The 10 Worst Comebacks in WWE History
Wrestling is a hard business to quit, as any ex-wrestler will tell you.
There have been quite a few wrestlers who should have hung up the tights a little (or a lot) earlier than they did.
Sometimes a wrestler takes a break, retires or is injured and has to work his way back into shape and regain his spot.
Unfortunately, not everyone can have a comeback like Shawn Michaels can.
Wrestling is a unique beast in entertainment. Singers can go on forever; actors can too. In sports, it's obvious when it's time to retire, as there comes a time when others are clearly better than you. But compared to most sports, wrestling is a strange mixture of performance and perception.
There are plenty of wrestlers who have left WWE or the wrestling circuit altogether and yet still come back eventually. Sometimes the magic is just gone, though, leaving you just wanting to cry over seeing what's become of your favorite superstar.
Here are the 10 most unfortunate comebacks in WWE history.
photo from wwe.com
Never say never in professional wrestling.
Sable once tried to sue WWE for $110 million. It seemed inconceivable that she would ever be seen again in a WWE ring.
But she did return, and it was pretty mediocre.
Times had changed, and when Sable returned she wasn't pushed as the tough talking ass-kicking Diva. Instead, she was booked as a cougar who preyed on the younger Torrie Wilson.
After that angle, she feuded with Stephanie McMahon and became Vince's mistress. Is there any hot Diva that Vince could stay away from in a storyline? It's not out of the realm of possibility to imagine that's the only reason she was brought back. Anyway...
Another short and forgettable feud with Torrie Wilson later, and that was it for Sable in WWE.
Even though she's now married to Brock Lesnar in real life, we've yet to see her again. Maybe it's for the best...unless she's somehow able to Sablebomb HHH, that could be kind of fun.
9: Ultimo Dragon
photo from gerweck.net
To be fair, Ultimo Dragon's lackluster comeback after his retirement wasn't his fault.
In 1998, Dragon suffered an elbow injury. The surgery went horribly wrong, and he was forced into retirement. Four years later he went back under the knife and was finally able to compete again.
It was exciting to see him again, and it looked like WWE was finally serious about pushing their Cruiserweight Division.
After a decent return, the company had no idea what to do with him. His run was completely forgettable, and he spent months off of TV during his year there.
He could still go in the ring, but WWE just wasn't interested in pushing him.
Also due to the WWE style of wrestling, he wasn't allowed to go all out in his matches. The Cruiserweight division itself languished a couple more years before finally ending with Hornswoggle as champ.
In the end, Dragon simply slipped his way out of WWE, never to show his (masked) face again.
8: Scott Hall
photo from whatistheexcel.com
After six years of being out of WWE, Scott Hall made a triumphant return... for three months.
This may sound bad, but it's probably a good month or so longer than most people expected he'd last.
Hall hadn't been seen on national television in a couple years, but WWE shockingly brought him, Nash and Hogan back into the fold to reform the New World Order.
It was pretty shaky from the start.
Now in his early 40s, it was clear Hall couldn't quite go like he used to. He still had a ton of charisma, but he looked older, a bit haggard and un-motivated.
The NWO wasn't pushed as a dominant force like they were in WCW, and quickly lost their momentum when Hogan turned babyface.
Within a short time, Hall went from feuding with Steve Austin at WrestleMania to fighting Bradshaw.
The writing seemed to be on the wall, and Scott Hall pulled a few Scott Hall's and caused trouble behind the scenes. He was fired, and hasn't been seen on WWE television since.
Sadly, he's also had three ill fated comeback attempts in TNA as well.
Tatanka had not been seen in a wrestling ring in WWE in over nine years.
Amazingly, he missed out on the entire Attitude era which could have made him a ton of money.
He came back out of nowhere to wrestle Eugene on an episode of Raw. He looked good enough that WWE eventually signed him to a full time deal.
His cartoonish gimmick didn't seem to quite fit in, and WWE spent a lot of time and money filming vignettes of him and his tribe.
Then they had The Undertaker squash him for no reason.
Tatanka then turned heel after he felt he was being screwed over by the refs in his matches. He donned black and white face paint, which looked more strange than intimidating.
It worked for Sting, so you can't really blame him for trying.
The gimmick didn't last long and he asked for his release.
6: Road Warrior Animal
photo from gamingring.com
Road Warrior Animal is one half of The Legion of Doom (or the Road Warriors if you prefer), one of the most legendary tag teams of all time.
Without Hawk by his side, though, Animal just didn't have a place to belong.
Hawk and Animal left WWF in 1998, and didn't resurface again in the company until 2003. It was a one-time appearance, though. Hawk sadly passed away a few months later.
WWE then released a DVD about the Road Warriors (or Legion of Doom if you prefer), and Animal made a few appearances which turned into a full time job.
Unfortunately, he tried to reform L.O.D. Even worse, he tried to reform it with Heidenreich.
It was doomed from the start. A guy with a gut in his mid 40s, and a tall clunky wrestler was just a bad fit any way you put it.
After Heidenreich was released, Animal had a brief singles career before he was gone too.
It was a nice rush while it lasted, though.
5: Mr. Perfect
photo from wwe.com
WWE might treat Curt Hennig as a legend now, but his last run with the company was anything but perfect.
WWE surprised wrestling fans by announcing that Mr. Perfect would return at the 2002 Royal Rumble.
Perfect had been in WCW for a few years wrestling under his given name Curt Hennig, but it was going to be great to see him under the Mr. Perfect moniker again.
Unfortunately, the first night back for Hennig was the best night of his last run in the company.
Being one of the last three men in the Royal Rumble match, it looked like Hennig was going to have a nice last run.
He lasted five months with the company, most of which had him off of TV.
For some reason, WWE thought it would be a good reason for him to lose basically every match he appeared in. He lost to Kane cleanly in one of his first matches, even though the crowd seemed to be happy to have him back.
A very short lived tag team with The Big Bossman was Hennig's final role, and he was fired after getting into a fight with Brock Lesnar... on a plane!
Like others on this list, Hennig was never seen on WWE television again, as he died in 2003 from a drug overdose.
4: The Ultimate Warrior
photo from wwe.com
No, he didn't die. It was still the same man it always was.
The Ultimate Warrior has had a very strained relationship with WWF, and he was getting ready to come back to the company for the second time in 1996.
It had been over three and a half years, but the legend was returning. He immediately squashed HHH at WrestleMania 12 and then went on to feud with Goldust.
It looked like WWF was ready to put him back in the spotlight when he was abruptly fired just a few months into his return. Apparently, he missed a couple shows which Warrior attributed to the death of his father.
Vince McMahon didn't buy it, though, and wanted nothing more to do with him.
His entire run lasted under four months.
As of today, The Ultimate Warrior has yet to make another appearance on WWE television. Don't feel too bad for him, though, as he got to have another terrible comeback in WCW.
3: The British Bulldog
photo from gerweck.net
All right, the British Bulldog is back!
...and he's wearing jeans?
Visual weirdness aside, the British Bulldog returned to WWF in September 1999 for the first time since The Survivor Series incident.
He spent some time in WCW where they had no idea what to do with him. A bodyslam onto The Ultimate Warrior's trap door at Fall Brawl nearly ended his career, and left Bulldog hospitalized for six months!
It's amazing that Bulldog came back at all, but it was immediately clear things weren't the same. Gone was his impressive quickness that made him such a good worker.
He went from fighting the Rock in a pay-per-view match one month, to winning the European title the next. He then did what no self respecting wrestler should have to do: team up with the Mean Street Posse.
Smith then entered rehab on Vince McMahon's dime, and was never seen on national TV again. He passed away at the age of 39.
It's a shame the last national run of the British Bulldog was so forgettable.
2: Superstar Billy Graham
photo from dvdtalk.com
Billy Graham was an incredibly infulential and powerful wrestler for over a decade.
But his last WWF run was incredibly sad.
After being out of the company for a few years, Graham returned as a babyface to the WWF in 1986. Upon seeing him, it was clear he wasn't quite the same. Even worse, he needed hip replacement surgery.
It would have been good to call it a career at that point.
People often say it's sad seeing Joe Namath on the Rams, or Willie Mays on the New York Mets in the twilight of their careers. This was the same.
At the age of 44 (which really isn't that old in wrestling), Graham got back in the ring in 1987. The years of abuse had not been kind to his body.
He was pudgy, slow and lacked the intensity he did before.
Billy Graham is a legend in wrestling, but it's best not to think about the way he went out.
1: Marty Jannetty
photo from wwe.com
In 2005, Marty Jannetty showed that he still had it.
Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle were set to due battle at WrestleMania. Angle brought in Jannetty, who handn't been in the company in over eight years, to face him in a match.
Angle thought it would be easy, but Jannetty held his own and nearly pinned the olympic gold medalist.
WWE was so impressed that they signed Jannetty to a contract.
He didn't last very long.
After a domestic dispute, WWE released him from his contract.
The story doesn't end there, though.
In March of 2006, Jannetty appeared again on WWE television where he helped Michaels fight off The Spirit Squad. He was then supposed to team up with HBK in a feud against the McMahon's, but missed a TV appearance and was again released.
The story doesn't end there either, though.
Six months later in September, Jannetty was once again brought back into WWE.
And he was once again fired.
Due to a court order, he was unable to travel, which makes working for a national touring company kind of difficult.
Janetty showed up a couple more times on TV after that in guest appearances, but he has so far had three ill fated comeback attempts with WWE.