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Top 10 WWE legends who were booed by fans upon their return

Published at :February 13, 2024 at 5:03 PM
Modified at :February 13, 2024 at 5:03 PM
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(Courtesy : WWE)


Traditionally, when a WWE wrestler makes a triumphant return, fans anticipate a wave of universal love and adoration. However, the unpredictable world of professional wrestling often takes unexpected turns, and even legendary figures can find themselves facing the wrath of disapproving audiences.

Whether due to unforeseen circumstances, creative decisions, or simply the shifting dynamics of fan sentiment, there have been instances where returning WWE legends were met with a chorus of boos instead of cheers.

Here are the top 10 WWE legends who returned and were booed by fans:

10. The Undertaker (2000)

Even the legendary Undertaker faced an unexpected reception upon his return in 2000. Fans, accustomed to the Deadman’s eerie presence, were less receptive during this particular phase of his storied career.

9. Kurt Angle (2017)

Kurt Angle’s return to WWE in 2017 was met with excitement, but as he took on the role of Raw General Manager, the cheers waned. Fans expressed dissatisfaction with his managerial role, showcasing the challenges even seasoned legends face in adapting to new roles.

8. Triple H (2002)

Triple H’s return in 2002 after a quadriceps injury should have been a triumphant moment. However, fans voiced their disapproval, showcasing the fickle nature of wrestling audiences and their ever-changing expectations.

7. Stone Cold Steve Austin (2003)

In a reversal of roles, Stone Cold Steve Austin, typically the recipient of thunderous cheers, experienced a mixed reaction during his return in 2003. The Austin-Rock rivalry showcased the unpredictable nature of fan sentiment.

6. John Cena (2020)

Despite being a cornerstone of WWE for over a decade, John Cena faced unexpected boos upon his return in 2020. The changing landscape of WWE and evolving fan preferences contributed to this surprising turn of events for the 16-time World Champion.

5. Goldberg (2016)

Goldberg’s return to WWE in 2016 generated significant buzz. However, as his rivalry with Brock Lesnar unfolded, fans began to show their displeasure. The unexpected negative reactions added a layer of complexity to Goldberg’s otherwise triumphant comeback.

4. Rey Mysterio (2014)

Even the beloved high-flyer Rey Mysterio faced a surprising turn of events during his return in 2014. Fans, expecting a hero’s welcome, instead voiced their discontent, signalling a shift in audience expectations and reactions. It was all because how crazy Daniel Bryan (now Bryan Danielson) was seen by the fans.

3. Batista (2014)

Former World Champion Batista made a much-anticipated return to WWE in 2014. Despite his successful past, fans were less than thrilled with “The Animal’s” comeback. The negative reactions led to a change in plans, altering Batista’s character arc during his run. Batista also, had to face fans who loved Daniel Bryan to death.

2. Hulk Hogan (2002)

In 2002, “The Immortal” Hulk Hogan returned to WWE after a hiatus. However, the reception was not as warm as expected, with fans expressing their displeasure during matches, particularly against The Rock at WrestleMania X8. Hogan’s status as a legendary babyface didn’t shield him from the audience’s unexpected backlash.

1. The Rock (2024)

Cody appeared on WWE Smackdown to tell fans that despite pointing to Reigns at the Royal Rumble, he had a change of heart. He would not be challenging for the championship, which came to the confusion of fans, at which point The Rock made his return.

In the unpredictable world of professional wrestling, even the most iconic figures can find themselves on the receiving end of boos when returning to the squared circle. Whether due to creative decisions, evolving fan preferences, or unforeseen circumstances, these instances remind us that the WWE universe is ever-changing, and legends, despite their status, are not immune to the shifting tides of audience sentiment.

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