WWE Falls Count Anywhere CM Punk CM Punk made his epic return to WWE at Survivor Series: WarGames. Credit: WWE.com

Look in my eyes. What do you see? It’s Falls Count Anywhere, Volume 3! No sense in waiting around. Let’s jump into the ball pit and talk all things WWE. There’s a lot to talk about! So let’s get it going.

CM Punk returned to WWE in epic fashion

CM Punk is back in WWE, just in case you haven’t picked up on it. After his tumultuous exit in January 2014, nearly 10 years later, the self-proclaimed ‘Best in the World’ returned to his former stomping grounds at the conclusion of WWE Survivor Series: War Games. Which, fittingly enough, was held in the Chicago suburbs.

Punk’s return made a significant impact on social media, dominating the charts. The post of his return drew over 71 million views on X, per the company, which tells you just how big of a deal this all is. Seismic is a word for it, and even that might not do it justice.

Punk then returned to Monday Night Raw last night. He was short and sweet, but seeing him in a WWE ring still felt surreal. They always tend to come back, but for a while, it did seem like he would be the guy who would actually keep his word. Considering what happened to draw his exit, nobody could have even blamed him.

But, here he is, against all odds. After his AEW run ended in disaster, Punk is now attempting to rewrite his own WWE legacy. There are a ton of possibilities on the board, and almost all of them are compelling. Who knows what will happen next, but this was something you had to see to believe. The rumors were out there. We speculated about it here. But it happened, and it was an incredible moment.

That Randy Orton guy? Yeah, he came back too

The legendary Randy Orton also made his much-anticipated return to WWE on Saturday night. While Orton’s absence was not nearly as long as Punk’s, fans made sure to give The Viper a hero’s welcome home both at Survivor Series and at Raw on Monday night in Nashville.

It’s admittedly tremendous to see Orton back and fully healthy. His back injury kept him out since the summer of 2022. He’s been gone so long that Vince McMahon was fully in control the last time he appeared on TV. So he hasn’t experienced one breath of the Triple H Creative Era until now.

Orton appears to be making it his mission to take out the Bloodline and all who wronged him. That could mean an encounter with Roman Reigns, which speared many questions as to if that’s what’s ahead at the Royal Rumble in two months. But we’ll see where everything lands. Orton is scheduled to appear on Smackdown this week and that could be a mighty big moment as well.

The babyfaces triumphed in both War Games matches

Part of WWE being a ‘babyface promotion’ now is knowing when to give the fans what they wanna see. Both babyface teams came out on top over the weekend inside War Games, and 72 hours later, it’s hard to find fault with those decisions.

There was a window open for Damage CTRL to win their match and progress with their story. However, based on how the match played out, it’s primed to end with a satisfying conclusion anyway. Depending on where you land in that equation, at least, but the trickle-down will still exist. And that’s a positive.

Once Orton was named the fifth member, you knew it would be a wrap for The Judgment Day. Speaking of, the fallout from this loss will prove very intriguing. Damian Priest seemed paranoid all night, they were bothered by the returning R-Truth, and nothing really went their way. So it goes.

It’s looking kind of awkward for Damage CTRL

Well, this is definitely awkward.

Damage CTRL entered War Games as the new big, bad beasts. They sure looked like it in the match, too. A plus for this match from me was the fact that it felt like a legitimate fight. As they’ve routinely done, the women of WWE made sure to make it look like they were beating the tar out of each other. They did a damn good job of that and arguably turned in the match of the weekend.

Now, let’s talk about how things went in this match. Especially for Bayley.

Bayley performed incredibly in the match, both in story and not. She started the match for her team and went the distance, which was around 33 minutes. She ate a ton of offense from the opposing team and caught a ton of licks. Towards the end of the match, Bayley broke up every pin or submission attempt that was put on her team by the opposing squad. And how were Bayley’s heroics rewarded?

Well, she ate a Spear from Charlotte Flair… then ate a big move from Shotzi… and then Bianca Belair’s finisher… and then a Manhandle Slam by Becky Lynch through a table.

All while Damage CTRL, who Bayley rescued at every turn, sat back and watched. And suspiciously couldn’t muster up the energy to rescue Bayley and keep the match alive.

This… is awkward. Friday night could present problems for the group. You kind of get the sense of where all of this is going. Then, when you find out they’re holding Smackdown in Brooklyn?

Friday night could potentially be a big night for Damage CTRL, no matter what. And potentially emotionally devastating, depending on whose side of the equation you’re on.

Seth Rollins gets in Drew McIntyre’s head, eggs on CM Punk chants

Seth Rollins had a big night on Monday night. The World Heavyweight Champion not only teased Drew McIntyre and  dropped a bomb on him and everyone else, but he also had fun at the expense of chants emerging around them.

Punk got into a heated discussion with McIntyre, who has angrily chased the championship over the past few months. Rollins informed him, to his face, that next week he’s going to defend the title… but not against Drew. Instead, he’ll face Drew’s biggest enemy right now: Jey Uso.

Drew wasn’t thrilled with this and gave him a Glasgow Kiss that caused his forehead to bust open. So from that end, it wasn’t a great night for Rollins…

…However, on the other end, it’s hard to ignore what happened first. Seth egged on a crowd that chanted for the returning Punk. It’s not the first time he’s heard these chants, but it’s definitely one of the first times he can acknowledge them while Punk actually works for the company in nearly ten years.

To Seth’s credit, he turned it around in his favor. The crowd chanted for him by the end of the segment. This probably would not have had a shot to happen a few years ago, so it’s a positive development all around.

It’s also hard to ignore the fact that Seth called Punk a hypocrite, only for Punk to come out and act like the last ten years never happened. Wonder if that was on purpose…

Gunther Facts

Gunther retained the WWE Intercontinental Championship over The Miz this weekend. In doing so, Gunther beat the most decorated active Intercontinental Champion in the company right now. Chris Jericho, who’s in AEW, holds the record for most title reigns with nine, while Miz has eight.

So, let’s pay an acknowledgment to Gunther and what he’s doing.

As of today, he’s held the title for 534 days. In 59 days, he will have held the title for 593 days. If he does this, then his one reign as IC Champion will surpass the combined days of Miz’s eight reigns as champion.

The Creed Brothers get a big look

The Creed Brothers are fledgling, but they’ve become a quick success on the main roster. Brutus and Juilus emerged out of a pile of tag teams that included DIY and THe New Day on Monday night to earn a future Undisputed Tag Team Championships opportunity.

That, on its own, means that they’ll be competing against Finn Balor and Damian Priest. Balor is among the most notable stars in the company, while Priest is one of their biggest success stories over the last two years. They’re also bona fide main eventers who attract a serious audience.

With a look like this, whether the Creeds win or lose, it will go a long way toward their continued development on the main roster. So it’s great to see when things like this happen. You have to imagine they will relish the opportunity, as they seem like total gamers out there…

The main roster spotlight goes to…

…and that’s why Julius Creed will get our main roster spotlight this week. Julius may not be the size of Brutus, but he can certainly pack a punch. He has appeared gifted athletically at times and many have already raved about his potential. He’s been the trusted talker of the tandem, which will also feature Ivy Nile at times too.

Don’t be surprised if Julius winds up a future World Champion. He has a lot of that make-up already, and it could sway in his favor if he plays the right notes.

Our NXT spotlight this week goes down on…

Wes Lee will get the look this week. Lee is a talented worker who’s dealt with a couple of things out of his control down in NXT. But he’s proven to be an electric performer at his peak.

On Tuesday night, the spotlight will be on Lee. If he can get through a gamut of former North American Champions, he’ll be able to challenge Dominik Mysterio for the championship he used to hold. You’ll certainly want to have your eyes on this one.

One last thing…

CM Punk made sure to acknowledge his wife, former WWE superstar AJ Lee. Lee has not appeared on WWE television since March 2015, but left the company as a beloved fan-favorite.

Just so it’s out there: By all means, allow for a universe that has “Let’s Light It Up” boom through a P.A. system at a WWE show one more time.

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022