15 Most Surprising WWE Royal Rumble Entrants Of All Time

5....4...3....2....1.... music hits.... cue delirious screaming!

The Royal Rumble is less than two weeks away, and for the first time in history, the WWE Championship will be defended in the over-the-top-rope match (the title was on the line in 1992, but it was vacant). For years, the Rumble has been one of the most anticipated nights of the WWE calendar, because the Rumble match itself only happens once a year. There are many aspects of the Rumble match that are great, with the surprise of who enters at which number being one of the more exhilarating parts. Over the past decade or so, we have seen the inclusion of many surprise entrants who were not previously announced. Sometimes it's how people make their return to the company, or their return from injury. Other times, it's a one-time-only return simply to pop the crowd and give them a nice dose of sweet nostalgia. Either way, there have been numerous surprise entrants, which have differed wildly in terms of excitement and impact. These are the fifteen best/most surprising. Some of the honorable mentions who didn't make the cut include Beth Phoenix in 2010, Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler in 2011, Ricardo Rodriguez in 2012, El Torito in 2014, and DDP and The Boogeyman from last year. They didn't make the list, but the following men (and woman) did...

15. Bob Backlund (2000)

Bob Backlund has the distinction of being the first true surprise competitor. In previous Rumbles, all 30 competitors had been previously announced. Backlund's entry came completely out of nowhere. He hadn't been in active competition in years, and was last seen trying to run for president in 1996. Backlund only lasted two minutes before being eliminated by Chris Jericho, and rather than leaving through conventional means, he went through the crowd. It was a really hilarious sight in a Rumble that was filled with many funny moments. Backlund, who may have been treated as a joke in recent times but was a truly respected performer in his day, received a great pop from the MSG faithful.