Check out this exciting list featuring the best returns in the history of WWE as provided by WWE.com;
10. Edge, Survivor Series 2007
A Hell in a Cell Match is specifically designed to lock out would-be intruders as the only men allowed inside its chilling confines are the competitors, a referee and a few ringside cameramen. This did not prevent Edge from making his dramatic return to WWE at Survivor Series 2007 after a four-month layoff to heal an injury.
In the height of a brutal Hell in a Cell showdown, The Undertaker leveled World Heavyweight Champion Batista with a Tombstone onto the steel steps. However, before The Deadman could pin The Animal, Edge – disguised as a camera man – pulled the referee out of the ring and attacked The Phenom, costing him the title in the process!
Edge soon revealed to the world that he and SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero were an item and this power couple ruled the roost on Friday nights for years to come. However, The Phenom would not be denied retribution for Edge’s sinister actions, and gave the Rated R-Superstar his overdue comeuppance at WrestleMania XXIV.
9. Ric Flair, Monday Night Raw 11/19/01
While 16-time World Champion Ric Flair is one of the most beloved Superstars in the history of WWE, many might not realize he had only spent a year and a half with WWE -September 1991 through February 1993 – prior to the demise of WCW. This made Flair’s return in 2001 after eight years in a rival promotion all the more exciting.
On that night, “The Nature Boy” interrupted Mr. McMahon and Kurt Angle as The Chairman was prepared to strip “Stone Cold” Steve Austin of his WWE Title and award it to Angle after the Olympian had helped WWE defeat the invading Alliance at Survivor Series.
In front of his hometown fans in Charlotte, N.C., Flair reminded the WWE CEO that Shane and Stephanie McMahon sold their shares of WWE to a consortium prior to them purchasing WCW and ECW. To The Chairman’s utter shock, Flair revealed that the consortium was in fact Flair himself, making him co-owner of WWE with Mr. McMahon! Can somebody say, WOOOOO!
8. The Undertaker, SummerSlam 1994
One could make a list consisting strictly of The Phenom’s greatest returns to WWE considering the innumerable times he has seemingly risen from the grave. Still, The Undertaker’s most epic return was 20 years ago at Summerslam when he found himself face-to-face with ﾅ The Undertaker?
The Phenom disappeared from WWE after being locked in a burning casket at Royal Rumble in 1994 by Yokozuna. After months of speculation on The Deadman’s whereabouts, The Million Dollar Man claimed that he had brought The Undertaker back- under his control. However, the longtime manager of The Demon of Death Valley, Paul Bearer, disputed DiBiase’s claim. As a result, Summerslam would see the true Undertaker rise again to dispose of the imposter. Now, whenever funeral bells toll at a WWE event, there’s no question who is about to make a chilling entrance.
7. Bret Hart, Monday Night Raw 01/04/10
If a WWE fan in the late ’90s compiled a list of Superstars least likely to return to WWE, Bret Hart’s name would undoubtedly be at the top, due to the dubious circumstances of Survivor Series 1997.
Nonetheless, a dozen years later, the impossible came true. But that wasn’t the half of it. After reminiscing on some of his fondest WWE memories, the “Hit Man” got down to brass tacks and asked longtime adversary Shawn Michaels to meet him face-to-face in the ring. And in a moment that left the WWE Universe absolutely speechless, HBK and Hart embraced, burying the hatchet in an emotional scene of genuine respect.
Hart’s reconciliation with Mr. McMahon was hardly as sentimental as the rivals battled in an ugly bout at WrestleMania XXVI.
6. Brock Lesnar, Monday Night Raw 04/02/12
After falling short in a landmark main event match against The Rock at WrestleMania XXVIII, John Cena swallowed his pride the following night on Raw and asked for The Great One to come to the ring and accept his congratulations.
Instead, Cena found himself face to face with a rock with a capital B. Brock Lesnar – a Superstar who had not been seen in a WWE ring since 2004 – suddenly made his way to the squared circle. The Beast Incarnate did not need to say a word in this memorable return. One declarative F5 to the Cenanation leader was enough to send the WWE Universe into a frenzy and set the stage for a brutal showdown between the two at Extreme Rules.
5. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Backlash 2000
A mysterious and unexplained parking lot hit-and-run sidelined “Stone Cold” Steve Austin for six full months. The Texas Rattlesnake’s absence from the main event created a void that Triple H was able to fill with the backing of the devious McMahon family.
When The Game defended his WWE Championship against The Rock at Backlash 2000, the numbers game looked to favor the McMahon-Helmsley faction against The Great One. With the referee knocked out, The Rock was all but finished after a series of steel chair shots from a craven Mr. McMahon.
That was until the sound of glass shattering echoed throughout the arena and “Stone Cold” returned. Austin’s arrival could not have been more impactful – both literally and figuratively. The Texas Rattlesnake quickly made up for lost time, blasting Triple H, Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Shane McMahon and Mr. McMahon with savage chair shots, allowing The People’s Champion to hit The People’s Elbow on Triple H to win the WWE Title.
4. John Cena, Royal Rumble 2008
A workhorse like John Cena – who lives by the creed of Hustle, Loyalty and Respect – is always willing to fight through an injury. However, when Cena sustained a pectoral tear in a match in October 2007, it carried with it the grim diagnosis of an expected seven-month rehabilitation period.
Someone must have forgotten to tell Cena that, though. To the pure astonishment of WWE Superstars, medical professionals and the capacity crowd at Madison Square Garden, the heroic Cenation leader emerged as the No. 30 entrant of the Royal Rumble Match in January 2008, less than three months into the projected seven-month hiatus.
Cena didn’t just make a cameo in the match – he won the whole damn thing and punched his ticket to the title match at WrestleMania XXIV. This quick return is perhaps the hallmark of Cena’s persona: a never-say-die mentality and an uncanny ability to defeat the odds no matter how seemingly insurmountable.
3. Triple H, Monday Night Raw 01/07/02
After a severe rupture of his left quadriceps tendon on Monday Night Raw in 2001 put Triple H into surgery and on the shelf for eight months, the inimitable Game made a much-anticipated return to Raw at The Most Famous Arena in the World, Madison Square Garden.
While The Cerebral Assassin may have been reviled by the WWE Universe when he left, WWE fans showered the former WWE Champion with thunderous adoration. The King of Kings Motorhead-infused march to the ring generated one of the most electric moments in the history of WWE.
Triple H went on to win the Royal Rumble Match before beating Chris Jericho at WrestleMania X8 to capture the Undisputed WWE Title, coating his glorious comeback in championship gold.
2. Ultimate Warrior, WrestleMania VIII
After pinning the immortal Hulk Hogan to capture the WWE Championship at WrestleMania VI, Ultimate Warrior became one of the most renowned Superstars of the early 1990s. However, despite his incredible momentum, the intense competitor departed the company a little more than a year later.
The Warrior’s lengthy absence set up one of the biggest surprise returns in the history of sports-entertainment. At WrestleMania VIII, as Hogan was on the receiving end of a two-on-one beat down at the hands of Sid Justice and Papa Shango – in what was the only WrestleMania main event to end via DQ -Warrior came charging out of the back of the Indianapolis Hoosier Dome to aid The Hulkster in an unforgettable moment at The Showcase of the Immortals.
1. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Monday Night Raw 02/14/11
When The Rock was revealed as the mystery special guest host for WrestleMania XXVII, it was the culmination of nearly a decade of eager anticipation from the passionate WWE faithful.
Stepping through the ropes before the uncontrollable frenzy of millions ﾅ and millions of The Rock’s fans, The Great One announced that FINALLY he had returned “home.” The Rock then laid the foundation of what would become an iconic rivalry with John Cena while spouting an electrifying barrage of quotable catchphrases.
Over the next 14 months, The People’s Champion defeated CM Punk for the WWE Championship and headlined two WrestleManias against the Cenation leader. Now that’s how you make a return.
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