10 WWE Legends Who Made Pointless Comebacks

2/29/2024 11:19 AM

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10 WWE Legends Who Made Pointless Comebacks

10 WWE Legends Who Made Pointless Comebacks

February 29, 2024 11:19 AM
10 WWE Legends Who Made Pointless Comebacks

Not every 'legacy' run lives up to expectations...

10: Mickie James

Mickie James is firmly established as one of the most influential female talents of all time. Numerous modern-day greats including Sasha Banks and Bayley have cited James as one of the main reasons they wanted to get into wrestling.

When James returned to WWE TV in 2017, it was an expectation amongst the fan-base that James would be presented like a legitimate legend, yet WWE, unfortunately had other ideas.

WWE would book James alongside Alexa Bliss, and this would be an on and off pairing for the next two years. James was ultimately relegated to being someone’s associate, and this was a far-cry from what fans wanted out of her run. WWE simply had no interest in giving James a substantial role which was a massive shame, as James still had so much value to offer the company.

It was highlighted just how little WWE cared about James, when in 2021, James was released from the company, and she was sent her belongings in a trash bag. Quite rightly, this caused major backlash online, with fans being disgusted by WWE’s attitude towards one of the greatest female talents ever. The backlash was so severe that the individual responsible was terminated, and Triple H and Stephanie McMahon both made public statements.

9: Big Boss Man

The late, great Big Boss Man managed to get over in multiple eras in WWE, yet his run between 2001-2003 just didn’t seem to work.

Boss Man would return in a big way, as he would attack Stone Cold Steve Austin on an episode of SmackDown. Unfortunately, fans barely reacted to the return, and it was like nobody knew who he was.

Once this incredibly brief feud with Austin had culminated, Boss Man was relegated to Sunday Night Heat, where he would remain for most of his final stint in the company.

WWE had brought Boss Man back into the fold with no genuine creative plans for him. Boss Man could still go in the ring, and he certainly wasn’t a name that deserved to become a Sunday Night Heat mainstay.

8: Rob Van Dam

Fans were elated when it was revealed in the summer of 2013 that former WWE Champion, Rob Van Dam would be returning to WWE.

RVD made his triumphant return at the Money in the Bank event, and RVD received an incredible reaction. Following his return, RVD would enter into a feud with Alberto Del Rio over the World Title, and whilst it was great to see RVD in a World Title feud, the matches and the rivalry as a whole just fell flat. WWE put more focus on Ricardo Rodriguez as opposed to RVD, and this eventually led to fans disconnecting with RVD’s second run.

Following the World Title feud, RVD would linger endlessly around the mid-card with nothing to do, and it was like WWE had regretted bringing one of their most popular stars back into the company.

7: Kevin Nash

It’s sometimes the case that WWE bringing a legend back is completely justified. At the 2011 Royal Rumble, Kevin Nash as Diesel received a thunderous ovation, and following the Rumble cameo, there were vocal calls to see Nash have another run in the company.

This run would begin to take shape in the summer of 2011, when Nash interfered in the main event of SummerSlam, costing CM Punk the WWE Title in the process. What followed was a long and convoluted storyline that made no sense, and by the end of it, fans were completely sick of Nash being on TV.

Nash was supposed to return, have a match with Punk then ride off into the sunset. Yet due to several reasons, this infamous comeback culminated with Nash taking on Triple H in a ‘Sledgehammer Ladder match’.

6: The British Bulldog

WWE making the call to bring back The British Bulldog in 1999 was a bold move. Whilst Bulldog was around during the early days of the Attitude Era, the WWE product had evolved so much that fans struggled to see where Bulldog would fit in.

Bulldog began to wrestle in jeans, and his iconic theme would be remixed to fit in with the themes of the time-period. One of the problems was that Bulldog’s in-ring work was terrible, and this was mainly down to a back injury he had suffered in WCW.

This isn’t to say that WWE didn’t give Bulldog a chance, as he was presented in storylines with the likes of The Rock and Triple H, yet fans were more interested in newer names such as Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle.

When it became obvious to WWE that Bulldog wasn’t getting over, he would enter into the lower mid-card, which was completely justified, and Bulldog would find himself performing on Jakked and Sunday Night Heat wrestling names such as Mideon and Joey Abs.

5: Animal

When Heidenreich failed to get over as a monstrous heel, WWE had a back-up plan. WWE were going to have the poetry lover team with the legendary Animal from The Legion of Doom.

Animal’s return to the company started off strong, as he and Heidenreich captured the Tag Team Titles, yet when Heidenreich was released from the company, this left Animal’s standing in a state of flux.

WWE had no idea what to do with Animal, and they tried several things; including teaming him with Matt Hardy, and they even tried to turn him heel which was a colossal failure.

Whilst it was understandable why WWE would bring a legend into the company with the aim of getting a young star over, this sadly didn’t work the way WWE intended.

4: Mr Perfect

The 2002 Royal Rumble saw Mr Perfect make a dramatic return to WWE. This was intended to be a one-time only deal, yet based on the incredible reaction to Perfect, WWE signed the former Intercontinental Champion to a full-time contract.

Based on his presentation in the Rumble alone, it was assumed by the WWE fanbase that Perfect was going to be placed in the upper mid-card, which was a welcomed move.

However, just weeks into his run, Perfect was being relegated to jobber status, and he was losing virtually every match imaginable.

Perfect was an established name that could have easily been used in a feud to elevate a newer talent, yet WWE had more interest in using Perfect for Sunday Night Heat.

Perfect’s 2002 run would be over by May of that year, as Perfect’s involvement in the infamous Plane Ride From Hell was enough to convince Vince McMahon that it was time to let Perfect go.

3: Kurt Angle

At long last, 2017 was going to be the year in which Kurt Angle returned to WWE. This was a long time coming, and WWE booked Angle in numerous matches during this run, and they were somewhat naïve in thinking Angle was still the Angle from a decade ago.

Angle would wrestle names such as Chad Gable, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles, yet Angle’s history of injuries meant that Angle couldn’t have the classic matches fans wanted.

Angle was no doubt ready to retire, and his final match would come against Baron Corbin at WrestleMania 35, in what would become one of the most disappointing retirement matches in recent memory.

Whilst it was wonderful to see Angle back where he belonged, some fans believe this final run did more harm than good.

2: Batista

Timing is everything when it comes to pro wrestling. When Batista returned to WWE in 2014, he returned at a time when WWE fans had firmly chosen Daniel Bryan as their #1 guy. As a result, Batista’s run was turned upside down, and the fans wanted no part of Batista as WWE’s chosen guy.

Initial WrestleMania 30 plans called for The Animal to take on Randy Orton in the main event, yet due to Batista’s babyface run failing to get over, as well as CM Punk walking out of WWE, Bryan was added into the match.

Batista was promised a World Title run, and this never materialised, and the run left a bad taste in fan’s mouths.

Batista himself had similar feelings on the matter, and he was quick to acknowledge that WWE completely butchered his presentation and booking.

Speaking about the dreaded run during an appearance on Lilian Garcia’s podcast, Batista stated:

“It was horrible. I tried not to take it personally but I really did and it hurt because it's hard to tell people that you want to be there for the right reasons, but they don't want to hear it. They don't care why you're there, they just don't want you there. I felt that I was where I wanted to be and we were pushing the personal stuff aside. I was kind of getting past that, but I had to leave. I had to go promote Guardians of the Galaxy. I was obligated to do that.”

1: The Ultimate Warrior

In 1996, in a desperate move to try and compete with WCW, WWE would bring back the controversial wrestler known as The Ultimate Warrior. Warrior at this point in time had a rotten reputation, yet Vince McMahon hoped that WWE would be able to work with him, and that this next run wouldn’t lead to any issues.

WWE had big plans for Warrior, as they were to present him as an attraction, and this began at WrestleMania 12, when WWE booked Warrior to squash the future Triple H. Warrior would then have feuds with Jerry The King Lawler and Goldust, and both of these were total failures.

By the summer of the year 1996, Warrior had once again left the company. The former WWE Champion claimed that WWE had breached terms of their deal, which McMahon and WWE outright denied.

One key name that fully expected Warrior’s 1996 run to be a failure was Jim Ross, who had this to say on his Grilling JR podcast:

“No, I wasn’t [excited] because I knew he was gonna be a giant pain in the a** to work with. If he had the magic and the commitment and the energy that he once possessed and brought to the table, then hell yes. Who wouldn’t be excited? Because it means he’s gonna draw you some money and it’s gonna be good for the company, etcetera, etcetera.”
“I didn’t think he was gonna get back over. You’re kind of waiting on him to tear something, he’s so heavily muscled. He was always a problem child… dressing room lawyer, as the boys liked to say, so I wasn’t overwhelmed with it. If it worked, good for us, but I didn’t think it was gonna work.”