Randy Orton Recalls Reaching Out To CM Punk To Return To WWE

CM Punk shockingly returned to WWE at Survivor Series last November, after being fired from AEW following a backstage altercation. Punk's return had been heavily speculated, as the premium live event was held in his hometown of Chicago. Randy Orton also made his return at the event after being on the shelf for over a year due to spinal surgery. While many fans thought Orton may have felt slighted due to Punk's return overshadowing his own, Orton recently revealed on an episode of "WWE Playback," alongside Punk himself, that he actually reached out to get him to return to WWE. Orton said the "minute" he saw Punk was leaving AEW, he reached out to him right away.

"I don't know if you had talked to people and were coming back or what, but this would've been last summer or last fall when I think when I knew for sure when you were leaving," Orton said to Punk. "I legitimately was like 'F*** he needs to come back. He needs to come back.' This is where you belong and I think you reiterated that fact, you were like 'No, you're right, I need to come home.' And I'm glad you did, dude."

Orton and Punk were reacting to their WrestleMania 27 match, where their 2011 feud culminated in Atlanta, Georgia. Punk, who was leading the New Nexus at the time, sought justice against Orton for a punt kick "The Legend Killer" delivered to him back in 2008. Orton hit an RKO on Punk for the victory, ending their feud. As for Survivor Series 2023, Orton previously said sharing his return with Punk kind of "took the wind out of his sails," but in the end, he was happy that both stars got a great reaction. "Love you man. We're buddies. We're the old buddies. We're the old timers," Orton told Punk.