A great surprise return is consistently one of the best things that can come in wrestling. Iconic moments like Triple H returning to WWE at Madison Square Garden or the Hardy Boyz returning to WWE at WrestleMania 33 after a long absence helped create moments that fans will never forget. WWE tries to accomplish this any time a great return is in the plans for a wrestler either returning from injury or time away.
Unfortunately for WWE, many of the great returns in recent years have been spoiled thanks to the internet and the rise of social media. Fans spot wrestlers at the airport or outside of the venue, and the rumor spreads like wildfire before the surprise comes. The wrestling culture also has people leaking news backstage to break the secret. WWE even spoils it at times when they want the social media attention. We will look at all the stories that comes from ten huge WWE returns the internet spoiled before it happened.
10 Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho is synonymous with great debuts and returns in wrestling history. The 2012 return of Jericho featured many great vignettes teasing the return or debut of an important superstar with the phrase of “It Begins” in each video.
Wrestling websites would catch on when Jericho was revealed to be flying to a few different cities on WWE’s tour ahead of his return. The internet spoiled Jericho’s return, but it still worked out well with fans losing their mind as Jericho set up a new heel character moving forward.
9 Dean Ambrose
One of the complaints from Dean Ambrose on his podcast with Chris Jericho discussing the frustrations he had with WWE was how he returned in 2018. Ambrose would make his first appearance after missing many months due to injury on Raw as the friend to help him combat both Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre.
The lack of a surprise came from both the obvious teases from WWE and online sources leaking it. Everyone knew Ambrose was going to be revealed as Rollins’ partner given their relationship and it did not create the surprise impact he wanted.
8 Finn Balor
The return of Finn Balor to WWE following an injury came on the exciting Raw the night after WrestleMania 33. Balor was forced to miss over seven months as he relinquished the Universal Championship without ever losing it.
WWE did not care to have him return ahead of WrestleMania despite being cleared to compete. Balor wrestled for weeks on the non-televised live events, so fans knew he was ready to wrestle. Once it didn’t happen before WrestleMania, all wrestling websites were reporting the Raw episode was where it would come, and that was correct.
Daniel Bryan’s 2018 run as a face character following his own return from retirement did not have many memorable moments before his heel turn. One of the rare moments came when Kane made a surprise return to help Bryan against the team of Rowan and Harper.
Kane was reported to be working the following PPV ahead of his return which made it obvious he would be coming back when Bryan needed a partner. The spoiling didn’t take too much away from the moment as the legendary team reunited for one final run.
6 The Great Khali
The internet completely spoiled an idea WWE had for the Punjabi Prison Match between Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal back in 2017. Mahal was shortly into his WWE Championship reign and WWE wanted a finish to protect Orton in defeat.
The Great Khali was called back for a one-night return where he helped prevent Orton from escaping to give Mahal the assist in retaining the title. Wrestling websites and social media posts were made all day of the show referencing Khali backstage to ruin the surprise.
5 The Undertaker
The part-time status of The Undertaker has seen him make many surprise returns to WWE with the most recent coming to help Roman Reigns against Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre. Undertaker did have one unique return get spoiled to ruin WWE’s huge surprise.
Seth Rollins defending the Universal Championship against Lesnar at Battleground 2015 featured the lights going out and Undertaker returning to attack Lesnar to avenge his streak ending. The finish was a smart one to have Rollins retain without Brock taking the loss. However, the rumors of Undertaker being backstage spoiled the moment as some fans watching home already knew it was coming.
4 Bobby Lashley
2018 featured Bobby Lashley returning to WWE after a ten-year absence. Lashley was once viewed as a future superstar for WWE, but it never panned out as he left within a few years. A great run with Impact Wrestling allowed Lashley to return a decade later once again with big plans.
WWE accidentally spoiled the return of Lashley due to a production error. Fans entering the venue for the Raw after WrestleMania 34 were greeted to a screen showcasing a logo for Lashley. The picture and report made the internet to completely spoil Lashley’s return to WWE.
3 Daniel Bryan
Another instance of WWE accidentally spoiling a return came in 2010 during the Nexus storyline. Daniel Bryan was fired on his first night with Nexus due to sponsors being upset at him breaking rules by choking ring announcer Justin Roberts with a tie.
WWE would bring Bryan back in a face role to team with many top stars and legends against Nexus in the main event of Summerslam. However, the surprise would get ruined when WWE accidentally published an article detailing Bryan’s return before it happened. Someone posted it too early and fans online were spoiled ahead of the incredible moment.
2 Roman Reigns
WWE specifically went out of their way to spoil Roman Reigns’ return to the company earlier in 2019. Reigns was out for a few months to battle with his leukemia returning in a scary time for him. WWE announced ahead of time on social media that Reigns was coming back to Raw with a big announcement.
The huge return was spoiled on the internet by the company for multiple reasons. WWE wanted everyone to tune in for both the importance of the good news and for the ratings success. Reigns revealed that he was in remission and ready to return to the ring in a tremendous feel-good moment WWE likely doesn’t regret being spoiled.
1 Brock Lesnar
The return of Brock Lesnar to WWE in 2018 featured an iconic moment in company history that was spoiled ahead of time. There were rumors of Lesnar having contract negotiations with WWE during the weekend of WrestleMania 28 ahead of this Raw.
Fans referenced this with chants of “We want Lesnar!” during a John Cena promo. WWE accidentally spoiled it by posting a picture of Brock backstage on social media seconds before his return. The fans in attendance were as happy as ever when his music hit and Lesnar officially returned to the WWE ring.