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5 most shocking WrestleMania returns

Elliott Binks
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Shocking returns aren’t a particularly common occurrence when it comes to WrestleMania.

Considering it’s the biggest show of the year, the company naturally does all it can to plug and promote its marquee matches and main event names well ahead of time, and this year’s been no different.

The writing’s been on the wall for a Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg rematch ever since their previous meeting at Survivor Series, while Seth Rollins vs. Triple H has been earmarked for the show for the better part of a year. And going back to previous events, WrestleMania XXVIII saw its main event meeting between John Cena and the Rock confirmed some 363 days in advance.

But over the years, some major names have managed to slip by unnoticed, only to return at the pay-per-view and catch just about everybody unawares.

From old adversaries coming out of the woodwork to others making early comebacks from injury, and of course the odd nostalgia pop from a legend or two, WrestleMania returns—though few and far between—have provided us with some of the better moments in the event’s history. And where better place to begin than at last year’s event with not one, not two, but three returns in one…

#5 Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels and Steve Austin (WrestleMania 32)

Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin make their way to the ring at WrestleMania 32

With WrestleMania 32 taking place in the 100,000-seater AT&T Stadium, the company unquestionably wanted to pull out all the stops to ensure the show lived up to the occasion. And one of those stops was the surprise appearance of the star-studded team of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley and Stone Cold Steve Austin.

After the League of Nations had beaten the New Day in six-man tag team action, Wade Barrett started running his mouth, boldly claiming that there weren’t any three men in history who could ever go toe-to-toe with his boys.


Clearly, someone was going to have to shut this guy up. Ultimately, though, it wasn’t any one of the New Day. Nor was it anyone else from the current roster. Instead, it was Michaels’ music that filled the stadium, and he was soon joined on-stage by Foley, before the arrival of Stone Cold sent the fans, and JBL on commentary, into raptures.

The trio made their way to the ring where they made short work of the League of Nations, as well as Xavier Woods after Austin reacted poorly to being invited to dance.

Of course, that wasn’t the only return we were treated to at WrestleMania 32...

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