From Sting to Brock Lesnar, Top 10 Biggest WWE Returns of Last Decade

Published 12/30/2020, 7:43 AM EST

As the decade draws to a close, we look back at how much WWE has grown and the new Superstars that have emerged to replace the old ones. 


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However, sometimes a little help from the veterans is much appreciated, and the crowd never tires of seeing their favorite stars back in the ring. Here is a list of the Top-10 returns of the decade that shook the ring to its core. 


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‘The Rated-R Superstar’ was written off completely from a possible return years after his retirement. Following a triple fusion neck surgery, fans made peace with the fact that they may never see Edge in the ring again.

However, the former WWE Champion shocked the world by making an explosive return at Royal Rumble 2020, which achieved one of the loudest crowd pops in the history of WWE. 

Although he is currently recovering from an injury, Edge managed to crack out two big matches against Randy Orton. Fans await his next return, which is bound to be another spectacle of a moment.


After a loss to Seth Rollins for the WWE Championship, fans assumed Sting’s role in WWE had come to an end. Considering his age, we believed that Sting was just a one-time attraction. 

To everyone’s amazement, ‘The Icon’ made a big return on Raw, hiding under the veil of Seth Rollins’ statue display. The mere presence of the WCW legend was enough to give fans the chills. 

Although his performance wasn’t as good as it used to be a decade ago, Sting managed to give us a great match at WrestleMania against Triple H and ended his career at WWE as one of the most respected Superstars.


Goldberg may not be as much a fan favorite as he was after he took out “The Fiend” at Super Showdown this year. However, his return to WWE for the first time in 12 years was met with a large reception. 

The “Gooollddbeerrgg” chants echoed through the corridors of the arena as the WCW legend made his way to the ring. Breaking the barriers of age, Goldberg challenged Brock Lesnar himself to a fight.

Needless to say, ‘The Iconic’ made short work of the most dominant Superstar in WWE at the time. Goldberg ended Brock Lesnar to become the WWE Universal Champion and proved that he had more than just one last Jackhammer. 

4.The Rock 

The Rock had many explosive returns to WWE, but none matched the gravity of his return to feud with John Cena! In one of the biggest dream matches of them all, ‘The Chosen One’ came back to show Cena how to run the place. 

Being a heel, Cena managed to do his part and built the stage for a massive showdown at WrestleMania. The Rock ended up turning Cena’s ploy on himself and won the match in an emphatic fashion. 

5.Rey Mysterio 

Rey Mysterio’s sudden disappearance from in-ring action made his fans wonder where he went. ‘The Master of the 619’ was a fan-favorite and became one of the most iconic characters in the ring. 

Years after his departure, Mysterio returned at Royal Rumble 2018 and was greeted by loud cheers. Not showing any signs of sign rust, Mysterio gave the fans the sublime acrobatic moves they had been deprived of for so many years in his absence. 

6.Jinder Mahal 

‘The Modern Day Maharaja’ may have been just a regular wrestler back in 2012 during his first stint. Although, when he returned, it was a whole new story.

Building up a lot of muscle and looking like a pure beast, Jinder Mahal managed to defeat Orton to take the WWE Championship, bringing the title home to the massive WWE fanbase in India. 

His return, if not the most beloved, was the most successful as Jinder used the time out to become a dangerous machine. Fans await his return to the ring following a long hiatus. 

7.Bobby Lashley 

The ECW legend made a big return to WWE, interrupting Elias during one of his famous performances. It has been a sort of a rocky journey for Lashley, who has finally found his footing in 2020. 

As part of the Hurt Business, he made everyone on the Raw roster fear his name. If WWE keeps building him this way, we may finally see the dream match between him and Brock Lesnar. 

8.Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar’s return has by far been the most influential one to WWE. After an 8 year absence from WWE, ‘The Beast Incarnate’ returned to wreck the ring and started with John Cena. 

Lesnar went on to do monumental things. Apart from several WWE World Championship wins, he managed to break The Undertaker’s legendary streak. 

Lesnar went on to take down the biggest names in the business, including Triple H, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Goldberg, and Roman Reigns. His dominance in the ring is still unparalleled.

9.Kurt Angle 

The former WWE Champion returned to the WWE ring after more than a decade to remind us of the sweet times in the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression eras. 

As the General Manager of Raw, Angle quickly became involved in a series of storylines and even entered a feud against Triple H and the Authority.

Kurt Angle soon found himself at WrestleMania alongside Ronda Rousey, fighting off the team of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Angle never got to fight as much as he wanted but did manage to cut out some memorable moments for fans.

10.Roman Reigns


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Roman Reigns made one of the biggest returns at SummerSlam 2020 and debuted his most popular character yet. However, the best return came when ‘The Big Dog’ announced that he was in remission from Leukemia. 

After receiving news, Reigns was forced to stall his career at its peak. Many did not expect him to get back in action, but the Superstar announced later that he was in remission. 


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This news was met with a loud ovation, and the aura of the moment was emotional. Roman Reigns was back, and the crowd could not have asked for anything better. 


Luke Dias

1346 articles

Luke Dias is a senior WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports, having published more than 1000 articles on professional wrestling. Having completed courses in Advanced Writing from the University of California and Media and Ethics from the University of Amsterdam, Luke is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Journalism from Xavier’s College. His tremendous knowledge of WWE history enables him to make past connections, adding depth to the articles.