WWE Survivor Series 2023 results, match grades: CM Punk returns to WWE, WarGames runs wild in Chicago

Chicago was buzzing for some wrestling, and it got an entertaining night of action. In the Allstate Arena, WWE presented its Survivor Series event. An original Big Four PPV event, Survivor Series continued the new tradition of housing the dreaded WarGames match. 

Dusty Rhodes’ creation was presented in full force in Chicago. Several stars made moments in the match, including Rhodes’ son Cody. However, in the end, no match mattered after “Cult of Personality” hit. 

That’s right: CM Punk, who left AEW a few months ago following various backstage incidents, is back in WWE for the first time since 2014. 

MORE: What does the future hold for Logan Paul in boxing, pro wrestling?

Punk appeared after the men’s WarGames match to a thunderous ovation. WWE and Punk had their issues in the past, including them firing him on his wedding day. Having him back was good business, as he is still one of the most popular stars in wrestling. What that means for the future of WWE is unknown, and his backstage attitude will likely be watched, but it is a moment nobody will ever forget. 

“It’s been a long time. In some ways, it’s been a long time coming,” Triple H said after the event. “You can say this about CM Punk. Love him, hate him, positive, negative, whatever you want to say: People talk about him all the time. He is a magnet for that. He’s a conversation starter.”

Meanwhile, in the actual men’s match, Randy Orton returned for the first time in two years. He teamed with Jey Uso, who injured him when he was with The Bloodline. They teamed with Rhodes, Seth “Freakin” Rollins, and Sami Zayn to beat The Judgement Day and Drew McIntyre. Rivalries were reborn, friendships got made, and Orton appeared to not miss a beat. Now Rhodes can say he competed in a WarGames match. 

The other member of Judgement Day had better luck than her teammates. Rhea Ripley beat Zoey Stark to retain the WWE Women’s World Title after a hard-hitting contest. They traded slaps, punches, kicks, and headbutts, but Ripley was too powerful for Stark. 

Opening the event was the women’s WarGames match, Team Belair (Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Shotzi, and Becky Lynch) beat Damage CTRL (Bayley, Asuka, Iyo Sky, and Kairi Sane). The theme of the match was trust, as Bayley has had a rift with her team, and Flair and Lynch haven’t been friends for years. Bayley showed her value by saving her team every chance she could get; she got hurt more than them. Meanwhile, Flair and Lynch showed signs of friendship for the first time in years, hugging one another to the delight of the fans. 

Following moonsaults, dives off the cage, chains, and tables, Team Belair pinned Bayley to win the WarGames match. What happens next for Damage CTRL? Is Bayley seen as the weak link?

MORE: Rhea Ripley is only ‘scratching the surface’ in WWE

Gunther continued his record-setting reign as Intercontinental Champion by beating eight-time champion The Miz. Miz almost won by cheating, but Gunther proved to be the better man. His reign is now at 533+ days. 

Meanwhile, Santos Escobar, who betrayed Rey Mysterio and the L.W.O., beat Dragon Lee in an entertaining match. 

The Sporting News provided match grades and highlights from the Survivor Series event. Check it out! 

WWE Survivor Series 2023 results, highlights, match grades

Hello everyone, and welcome to The Sporting News’ live coverage of Survivor Series!

Will CM Punk show up tonight? Stay tuned!

The women’s WarGames match will open the main card. The teams are Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Shotzi, and Becky Lynch vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Asuka, Iyo Sky, and Kairi Sane)

Team Belair beats Damage CTRL following Bayley sacrifice in WarGames match 

Becky Lynch starts the match for her team, while Bayley does for hers. The former Four Horsewomen members went back and forth, until Lynch started gaining momentum. Bayley was in trouble, until she used the cage against Lynch. As Lynch started to gain momentum, Dakota Kai got involved and gave Bayley as kendo stick. Shotzi came out next, but Bayley tried to close the door on her. The former wasn’t having it, and brought trash cans and chairs into the ring. Shotzi used the weapons to hit Bayley with innovative moves. 

Bayley was stuck in the middle of Shotzi and Lynch, who teamed against her. Women’s Champion Iyo Sky evened the odds, bringing a chain into the ring. A dazed Shotzi was getting hurt until Bianca Belair came in the ring and used her braids to hurt Damage CTRL. Belair forced Sky to land on a trash can and used her braids to block chair shots from Bayley. The faces stood tall until Kairi Sane entered the ring with a lid. Sane used a high-flying elbow to Shotzi onto several chains. Charlotte Flair entered the ring, the final entrant for Team Belair. Sky got put through the cage with a powerbomb. 

Lynch and Flair face off: former friends and bitter rivals, forced partners. Sky, with a chain in hand, fished for a trash can outside the ring.

On top of the cage, Sky put the can on top of her, and jumped to all the competitors. Asuka entered the ring to complete the WarGames match. Asuka put in a table (the loudest ovation of the night) and a fire extinguisher, and WarGames officially began. Damage CTRL used kendo sticks to hurt the face team. Chained together, Lynch and Belair were taken out. Asuka misted Shotzi and hit Lynch, who was in a trash can. The face team take over, and Flair went on top of the cage and landed a moonsault to everyone. Sky got hit in the face with Charlotte’s boot, ouch.

Flair and Lynch teamed together and hit Sane with a powerbomb and hugged.They attempted to submit Damage CTRL, but Bayley saved her team multiple times. Asuka went for the mist, but Belair countered with a fire extinguisher. Bayley took the spear for her team, and got teamed up on, and she got put through the table. Team Belair won. 

The match had all the chaos, with unbelievable moves. Once the WarGames match actually started, things picked up. Team Belair felt like heels at times, but they got the crowd support in the end. The MVP’s of the match: Flair, Lynch, Shotzi, Bayley, and Sky. 

Grade: A-

Sami Zayn and Jey Uso tease that Randy Orton is not in the building yet. They talked about teaming together in the past and having one another’s backs. 

The Miz looks to end Gunther’s record-setting reign as the Intercontinental Champion. If he wins, he ties Chris Jericho with nine reigns. 

Gunther beats Miz, record-breaking Intercontinental Title reign continues

WWE actually mentioned Jericho’s name, which is normally a no-no. Miz tried to outwork Gunther to start. He slapped Gunther, which upset the champion. He did it again and rolled out the ring while attacking Gunther’s leg. Miz hit the Figure-Four leglock on the outside. In the ring, he tried to land chops but Gunther landed a few of his own. Gunther landed a German Suplex and a big boot. A powerbomb attempt by Gunther failed, and Miz went for the knee several times. 

Going for the Skull Crushing Finale, Miz was blocked and hit with the a powerbomb, but only for two. Gunther then tried to put Miz to sleep. Miz went low after putting the protective cover off the ropes. Skull Crushing Finale connected but only for two. Miz went for it again, but Gunther hit the sleeper. Miz almost hit an inside pin for the win. Gunther landed a clothesline and hit the top rope splash. In the Boston Crab and Miz tapped. 

It was a classic Miz match, which is perfect for the WWE system. Gunther looked exceptional as always. That Miz pin almost had me.  

Grade: C+

Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar is up next. Escobar just turned heel and left the L.W.O.

Santos Escobar continues his heel run, beats Dragon Lee

Escobar was aggressive to start the match, chopping Lee to the floor. He used the ropes to continue his assault. On the outside, Lee landed second rope hurricanrana. He then landed an over the top rope Swanton. Lee had Escobar where he wanted him, but the latter landed several kicks, and hit a top rope hurricanrana. Escobar tried unmasking Lee but Lee recovered, landing a top rope stomp. 

Superkick by Escobar. They exchanged blows, including punches and knees. Lee landed a powerbomb, but only for two. Escobar with a Canadian Destroyer (South of the Border Destroyer) and a Phantom Driver for the win. 

The match was quick but both got to show what they could do. Escobar as a heel works so well. Would definitely like to see more from them in the future. 

Grade: B+

New Day come into the arena in a Slim Jim truck. 

Zoey Stark challenges Judgement Day’s Rhea Ripley for the Women’s World Title. 

Rhea Ripley retains Women’s World Title after hard-hitting affair

Both wore warpaint for the match. Ripley and Stark traded slaps and then started pounding away. Stark landed a big dropkick. Suicide Dive by Stark and a top rope missile dropkick. Ripley headbutted Stark. Ouch. On the outside apron, Stark landed a DDT then a corkscrew senton. Ripley put her face first into the apron and then put her arm into the post. 

Ripley berated Stark and landed an innovative suplex for two. She tried to submit Stark and then landed multiple Curb Stomps. Stark tried to rally, but to no avail. They traded slaps on the top rope. Ripley tried to land a top rope move but Stark kind of avoided it. It got botched, but Stark recovered. Rollup but a kickout by Ripley. Northern Lights Suplex by Ripley. Ripley tried for the Riptide but Stark with a suplex and a running knee. 

Ripley countered Stark’s top moves and landed a Riptide for the three. 

Solid match. They recovered from the botch and Ripley retained. Who can stop her? 

Grade: B+

Uso and Zayn find Seth Rollins, asking about Orton. Cody Rhodes ensures he will be in the match. 

The men’s WarGames match is next. Cody Rhodes, Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, and Randy Orton faces The Judgment Day (Damian Priest, Finn Balor, “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio, and JD McDonagh) and Drew McIntyre.

Randy Orton returns, Team Rhodes wins WarGames

Finn Balor started things for his team. Priest and McIntyre were staring the other one down. Seth Rollins starts for his team. No sign of Orton yet. Is traffic in Chicago that bad?

Rollins dives to Balor and the two go at it right away as the crowd chants for CM Punk. Now Orton. Balor moved Rollins around the ring, and forced hm into the cage and the steel. Both hit Sling Blades. McDonagh joined Balor, but was kicked out of the ring right away. He used a kendo stick to get back in. Balor and McDonagh used the sticks against Rollins. Rollins is helped out by Jey. He grabbed a chair to combat the kendo sticks. McIntyre wanted to get in, but Priest inserted himself in the match. 

Priest used a baton against Rhodes’ team. Zayn is out next for his team and he used a kendo stick against an attacking McDonagh. He brought in a table and was a man possessed in the cage. McDonagh tried to halt Zayn’s momentum, but to no avail. Zayn had a steel pipe and used it against Judgement Day. McIntyre enters for Judgement Day and threw everyone around. He stalked Jey, who put him through hell with The Bloodline. They fought, with McIntyre having the edge.

1D by Zayn and Jey to McIntyre as Rhodes entered the match. Rhodes was on fire as he entered his first WarGames. He used a bull rope, a la Dusty Rhodes. Dominik entered the match to give his team a 5 on 4 edge. He got bullied by everyone on the opposition side while his team was down. Setting the table in the corner, Judgement Day halted the faces momentum. McIntyre and Priest work together, a rare sight. Rollins got put through a table. 

Ripley came out with the Money in the Bank contract. Before Priest could do anything, Orton came out. The WarGames match officially began as Orton attacked everyone to a thunderous ovation.

McIntyre and Orton faced off. Now both teams decided to group together. Orton and his team landed DDT’s to everyone. He turned his attention to teammate Jey, who saved Orton from Priest. Orton hit the RKO on Dominik. All the faces hit their finishing moves. McDonagh was left standing. On top of the cage, Rollins and Zayn dropped McDonagh and Orton hit a flying RKO. 

Rhodes hit Cross Rhodes to Priest for the three. 

A very tame WarGames match, all things considered. Orton got the biggest pop of the night and it was great seeing him. A lot of storytelling in this match, which resulted in an entertaining ending. 

Grade: A-

THE SHOW IS NOT OVER! CM PUNK IS BACK! Wow. Punk is back in WWE to a huge pop. The show ends to the crowd going wild. 

WWE Survivor Series 2023 results

  • Cody Rhodes, Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, and Randy Orton def. The Judgment Day (Damian Priest, Finn Balor, “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio, and JD McDonagh) and Drew McIntyre in a WarGames match
  • Rhea Ripley (c) def. Zoey Stark for the Women’s World Title
  • Santos Escobar def. Dragon Lee
  • Gunther (c) def. The Miz for the WWE Intercontinental Title
  • Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Shotzi, and Becky Lynch def. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Asuka, Iyo Sky, and Kairi Sane) in a WarGames match

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