Returns in the WWE not only bring nostalgia, but they also impact storylines. Throughout history, the WWE Universe has witnessed some of the biggest returns. While some of them were unwelcomed, others were extremely cheered for by wrestling fans. For this piece, let’s rank the 10 biggest returns in WWE.
10. Trish Stratus and Lita: WWE Raw (2023)
Cardi B was surprised by Trish Stratus and Lita being on Raw pic.twitter.com/X3zMJhtCtx
— WrestlingWorldCC (@WrestlingWCC) February 28, 2023
Back in the day, Lita and Trish Stratus engaged in an intense rivalry in the divas division. However, that wasn’t the case in 2023. After Lita first returned to assist Becky Lynch against Damage Control, Lynch and Lita would lock horns with the faction for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. To even the numbers, Trish Stratus made her unexpected WWE return en route to a victory for Lynch and Lita.
9. Becky Lynch: SummerSlam (2021)
Becky Lynch Returns And Buries Bianca Belair. #SummerSlam pic.twitter.com/ia3KNdnUYY
— birlabmm (@birlabmm) August 22, 2021
After relinquishing the Raw Women’s Championship due to pregnancy, The Man made her triumphant return to SummerSlam. After replacing both Carmella and Sasha Banks to challenge Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship, The Man shocked the world by easily defeating the champion in just 26 seconds to regain her title.
8. Triple H: WWE Raw (2002)
Triple H was on a Tag Team Title reign with Stone Cold Steve Austin. However, in the midst of their title defense, Triple H suffered a bad injury, which was diagnosed as a tear in his left quadriceps muscle that sidelined The Game for eight long months. However, Triple H did return to an episode of Raw and to a wild stadium at Madison Square Garden. After his return, Triple H won the Royal Rumble that year before taking the Undisputed Championship away from Chris Jericho at Wrestlemania XVIII.
7. Roman Reigns: Summerslam (2020)
What is your opinion on Roman Reigns’ return at SummerSlam?#WWE #SmackDown #RomanReigns #WWEPayback pic.twitter.com/TOyMWbA0hM
— Owen @ WrestleNews365 (@365Wrestle) August 27, 2020
After battles against Leukemia, Roman Reigns took time off after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world, given that his immune system was compromised. However, in the main event of the SummerSlam 2020 pay-per-view, Reigns made his shocking return to attack Braun Strowman and The Fiend after their WWE Universal Title Match. Since then, The Tribal Chief has ruled the WWE to become Universal Champion for over 900 days and counting.
6. John Cena: Royal Rumble (2008)
Royal Rumble 2008, John Cena returns from a torn pectoral muscle. pic.twitter.com/zpm4bZ5MF2
— Wrestling Rent Free Spots (@WWERentFree) December 29, 2022
The Royal Rumble pay-per-view is often a bag full of surprises that features the potential returns of various superstars. In 2008, we got John Cena, who came back from a torn pectoral muscle. Entering as the 30th man, Cena won the entire Royal Rumble match to punch his ticket to the showcase of the immortals.
5. Edge: Royal Rumble (2020)
Edge making his return in the 2020 Royal Rumble will always be one of the loudest pops in WWE history pic.twitter.com/1FKz2r4FHl
— Alex Feuz (@AlexFeuz) January 15, 2023
Speaking of Royal Rumble returns, we last saw Edge retire from the squared circle due to a neck injury. But after a nine-year absence, the Rated-R Superstar shocked the world entering as the 21st entrant of the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in 2021. Edge eventually came out on top to secure a spot at Wrestlemania XXXVII.
4. Brock Lesnar: WWE Raw (2012)
After John Cena took a loss against The Rock at Wrestlemania XXVIII, no one expected that his next threat would come in the form of Brock Lesnar. Although The Beast Incarnate took a loss against Cena at Extreme Rules, he would become the next face of the sport since then. In his second WWE run, Lesnar has defeated the likes of Bobby Lashley, John Cena, Goldberg, Roman Reigns, and even ending The Undertaker’s sacred Wrestlemania streak.
3. The Rock: WWE Raw (2011)
A Moment in Black History: @TheRock returns to Monday Night Raw in 2011. His first appearance in seven years. #ASHOWBHM pic.twitter.com/lYTEoZYlTL
— The A Show on RNC RADIO (@TheAShowRNC) February 9, 2023
Seven years after leaving for Hollywood, The Rock made his triumphant return to the WWE in an episode of Raw in 2011. Since his second run, The Rock would electrify crowds and feud against John Cena, CM Punk, and many others. But more importantly, he would go on to main event Wrestlemania twice and even snagged his 10th WWE Championship.
2. Bray Wyatt: Extreme Rules (2022)
Bray Wyatt’s return to WWE was something special man! pic.twitter.com/eAow0O3twx
— Moments From Wrestling History (@wwrestlehistory) January 13, 2023
After tormenting the WWE locker room as the alpha of The Wyatt Family and The Fiend, Bray Wyatt was nowhere to be found in the WWE after losing the SmackDown Universal Championship to Goldberg at WWE SuperShowdown in 2020. But after more than a year of waiting, the WWE fans finally enjoyed the return of Wyatt, who is set to ensue chaos in the WWE again.
1. Cody Rhodes: Wrestlemania XXXVIII (2022)
Cody Rhodes – WWE WrestleMania 38
after almost 6 years away from a WWE ring, Cody finally made his return back to an enormous pop in the AT&T stadium. this was a new Cody, one who came back after making a name for himself and had the character to show for it. pic.twitter.com/a41b2CnR8s
— Avi (@AviJx2) February 23, 2023
After leaving the WWE due to the company’s plans for him, Cody Rhodes wrestled in other wrestling circuits for several years. Six years after his last appearance in the WWE, Rhodes finally made his long-awaited return to the WWE at Wrestlemania XXXVIII. At the Show of Shows, Rhodes successfully defeated Seth “Freakin” Rollins. Furthermore, he also won the Royal Rumble pay-per-view in 2023 to set a date against Roman Reigns for the Universal title.
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