Top 10 Royal Rumble shock entrants, including John Cena, Edge and AJ Styles

24 Jan

The Royal Rumble pay-per-view always kicks off WrestleMania season.

The winner of the Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble matches earns each superstar a world title opportunity at the Show of Shows.

Ronda Rousey has been rumoured to return at this month’s Royal Rumble

CM Punk and Ronda Rousey have been tipped to make their in-ring return at this month’s Royal Rumble.

Punk has not wrestled in WWE since 2014, while Rousey has not been seen inside the squared circle since losing her Raw Women’s title to Becky Lynch last year.

Even with the rumours, the returns could be a stunning development on the night and there have been many in the famous contest over the years.

Below, talkSPORT.com looks back at 10 of the biggest Royal Rumble shock entrants in history.


The Three Faces of Foley, 1998

Mick Foley’s three personas all hilariously participated in the 1998 Royal Rumble match – but none of them won. Cactus Jack was entrant No.1, Mankind followed later on and Dude Love was Foley’s final appearance in the bout.

Following Love’s music, commentator Jim Ross exclaimed: “This foolish baby boy is pulling a triple header!”

We’re never likely to see something quite like that ever again.

John Cena, 2008

Cena damaged his pectoral muscle in October 2007, and was in a race against time to make it back for WrestleMania.

So when he returned as entrant No.30 at the Royal Rumble in January, the crowd in Madison Square Garden went wild.

He won the match by eliminating the other final participant, Triple H.

Edge, 2010

Similarly to Cena, Edge had been sidelined through injury, an Achilles issue, for months, before returning at the Royal Rumble.

The Rated R Superstar was entrant No.29 and eliminated Cena to book his ticket to the WrestleMania main event.

 

Booker T, 2011

After stints with TNA and IWA on the independent circuit, Booker T returned to WWE for a second spell.

He made his comeback at the Royal Rumble to the reaction of a huge pop from the audience.

The former world champion only lasted just over a minute as he was eliminated by Mason Ryan.

Booker T is a retired wrestler
Getty

Chris Jericho, 2013

One of the biggest shocks in Royal Rumble history was the return of Jericho in 2013.

His comeback happened after a five-month hiatus and he lasted just under 50 minutes in an impressive showing as the second entrant.

He was eventually eliminated by Dolph Ziggler, who was entrant No.2.

Chris Jerichois a legend of the wrestling business
Chris Jericho is a legend of the wrestling business

Sami Zayn, 2016

Zayn had returned from a vicious beatdown by former best friend Kevin Owens on NXT a month prior to the Royal Rumble.

But it was still a shock to see him announced as entrant No.20 – to Owens’ horror.

Zayn eliminated Owens before being chucked out by Braun Strowman.

‘I have to face Sami Zayn at WrestleMania’, says Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn had a great two-year feud

AJ Styles, 2016

No one ever expected Styles to join WWE – and when he did – no one could have predicted his success with the company.

Since making his debut at the Royal Rumble, to a huge pop, he has won two world titles and is a three-time United States champion.

He was the hottest free agent at the time – and the Rumble appearance reflected his stardom.

Triple H, 2016

Triple H forced Roman Reigns to defend his WWE Championship in the Royal Rumble match as entrant No.1.

The Game entered at No.30 and eliminated Reigns, who lasted just 12 seconds short of an hour.

Triple H ended up winning the gold by outlasting Dean Ambrose.

Reigns would avenge his loss, though, by defeating Triple H to win back his title in the main event of WrestleMania 32.

Rey Mysterio, 2018

Rumours were rife about Mysterio’s return to WWE for months, but it finally happened at the Royal Rumble as entrant No.27.

There was a sweet nostalgic feeling when his famous ‘619’ music hit.

Rey Mysterio returned at the 2018 Royal Rumble

Nia Jax, 2019

Jax divides opinions within the WWE Universe for her in-ring work and mic skills.

Everyone thought her night was done when she failed to win the Women’s Royal Rumble match.

However, after attacking R-Truth, who was entrant No.30, Jax became the fourth woman to participate in a Men’s Royal Rumble match after Chyna (1999), Beth Phoenix (2010) and Kharma (2012).

Jax eliminated Mustafa Ali before being on the receiving end of a Superkick from Ziggler, a 619 from Mysterio and a devastating RKO from Randy Orton.

She was then hurled over the ropes by Orton.

It was an admirable effort from the former Raw Women’s champion.

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