With the anticipation for each Royal Rumble comes the excitement for which surprise entrants might emerge from the curtain to make their return for the big event. From old legends to current superstars who have been on the shelf with injuries, the Rumble has delivered some of the most memorable returns in WWE history.
Names like Sgt. Slaughter, Rob Van Dam, and Kurt Angle have all made memorable returns, but we've found the 5 greatest returns in Royal Rumble history! Let us know which was your all time favorite in the comments below.
5. Diesel 2011
Some Royal Rumble surprises catch you by surprise and you end up popping for someone that would have likely not excited you as much if they had been previously advertised. Such was the case in 2011, when Kevin Nash returned as Diesel during the 2011 Royal Rumble match. When Big Daddy Cool's theme song hit, the crowd surprisingly went nuts. Even Matt Striker on commentary voiced what many fans were thinking as he had to stop himself from completing an on-air "Holy s—!"
While Diesel was a former WWE champion, his WCW and later WWE run as Big Sexy Kevin Nash was the character most fans like to remember him by.prevnext
4. Chris Jericho 2013
One of the great moments of every Rumble is when the first two entrants are introduced. The build up of months of anticipation finally come to a head when those first two stars enter the ring. When Dolph Ziggler entered the 2013 match as the first participant, fans went nuts when Jericho's music hit to signal he was entering as number two. This played off perfectly, as Ziggler had beaten Jericho five months earlier, a match in which Jericho had put his WWE contract on the line.
While Jericho comes and goes as he pleases these days, when he left in 2012 there was no sense that he would be back in time for the Rumble.prevnext
3. Edge 2010
Edge had suffered a torn Achilles tendon during a July 2009 house show, which made his entry into the 2010 Royal Rumble a HUGE surprise. Not only did Edge make a shocking return, but he won the Royal Rumble match and eventually challenged his former tag team partner Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Returning legends are always a great surprise for the Rumble, but an unexpected return from an injury is a great way to pick an unexpected winner.prevnext
2. John Cena 2008
The final entrent in the 2008 Royal Rumble was a complete shock to the WWE Universe. After suffering a torn pectoral muscle in October 2007, John Cena made it back only three months later to win the 08 Rumble. What made it best was that literally no one saw it coming. Cena, who had been the height of his "Cena Sucks" was even able to win over the smarky New York crowd with his unexpected return.
Cena's surprising comeback alerted the WWE universe that the Super Cena moniker was more than just a nickname.prevnext
1. AJ Styles 20160comments
After AJ Styles finished up his amazing run in New Japan as the leader of the Bullet Club, there was a lot of speculation that he was on his way to the WWE. Many skeptics thought AJ would never be treated the way he deserved after being viewed as a TNA Wrestling guy for so long. In the 2016 Royal Rumble match, fans were blown away when not only did AJ debut, but that he was walking down the ring at number three to face off with the WWE's top dog, Roman Reigns.
While Styles did not win his first Rumble, his placement and placement in the match was a sign to the WWE Universe that they were in for a Phenomenal year!prev