Wrestling Gold: 7 Of The Very Best And Most Dramatic WWE Returns

Jeremy Fullam
By Jeremy Fullam
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Wrestling towards the end of the nineties and early naughties was a thing of beauty. I can remember staying up late every Thursday night to watch the screening of Monday Night Raw where Stone Cold, Triple H and The Rock threw their weight around for our enjoyment.

Arguably one of the most exciting parts of old school wrestling was the sensational returns from superstars who'd been on the sidelines for so long they'd almost be forgotten.

Their resurrection was always so unexpected that the crowd inevitably went completely apeshit as did ring announcers, Jerry the King Lawlor and Jim Ross who struggled to contain themselves at the best of times.

Here's six of wrestling returns which are guaranteed to send a shiver down your spine, pick your favourite below.

John Cena Royal Rumble 2008

I understand this one sits outside the golden era of wrestling but I felt Cena deserved to be on the list as the biggest superstar of the post attitude era, plus it's an incredible return.

Cena suffered a horrendous injury months previous where he tore his pectoral muscle completely off his chest resulting in over a year on the sidelines. However he somehow recovered months ahead schedule and made an epic return as the last entrant of the Royal Rumble in 2008, fair to say the crowd was shocked, as was everyone around the world.


Stone Cold Backlash 2000


Wrestling had its very own who shot JR moment in 1999 when Stone Cold was 'ran over' in cold blood moments before a title fight at Survivor Series.

The Texas Rattlesnake then spent months recuperating from a (real) neck injury he'd suffered prior to the crash before making a thrilling return to backlash in 2000.


In the main event between Triple H and the Rock Vince McMahon was busy trying to screw The Rock out of the title before the entire crowd heard the glass shatter for Austins entrance music. He ensured McMahon got what he deserved and the Rock reclaimed his title.

In the months that followed a soap opera esque enquiry was launched into who ran over Stone Cold, many suspects were thought to be guilty but in true WWF fashion it was someone completely random, Rikishi.

Matt Hardy 2005

This one makes the list because unlike all the other story lines, it's real. Matt Hardy had been dating well known diva Lita for a short period in the show but the two were also long term partners in real life, until Edge came along.

Lita proceeded to have an affair with Edge behind Hardy's back and the two eventually fell out, Hardy was later sacked by WWE.


However following an online petition to re-instate him Hardy made an appearance months later, attacking Edge backstage and brandishing Lita a "whore". He was eventually escorted out of the building yelling "screw the WWE".


Ever the opportunist Vince McMahon realised he had something to gain from Hardy and officially re-instated him, he also gave Hardy the mic to explain his situation. The tag team specialist didn't hold back when talking about Edge and Lita as he went completely off script to let the fans know what had been going on.

The Undertaker Judgement Day 2000

When The Undertaker had been "fired" by Vince McMahon towards tail end of 1999 , he actually needed time off to recover from a serious injury.


As with any injured wrestler The Undertaker soon became the forgotten man and The Rock and Triple H took centre stage.

The two were engaged in an iron man match at Judgement day some nine months later when a trio of creepy children appeared on the screen halfway through, if that wasn't weird enough the Undertaker emerged soon after dressed as a biker, better yet he was on a freaking bike too.

He proceeded to make his way into the ring where carnage ensued.


Triple H 2002

Triple H famously tore his quadricep muscle right of the bone during a match in early 2001, despite the injury being potentially career ending he continued the fight and immediately spent a long period out of the ring after. He spent eight months out and missed out on the whole Invasion saga which dominated wrestling at the turn of the century.

Always known for being a heel during the Attitude era, Triple H's return was so huge that it was impossible for him to return as anything but a face as fans had been following his recovery the whole time.

The Rock 2002

The great thing about this return (aside from the fact that it features the Rock) is that it was a genuine surprise to everyone, supposedly Vince McMahon too. Back in the days when social media wasn't around these kind of things couldn't be predicted so the shock of everyone in the audience is very much genuine.

Fans and Vince McMahon were waiting in anticipation of Stone Cold before The Rock's entrance music dropped. The roof soon lifted off the arena and the commentators could hardly contain themselves.

The Dudley Boyz 2015

The WWE hit a home-run when they decided to give the fans what they wanted and restore The Dudley Boyz to Monday Night Raw.

When Bubba-Ray and D-Von made their way to the ring, the crowd absolutely lost their minds, and the magic of the Attitude Era glory days was back for that brief moment.

Social Media exploded, and with good reason, and The Dudleys showcased all of their classic moves and put on an absolute clinic in how to entertain a crowd. What a performance, what a return.

Related:Watch: Seth Rollins Didn't Disappoint Dublin Fans After Serious Knee Injury

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