Ranking the 11 Worst Comebacks in WWE History
Any time The Rock or "Stone Cold" Steve Austin make an appearance on WWE television, fans are instantly hooked on what they are there to say and do.
But not every return has been a success. Sometimes WWE just doesn't know what to do with a certain talent, or in other cases, the superstars just aren't what they once were.
This article is going to give fans a look at some of those returns that fell just a little bit—or in some cases a lot—short.
Haku had a good first run with WWE in the 1980s as part of the infamous Heenan Family.
He made a name for himself as one half of The Islanders tag team before going on a singles run that picked up steam when he was given Harley Race's crown, recognized as the king of WWE.
Later, he became one half of the Tag Team champions with Andre the Giant, collectively known as the Colossal Connection.
Haku went to rival WCW where he changed his ring name to Meng and won the Hardcore title.
After not being seen in a WWE ring in many years, Haku was a surprise entrant into the 2001 Royal Rumble, and a good one at that. It looked like this would be the start of a great return for Haku.
But after a short-lived tag team with Rikishi, the return ended about six months later when the company released him.
Widely recognized as one of the toughest men in the business, he should have had more of an impact when he returned.
Goldust had a few returns to WWE, but the one that sticks out came after WWE purchased WCW.
Goldust came back as a participant in the 2002 Royal Rumble and then some very interesting vignettes began airing on WWE television where Goldust began talking about a superstar whose star was shining a little too bright. That superstar was kept a mystery at first, but was soon revealed as Rob Van Dam.
A match between the two men was set up for No Way Out in 2002 and it was one that was very interesting going in. But the match didn't really deliver, and on top of that, Goldust lost. The feud then abruptly ended.
Goldust was one of the most creative characters WWE ever came up with, but they dropped the ball on this return.
Sable was a trend setting diva in her first run with WWE and a favorite of many. But she left in the summer of 1999 and filed a $110 million sexual harassment lawsuit against the company. This put her on a short list of people WWE would likely never bring back.
However, about four years later Sable made a very surprising return on an episode of Smackdown and went into a program with fellow Playboy covergirl Torrie Wilson.
But once that storyline had run its course, Sable became a mistress of sorts to Vince McMahon—something they have done entirely too much over the years—and this time it was equally nauseating.
Sable had a feud with Stephanie McMahon over the fact that she was messing around with her father.
Fans likely enjoyed Sable's interactions with Torrie, but the rest of her second stint with WWE was rather forgettable and could have been much better.
Tatanka was wildly successful during his first run in WWE, going on a nearly two-year undefeated streak after his debut.
Tatanka left the company in 1996 and it would be close to 10 years before fans would see him again.
Another Royal Rumble surprise entrant, Tatanka appeared in the 2006 edition of the event, sparking his return to action. But it didn't go very far. Tatanka never got off the mid card, eventually turning heel and cutting a promo on Bobby Lashley after showing up with a new style of facepaint.
It appeared that WWE had come up with an interesting new direction for him, but that idea was seemingly dropped right there as nothing more ever came from it.
7. D'Lo Brown
A very underrated wrestler, D'Lo Brown was a member of the Nation of Domination and also won the European title and Intercontinental title during his first WWE run.
D'Lo was released in 2003 but returned to the company a little over five years later with an emphatic victory over Santino Marella on an episode of Raw. But that may have been the only match he won during his second tour of WWE.
He appeared very sparingly, and less than six months later was let go again.
6. Ultimate Warrior
Had the Ultimate Warrior been killed in a car accident? Was he eaten by a shark? Hunter Hearst Helmsley played up all the rumors surrounding the Warrior leading into WrestleMania XII.
The Warrior had a very successful career in WWE and became one of their most popular superstars ever in the early 1990s.
Fans were highly anticipating his return, and at WrestleMania he destroyed Helmsley. It appeared that he was on his way to becoming prominent in the wrestling world once again.
But just a few months into his return, his contract was terminated due to a disagreement with Vince McMahon.
5. British Bulldog
Davey Boy Smith recorded numerous accolades during his WWE career, which was made up of four stints. However, his last with the company was easily his least successful.
The Bulldog did win the Hardcore title twice, but he was never able to achieve the top billing he had before, losing marquee matches to The Rock and in the first ever Six Pack Challenge at Unforgiven in 1999.
The Bulldog was gone less than a year after he came back and was never seen in the WWE again.
And why was he wrestling in jeans?
4. Chris Masters
Chris Masters burst onto the scene in 2005 with a chiseled frame and a seemingly unbreakable full nelson.
Masters gained notoriety in his "Masterlock Challenge," where he would call out anyone to try and break the hold. That led to him being in some main event-level matches with the best the WWE had to offer, guys like Shawn Michaels and John Cena.
Failed drug tests led to him being released from his contract.
Masters was brought back about two years later, but it's hard to figure out why. The company did nothing with him and had him competing mainly on their show "Superstars."
This guy could have been very good. What a waste.
Starting his WWE career in 1999, Tensai was originally known as Prince Albert, then Albert and then A-Train. The man has certainly played the role of several different gimmicks.
After being released in 2004, he went to work for New Japan Pro Wrestling. Competing as Giant Bernard, he became one of the most recognizable names in Japanese wrestling.
WWE apparently felt they could capitalize on this and decided to bring him back in 2012.
Promos began to air for Lord Tensai and he came in as a strong force, even getting a win over John Cena.
But they just don't seem to know what to do with him at this point. First they dropped the 'Lord' from his name. Then they had him take off the outfit he wore to the ring. Then he began beating on his manager Sakamoto after matches for no apparent reason. The whole thing just makes no sense.
Think he wishes he stayed in Japan?
2. Extreme Championship Wrestling
After the success of the two ECW One Night Stand events, two of the best pay-per-views WWE has run in the last 10 years, it would have been hard to screw things up. WWE was able to do that.
They decided to bring ECW back as a brand and give it a one hour television show. At first, it wasn't too bad because they were smart enough to use ECW originals such as Sandman, Tommy Dreamer, Rob Van Dam and Sabu while progressing some newly introduced superstars.
But it didn't take long before WWE put too much of its own spin on the brand. Gone were the ECW originals, and the show was being built around guys like Jack Swagger, Mark Henry and Ezekiel Jackson. The familiar sights of an ECW telecast had all but been erased and the championship belt was turned into an unsightly silver mess.
The failed project lasted about four years before WWE mercifully brought it to a close. Once again, this is something WWE could have taken advantage of and could still be thriving today, but they chose to go their own direction, likely losing some fans permanently.
1. Scott Steiner
Remember when Scott Steiner came back to WWE and there was actually a bidding war between Raw and Smackdown for his "services"?
When WWE purchased WCW, Steiner was one of the guys that most fans wanted to see.
He would choose Raw in order to challenge Triple H for the World title, leading to matches at the 2003 Royal Rumble and the subsequent pay-per-view event, No Way Out. Both matches were barely watchable and Steiner was eventually buried by "The Game."
Steiner went from challenging for the World title in January and March of that year to not even being on the card in March for WrestleMania.
Folks, that's hard to do.