8 WWE Superstars Whose Returns Would Shock You Silly
Shane McMahon has returned to WWE. Who could’ve predicted that? Well, I did. Albeit about 30 seconds before his music hit (go check Twitter – there’s proof), but did so entirely as a joke. The crowd reaction for his surprise arrival was deafening and the boss’s son was visibly overwhelmed by the the monster pop. The announcement of his match with the Undertaker was arguably an even bigger surprise, partially because it makes little to zero sense. That’s another argument for another column. Rather than criticise the bizarre storyline logic here, I thought it’d be more fun to imagine other unexpected comebacks that the audience could never predict. I’m not talking about inevitable returns from injury, Jericho coming back for his 2 billionth run or any of the other part-time performers who show up with any regularity. The Rocks, the Shawn Michaels, the Steve Austins, the Brett Harts of this world cameo every once in a while, and it’s awesome, but there’s an element of frequency to these appearances. Shane O’Mac has been entirely offscreen, with barely even a mention of his name, since 2009, and legit left the company to pursue business elsewhere. Rather surprisingly in this Internet era, rumours about his return didn’t even seem to circulate. So out of anyone previously employed by WWE, who else could generate the sort of reaction afforded to Shane, and who would provide a similar shock?
They say “never say never” in the wrestling business. But will CM Punk return to WWE? Never. Which would make this the most obvious shock on the list. If this were ever to be within the realms of possibility, it would have to happen in an outdoor stadium, because the roof would not only be blown off, but exploded out of the earth’s atmosphere and torpedoed into the neighbouring solar system. Shane’s pop was loud, but this would break the limit of all known decibel counters, and understandably so. Combining Punk’s acrimonious departure from the company, his natural talent on the microphone and the fact that he is one of the best workers of recent years would leave the WWE Universe flabbergasted by his mere presence. In fact, maybe the reaction wouldn’t be loud… Maybe it’d be dead silent, as the tens of thousands of people in attendance would stare slack jawed, bewildered and refusing to believe their lying, lying eyes.
It turns out that violently racist rants and sex tapes can disenchant your employers. Who’d have thought? Pretty much the most iconic wrestler in history was not immune to being entirely shunned by the sport he made famous, and rightfully so. Props to WWE for distancing themselves from the Hulkster. Although an ageing mess, he’s still a bankable star, and it’s a credit to them that no-one can be spared punishment for a heinous crime, no matter who they are. Public opinion of the red and yellow bedecked icon has diminished significantly, so while the reaction to a reappearance likely wouldn’t reach the levels of Punk or Shane McMahon, the shock level would be off the chart. It would represent a u-turn in policy, making it, at least for the near future, utterly unfeasible.
This would mainly be a shock because there’s no way in this PG Era that WWE would associate itself with someone who’s had as many men inside her as a well used naval submarine. The Ninth Wonder Of The World should be a Hall Of Famer, Triple H has himself commented as such, but her career post WWE has involved a little too much, well, cock. Chyna set new boundaries for female performers and would no doubt receive an incredible reaction from the long term audience, combined with bemused gasps from newer fans at her sheer size. Storyline wise, it’d be a great time for her to make an impact with the deepened pool of female talent. She could happily state that the competition is stronger than when she was around so she wants to test herself. Whatever the reasoning, her return would have people marking out left, right and centre.
The Hardy Boyz
There’s constantly rumours about the Hardy Boyz returning to WWE. Matt Hardy is currently, and almost inexplicably, the TNA champ, and Jeff has also resigned with the same company, so while they’ll surely pop up at some point in the future for a Dudley Boy-esque nostalgia explosion, it won’t be any time soon. Nostalgia is a powerful tool in the wrestling business, and their part in the making of the phenomenal TLC matches will always be fondly remembered. Let’s face it, the crowd would lose their minds at a combined return, but Team Xtreme are loose cannons. There’s less tolerance for idiocy in WWE these days. Just ask Titus O’Neil. Their history of drug related issues, drink related issues, bare-faced lunacy related issues and weird social media rants or fake suicide notes have probably already hindered any mooted reunion. That’s not even to mention Matt and his wife being arrested for assaulting each other. That’s hilarious. If WWE chose to pull the trigger and managed to keep it under wraps, their return would stun like an Austin finisher.
When the Dudleys needed aid to take on the Wyatt Family, I would’ve bet my left arm on Spike Dudley sprinting full speed down the ramp. Luckily, I didn’t take that action and am still able to type with both hands. Instead, we got a disappointing Rhyno / Tommy Dreamer combo. Since Bubba and D’Von’s seemingly pointless heel turn, the need for the runt of the Dudley litter has diminished, unless he’s brought in to quell their new found anger. Spike would certainly spark a pop of impressive proportions.
Granted, this is an unlikely entry. Sure, I considered Shelton Benjamin and John Morrison, Steve Blackman and Raven, but it was The Big Valbowski who was my biggest guilty pleasure during the Attitude Era. He just entertained the bejesus out of me. The grizzled uttering of “Hello ladies” is all I’d need to mark out to the point of seizure. While the majority may not quite feel the same way, he’d garner at least a sizeable cheer. He’s a Superstar that just doesn’t seem to come up in conversation often. His name isn’t ever really mentioned in any major context, so seeing him twitch the curtain would be a surprise merely because of his mid to lower card status. Said status likely wouldn’t necessitate the need for a storyline or a match, but popping in as a Rumble entrant or even just to say hello would butter my toast.
Who’d expect Tazz? Absolutely frickin’ no-one. His WWE run didn’t exactly set the world alight, but the Human Suplex Machine inspired a cult following in his ECW days. He became an engaging commentator when injuries forced him out of the ring and he no longer calls matches for TNA so is technically a free agent. It’d put a smile on a few faces to have him strut down the aisle in a sharp suit splashed with orange, even if only to lay out Byron Saxton and show him how it’s done for the night.
Oh god, imagine. Fans have been clamouring for an Angle return since the day he left, which is, alarmingly, a decade ago. Hearing those trumpets sound and the synth playing those notes we loved to chant to would no doubt bring tears of joy and screams of ecstasy. An unmatched in ring performer and oozing with charisma, if the Olympic Gold Medalist doesn’t become a Hall Of Famer then I’m afraid the Hall Of Fame is broken. It’ll surely only be a matter of time until he’s inducted and when that day comes, we shall rejoice. For now, Angle is a free agent after spending the best part of ten years staying foolishly loyal to TNA, so the door is open. Hopefully he’ll march right through it.
Tags: Break The Walls Down, Chyna, CM Punk, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Shane McMahon, Spike Dudley, tazz, The Hardy Boyz, Val Venis