From The Undertaker to The Hardy Boyz, Top 5 Shocking WrestleMania Returns

Published 04/02/2021, 7:30 AM EDT


WWE promotes WrestleMania as its flagship event. Considered as the “Super Bowl of Sports Entertainment,” the wrestlers who make it to the stage try to make an indelible impact on fans.

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Given the massive importance of the night, many superstars choose WrestleMania as their returning point to WWE. While doing so, they get maximum exposure. Here, we will look back at 5 of the most shocking returns in WrestleMania history.

#5 WrestleMania 32 – WWE Hall of Famers

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In a packed AT&T Stadium, The League of Nations (Rusev, Sheamus, and Alberto Del Rio) fought against the Tag Team Champions New Day. The former team won the match after their leader Wade Barrett (who was not in the match) attacked Xavier Woods while the referee was distracted.

Following the controversial win, Barrett boasted that no three men can beat the League of Nations. This resulted in WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, and ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin, coming down to the ring and teaching the heels a lesson in respect.

#4 WrestleMania 32 – John Cena

In the same event, WWE featured The Rock‘s last WWE match. He went up against Eric Rowan of the Wyatt Family and defeated him in a record six seconds time following a Rock Bottom.

Following the match, the Wyatt Family cornered and ambushed The Rock. However, one of Rock’s old enemies came through to rescue him. John Cena made a surprise return and helped The Rock defeat and drive off the Wyatt Family.

#3 WrestleMania VIII – The Ultimate Warrior

This return is special for multiple reasons. One year ahead of WrestleMania 8, The Ultimate Warrior got involved in a pay-dispute with Vince McMahon.

McMahon initially agreed to his demands but rejected them later. As per the 1991 suspension letter, Ultimate Warrior “threatened” WWE prior to SummerSlam. As Vince wrote, “You (Warrior) also threatened (that unless I met your demands) that you were going to ‘stay at home,’ not appearing at the numerous events which Titan (WWE’s parent company) has booked for you.”

This led to Warrior giving his resignation letter to the company. However, WWE refused to accept it and McMahon eventually contacted Warrior to return as another ‘face’ Hulk Hogan was also leaving.

Warrior returned at WrestleMania 8 to rescue Hogan from Sid Justice and Papa Shango. Warrior gained some creative control upon the return but was released in late-1992 over disputes.

#2 WrestleMania 20 – The Undertaker

At WM 20, Kane was scheduled to face his (storyline) brother Undertaker. Kane thought he buried alive “The Deadman” in a match with Vince McMahon. However, several supernatural events hinted that Undertaker was still alive.

Kane entered first during the WrestleMania match. In constant denial, he kept muttering, “You’re not coming back tonight. You’re not coming back, I buried you alive.”

However, Paul Bearer appeared with Undertaker’s trademark urn and a group of druids.

What followed was a surreal and supernatural event. With the arena lit in blue light, Bearer held out the urn and invoked the Undertaker. The Druids built a formation and held their lamps up.

Undertaker soon emerged in his ‘deadman persona,’ shaking Kane to his core. The Grim Reaper eventually defeated Kane and continued the streak at 12-0.

#1 WrestleMania 33 – The Hardy Boyz

In the event, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were supposed to defend the Raw Tag Team Championships against The Bar and Enzo Amore and Big Cass in a triple threat ladder match.

Before the match, the hosts of WM 33, New Day, announced that another team would join the fray, making it a fatal-four-way battle. While the fans believed New Day was going to enroll themselves, they instead heard familiar music. Hardy Boys made their grand return, and the crowd erupted.

The superstars and “creators” of ladder matches returned to WWE after eight years! Their return was the best-kept secret of WWE that year.

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Eventually, they retrieved the titles from the top of the ladder and secured a thumping victory. They became seven-time Tag Team champions, but it was the first time the iconic tag team held the RAW titles.

What are your favorite returns? Let us know in the comments below.

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Angana Roy

958 articles

Angana Roy is a WWE and AEW author for EssentiallySports, having published more than 800 professional wrestling articles. She is currently pursuing higher studies in English language and literature from the University of Calcutta and has over three years of experience in journalism. As a life-long fan of the sports entertainment brand of pro-wrestling, her work consists of live coverage of weekly shows, PPVs, speculating the future course of storylines and everything in between.

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