadership. The Game has shown a penchant for rebuilding bridges, mending relationships with talents like Bruno Sammartino and the Ultimate Warrior. But making amends with Punk once seemed unfathomable. Now the redefined WWE landscape opens unlimited possibilities.

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