WWE Survivor Series is taking place this Saturday and the company will once again hold a pair of WarGames matches. Heading into tonight’s WWE Raw, one team was a man short, but that problem is now solved. The opening minutes of the show saw Raw GM Adam Pearce insist that the team of Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, and Seth “Freakin” Rollins find their fifth member before the end of the show. As previously reported, it is Randy Orton who will step forward to join the WarGames match, making his return to WWE programming after 18 months away.
The announcement was made at the end of Raw by Rhodes, without Orton appearing. Last week as well as throughout tonight’s show, Rhodes teased that he had a friend he planned on contacting about joining their team. Near the show’s conclusion, Zayn and Rollins both admitted they couldn’t find a fifth team member, but Rhodes confirmed his old friend had come through. He later made the announcement by referencing his friendship with Orton as well as their onscreen history as members of The Legacy, leading to the big reveal as Raw went off the air.
Orton was last seen on the May 20, 2022 episode of WWE SmackDown. The veteran was teaming with former partner Matt Riddle against The Usos, who were both still in The Bloodline at the time. Jimmy and Jey defeated Orton and Riddle to capture the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships, unifying them with the SmackDown titles as they remain today. Coincidentally, that episode of SmackDown took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the very same arena where tonight’s Raw took place. Orton’s last match saw him suffer an injury to his back, which would require surgery and even cast doubt on his ability to return to wrestling.
The Men’s WarGames match on Saturday will pit Orton, Rhodes, Rollins, Zayn, and Uso against Drew McIntyre as well as Finn Balor, Damian Priest, Dominik Mysterio, and J.D. McDonagh of The Judgment Day. In addition to that match, featuring Orton’s grand return, the show is set to include a Women’s WarGames match, Rhea Ripley defending the Women’s World Championship against Zoey Stark, The Miz challenging GUNTHER for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and more.
A lot has changed since Orton was last active in wrestling, with Vince McMahon’s role having drastically changed several times over and Orton’s former Evolution teammate now in charge of creative. Additionally, Riddle is out of WWE, having been released from the company back in September.