Ric Flair / WWE

Fans tune in to watch the iconic Royal Rumble fight to find out which surprise entrants will show up at WWE’s signature event. In the past few years, we’ve seen legendary wrestlers come back for one last match, superstars come back from injuries in surprising ways and even Johnny Knoxville. These surprise guests make not just for entertaining viewing, but also for fun sports bets.

Wrestling has many betting options and one of the exciting wagers you can make are prop bets. So if you want to bet on this year’s Royal Rumble surprise guest, you can check out sites like PlayUp to get an idea of how to wager and who is on the cards for 2023. Some people still value the modified Battle Royale as the beginning of the road to WrestleMania.

However, for many others, the frantic, nonstop 30-man over-the-top rope spectacle is already exciting enough. Since the top wrestlers in the business can all appear in the same ring at once, the Rumble is filled with unforgettable moments that give fans plenty to celebrate. What are some of the most memorable Royal Rumble comebacks in recent memory? Let’s take a look.

Royal Rumble 1992 

The 1992 Royal Rumble match is regarded as the greatest Royal Rumble match of all time for a reason. It’s not because of the star power in the match, although it features some of the top wrestlers at the time. It’s not that there were many “wow” moments. No, people think it was the best Rumble ever because it told a story from start to finish. It was the story of how Ric Flair kept going after he switched from WWE to WCW and won the match, making him a big Superstar in the eyes of WWE fans.

Flair not only won the Rumble, but he also got back the WWE Championship, which had been taken away from him because he had cheated during Hulk Hogan’s matches with the Undertaker. As a result, the 1992 Rumble not only had bragging rights but also held the most coveted trophy in the wrestling industry.

Royal Rumble 1998

It can be hard to give fans moments that are completely new and real in a field where plots are often recycled and things that seemed impossible at first quickly become the norm.

Despite all the odds, WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley accomplished it during the 1998 Royal Rumble. Foley made a name for himself by famously switching between three different WWE personalities in the late 1990s and the early 2000s: Mankind, Cactus Jack, and Dude Love. 

Mankind was the lovable idiot who lived in a boiler room, Cactus Jack was the embodiment of hardcore wrestling, and Dude Love was a man stuck in the 1970s who thought he was God’s gift to women.

The fact that Foley’s entrance in the 1998 Royal Rumble occurred in three separate instances makes it a moment that will never be forgotten in WWE history. Foley became the first Superstar to ever compete in the Royal Rumble three times in one bout, despite not ultimately winning the Rumble. In fact, all three “Faces of Foley” competed in the match.

Royal Rumble 2008

Early in October 2007, during a Monday Night RAW match, Cena suffered a very bad injury: his right pectoral muscle tore all the way through. If that injury seems familiar, it’s because Cody Rhodes famously had a similar injury in 2022 that prevented the American Nightmare from making a WWE comeback. There wasn’t a single wrestling fan on the planet who predicted a surprise John Cena Royal Rumble debut in 2008. Cena’s injury timeline was projected to be in the 9–12 month range.

The shocking reappearance of John Cena at the Rumble that night sent the Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy, much to the displeasure of the Superstars in the ring, notably Triple H. The reaction of the crowd speaks for itself: whispers of excitement and confusion that eventually turn into complete chaos. Simply because it was illogical and shouldn’t have been possible, it was one of the greatest moments in Royal Rumble history.

When John Cena healed himself like Wolverine, it was one of the first times he proved he was a real-life superhero. Cena made things even better by going on to win the Royal Rumble, finishing off one of his career’s most memorable moments.