There have been some monumental returns to the squared circle that wrestling fans will remember for a lifetime. Here we take a look at some of our favorite returns in the history of the WWE.
Number 5: Cena returns to the Rumble
(Royal Rumble, 2008)
Love him or hate him, you can’t deny what an impact John Cena has had on the sport of professional wrestling. In 2008 Cena was out with a torn pectoral and no one, not even good ol’ JR was expecting him to return that year.
It was a sold-out crowd in Madison Square Garden as the last combatant in the rumble was getting ready to enter. Triple H stood center of the ring as the countdown hit 0 and to his disbelief who would enter, The Dr of Thuganomics. Despite Cena’s reputation amongst older WWE fans, the MSG crowd went absolutely wild as he made his return to the squared circle. Cena would enter the match and end up winning sending himself to the main event of WrestleMania XXIV, a place where many feel like he belongs.
Number 4: The Hardyz come home to WWE
(WrestleMania 33, 2017)
When the New Day interrupted the start of the three-way tag match at WrestleMania 33 to make it a Fatal 4, no one in the crowd expected it to mark the return of one of the greatest tag teams in professional wrestling. The hosts of WrestleMania announced that another team would be joining the wrestlers in the ring and Kofi Kingston questioned the crowd asking “I wonder who this fourth team could possibly be?”. A few seconds went by as fans screamed at the top of their lungs who they thought the mystery tag team would be. All of a sudden the building erupted as Team Extreme came from the tunnel into view. Adding the Hardy Boyz to this ladder match was great booking as the Hardyz literally helped shape what we know as the modern ladder match today.
The Hardy Boyz put on a great show that evening and ended up recapturing the hearts of WWE fans and also ended the night with the titles around their waists.
Number 3: The Beast enters his old domain
(April 2, 2012)
When former NFL star Brock Lesnar made his televised debut in 2003, no one knew how dominant “The Beast Incarnate” would actually be. Lesnar made light work of his opponents in the ring and destroyed everyone that dared step foot in his path. It was shocking that at the height of his career, Lesnar left the WWE and transitioned over to the UFC where even in this new more physical environment Brock showed why he was so deserving of his nickname “The Beast”.
One Monday Night Raw Cena was cutting a promo when all of a sudden Lesnar’s music started to play followed by a monumental pop from the crowd. This was the first time we’d seen Lesnar back in the squared circle since WrestleMania XX. Brock made his way to the ring and stood to face Cena, he ushered out his hand for Cena to shake which John regrettably did. Lesnar then launched Cena up into the air and hit him with his pattened F5 as the crowd quite literally raised the roof off the building.
Number 2: The Ultimate Warrior saves Hogan
(WrestleMania VIII, 1992)
The crowd in Indiana thought Hulk Hogan was done for at WrestleMania VII as the Hulkster was dangerously wrapped up in the ropes. The brutish Sid Justice and Papa Shango were laying into Hogan and many in the crowd shouted every obscenity in the book at the two heels. This came after an intense match between Justice and Hogan where Hogan had picked up the win due to disqualification. The crowd watched in horror as the two men started to lay a beat down on Hogan. The world watched and no one in the locker room seemed to respond to Hogan’s needs when from out of nowhere Ultimate Warrior’s music started to play which was followed by an almighty roar from the Indiana crowd.
The Warrior ran down to the ring looking in tremendous shape to the aid of Hogan and clotheslined Papa Shango out of the ring. Justice came up behind the Warrior and hit him with a hard chair shot which the Warrior seemed to bat off like it was a fly. The Ultimate Warrior came to Hogan’s aid showing WWE fans, that like the Hulkster he was here to do business.
Number 1: Finally, the People’s Champ has returned
(February 14, 2011)
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that The Rock is one of the most electrifying athletes to ever wrestle for the WWE. The way The Rock could entice the crowd and have them hang on his every word was incredible, so it was no surprise when he finally made his way to Hollywood to star in movies. Some would feel bitter about this decision, but not WWE fans who always saw the full potential in The Great One.
When it was revealed that WrestleMania XXVII would have a mystery host, fans across the globe were speculating who it could be. They were enlightened when on an episode of Monday Night Raw it was revealed that the most electrifying man in all of sports entertainment was to host the event. When Rocky’s music kicked in fans were in utter shock as this was the first time The Rock had returned to WWE in seven years. There was an earth-shattering sound as he made his way to the ring to the delight of fans across the globe. Finally, The Rock had returned home to professional wrestling.
What was your favorite WWE return? Let us know in the comments down below!