Alberto Del Rio and the Dudley Boyz became the most recent wrestlers that spoke about returning to the WWE in the past and managed to do so recently. These wrestlers aren’t the only ones open to a comeback with the WWE though. As you will see in this list, there is a large waiting list of former WWE stars waiting to get back in the ring.
Some want to have that final WrestleMania moment before riding off into the sunset, while some others want a whole new run with the company. Whether or not some of these wrestlers will return remains to be seen, as the WWE takes a lot of factors into account before making a decision. Ultimately, the biggest factor it comes down to is: is it best for business? If the decision is clear, we know Vince, and we know he won’t waste any time bringing that superstar back into the mix.
Another factor that comes into play when dealing with a returning superstar is timing. The timing of the return is essentially everything. With a depleted roster at the moment, it may be time to call on some of these former stars to give the program a little boost. Let’s now find out who these former stars are. Here are 10 wrestlers that want to return to the WWE. Enjoy!
10 Kurt Angle
Since his debut with the WWE way back in November of 1999, you could just sense a star was born within the WWE ranks. Angle became arguably the greatest amateur wrestler to ever step foot in a WWE ring. Not only was his in-ring work flawless, but he was able to resonate with the audience through tremendous promo work instantly becoming one of the greatest heels on the entire roster. His WWE run was highlighted by four WWE Championship title reigns, along with a World Heavyweight Championship run. Not to mention he won every other Championship becoming the tenth Triple Crown in WWE history.
With his career winding down, Kurt Angle has made it clear he would love one last run with the company. Angle expressed some interest in making a return in the past, but according to alleged rumors, the WWE wasn’t interested in bringing Angle back. Kurt also noted that he wasn’t interested in working with NXT at this point in his career. If he is to return, Angle made it clear it would be with the WWE’s main roster. In a recent interview, Angle stated that he would love to have his final match on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania.
9 Ric Flair
This guy has done it all in the pro wrestling business, making his debut way back in 1972. His career is regarded as the greatest of all time. Wrestlers like Triple H and Shawn Michaels marvel at Flair’s past work, particularly in 80s, becoming the face of pro wrestling by revolutionizing the business (mixing in pure wrestling with an entertainment spin). 16 World Championships later, Flair has become one of the most iconic wrestlers of all time, really having nothing left to prove.
At the age of 66, The Nature Boy is still discussing a possible return to the ring. Despite his final match against Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair has still expressed a lot of interest in returning for one more match. Many believe that if it was up to Flair, he’d already be back in the ring today. Flair made some bold statements in the past claiming he can put on a better match than more than half of the entire roster today. It remains to be seen if Flair will ever step foot back in a WWE ring for one more match.
Many tend to forget that WCW did create some groundbreaking stars, perhaps none bigger than Bill Goldberg who dominated the landscape of pro wrestling at one point in time. He became must-see television, causing millions to change channel from the WWE product to see who he was going to take out next. His undefeated streak defined who he was and his true dominance with WCW. He ultimately became the company’s fifth Triple Crown in history.
Goldberg’s run with the WWE was an absolute disaster. Following his departure, there was a lot of bitterness from both sides. Despite this though, Goldberg still claims that he is very interested in making a return with the WWE, and having a final run of sorts. Goldberg claims that for this to happen, a lot of things have to change from both sides. Bill claims he isn’t too popular with Triple H and Vince McMahon at the moment, but like we’ve seen many times before, never say never when it comes to the WWE and their relationships with talent.
7 Shelton Benjamin
It’s been two years now that rumblings about a Shelton Benjamin return keep on coming up. Benjamin is currently wrestling for New Japan Pro Wrestling. He also worked an event with Global Force Wrestling. Many were shocked to find out that in April of 2010, Benjamin had been released by the company. Despite his release, Benjamin has found tremendous success outside of the WWE reinventing himself in front of a different audience. Despite his success outside of the WWE, Benjamin claims that he will be back with the company at some point in his career. Shelton said during an interview that he left on good terms and that the door will always be open for him to return. Benjamin claims that when he comes back, it will be with the same goals as always: to steal the show no matter what he is involved in. Hope to see this guy back very soon!
6 Vince Russo
How quickly you can destroy your reputation, especially in the wrestling business. Vince Russo seems to be the poster boy for this statement. After a successful run with the WWE, the creative head moved onto WCW destroying not only the product, but his personal career as well. The WWE never took him back and Russo has never seemed to recover since his mess, failing to make an impact with the likes of TNA Wrestling.
Russo has it made it very loud and clear that he intends on helping the WWE creatively. Russo has a weekly podcast in where he discusses the state of the WWE today. Russo is also very quick to criticize the job that the creative team is doing with the current product. There is no doubt that Russo would love to come back and redeem himself after an embarrassing run with WCW. Many in the wrestling business believe that Russo was actually genius, and even Shawn Michaels claims that Russo helped to bring the attitude era of wrestling when the WWE looked down and out. It’ll be interesting to see if Russo will ever be involved with the WWE’s product once again.
5 Kelly Kelly
Give the girl credit, she managed to build her way up in the company eventually capturing an improbable run with the Divas Championship. Kelly’s career started as basically a s*x symbol for the ECW brand, putting on dancing routines. This bizarre tactic actually worked wonders for the WWE and she became the highest rated segment for the depleted brand on a weekly basis. Following her success, the company decided to exploit her in-ring talents due to a thin Divas division, unlike the one we see today. She overcame many odds and managed to win over many backstage WWE personnel before parting ways.
The former WWE employee has also expressed interest in making a return to the company in the near future. With the Divas Revolution taking place, this looks highly unlikely with the WWE pushing new young talent in the women’s division. Today, Kelly Kelly is working as a full time model. You can look at her recent work through Kelly’s Instagram page under her new alias, @thebarbieblank. Her most noticeable piece of modelling work was making the coveted cover of Maxim magazine. The 28 year old is also available for bookings through her email.
4 Jeff Hardy
His popularity and the legacy he left behind still carries him to this day. Jeff was a trailblazer redefining an extreme side to the pro wrestling business, which hadn’t been seen before at the time. Jeff, along with other younger stars Matt Hardy, Edge and Christian, took it among themselves to recreate the Tag Team scene, providing some of the most memorable moments of the 90s and into the 2000s. His success would eventually lead him to a WWE Championship run, where he would also win the World Heavyweight Title twice.
Since Hardy’s departure in 2009, many rumors have surfaced about a possible return to the WWE. Most recently, Hardy confirmed those rumors are in fact true. Hardy revealed during Ric Flair’s podcast that he still has so much left to accomplish with the WWE. Jeff made it clear that he and his brother Matt, would love to end their careers with the WWE. Hardy also said that he would love to have another encounter with the Dudley brothers. Hardy concluded the interview stating that a return will happen, it’s just a matter of when. This year’s WrestleMania remains a possibility for the former Tag Team Champions.
Many remember him as Boo-Tista, though this is a little unfair especially when you think about his accomplishments with the WWE. At one point, everyone pointed at Batista to be the future of wrestling alongside John Cena. Dave managed to have a great career, winning the World Heavyweight Championship four times along with two WWE Title runs. Not to mention, he main evented WrestleMania 21 by defeating Triple H, something few can actually say they’ve done.
Despite all his success outside of the WWE, Batista made it clear that he is still a wrestler at heart. Batista went on the record stating that he is always interested in returning to the WWE. Batista expressed interest in working a similar schedule like Chris Jericho, that would enable him to work live non-televised events. Batista claims he doesn’t want to get locked into any storylines because of poor writing by WWE’s creative team. You got to love the guy for being honest. No doubt we'll be seeing Batista back in the ring very soon.
On April 20th, 2016, one of the greatest trailblazers in WWE history Chyna, passed away at the young age of 46. What made things that much harder on so many former wrestlers and fans was knowing how badly Chyna wanted to step foot in a WWE ring again. Before her passing, she contacted numerous WWE representatives for another opportunity, only to hear that they were not interested at the moment. Unfortunately, we will never get the chance to see this happen; we will however, celebrate her extraordinary career at the WWE Hall of Fame hopefully this upcoming year. She revolutionized the business becoming the first woman to accomplish so many unthinkable things, like entering a Royal Rumble and winning an Intercontinental Championship.
She was a pioneer and someone we will never forget. Her accomplishments make her the greatest female athlete to ever step foot in a WWE ring; an accomplishment that will go untouched for years.
1 Hulk Hogan
When you think of wrestling, you can’t help but to think of Hulk Hogan. Perhaps no wrestler dominated the landscape of sports and entertainment more than the Hulkster. In the ring and out of it, he put wrestling on the map. His contributions with the WWE and WCW were monumental, and he managed to recreate the look of the business on multiple occasions in two distinctly different eras. There is not a wrestler in the world that can say they’ve done that.
Hulk Hogan has expressed a lot of interest in making a return to the WWE and redeeming his legacy of some racist remarks he made which were caught on tape. It seems like the Hulkster is just waiting for the green light from the WWE. In a recent interview, Triple H also admitted that he would like to see Hogan back in a WWE ring. Triple H claims that seeing Hogan back on top would make for a great story and really help his confidence at the same time. It seems like only a matter of time before the Hulkster is back on WWE TV.