Massive WWE stars and their goosebump-inducing returns.
For fans of the WWE, there is nothing quite like it when a superstar returns after a spell on the sidelines, particularly when it’s one of the bigger names.
With questions of whether CM Punk will return to the WWE and end his, so far, ill-fated stint in the UFC, and the impact that would have, we take a look at 9 comebacks that shook the industry.
Get ready to turn that volume up and relive these brilliant moments.
In no particular order…
Triple H (2002)
Out for a long period due to a horrific quad injury sustained in a bruising encounter, the start of HHH’s unplanned hiatus saw him cast as the most hated WWE star out there.
Fast forward several months, and Triple H’s return caused one of the biggest pops in the company’s history.
Nobody knew just how missed this guy was until he came back.
Clip via YouTube/WWE
The Game even admitted to breaking down in tears just moments after the cameras went off-air that night, such was the emotion of the whole occasion.
John Cena (2008)
Love him or hate him, John Cena gets people watching and talking and, to the WWE bigwigs, that’s all that matters.
The multiple-time WWE Champion shocked HHH and fans around the globe by returning as no. 30 at the 2008 Royal Rumble.
It’s all about the crowd’s reaction here, and you can tell how much it means to the man himself.
Clip via YouTube/WWE
Chris Jericho (2007)
Y2J was a defining feature in our list of best Attitude Era entrances, and this return from 2007 is right up there as well.
This JOE remembers the reaction around the place the days after this comeback, when Jericho so rudely and fantastically interrupted Randy Orton.
In hindsight, the reason was that it took us back to the glory years of the WW
Clip via YouTube/KTClol
Funnily enough, Jericho himself disagrees, stating in one of his many brilliant books that he was underwhelmed by this particular return.
We’re not having that, Chris.
Brock Lesnar (2012)
It’s often said that the best bands can stay perfectly still when performing in front of a live audience and still cause uproar; Brock Lesnar is the wrestling version of this.
Lesnar has never been much of a talker and his only real signature outside-of-the-ring action is the little shimmy he does.
However, fans went into a state of delirium when Brock cut John Cena’s promo short here to return to the WWE.
“Holy sh*t! Holy sh*t!”
Clip via YouTube/Iby786OFFICIAL
Bret Hart (2010)
The best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be shocked fans in one of the worst ways when recently revealing his cancer diagnosis.
Bret Hart is an indisputable icon of the WWE and his comeback to Raw in 2010 after 12 years away was one of the most celebrated moments in quite some time.
Set to the backdrop of the infamous Montreal Screwjob involving Shawn Michaels, The Hitman had a lot to say on his return.
Clip via YouTube/Rate,Comment,Subscribe
We wish him the best in his recovery.
Before he, or whoever makes the decisions, decided to de-mask and taint the whole illusion, Kane was on the most feared and intriguing wrestlers in the company.
This return was right in the middle of that time; the pomp of the Attitude Era.
Combined with the presence of Paul Bearer, this was an excellent return, summed up by the huge noise levels when The Big Red Machine’s music dropped.
Clip via YouTube/BOD22 (aka SevenFootMonster22)
The Rock (2011)
My word, this only seems like yesterday and that’s because it was genuinely one of the best returns in wrestling folklore.
The Rock had made intermittent appearances since leaving the WWE in 2003, but there was nothing to compare to this.
Returning as the host of that year’s Wrestlemania and promising that he would never leave the company again (a statement that has repeatedly bitten him since), this return did the business wonders.
Fans of the long departed Attitude Era got wind of this and, for a fleeting moment, the WWE was back.
Just listen to the audience when his music stops and he’s about to start speaking.
Clip via YouTube/Single Link Wrestling videos
Vince McMahon (2000)
He was almost always the main heel, spoiling all the fun as the dastardly owner, but this was one of the rare occasions where Vince was the hero.
Just when it looked like The Rock was outnumbered by The Big Show and a crooked referee in Shane McMahon, Vince showed up… to spoil all their fun!
This time, the fans couldn’t get enough of it.
Triple H and Stephanie’s backstage reaction was over-acting theatre at its finest.
Clip via YouTube/jjhhaarrddyy
*Stone Cold Steve Austin (back to being old Stone Cold) (2001)
The inspiration behind this list and the standout comeback that wasn’t technically a return.
Stone Cold had stunned WWE fans by infamously selling out to Vince McMahon at Wrestlemania earlier that year.
Austin was seen as the cowardly heel at this stage, so when the Alliance were outnumbering the WWF guys in the ring, there was only one man who could save them.
This is the definition of clearing house and a clip that is endlessly entertaining.
Just look how absolutely wrecked Austin is at the end of this tour de force.
Clip via YouTube
We’re just tipping the iceberg here, so let us know what returns got you going by sending your suggestions to our WhatsApp number 087-4001102, [email protected] or by hitting us up on Facebook or Twitter.