The reaction Bill Goldberg received from the WWE universe upon his return was quite overwhelming. Even the former face of WCW seemed surpised by the ovation he received during his long awaited return. Let’s admit, as wrestling fans we’re all suckers for a good return. It gives us that felling of nostalgia along with chills that run down our spines. The return of Shane McMahon was yet another shocking comeback that generated some great results.
In this era, returns seem to be hitting home-runs more so than ever before. Whether this is a good thing or not, certainly remains up in the air. Looking at the state of the WWE right now, the company is quite thin on actual Superstars and both rosters seem to be kind of short in all honesty. Returns have helped to bolster the product and the WWE is now fetching for more returns in the future.
The following article will assess the odds of certain Superstars returning to the company. Some have as high as a 99% rating, while others fail to make it over the 20% mark. Find out which Superstars have the best odds of returning in the following article that looks at 15 recently released WWE stars and their odds of coming back. Enjoy!
15 Hulk Hogan: 99% Chance
The rumor mill feels pretty strongly that Hulkamania will still be running wild in a WWE ring one more time in the future. According to Triple H, he has admitted that he’s open to re-discussing a possibility of a return with Hogan. Even former WWE Superstar and good friend of Hunter's, Scott Hall, believes Hulk will return to the company shortly.
To put things into perspective, Hogan has been MIA from the WWE scene since July 24th, of 2015. Truly mind-blowing to think it has already been a year and a half since his departure. The WWE took swift actions against his racist rant which was caught on tape and eliminated all of Hulk’s achievements from their social media platforms. However, despite the drastic measures taken, rumors indicate that this was done in order to make the heat from the situation die down. The plan is still to have Hogan return in some capacity in the near future. How he’ll be received? That remains to be seen.
14 Alberto Del Rio: 20% Chance
We truly believe that the WWE will honor Del Rio at some point for all his great accomplishments, but as for an in-ring return, that seems rather slim. Again, it is the WWE, so never say never, but Del Rio seems content re-kindling his passion on the Indie scene. The WWE is ok with the decision as well, squashing the relationship between himself and Paige, which was making headlines one too many times for the company’s liking.
Putting the personal stuff aside, Del Rio’s return was a bust and probably should have never went down to begin with. Initially, Alberto came back exactly one year ago at the WWE’s PPV Hell in a Cell. His impact was immediate defeating John Cena, but that’s where his momentum pretty much was halted. His title run was lazily booked and he became an afterthought in a stable filled with mid-carders. At the end of the day, both sides regret the situation, but the most important thing of all is that Del Rio is happy again loving the Indie life.
13 Ryback: 60% Chance
He had the look of a champion but at the end of the day, his persona and in-ring prowess lacked the talent needed for such a prestigious position. He wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t as great as he thought he was.
Ultimately, that factor led to Ryback’s demise in the company and eventual departure. The Nevada native saw himself as a big time player while the company offered him a deal that indicated otherwise. Ryback would choose the courageous decision to turn down the WWE and let his contract run out.
Today, Ryback is currently working the Indie scene and rumors have indicated a possible future with New Japan Pro Wrestling. The plan for the former WWE star is to resurface his brand value outside of the WWE. If he can somehow succeed and become a top level star, no doubt the WWE will once again come calling for the “big guy’s” services. The chances of a return are very possible and it truly all depends on the way Ryback performs during his time away from the big company.
12 Matt & Jeff Hardy - Matt: 75% Chance, Jeff: 90% Chance
After both brothers departed from the WWE, they struggled to sustain their brand value on the Indie scene. Matt became notorious for complaining about his time with the WWE, while Jeff struggled with a drug addiction.
Fast-forward to now and things have dramatically changed for the two. Both have completely altered their personas and are thriving with TNA, becoming must-see performers. Matt looks to be at the peak of his pro wrestling career with his “Broken Matt” alias, while brother Jeff is finally drug free and appearing like his old self again.
Jeff has discussed the possibility of returning very openly and believes he will eventually end his career under the WWE banner. Brother Matt, however, remains tight lipped on the situation, though we truly believe if the right offer is in place, Matt will in fact return alongside his brother. The possibility of both Hardy Boyz returning is quite high.
11 Cody Rhodes: 90% Chance
Joining the WWE family in 2006, Rhodes would stay on board with the company for over a decade. His departure was quite shocking and abrupt, as Rhodes left the company that many thought he’d stay with for several more years.
With age on his side at 31, Cody took the admirable decision to leave the WWE because of poor booking. According to Rhodes, he demanded his gimmick be altered several times only to get negated time and time again. Rhodes had seen enough and decided to end his deal with the company promptly with the ambition of resurfacing his brand value elsewhere for the time being.
Although his departure seems controversial, Cody actually left on good terms and the door remains open at any point. Rhodes has his family name to bank on with his father and brother spending decades inside of the company. The most likely scenario will see Rhodes completely resurface his persona on the Indie scene and later return to the WWE under an entirely different demeanor. The odds of him coming back in a year or two remain quite high.
10 Wade Barrett: 70% Chance
The name of Wade Barrett recently resurfaced in headlines pinning the former WWE star to a return. With the brand split in place, the company is apparently searching for some added depth, and Barrett was apparently one of the names the company decided to contact. Again, this is only a rumor so take it for what it’s worth.
Wade decided to let his contract run out, claiming he needed to take a break from the wrestling industry, which can be extremely taxing. Specifically for Barrett, the guy's been working the Indies since 2004 and is 36 years old. Rightfully so, a break seems merited.
The former WWE star is currently pursuing other avenues, like acting. He recently worked two films; Eliminators and Vengeance. Barrett admits his time away from the wrestling industry isn’t permanent and will return when the time is right. Where he will return is the key question. Will it be the Indie scene or one more run with the WWE? That remains to be seen.
9 Damien Sandow: 40% Chance
Usually, when the WWE releases a Superstar, their chances of returning are quite slim especially when your inching towards your late 30s, as Sandow is set to turn 35 next year.
His departure and release was quite controversial especially considering the fact that he was quite over with the WWE crowds. Alongside The Miz, Damien reached new levels of popularity with his “stunt double” gimmick and many thought he had the tools to perhaps be a future Champion. Rightfully so, Damien could cut one hell of a promo, had size and was more than decent in the ring. Ultimately, the WWE didn’t see it that way and he slowly began to subside from WWE television. Although his release shocked several fans, Sandow himself wasn’t too surprised claiming he saw it coming.
He’s currently working the Indies and recently joined TNA under his new alias of Aron Rex. A return at this point seems unlikely, but you certainly never know what the future holds. We won’t say that he has “no chance in hell” of returning.
8 John Morrison: 85% Chance
Entering the WWE through the Tough Enough pipeline, Morrison grew into one hell of a performer. The WWE had big plans for the ultra talented Superstar but eventually his stock slowly began to diminish because of poor creative booking, a theme we’ve seen far too many times on WWE programming.
With a few nagging injuries and the need to see himself in a more prominent position, Morrison decided to turn down a new deal and depart from the company. The WWE just didn’t see him as “the guy”, while Morrison thought quite highly of himself and rightfully so. Instead of sulking in the WWE, John left on a high and continued his passion with Lucha Underground.
In recent interviews, John has confirmed he will in fact one day return to the WWE. Morrison still holds some formidable relationships within the company that will likely book his ticket back rather soon. Despite his age of 37, Morrison believes he’s in the best shape of his life and that’s pretty apparent judging by his work rate with Lucha Underground. Once his contract expires, you can expect the former Intercontinental Champion to return.
7 Mr. Kennedy: 10% Chance
Whether he comes back as Mr. Kennedy or Mr. Anderson, either way, his chances are pretty bad. Kennedy began with the WWE as a huge future star; the guy had a great look and could cut a promo as good as anybody else. His value was quite high and the WWE booked him as such early on with a United States Title victory, along with a Money in the Bank contract. Anderson’s eventual undoing was his in-ring ability. Ken developed a stereotype of being a dangerous performer to work with when the likes of Randy Orton and John Cena complained about his reckless intent in the ring. This would lead to his release and one that was quite unfortunate when thinking about how much upside he had at one point.
To make matters worse, Kennedy recently got released by TNA for apparently failing an on-the-spot drug test. Anderson has admitted to using enhancements in the past and this new information certainly doesn’t help his cause with a future in a drug free company like the WWE. At the age of 40, his window appears to be closed.
6 Adam Rose: 40% Chance
Adam Rose had a pretty bumpy ride during his time with the WWE. He underwent multiple gimmick failures and became an afterthought one too many times. He featured on the ESPN WWE documentary for his life outside of the ring and at that point, his value seemed to be moving upwards. However, the Cinderella story quickly faded away and Rose was once again a forgotten member of the WWE’s lower-card.
Facing his second violation of the Wellness Policy, things went from bad to worse for Rose. He was quickly released by the company for a domestic violence charge and tampering with a witness. Nowadays, the WWE is no non-sense company and they decided to part ways with the performer very quickly after the offense was made public.
He’s working the Indies nowadays but recently made headlines with a Tweet that might have indicated a possible WWE return. Seems rather odd to bring back a wrestler the WWE released for such a controversial reason and especially so soon. We aren’t jumping on the bait and still believe his odds of returning are quite frankly, extremely low.
5 Jim Ross: 90% Chance
He departed from the WWE in 2013, but still to this day, at the age of 64, Ross remains a valued pro wrestling figure. Fans love to hear his knowledge via Twitter and through his podcast, The Ross Report. Jim still keeps track of the WWE product and lets his opinion be known to the various fans that follow him.
His WWE departure ended on such a bitter note and infuriated several fans. The former voice of the WWE was released following a 2K event that saw an intoxicated Flair alongside Ross say some derogatory comments about some sponsors. Some claim Ross’ antics were done out of love and for a laugh, although the WWE wasn’t buying it and decided to part ways with the legendary announcer.
Now we aren’t suggesting he’s set to comeback as a full-time commentator, but we do believe the WWE will eventually bring his expertise back into the family in some kind of part-time role behind the scenes. With everything he’s accomplished with the company, he certainly deserves another chance.
4 Bobby Lashley: 65% Chance
Man, did the WWE ever miss a glorious opportunity with Bobby Lashley. His presence alone should have been enough to bolster the elite athlete into the upper-card, but in the long run, it just didn’t pan out that way despite various pushes.
In terms of identity, Bobby just didn’t seem ready and willing yet at that point. The WWE released the future star in 2008 and he’s grown his brand value outside of the company ever since. With a career in the world of MMA, Bobby has excelled bringing his dominance in the octagon outside of the cage and into a wrestling ring. Bobby has thrived with TNA as a former Champion and maintains an outstanding MMA record of 15 wins and only two loses. He just recently won his last fight, winning via rear-naked choke in the second round. The former WWE star is currently on an eight fight win streak.
He even challenged Brock Lesnar to an MMA fight after the bout which ruffled a couple of feathers in the world of mainstream media. With Lesnar lacking some credible opponents in the WWE, along with the need for new performers, Lashley can undoubtedly fit that bill. At the age of 40, his window to return seems to be closing, however, in order for him to join things need to percolate sooner rather than later.
3 Rey Mysterio: 80% Chance
Not even Mysterio himself could have predicted the profound impact he would have on the WWE landscape. Not only was Rey a merchandise machine in terms of selling, he became the face of the company multiple times winning both WWE and World Heavyweight Championships. His WWE run of over a decade was truly impactful, but his departure in 2015 seemed fitting for both sides. The WWE wanted to keep Rey for merchandising reasons, while Mysterio had enough and wanted to return back home. Eventually, Rey got his wish and left the company.
It has been almost two years since his departure and the rumor mill continues to swirl about a possible return. He’s currently under contract with Lucha Underground, however, although many feel like once that’s up, he’ll be returning. The Lucha promotion recently teased his departure having a “loser leaves the company” match involving Rey and another former WWE alum, Chavo Guerrero. Rey actually came out on top while Chavo was “forced out” of the promotion.
For the time being, it looks like he’s staying put elsewhere, but one way or another, Mysterio will find his way back in a WWE ring in the near future.
2 Kurt Angle: 90% Chance
Just as the talks of Kurt Angle returning intensified after the former WWE star met with Triple H, they later subsided. Despite the fact that fans would love to see Kurt back in the ring, the WWE still believes the time is not right now.
Angle left the company a decade ago and has been linked to a possible return ever since. The rumor mill is swirling that he will come back and that it’s truly all a matter of time. With the success of Goldberg’s return, many believe that the WWE will take another serious look at Angle and the chances of a return to happen sooner rather than later. Others believe that we might have to wait a little longer with Kurt being rumored to be the new 2K18 poster boy for the video game in a similar way that Goldberg was. This might be true, seeing as Kurt is taking various Indie bookings nowadays. At this point, the situation seems more like a matter of "when" and not "if".
1 CM Punk: 50% Chance
We end the article off with one of the most controversial departures in recent memory which pertains to former WWE Champion CM Punk. The UFC fighter left the WWE on a terrible note; the guy was broken physically and quite frankly had enough of the company mentally. Despite the fact that he was one of the biggest stars, Punk left the company and never looked back.
He furthered his departure by blasting the company. He later revealed that he’d never return, something we’ve heard one too many time from former wrestlers. Despite his comments, the question still remains, will Punk ever return?
The odds remains even. You have to believe even with all the money in the world shot at Punk, the circumstances need to be on point and overshadow any type of monetary gain for Punk. This situation remains a legit possibility and it certainly all depends on how the WWE chooses to use Punk. This will be the deciding factor. As for now however, he’ll continue to pursue his MMA career.
Sources: metro.us, dailyddt.com, forbes.com
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