CM Punk's shocking return to WWE at Survivor Series immediately dominated the wrestling world Saturday night, and there were plenty of reactions from within and outside the company to the Second City Saint showing up.
Probably the most notable reaction came from WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, who was visibly furious at ringside during Punk's entrance, gesturing wildly and having to be held back by Michael Cole, Corey Graves and other personnel. It's unclear whether he was legitimately angry or working since he was in full view of 17,000 fans and had to know everyone could see his reaction.
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Fightful Select noted that there are "numerous" talent on the roster upset about Punk's return, as well as others who were excited and curious. At least one talent told Fightful they legit were upset about the situation.
Drew McIntyre also looked visibly upset backstage and left the venue, according to Fightful, though it wasn't confirmed whether that was due to Punk's return.
One fan caught video of Rhea Ripley at ringside flipping the bird and mocking Punk's "It's clobberin' time" gesture. Another video showed Randy Orton, who also made his big return Saturday after 18 months out with injury, grabbing one of the steel chairs in the ring and sitting down briefly, waving to Punk from the cage.
Cora Jade, a huge fan of Punk, reposted a video of herself meeting him eight years ago and crying. WWE Hall-of-Famer Sean Waltman declared that "Hell has frozen over." AEW star Andrade El Idolo posted a photo of himself and Punk.
Triple H couldn't resist posting his own take on things.
And of course, there were plenty who were not too happy about the news. KENTA (formerly Hideo Itami in WWE), who has had a grudge against Punk for years due to him lifting the Japanese star's Go to Sleep finisher, suggested that Punk should use a new finishing move that KENTA could steal. Former WWE superstar Matt Riddle, whose rocky tenure with the company led to his release this fall, sarcastically wished the company good luck dealing with the mercurial superstar.
Lastly, Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful indicated that Punk's return wasn't met entirely with disdain from WWE personnel:
The reactions weren't all like the negative ones we saw at ringside. Fightful Select is told that Punk was also greeted by a few friends when he returned backstage at WWE Survivor Series.— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) November 26, 2023