A surprise return in WWE never fails to get the audience going and whether it is a heel or a face, any WWE legend returning to the ring makes for a mark-out moment for the fans. And with SummerSlam being the hottest party of the summer, one can expect some big names to return and help with making it more glittering. WWE should look towards bringing in some big name legends who can help with exciting the tempo of the show and have to do something big in order to get similar ratings as WrestleMania.
WWE needs to book accordingly in order to make for some shocking returns for these legends and needs to book the storylines accordingly so that the returns seem like something legitimate and meaningful for the event. There are a lot of legends who would be willing to make appearances at an event like SummerSlam and Vince and his team of writers need to book the event early in order to make room for their appearances and decide on how they can make an impact in the event and bring success to it.
Though most of the stunning returns of WWE legends are reserved for WrestleMania, WWE needs to get its groove back and with SummerSlam being the big event after the much anticipated Brand Split, WWE can take advantage of its diversity in roster and have these legends make an impact for both of them. Be it for a match or even a work in any match, watching a big legend return to the ring will be delightful for any fan and if WWE can advertise the event properly, then they’re sure to get a lot of money!
‘The Animal’ Batista has transitioned well from a WWE superstar to a Hollywood star as he’s mostly focused on filming nowadays with many of his films being quite a hit. But the WWE needs to bring in big stars to make SummerSlam seem like a big event, and with Batista being under contract they could ask him to make an appearance for a spot or segment. Although he’s filming ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2.0’ right now, he could make an appearance which would attract many fans and maybe could help with a wrestler’s heel turn in the main event of the show and then leave creative to build on that storyline, not needing him to make more appearances but at the same time having severe repercussions on the storyline.
14 Rob Van Dam
‘The Whole F'N Show’ is a huge favorite among the fans as his athletic ability in the ring along with sublime technical knowledge of wrestling makes him one of the most entertaining superstars in wrestling history. Van Dam left WWE after a short return in 2014 and is now doing events in the independent scene and will definitely answer if WWE comes calling. WWE can book him in some sort of a battle royal for a No. #1 spot at a mid card championship, as his return is guaranteed to make for a big pop and make SummerSlam so much better with his awesome moves.
13 Jim Ross
With the Brand Split indicating a split of almost everything between RAW and Smackdown, there’s also a high probability of two different commentator teams to call the two shows. With a dire need of proper commentators in WWE right now, they should look towards signing up JR who is signed up with AXS TV but can be interested in coming back. They can apologize for the disgraceful firing of him back in 2011 by bringing him into a commentary team at SummerSlam and surprising the fans with a delightful return.
12 Trish Stratus
Trish Stratus is undoubtedly one of the most glittering Women’s champions of all time in WWE and with Women’s wrestling yet again coming into prominence with the new breed of female wrestlers, adding Stratus to the mix for a match or two can elevate it further. Trish has indicated of her hopes to return to the WWE for one more match and this could be build up at SummerSlam where she could make a surprising return to challenge the Women’s Champion, setting up an era vs era match which will catch the eyes of many. Trish is a name which will reap many into the event and could set up an epic match between her and the current talented divas in WWE.
The father of The Usos is now a retired wrestler who was last seen being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame last year. Rikishi was quite the charismatic wrestler in his prime, showing off his dance moves and laying people with his horrifying ‘stink face’ and him making an appearance, maybe to help his sons in a difficult situation at SummerSlam could be a great way to come back. Also if he lays a heel out with a stink face, and then proceeds to showcase his nostalgic dance moves with his sons, it can be a really cool moment for the family.
10 The Undertaker
Last seen in a hell in a cell match against Shane McMahon, The Undertaker is looking more frail with each passing year and one could understand that his time is slowly running out. With reports that The Undertaker said that the last WrestleMania was his last, the WWE needs to use the Deadman for as long as he’s able to compete. If he can’t make it to WrestleMania, the WWE Should act quickly in booking him in a strong match in SummerSlam and sending him off on a high. Maybe a match vs John Cena which was on the cards last year until Cena’s injury could happen and making him win that would be a great way to salute the legend of the Undertaker and let him cherish his time with the fans one last time.
9 Stone Cold Steve Austin
It’s been quite a long time since we saw The Texas Rattlesnake in a SummerSlam event and his WrestleMania appearance didn’t feel fully satisfying either. Now that Austin has a healthy relation with the WWE, they could bring him bat for the hottest party of the summer as maybe a referee in the main event or a high-card match which needs someone to hold the wrestlers together and call it down the middle. As seen before, Austin is a great special referee and is ensured to entertain as one, and him maybe hitting the stunner on the winner of the match and celebrating with beers will be a delightful moment of nostalgia for us all.
8 Shawn Michaels
Quite like Austin’s, Shawn Michael’s WrestleMania appearance wasn’t fully satisfying either as one hoped he’d make more impact in such a big event. It was awesome seeing him, Austin and Foley in the ring together kick ass, but one wants someone of their stature to have a bigger role in an event. Maybe he can come back at SummerSlam to teach a lesson to a more prominent heel or even have a say in a high-card match as WWE needs to mix the ‘new era’ with the old masters in order to make for a well balanced, superb show and no-one better than The Heart Break Kid to stop the show.
Okay so we all know that Sting’s retired from competitive wrestling because of the injury he suffered last year at Night of Champions, but an appearance by him can mark the fans out. With many not even expecting him, he can maybe interfere in a match and maybe again try to be a menace for the Authority or heel GM of WWE and help the face out. WWE’s treatment of Sting has been awful and they need to give him a limelight which he deserves. If the lights go out and Sting is there in the middle of the ring with the bat in his hand ready to give justice to the wrong-doers, much of the mistreatment might be forgiven.
6 The Rock
Admit it. It won’t be a great show without the great one who is still one of the most electric icons in the WWE and a world-famous superstar. More into his super-hits film career right now, The Rock is still contracted to the WWE and could be brought to SummerSlam for a segment of his own. Just give him the mic and let him do his own shoot promos and we can expect a bag of entertainment for a good 10-15mins. The Rock’s appearance will definitely create the buzz of SummerSlam which Vince McMahon wants and will please the millions of his fans as well. And maybe if WWE decide to be ballsy, they could make him help Roman Reigns turn heel to end the show in a devastating note.
5 Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is one of the most exciting luchadors in wrestling and is beloved by many for his time in the WWE, and many think it’s high time he returns to the company. Mysterio left last year and went back to Mexico, but rumors have been brewing of him returning to the company. Now working for Lucha Underground, WWE needs to make a hell of an offer if they are to retain him but they need someone with the star-power and experience of Mysterio with the Brand Split. They could bring him back in SummerSlam and put him into a feud with a heel like Alberto Del Rio which could unravel later on, and could show him screwing over the heel and display his iconic moves in the WWE ring once again.
Goldberg’s WWE run was anything but satisfying as he did have a good streak going in the company and was a top-star of it, but left on uncertain terms and his time was deemed as a failure. But after leaving Wrestling, Goldberg has remained quite adamant to return to it and recently spoke of even considering coming back to the WWE for one last match if the price and place was right. SummerSlam could be a good place for him to return as he could screw over Brock Lesnar(again) to set up Brock vs Goldberg 2.0 at WrestleMania 33 where they could redeem their disappointing first match. This could give Goldberg some time to train for wrestling and this match is ensured to catch the eyes of wrestling fans as his return itself can be quite the shocking one.
3 Kurt Angle
It has been a long time since we’ve seen Kurt Angle in a WWE ring and one can say its high time since he returned to the company. Angle who joined TNA after departing from the WWE, is now done with the sinking ship and is a free agent who works minimum events because of his injury problems. Angle has said of his desire to return to the company but WWE don’t want him as a part-timer, and he can’t work full-time. WWE should take his deal and give him a Brock Lesnar like schedule, as he’s still able to wrestle very well and is a renown star. They could make for an amazing return for him as they could build up the John Cena US Open Challenge and none other than Angle comes to accept it. That’ll make for a humongous pop and the both can give a great match because of working together before. Angle winning or losing is beyond the point, but the fact that he’s back at WWE will make people avidly follow whichever show he goes to.
2 Jeff Hardy
Another guy whose departure from the WWE wasn’t taken well by the fans and still hasn’t sunk in, Jeff Hardy is someone who deserved more in the WWE especially after the singles push he got. Hardy is still a wrestler in TNA but would not hesitate to leave it for WWE if they come calling, and they should resign Hardy right now as they need a top high-flyer and someone as over as him will definitely help. Making him return in SummerSlam as a mystery opponent for someone or even coming to the aid of an ailing face can make for a great return and fans will go beserk when he comes back because he still has a lot of them in the WWE universe.
1 Hulk Hogan
Even after going through all the controversy, it comes without a shadow of a doubt that Hulk Hogan is still one of ‘The Faces’ of WWE even though they’ve seemed to banish him. He got deleted off their records after his sex and racism scandal, but was brought back when it cooled down and Vince McMahon can’t be angry at the guy who brought him all the fame and fortune. We could see the Hulkster back as a special guest of SummerSlam and even the guest host of SummerSlam, and it’ll definitely be a shocking return because of all his recent ordeals. One can’t rule it out though, as Hulk is one of Vince’s crowning jewels and is still capable of attracting millions of fans and the return of Hulkamania heavily help WWE’s ratings.