Randy Orton will make his return to the WWE for the first time in 18 months this weekend at Survivor Series WarGames.
Cody Rhodes confirmed the news in a dramatic climax to Monday night’s episode of WWE Raw.
Orton will join Rhodes in the men’s WarGames match alongside Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn and Jay Uso.
Drew McIntyre’s dramatic defection to Judgement Day in last week’s episode of Raw left Rhodes needing to find a replacement for the Survivor Series main event.
The ‘American Dream’ teased Orton as a potential option at the beginning of last night’s show, reassuring his WarGames teammates backstage: “I have an old friend I can call.”
At the end of the show Rhodes took the mic to announce who their fifth and final member would be.
“We’ve found a fifth member,” he said.
“Somebody I have a legacy with. You know who I’m talking about right?” prompting cries of ‘Orton’ from the crowd.
“Did you not know that with us is the Apex Predator? I think all these people know who it is too?”
The crowd responded with chants of “He’s back! He’s back!”
Rhodes then all-but confirmed the Viper’s return, signing off with: “That’s right, these people here tonight… they’re right!”
Orton last wrestled in May last year as he and Matt Riddle dropped the Raw Tag Team Championship to The Usos.
News of his shock comeback comes months after being warned by doctors against returning to competitive wrestling.
The 43-year-old underwent back fusion surgery in November 2022 and his father recently revealed Orton had received medical advice warning him against a return to the ring.
A 14-time world champion, Orton has seen and done it all in his 20-year WWE career.
The Apex Predator is among the most popular and well-known performers in the business and his return represents a huge coup for WWE.