Wrestling History Lesson: Royal Rumble Surprise Entries | Smark Out Moment

Wrestling History Lesson: Royal Rumble Surprise Entries

Posted by Wes Keefer Thursday, January 11, 2018
The Royal Rumble in once more upon us and with it comes many surprises. From debuts to returns, the Royal Rumble has been a prime hot spot for a superstar to make an entrance with a big bang. This year's show will not have a shortage of big appearances, with the likes of former legends like Lita and Michelle McCool to make a comeback for the first ever women's Rumble match. There are several surprise entries over the years that stood out from others.

eliminated by michaels

2005- Kurt Angle
The modern day fan might not remember, but there used to be a time when if you competed in a championship match on the pay-per-view, you usually were counted out of the Rumble match. Angle make a statement and switched with another participant for the 20th spot. It came as quite as a surprise to fans, since Angle had lost in his championship match earlier in the night. However, Angle was soon eliminated by Shawn Michaels and the two would continue their rivalry into WrestleMania that same year.

three faces of mick

1998- Mick Foley
Foley was selected to be one of the first two men to start off the match and wasn't expected to last long. He was eliminated in fact, but Foley would return "reincarnated". As another persona, Foley re-entered the match at 16 as Mankind. It was a fun twist and caught the attention of the WWE Universe. Mankind was also eliminated and thought to be finished for the night. The match went on and number 28, Dude Love walked his way down the ramp. It was quite a moment for Foley and something that will likely never happen again.

2015 wwe return

2015- Bubba Ray Dudley
Bubba Ray and D-Von were one of the top tag teams in the Attitude Era and in ECW. He would go on to be a top star for TNA for years. In 2015, Bubba Ray make his return to welcoming fans and in his old get-up. There was no D-Von to accompany him, but Bubba still make an impact on the match.

surprise returnwwe royal rumble

2011- Diesel and Booker T
Kevin Nash, who was expected to sign with TNA and therefor be counted out of the Royal Rumble in 2011 as a surprise entry, instead make a last minute decision to come back to WWE and make a splash at the Rumble. Booker T was also not predicted to make an appearance, but he also made a big return to the ring.

all enter rumble

2012- Michael Cole and the announce table
In 2012, WWE had the announcing team of Booker T, Jerry "The King" Lawler, and Michael Cole. Lawler and Booker made surprise appearances in the match as the annual legend additions. However, Michael Cole, with no professional wrestling career under his belt, entered at number 20 to displeasure from the crowd. WWE wasted a slot on Cole, but it was still quite a surprise.

wwe debut

2016- AJ Styles
AJ Styles had been in talks for months about jumping ship to WWE from TNA, where he had been a cornerstone for over a decade. There was speculations, but it came true when at just number three, Styles made his first WWE appearance.

2013 rumble

2013- Chris Jericho
Months before the Rumble pay-per-view, Jericho lost a match to Dolph Ziggler and Jericho lost his contract with WWE as a result. With this happening and with Jericho being quite the busy man outside of WWE, he wasn't expected to be in the Rumble. Ziggler was the first entry and awaited for his opponent and was shocked to hear Jericho's music.

promotes ppv in wwe

2001- Drew Carey
You know him from The Price is Right, Whose Line Is It Anyway, and The Drew Carey Show, but did you know that the comedian was a participant in the Royal Rumble in 2001? Blink and you would have missed it, as Carey found himself alone in the ring to be faced with Kane. It was a rare moment when Carey eliminated himself to avoid a chokeslam.

returns from injury to beat Triple H

2008- John Cena
Of all the surprise participants on this list, John Cena is one of two to actually win it. Cena suffered a torn pectoral muscle injury and was expected to be out for months, ultimately ruining his plans for the Royal Rumble three months away. 29 men had entered the match in 2008 and a surprise Cena appearance seemed far-fetched. At number 30, the music hit and Cena make a shocking return and even won the Rumble that year.

achilles injury recovery

2010- Edge
Edge, like Cena, was injured badly with a torn Achilles and was out for nearly a year. The Royal Rumble was just six months away and Edge's dream of winning was killed. Late into the match, the crowd erupted to the stunning return of Edge just six months out of recovery. To make his appearance more memorable, he would go on to win.

first ever female rumble entry

1999/2000- Chyna
Labeled as "the 9th Wonder of the World", Chyna made history by becoming the first female to enter the Rumble and the only one to do it twice (back-to-back years). She entered as the last entry in 1999, but did not last long. In 2000, she entered at 17 and even eliminated Chris Jericho himself.

glamazon enters

2010- Beth Phoenix
The Glamazon was said to be the new Chyna in WWE, being able to compete with the boys. In 2010, Beth made a surprise entry into the match and took out one of the biggest targets in the seven foot tall Great Khali

last female to enter male rumble

2012- Kharma
Kharma had taken the Divas by storm and was a dangerous threat whenever her eerie music played. In 2012, she joined a small and rare group of women and entered the Royal Rumble. She was able to take out Hunico, but only lasted just over a minute in the ring. 

What are your thoughts on these surprise Royal Rumble contestants? Be sure to leave a comment below.

THIS POST WRITTEN BY: WES KEEFER

Wes Keefer is a student studying sports journalism. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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