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Who is your favorite surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble history?
Let us know your opinion in the comments below!
***TOP TEN SPOILERS***
#10. Rob Van Dam
RVD’s appearance at 2009’s Royal Rumble was a terrific treat for fans of “Mr. Monday Night” as Van Dam had not been seen in the WWE since 2007. Sadly, for fans of the talented ECW Original, this would be RVD’s only appearance in the WWE for several years as he continued working on the indie circuit before heading to TNA from 2010-2013.
#9. Bubba Ray Dudley
While Bubba Ray Dudley was well-known for his legendary team with Devon Dudley as the Dudley Boyz, Bubba Ray forged a successful singles run in TNA as “Bully Ray.” Thus, when Bubba Ray showed up unexpectedly at 2015’s Rumble, fans were eager to see if he’d have a singles run in the WWE…
#8. Michael Cole
If the thought of Michael Cole as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble is mind-boggling, consider this WWE announcer holds a 1-0 record at WrestleMania (a disqualification win over Jerry “The King” Lawler). If the phrase “anything can happen in the WWE” needs an example, this is it. Cole fared about as best you might imagine, managing to stay alive until fellow announcers Jerry “The King” Lawler and Booker T showed Michael what they thought about him, dumping him out of the Rumble.
#7. Drew Carey
This appearance was a true surprise as few could have envisioned the comedian and star of The Drew Carey Show stepping into a WWF ring. Nonetheless, Carey shocked fans when his name was called and he appeared in a tracksuit, seemingly a lamb to the slaughter. Carey found himself in trouble when the Big Red Machine confronted him and Carey’s cash bribe had no effect. Fortunately for the future Price is Right host, Raven attacked Kane, giving Drew time to bail out of the ring and work on the comedy pay-per-view he had appeared at the Rumble to plug.
#6. The Three Face of Foley
Mick Foley’s 2004 surprise appearance at the Rumble was a great way to build up his feud with Randy Orton, but his 1998 appearance as all three of his personas was genius personified. Here, Foley appeared as the three wrestling characters he’d become known for, first as Cactus Jack, then as Mick Foley, and last as Dude Love….
#5. Chris Jericho
Many fans must have taken Jericho at his word when he said there was no chance of him appearing at 2013’s Rumble, even though his tour schedule with his band Fozzy gave him a free date to wrestle that night. Thus, Jericho was never, EVER going to appear in the 2013 Royal Rumble—at least that’s what he and the WWE wanted fans to believe. Jericho shocked the fans when he entered the match at number two, enduring for 47 minutes before finally being eliminated.
The Rated R Superstar was going strong in 2009 until an Achilles tendon injury side-lined him from his team with Chris Jericho. With Edge believed to be out for an entire year, it seemed impossible that he’d appear at the 2010 Royal Rumble. That’s what made things even more surprising when Edge showed up…
Kevin Nash’s appearance at the 2011 Royal Rumble was a complete shock to many fans as Nash had signed a two-year extension on his TNA contract several weeks before the Rumble. What most fans didn’t know was that Nash had reached an agreement with TNA to get released from the contract, thus allowing him to sign an extended Legends contract with the WWE. Nash appeared at the Rumble as his popular character Diesel, marking the first time Big Daddy Cool had appeared in the WWE since 1996.
#2. A.J. Styles
A.J. Styles lengthy run in TNA and his loyalty to the company had some fans believing Styles would never go to the WWE, particularly after he opted for New Japan Pro Wrestling after leaving TNA. Nevertheless, Styles negotiated a fantastic deal with the WWE and shocked the WWE Universe when he debuted at 2015’s Royal Rumble.
#1. John Cena
John Cena’s 2008 surprise return tops the list because no one envisioned Cena even being close to recovery after tearing his pectoral muscle off the bone during an October 2007 match against Mr. Kennedy. Doctors reportedly told Cena he’d be out of commission for a time ranging from seven months to a year, which made a return to the Rumble as likely as Santino Marella winning the event. However, Cena lived to his credo “I never give up and I never surrender,” working hard in physical rehabilitation so he could surprise the Madison Square Garden audience and the fans at home.
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