Top 10 iconic comebacks in WWE history

Larger-than-life personalities and dramatic moments form the essence of WWE and they make it even more exciting for its fans. Let's delve into the most iconic comebacks in WWE history.

Harsh Adwani
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Iconic comebacks in WWE history (source: X)

Iconic comebacks in WWE history (source: X)

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Larger-than-life personalities and dramatic moments form the essence of WWE and they make it even more exciting for its fans. WWE is a dynamic place where retirements and comebacks are a part and parcel of this sport. In WWE, there's a popular saying, “Never say Never,” which gives hope to the fans that their favourite celebrities who have either retired prematurely or have moved on to something else in their lives will again make a comeback in the arena with a bang. It's not just a passing wish as we have seen many astonishing comebacks in the rich history of WWE.

Let's delve into the top 10 most iconic comebacks in WWE history:

10) Kevin Nash – 2002

Kevin Nash – 2002

Kevin Nash, with Scott Hall, left WWE in 1996 in pursuit of a better opportunity as he received a lucrative offer from the opposite WCW promotion. There, he formed the dangerous ‘New World Offer’ along with Scott Hall and Hulk Hogan.

But after the failure of WCW in 2001, Kevin Nash came back to the WWE at the No Way Out pay-per-view. His comeback to the WWE was successful as he enjoyed a good fight with Triple H and Chris Jericho.

9) Bret Hart – 2010

Bret Hart – 2010

Bret Hart had to leave the WWE in 1997 after the Montreal Screwjob during Survivor Series. He then joined the WCW but had to retire from there too, in the year 2000 after suffering a concussion during a fight.

The Hall of Famer was out of the scene for ten years but made an exciting comeback in 2010. Bret's comeback proved to be a dramatic one. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, who used to be enemies (had a feud), finally became friends (buried the hatchet). But then, Bret got mad again at Vince McMahon, the owner of WWE, because Vince tricked him back in 1997. At WrestleMania, the biggest wrestling event of the year, Bret finally got his payback and beat Vince easily.

8) Shane McMahan – 2016

Shane McMohan – 2016

Shane McMohan bid adieu to WWE in 2009 as he went on to become the CEO of YOU On Demand. But to everyone’s surprise, McMohan made a surprising comeback in 2016 when he interrupted an award function featuring his sister Stephanie and father Vince.

After his comeback, Vince went on to have a successful three-year tenure with WWE where he indulged in mouth-watering clashes with Undertaker and AJ Styles. McMahon was even appointed as the commissioner of SmackDown Live in 2016, where he played a pivotal role in elevating younger talents while engaging in a high-quality feud with Kevin Owens.

7) The Rock – 2012

The Rock – 2012

The Rock was a WWE superstar, but he left the company to make a career in Hollywood and ended up being one of the biggest movie stars. Post his success in the movie industry, he made some odd appearances in the WWE arena, but his comeback in 2012 was a significant one.

The Rock’s official entry in WWE was in WrestleMania 27, where he was made the host of the event. He then, to everyone’s delight, also made a comeback in the ring, where he took on John Cena in the main events of WrestleMania 28. He even won the WWE championship upon his return, beating CM Punk and ending his 434-dau reign.

6) Daniel Bryan – 2018

Daniel Bryan – 2018

Daniel Bryan suffered multiple concussions and brain lesions, which coerced him to leave WWE after a doctor’s advice. He was then made the GM of SmackDown Live in 2016, but his perseverance and never-say-die attitude didn’t allow him to give up as he kept training. He finally came back to WWE in 2018 after getting all the approvals from the doctors.

5) Chris Jericho – 2007 & 2016

Chris Jericho – 2007 & 2016

Chris Jericho's tryst with WWE has been a special one. He retired from WWE in 2006 only to make a comeback a year later in 2007 after going on to achieve greater heights in his career post the comeback. Post 2007, he won three World Heavyweight Championships and even formed a tag team with Big Show.

He surprisingly left WWE in 2010 to work with Fuzzy and then made again made a comeback after a hiatus of 7 years in 2017. Again, he managed to make a great comeback and helped many new talents in their journey.

Also Read: Top 5 Most Emotional Retirement Moments in WWE History

4) Ric Flair – 2001

Ric Flair – 2001

Ric Flair, also known as "The Nature Boy", wrestled for WWE for a short time in the early 90s before leaving for another wrestling company (WCW) for many years. In 2001, to everyone's surprise, Flair came back to WWE, but this time as a co-owner! (WWE had just bought WCW).

 This time around with WWE, Flair had a lot of exciting moments. He teamed up with Triple H to form a famous group called Evolution, along with other wrestlers. He even won a championship title with Batista! Later in his career, Flair helped younger wrestlers become more famous. Finally, he retired from WWE after a very emotional and memorable match against Shawn Michaels.

3) Brock Lesnar – 2012

Brock Lesnar – 2012

After trying his hand at football and leaving WWE in 2004, Brock Lesnar returned with a bang in 2012! He came back strong by attacking John Cena, showing everyone he was back in business.

This comeback was a huge win for WWE. Lesnar became a superstar attraction, bringing in lots of money for the company. He filled a big role as a main wrestler while other big names like Undertaker and John Cena started wrestling less often. Lesnar even won championships and did something many thought impossible: he beat the Undertaker at the famous WrestleMania event, although some people were upset about it.

2) Hulk Hogan – 2002

Hulk Hogan – 2002

Hulk Hogan left WWE in 1993 and went to WCW in 1994. This was a big deal for WCW because Hogan became a bad guy (heel) and started a new wrestling group called the nWo. WCW became much more popular with Hogan around. He stayed with WCW until 2000 when WWE bought WCW.

Almost ten years later, Hogan made a surprising return to WWE with his nWo buddies. He had a big match against The Rock and then turned bad again! This time, he got to wrestle against all the top stars in WWE, something he couldn't do before in WCW. It was like a dream come true for many fans.

1) Shawn Michael - 2002


Shawn Michaels, also known as "The Heartbreak Kid", had to retire in 1998 because of a bad back injury. He still showed up at WWE events sometimes, but then, in 2002, he made a big comeback! This unexpected return gave him eight more years of wrestling, which is amazing!

During this comeback, he got his old wrestling team, D-Generation X, back with his friend Triple H, not once, but twice! He also had two unforgettable matches against The Undertaker, considered some of the best in WWE history. Even though he lost both matches and had to retire again afterwards, these extra years let Shawn Michaels add even more incredible moments to his already legendary wrestling career.