Who doesn't love to fantasy book WWE storylines? Within this article, we will be breaking down 10 possible returning WWE Superstars and how Vince McMahon and his band of merry men should book their returns. There is nothing better than the nostalgic pop of a legend making their return to the company, or your favorite Superstar coming back from a lengthy injury and in 2019 there is going to be plenty of them.
Sometimes, they can go perfectly such as Goldberg's most recent run, other times not so much as Batista (or Bluetista as he was called) will tell you. They can be tricky to get right, with WWE needing to find the balance between keeping the full-time talent strong alongside part-time legends, but most of the time this is an area WWE excels in. When it comes to a talent returning from injury there is also always going to be a guaranteed buzz about them, it's just a matter of how you use that excitement that is key and ensuring that it helps the company in the long-term. There are certain names that are guaranteed to return in 2019 (of which we will look at in this list), and others who are simply reported by dirtsheets or simply by fans wishing for it to happen online.
Either way, 2019 is going to have some great returning moments and if WWE follows our booking ideas, they could create some truly gripping television which is exactly what WWE needs right now. So get your armchair booking ready as break down exactly how the company should book the following 10 returns.
20 John Cena
He might be on his way to becoming Hollywood's next major star, following the blueprint of his former rival, The Rock, but that doesn't mean that John Cena has given up on his wrestling career just yet.
However, while he hasn't stopped wrestling he is very much coming to an end, at least in terms of getting more than just one-off matches out of him and therefore WWE needs to capitalize with what is the most obvious storyline. Cena is a main event talent, whether people like to admit that or not, he belongs at the top of the card, especially now he has even more appeal outside of WWE. When Cena makes his return for his next run he should be doing so in that spot.
19 Chasing Ric Flair's Record
Instead of just coming back to work with smaller names earlier in the card, Cena should return and attempt to become World Champion one more time. The storyline is perfect with Cena and Ric Flair tied for the most World Championship reigns in company history.
The company can have Cena actively chase the final run that would establish him as the number one of all time and if you can book a top heel to be the champion at the time, then the WWE Universe will buy into it. And a storyline like that will ensure everyone stays emotionally invested in his character.
18 Chris Jericho
There is nothing better than a top heel Chris Jericho and while he might get a huge ovation when he does make his grand return (which will happen sooner than later), that doesn't mean WWE can't change the fans minds on him.
Jericho has stated over and over that he is a WWE guy and has often discussed the respect he has for Vince McMahon in interviews, which is why he is guaranteed to have one more run with the company before all is said and done, no matter how many New Japan matches he has. Booking him in WWE would be simple.
17 Part Time Legend
There are elements of his current New Japan gimmick that Jericho should take and bring with him on his return to Raw or SmackDown. In Japan Jericho has an extremely cocky edge to his character, he doesn't care about the rules and he doesn't like anybody and bringing that to WWE would be interesting to see.
Jericho always liked to change things up though and one way he could do that as a top heel is by simply embracing the fact he is a part-time legend that comes and goes whenever he pleases as that is something that most wrestling fans (and the wrestlers themselves) absolutely hate.
Put him in a program with a top babyface who is around every week such as Seth Rollins and you have yourself a great feud that will no doubt end with Jericho putting someone over as the future of the company.
16 The Undertaker
It is inevitable that at some point between now and WrestleMania 35 The Deadman will rise once again to compete on the Grandest Stage Of Them All because WWE seemingly can't go a year without using him.
While he is very much a WWE legend and one of the greatest of all time, the fans' desire to see The Phenom is lowering every time he appears, mainly because it is clear that he is past his best and is just in pain when he wrestles. Therefore when 'Taker inevitably makes his return in the near future, it's time to look at a way to say goodbye.
15 In-Ring Future On The Line
Instead of trying to hide from that fact and cover it up by using old images of him, WWE should embrace that The Undertaker is firmly at the end of his career and work it into the storyline with a "Logan" feel to it, as that movie did with the Wolverine character.
Don't shy away from the fact that he is struggling with injuries after legendary battles with the likes of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, and many more. Showcase all the casket matches, the Hell In A Cells and everything in between and really push that he is at the end.
Then have Undertaker call out one of the top current talents such as AJ Styles, stating that he wants to try and prove that he still belongs and to do that he has to beat the best, put his career on the line so fans have an actual reason to care about the match and let the younger talent take him to a good match, ending his career to finish.
14 James Storm
While James Storm only appeared a few times in WWE, having a couple of matches in NXT, him signing with the company, technically for the first time, would also work as a return in the same sense.
Storm is one of the most experienced wrestlers around right now and it would make perfect sense for WWE to want to hire him as he still has plenty to offer the sport and he would certainly be hungry to prove himself at WWE's level. However, it would probably be best to have Storm come back in a capacity where we know he can have success this time around.
13 Reunion With Bobby Roode
Bringing Storm onto the main roster just as a singles act might be a slight risk, but bringing him in as a tag team wrestler with an established star takes away some of that fear as he would immediately be put at the level of his partner.
It just so happens that Storm's long-term tag team partner is already on Raw every week in Bobby Roode and therefore it could be a very smooth transition for him. The main roster hasn't seen the best out of Roode yet, mainly because he has been a babyface and bringing Storm in would help Roode transition.
Having Roode go on a good run with Chad Gable and then turn on him, only to join forces with a debuting Storm would put attention on Storm straight away and help freshen up the very stagnant tag team division.
12 Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has already achieved almost everything that there is to achieve in WWE having had runs as the United States, Intercontinental and Universal Champion, but there is still so much more the company can get from him.
Raw has been lacking a top talent like Kevin Owens who can put on incredible matches and get the fans invested in him and he is someone who Vince McMahon is a big fan of, hence why he got physically involved in a segment with him on SmackDown.
Owens's return has started to get hyped up and he's expected to be back by some point in February. WWE could also hold off on a return until after WrestleMania.
11 Undisputed Superstar
Owens is one of WWE's top stars and his return is something that everyone is already excited about, but what if he doesn't return alone? KO might have always pushed himself as someone who works alone to better things for his family, but with a group around him imagine how much more he could achieve. Right now in NXT, there is a perfect group that Owens could lead to the main roster in the form of the Undisputed Era. Four wrestlers who KO knows incredibly well from his time on the independent scene and who he has a very similar personality with.
Obviously, Adam Cole is the current leader, but having a main roster talent be added to the group wouldn't be a bad thing as it gives the WWE Universe an indication that they are incredibly talented. Having a stable on the main roster is something that hasn't been done well since the days of the Shield and the Wyatt Family and this could be a fun dynamic to add to the roster.
10 Bray Wyatt
There has been nothing wrong with Bray Wyatt for the past few months, he isn't injured or being punished, but WWE is just keeping him off TV to think of something worthwhile for him creatively.
The fact WWE has taken these steps rather than just keeping him on the shows doing nothing shows that the company thinks very highly of him and they have every reason to do so as Wyatt is a very talented performer. When Bray Wyatt is back in full swing, the WWE can't just simply go back to him being a leader of a group as a heel again. It's played out by this point.
9 A Babyface Leader
There has been a lot of talk about drastic character changes for him when he returns, but that isn't necessary. His gimmick has never been the problem, he can talk better than most in the company and his in-ring work has always been great, it has just been poor booking that has kept him from breaking out to the very top.
However, that doesn't mean he should return exactly the same. We have seen him be the cult leader who fans dislike, except even when he did that gimmick the fans were always behind him as his fireflies.
When he returns that is something that he should embrace. Rather than leading Rowan and Harper, he should lead a cult comprised of the WWE Universe, as a major babyface Wyatt could do great things on the roster and if he is booked right there is no reason he won't be a top star once again.
8 AJ Lee
WWE has done an amazing job with its women's evolution, but you can't help but feel there is one piece of the puzzle missing and that being one final run for AJ Lee within this incredibly talented roster.
AJ was someone who played a huge role in kickstarting this whole revolution but was sadly not around to reap the benefits of it, walking away from the company before the incredible talents that now make up the division were part of it. AJ Lee retired very early into her career and While she is married to CM Punk which makes many think she will never return, there were reports that WWE was trying to bring her in for Evolution, so it seems like the company is willing to do business with her again.
7 Best In The World
Obviously, Lee is going to get CM Punk chants and comparisons so instead of trying to awkwardly avoid them, why not fully embrace it by taking his best in the world gimmick and running with it in the women's division.
AJ could take on the top stars from Becky Lynch to Sasha Banks while calling herself the best in the world and trying to take out all of the current women, giving fans the dream matches they want to see while allowing AJ the moment she always deserved, putting on clinics against other incredibly talented women. This is an easy one.
6 The Rock
There is no way in 2019 that you could ever bring The Rock back as anything other than a top babyface, the people simply love him too much and it's unlikely he would want to be a heel and potentially damage his brand as being the nicest human in Hollywood. It has been reported that Vince McMahon is desperate to bring him back for one more match and knowing how much money he could make for himself and WWE, this seems like a wise move from everyone's standpoint. While a match with Roman Reigns can't happen, there is a way for WWE to incorporate The Great One's heritage into a storyline another way.
5 Defending Family Honor
With WWE having no choice but to embrace his true babyface popularity the company could run a storyline where The Rock returns to defend his family honor, with someone potentially running their mouth a little too much about Roman Reigns. With the fans being firmly and emotionally invested in Roman's medical condition they would certainly hate any heel who trash talked the Big Dog and with Roman not able to defend himself physically, who better than The Rock to do it for him?
WWE could potentially then bring out Reigns to be in Rock's corner in order to keep the huge swarm of momentum and love that is behind him from the fans while also getting to use The Rock one more time.
It seemed like WWE was going to finally pull the trigger on the dream WrestleMania match that Batista has in his head, which would be a one on one encounter with his former Evolution stablemate, Triple H. It was teased during the Evolution SmackDown 1000 segment but sadly, The Game's recent injury at Crown Jewel has seemingly made those plans impossible for WrestleMania 35, but that doesn't mean they have given up on the idea totally.
Batista was incredibly over with the fans during that appearance and it's clear that whatever strange feelings the WWE Universe had towards him during his last full-time spell with the company have gone, meaning they could do this story and guarantee a babyface reaction for the Animal.
3 Stopping Triple H's Return To Power
When Triple H inevitably returns to our TV screens on a weekly basis, instead of having a long, drawn out promo just cut the whole thing off and have Batista head out simply looking to destroy Triple H for never considering him to be as big of a star as him.
WWE can play out the feud between them however they see fit, but an all-out brawl style match between the two WWE legends is something that most fans could easily get behind for one last Batista run. Of course, this would have to take place once Triple H's torn pec is healed.
2 Cody Rhodes
Right now WWE is in desperate need for something new and the company really needs a genuine star and in Cody Rhodes, they would have both of those things, with Cody having left WWE and become one of the biggest stars in the world.
It has been highly reported that WWE is very interested in signing him and Cody hasn't exactly shied away from addressing the subject himself, with it often being teased on episodes of Being The Elite. Rhodes has constantly denied being interested in a WWE return, but of course, we've seen wrestlers keep possible returns under wraps before.
1 Royal Rumble Winner
With that in mind and the fact his contracts with Ring Of Honor and New Japan expire prior to the Royal Rumble, having him make his return and win the 30-man battle royal would be an amazing moment that could change the landscape of the company. The WWE Universe already knows Cody very well and he would get an amazing reaction, just as AJ Styles did when he debuted. But backing him all the way to actually win the match instantly shows to the WWE Universe that he is not coming back for the same mid-card spot he left behind several years ago.
Cody has proven he is a main event quality name and with WWE's backing he could become even bigger which is why the company should be doing everything in its power to make him a star. With Roman Reigns unavailable, having a major star to challenge for either the WWE or Universal Championship is needed and in Cody, you have just that.
Not only does this create something totally new and fresh for the Road to WrestleMania but it adds another huge name to the roster, potentially leaving the door open for his Elite friends to join him down the road.