WWE

WWE’s 10 Greatest Homecomings, including The Rock and CM Punk’s, and Kurt Angle’s Comeback

With tonight’s episode of Raw taking place in his birthplace of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Kurt Angle is expected to return to the WWE. The ten greatest WWE homecomings in recent memory are listed below.

10. Sami Zayn: WWE champion

On the Raw show airing May 4, 2015, the now-Bloodline “Honorary Uce” made his main roster debut. In his birthplace of Montreal, Bret Hart revealed him as the unannounced challenger to John Cena‘s United States Championship open challenge.

Former WWE manager happy with Sami Zayn
Pic Credit – Sportskeeda

Zayn tore his rotator cuff while making a show of gesturing aggressively to his cheering home fans before the game. A heartbreaking moment for sure, but he became an immediate hero on the team.

9. The Hart Foundation

Bret, Owen, Jim Neidhart, The British Bulldog, and Brian Pillman reunited in 1997 to establish the final, definitive version of The Hart Foundation. As an anti-American organization, they were on their heels in the United States and on their faces in Canada, which made for an unusual dynamic.

WWE: The unfortunate story of The Hart Foundation
Pic Credit – Sportskeeda

This resulted in rapturous receptions for the trio anytime Raw visited Canada, especially for Bret and Owen.

8. The Rock

Most of The Rock‘s formative years were spent living in both California and North Carolina before the family settled in Auckland. When he received a football scholarship to attend the University of Miami, he took advantage of the opportunity and ultimately made the city his permanent residence and de facto place of origin.

The Rock responds to reports he is making WWE return as John Cena
Pic Credit – talkSPORT

The Rock surprised his devoted fans on the Raw broadcast of December 24, 2001, by appearing in his old Miami Hurricanes shirt. Later that evening, he competed for the Undisputed Title and lost, as was typical for homecoming heroes in the Vince McMahon era.

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7. Edge: WWE champion

Edge’s return to Toronto as WWE champion at Unforgiven 2006 is another example of this odd programming strategy. The previous month, at Summerslam, the Toronto native had beaten John Cena in Boston (see a theme here?).

WWE Hall Of Famer Edge
Pic Credit – Koimoi

Edge had the advantage of the home audience, the TLC match, and Lita’s support. Although Cena ultimately prevailed, this was one of the bouts that established Edge as a permanent fixture in the WWE main event.

6. Trish Stratus

At the same Unforgiven pay-per-view, the local curse backfired on the company that makes Stratusfaction. With Bret Hart’s hallmark submission move, the Sharpshooter, Trish overcame her biggest adversary Lita. Uh, Canada!

Trish Stratus
Pic Credit – Sportskeeda

In her last bout, Stratus became the first woman in WWE history to win seven different Women’s Championships. It’s unusual for champions to retire as champions, and she did just that.

5. Ric Flair

After eight years in WCW, the Nature Boy returned to his birthplace of Charlotte, North California, and the people of “Flair Country” went wild.

Ric Flair
Pic Credit – WWE

With his hand in the downfall of the WCW/ECW partnership, he had a significant role in the sequence when Vince McMahon tried to give Kurt Angle the WWE championship.

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When Shane and Stephanie sold their interests in the business, Flair told them, “the consortium was me!!!”; this made Flair and Vince co-owners of the WWE. Woo!

4. The British Bulldog: WWE

A memorable main match took place at Summerslam 1992, the last WWE stadium show in the United Kingdom.

The British Bulldog
Pic Credit – Sportskeeda

After defeating Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Title, the Bulldog was met with loud cheers from the sold-out Wembley crowd. What if Drew McIntyre had an experience like this during Clash at the Castle?

3. Kurt Angle

Tonight’s return of the Olympic gold medalist is not likely to equal his historic victory against Stone Cold at Unforgiven 2001 when he won the WWE championship in front of his family and friends in Pittsburgh.

 

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A victory for an American hero so soon after 9/11 was expected to be a moving experience for spectators and viewers at home.

2. Daniel Bryan

Former WWE superstar and current AEW star Bryan Danielson was the “Yes” campaign’s most popular wrestler in 2013 and 2014. Bryan moved back to Seattle, which is somewhat close to his hometown of Aberdeen.

While Randy Orton and John Cena were unifying the two World Titles, Bryan was one of the former champions chosen to appear in the ring for the Championship Ascension ritual.

 

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Triple H was giving his spiel when the crowd suddenly started chanting “Daniel Bryan” and “Yes,” much to the enjoyment of CM Punk and Bryan but less so for The Game. Such persistent fan backing was vital in getting Bryan into the WrestleMania 30 main event.

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1. CM Punk

CM Punk’s homecoming comeback to Chicago at Money in the Bank 2011 will never be forgotten, despite his name not being mentioned on WWE TV since his bitter exit in 2014.

The “Summer of Punk” had already begun at this point, with lots of pipe bombs and the assurance that Punk will beat WWE’s golden kid John Cena for the championship and then depart the business with the belt. In the narrative, his contract ended at midnight on the night of the pay-per-view.

 

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After Punk walks on stage, the crowd goes absolutely bananas. He delivered as promised, although briefly; yet, that response from fans ranks among the finest in recent history.