WWE’s Most Memorable Surprise Entrances

1 weeks ago By Jhon Woug

Few things are more electrifying in the spectacle of professional wrestling than a surprise entrance. Typically, the stage set for this grand surprise is an event like the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, or any big episode of Raw or SmackDown. That entrance can come from a returning superstar to the company, debuting talent, or even a special guest. It usually rocks the WWE Universe. This article will delve into some of the most memorable surprise entrance moments in the WWE, focusing on their impact on the fans and the storylines.

Ultimate Warrior Returns at WrestleMania VIII – 1992
One of the initial times that ticket holders got their value for money through a surprise appearance act was the re-emergence of The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VIII.
The Ultimate Warrior had not been worked into a WWE program in a long while. His out-of-the-blue appearance after the Hulk Hogan-Sid Justice match not only whipped the entire HoosierDome into a frenzy but also regained tremendous momentum for his career and route to setting the entire scene for such surprise returns that would come in WWE.

The return of the Warrior was essential not so much because it would be a surprise in and of itself but because the man himself had an emotional bond with the audience. Larger than life and interlaced by enormous energies, the Ultimate Warrior had a charisma that was profoundly related and connected with the fan following, especially during the late ’80s and early ’90s golden time for WWE. It showed his lasting popularity and influence on the WWE Universe by making his return at WrestleMania VIII so highly anticipated. Chris Jericho debuts in WWE: 199

Not only did Chris Jericho debut on the August 9, 1999, episode of Raw, it was locked into one of the greatest surprise entrances one could make history in wrestling. Something that this buildup did so masterfully was with its “Countdown to the Millennium” clock, which finally reached zero during The Rock’s promo. Suddenly, Jericho’s music hit over the arena as he came racing out to a standing ovation of immense volume from the Chicago crowd.

Jericho’s debut marked the beginning of a Hall of Fame career with WWE and set the bar high for surprise debuts on their initial appearance. Jericho’s debut proved not only the charisma and in-ring ability of this man but also that WTO can make its fanbase eagerly await and get excited around a potentially huge. His coming in was characterized by the ” Countdown to the Millennium” countdown, which became synonymous with Jericho coming in and was helped, in part, by the surprise factor present for the debut. Followed by subsequent feuds and championship reigns, he was already among the top superstars in WWE during the Attitude Era.

John Cena Returns at the Royal Rumble 2008
John Cena’s return at the 2008 Royal Rumble is perhaps one of the shockers in the history of WWE. Cena was written out after tearing a pectoral muscle, with few expecting him back until months later. The opening chords of Cena’s entrance music started as the 30th entrant in the Royal Rumble match, and Madison Square Garden exploded in a cacophony of surprise and cheers. Cena went on to win the game and make one of the memorable surprise entrances into WWE history.

His return at the Royal Rumble was a testimony not only to his stupendous comeback but also to his enigma with the WWE Universe. With that return being so unpredictable for viewers living in the audience and for people watching from home, this moment topped the charts when it occurred and became one of the ultimate moments in WWE Royal Rumble history. Subsequent matches and championship wins elevated Cena to one of the top stars in 21st-century WWE.

Edge Returns at Royal Rumble (2020)
The Edge’s comeback at the Royal Rumble in 2020, following a nine-year absence from active competition due to a career-ending neck injury, was a real tear jerking moment for fans worldwide. In comes the music for Edge; the crowd there in Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas, is roaring.

The emotion on Edge’s face as he made his way to the ring captured the moment for what it was and how far he had come. More than anything, his return speaks volumes for his resilience and wildfire-like passion for professional wrestling.

Edge’s return came as a big surprise, coupled with reaching the feeling of another triumph of the human spirit and will. Fans who followed his career felt a strong resonance with his returning to WWE following a threatening injury. A new chapter in his career was guaranteed with Edge’s return in the Royal Rumble, at which he displayed the setting for momentous rivalries and matches to follow in future years.

The Hardy Boyz return at WrestleMania 33.
That is the moment no WWE fan will ever forget – The Hardy Boyz returning in WrestleMania 33. Tonight’s hosts, The New Day, revealed that they would now make the Raw Tag Team Championship Ladder Match a fatal four-way, with one more team added to the mix, when “The Hardy Boyz'” music hit the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, erupted. Matt and Jeff Hardy making their way to the ring is an echo of euphoria. What followed this was a victory in a match, attaining the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships for The Hardys in their first WWE match in close to a decade. In the tale of The Hardy Boyz making their stunning return at ‘WrestleMania 33,’ surprise easily meshed with nostalgia. The daredevil brothers, in their aerial antics, fast-wound the hands of time back to remind everybody why they were one of WWE’s most popular tag teams. Just great fanfare over the return of The Hardy Boyz, flooding the response both in the arena and on social media, attest to one point—that The Hardy Boyz are still powerful in terms of population and radiant impact in the history of the WWE tag team division.

AJ Styles Debuts at the Royal Rumble (2016)
AJ Styles’ WWE debut at the 2016 Royal Rumble was an anticipated moment for wrestling fans. Since Styles has been a megastar in other promotions like TNA and NJPW, his join-up with the WWE was colossal news and very much awaited. Next up was the music of Styles, and he entered to what arguably was the loudest pop of the night inside the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida: the third entrant into the Royal Rumble match. This debut was the beginning of his current success within the WWE.

The importance of Styles’ debut, besides being a world-class wrestler in WWE, spoke of something else; it represented an era in which wrestling globalized talent into the company. The extent to which he has evolved within WWE allows doors to open for others, compounded by how it adds to WWE’s global appeal.

His surprise entry into the Royal Rumble was the defining story in his career and confirmed the rabid popularity he received in many wrestling stages worldwide.

Brock Lesnar Returns On RAW 2012
Brock Lesnar returned to the WWE on the April 2, 2012, episode of Monday Night Raw, one night after WrestleMania 28. Again, this was shocking because John Cena was right about The Rock beating him when Lesnar’s music hit.

The Miami crowd erupted in cheers as Lesnar went down to the actual ring and hit Cena with an F5. Lesnar’s return was the drive to the second run at WWE, where he was hailed to be possibly the most dominating and feared superstar ever produced by the company. Heyman’s tease reads perfectly “Lesnar coming back on Raw packs more surprise and game-changing punch in a revised WWE landscape.” His fiery feud with Cena and successive feuds with other company top stars elevated WWE storytelling and slapped a new layer of unpredictability within that product. In those appearances, Brock Lesnar could always grab that spotlight for WWE and shape their continued ability to draw mainstream interest and create a buzz around the significant events.

Sting Debuts at Survivor Series (2014)
The entrance of Sting at Survivor Series 2014 is something that most wrestling fans have been hoping for for years. After a very illustrious career in WCW and TNA, he finally made his debut entrance into his WWE ring for the fan-favorite Survivor Series main event, pitting Team Cena against Team Authority.

The match was even and well-placed when suddenly, the music of Sting filled the arena in St. Louis, Missouri. He arrived ringside to attack Triple H and make sure the record for Team Cena would become permanent, etching himself in WWE history books forever.

The surprise entry of Sting into WWE was not simply a factor in the event; it was the pivotal factor in ensuring his historic appearance could cross all generations. His presence within WWE served as a reminder of legends and battles in WCW and TNA, fostering a new dimension into the storytelling capability of the WWE. His subsequent matches and appearances for WWE solidified his legendary status in professional wrestling, with more reasons confirming his place in the WWE Hall of Fame.

Shane McMahon Returns on Raw (2016)
Shane McMahon’s return to WWE on the February 22, 2016, episode was unbelievable—a brawl inside Hell in a Cell was signed against The Undertaker. Against superbly surly, never-at-a-loss-for-words Undertaker, the show steadily spread Wayne County into a rising parabolic splendor. Shane McMahon is, I say, back, back after seven years. ANCILLARYNESS: Shane’s return was exciting insofar as it portended the storyline of the Vince family.

It was Shane McMahon’s return to the WWE that took everyone by surprise and led to the creation of quite an exciting storyline as well. That led him to one of the most exciting matches to be talked about at WrestleMania 32: Shane’s altercation with The Undertaker and his daredevil actions inside Hell in a Cell to show his carelessness with his own body in consideration for a win in WWE.
Shane’s return that night to the arena was an essential moment in WWE history, and it embodied the timeless essence of the McMahon family in professional wrestling.

The Rock Returns to Host WrestleMania 27 (2011)
The moment it happened–when The Rock returned to pick up the hosting rights for WrestleMania 27–was one of those instances that just sends thrills through the fandom. It was announced that a particular guest host would be revealed on the February 14, 2011, episode of Raw for WrestleMania 27. The moment it hit, one of the loudest pops in WWE history erupted in the Anaheim crowd—that is until The Rock returned to set up his matches with John Cena at Wrestlemania 28 and 29. Then the house came down.

The guest host at WrestleMania 27 for WWE had a meaning of surprise and star power when The Rock appeared. His charisma was larger than life, flowed around every continent, and by being part of the event, picked up a little piece of Hollywood for WWE’s big jewel event. The magnitude of The Rock’s return sent a clear message regarding this new era in WWE. It demonstrated the ultimate ability on the part of the company to be once again noticed by mainstream audiences through unique guest shots and celebrity associations.

Goldberg’s Return on Raw (2016)
Just how much nostalgia came with Goldberg’s entrance on the October 17, 2016, episode of Raw in Denver, Colorado, and how the crowd went wild as his music hit. After 12 years of absence, Goldberg came out to the ring and accepted Brock Lesnar’s challenge for a match at Survivor Series. This was his return to scoop a dominant victory over Lesnar and a title run shortly after that that would capture the Universal Championship. Goldberg’s return to Raw was a monumental-double because of the shock value and for what it did as far as WWE storytelling. His rivalry with Lesnar rebooted a series that started back with their initial battle at WrestleMania 20. Goldberg defeating Lesnar at Survivor Series was nothing short of shocking to the WWE Universe. The gold standard in powerhouse excitement was making historic, epic returns, proving that WWE, indeed, could pounce. At the same time, the iron is hot to deliver those genuinely epic moments to its audience.

AEW Rampage 2021—The Return of CM Punk
Those ripples, recorded in Chicago, Illinois, were CM Punk’s return after seven years of absence from the ring. The reaction from the crowd, along with the heartfelt promo from Punk, has withstood being one of the most significant returns in the history of wrestling. In this, Punk’s return to professional wrestling was significant, resting among surprises and the aftermath caused by the industry. His willingness to get back into the ring after so many years ignited a fan craze from his WWE roots to other pursuits. With that, Punk made another chapter in his wrestling travels and cemented the stage for rivalries and future bouts at AEW. They can still feel his presence inside the world of professional wrestling, and with that, one of the most redefining moments remains his return.

In professional wrestling, surprise entrance is much like an age-old tradition, and WWE has mastered the art in its time of existence. The surprises these events have brought, through returns, debuts, and a lot of other guest appearances, are remarkable and electrifying for fans around the world. Those entrances—triumphant return talking about The Ultimate Warrior, to that teary-eyed comeback talking about Edge—startled the entire world, making them events that had and, in all likelihood, will continue to be inducted into history. While WWE continues to evolve, fans may always look forward to the next surprise set to send ripples through the WWE Universe.

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