|Date: January 29, 2012
|Venue: Scotttrade Center |City: At Louis, Missouri
|Attendance: 18,121 |Buys: 443,000

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

The Royal Rumble returns for the 25th year, it’s my favourite pay per view of the year and as always, I cannot wait for the Royal Rumble match itself. It’s back down to 30 participants (from the 40 that were in it last year) and we know a few of the participants such as Mick Foley, Jinder Mahal, Jack Swagger, The Miz, R-Truth, Cody Rhodes and Santino there are only a handful of favourites and they are Sheamus, Randy Orton, Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho. It’s not a star-studded field like it has been in years gone by but it should be fun. We do know that The Miz will be the number one entrant after he lost a match to R-Truth on Raw last week.

As well as the Royal Rumble match itself, we do know of three other matches. The WWE Championship will be on the line as CM Punk defends against Dolph Ziggler. CM Punk was originally pinned by Dolph in a gauntlet match. This earned Ziggler a title match that he won by count out due to distraction from John Laurinaitis. Laurinaitis then announced that Ziggler would battle CM Punk for the WWE title once again at the Royal Rumble. CM Punk would beat Jack Swagger which meant that both Swagger and Vickie Guerrero would be banned from ringside at the Royal Rumble. Laurinaitis would go on to announce himself as the special guest referee for the WWE title match at the Royal Rumble. Will he be able to stay unbiased?

The World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line as the two previous champions, Mark Henry and The Big Show get their shot against Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan has done his best to escape matches against Big Show and Mark Henry on Smackdown over the past few weeks but he won’t be able to do that tonight as the three men meet inside of a steel cage. Also tonight Kane will go one on one with John Cena. Kane has been on a warpath since his return, targeting John Cena and telling him to embrace the hate. Kane has even injured Zack Ryder by chokeslamming him through the stage and breaking his back. Ryders girlfriend Eve Torres has blamed Cena for Jack’s injuries.

In a dark match prior to the event Yoshi Tatsu defeated Heath Slater.

A video package kicks us off with the different superstars staking their claim to win the Royal Rumble match. There’s a bit of a history of the Royal Rumble but who will be destined for greatness tonight? Not many big stars in this match by the look of it.

Michael Cole welcomes us to St Louis, he’s joined on commentary by Booker T and Jerry Lawler.

Daniel Bryan (c) vs. Mark Henry vs. The Big Show – Triple threat cage match for the World Heavyweight Championship

This is a first time triple threat match between these three men and a first World Heavyweight Championship title defence for Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan started last years Royal Rumble match against CM Punk, now both men are world champions. The bell rings and Bryan tries to get out the cage but Mark Henry pulls him down and Big Show drops Daniel Bryan with a spear. Big Show drops Mark Henry with a shoulder charge and then crushes him into the cage a couple of times. Daniel Bryan once again tries to climb out of the cage but The Big Show pulls him back into the ring. Big Show hits Bryan with a big chop but Big Show throws him into the side of the cage. Big Show then motions for the WMD punch but Daniel Bryan ducks and Big Show hits the cage. Daniel Bryan hits a low dropkick to Big Show and then hits Mark Henry with kicks.

Daniel Bryan asks for the door to be opened and looks to walk out but Mark Henry drags him back in. Henry headbutts Bryan but then walks into the boot of The Big Show. Big Show launches Daniel Bryan into the side of the cage again a couple of times and then hits him with a powerslam. Mark Henry hits Big Show with a clothesline and then Henry launches Daniel Bryan into the cage. Big Show hits Mark with a spear and all three men are down. Daniel Bryan crawls onto Mark Henry for the first near fall of the night. Big Show throws Daniel Bryan into the cage a few more times and then motions for a chokeslam. Bryan instead hits a tornado DDT on Big Show and pins him for a one count. Bryan then locks the LeBell lock on Big Show but Mark Henry breaks it up. Henry then sets Bryan up for the world’s strongest slam but Big Show hits Henry with a WMD! Big Show pins Mark Henry but Daniel Bryan breaks it up.

Daniel Bryan climbs over the cage quickly but Big Show goes up with him. Big Show grabs on to Daniel Bryans arm to stop him falling to the outside but the grip is broken and Daniel Bryan drops to the floor! Daniel Bryan wins the match and retains his World Heavyweight Championship tonight! It seemed like a quick match but it was probably about right for these three. Well, Big Show and Mark Henry anyway. I wasn’t a huge fan of the finish but overall an ok match. Bryan celebrates by shouting Yes! Wonder if it’ll catch on?

Rating: 5.75/10

There’s a VT about John Cena and how much of a nice guy he is.

Alicia Fox, Kelly Kelly, Eve & Tamina vs. Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Brie Bella & Nikki Bella – 8 Diva tag team match

An unannounced 8 diva tag team match is up next. The heels are all in matching gear. Natalya starts the match against Tamina. Natalya farted in Smackdown last week. Tamina drops Natalya with a headbutt for a two count. Tamina tags in Eve who hits a standing moonsault on Natalya for a two count. Natalya tags in Beth who lays into Eve with right hands. Eve hits a clothesline and tries for a rolling senton but Beth gets her knees up. Beth gets a two count and tags in Nikki Bella. Nikki hits some kicks and then applies a chinlock but Eve fights out of it. Eve tags in Alicia Fox who drops Nikki with dropkicks. Beth got in the ring but didn’t do anything. Nikki continues to go to work on Alicia and applies a seated abdominal stretch. Alicia fights out of it and tags in Kelly Kelly who gets a few boo’s.

Kelly hits a tilt-a-whirl head scissors and then a springboard back elbow and bulldog for a two count. All of the divas gets involved as all hell breaks loose. They take the fight to the outside but Kelly Kelly goes up top and takes them all out! Kelly throws Nikki back in the ring but Nikki drops her on the middle rope. Beth Phoenix then tags herself in with a hard tag. She hits the glam slam on Kelly and gets the three! Beth Phoenix picks up another win, she’s been on a hell of a roll. Nikki Bella also picks up her first ever PPV win.

Rating: 3.75/10

We see some footage from Raw with Kane chokeslamming Zack Ryder through the stage and Ryder then leaving in an ambulance.

Zack Ryder is being wheeled backstage in a wheelchair. He runs into John Laurinaitis who has got Zack his own locker room. Big Johnny is trying to be nice after putting Ryder in a match with Kane. Eve Torres arrives and gives Laurinaitis a piece of her mind, telling him that she hopes he is fired on Raw.

John Cena vs. Kane

Unbelievably this is the first ever PPV singles match between these two men. Two of the top ten of all time up to this point. Cena doesn’t need to be in the Royal Rumble match as he his match for Wrestlemania is already set in stone, he’ll be taking on The Rock. The bell rings for this one and Cena goes right to work on Kane but Kane takes the advantage with a right hand and throws Cena into the top turnbuckle. Cena fires back with some right hands of his own and then clotheslines Kane out of the ring. Kane drags Cena out and knocks him down with a right. Cena reverses an Irish whip which sends Kane into the ring steps. Kane sells a bad knee but rolls back into the ring where Cena is waiting and looks to hit an attitude adjustment but falls flat on his face. Kane hits more right hands and a big boot for a two count.

Kane applies a chinlock but Cena gets out of it and exchanges right hands with Kane. Cena wins the exchange but runs into an uppercut. Kane gets a two count and then hits a suplex for a near fall. Kane applies another chinlock but Cena fights out of it again. Kane keeps the advantage with right hands and then a clothesline in the corner. Cena hits a drop toe hold and then looks for a bulldog but Kane sidesteps and sends Cena onto the apron. Cena drops Kane on the top rope and then runs into a clothesline. Kane wraps his hand around the face of Cena, dropping him to his knees but Cena manages to counters and lock on a crossface. Kane powers out of it and hits a sidewalk slam before going up to the top and hitting a big clothesline. Kane motions for a chokeslam but Cena ducks it and hits two shoulder charges and a side suplex. Cena is bleeding from near his ear but he motions for the five knuckle shuffle just for Kane to grab him by the throat. Cena gets out of the grip but runs into a big boot.

Kane gets a near fall and then smashes Cena into the top turnbuckle. Kane pops Cena on the top, looking for a superplex but Cena fights him off and hits a top rope five knuckle shuffle. Cena looks for an attitude adjustment but Kane fights out of it. Cena hits a low dropkick but Kane kicks him out of the ring. Kane rams Cena into the apron and the two men then take the fight to the entrance way. The referee counts them both out! This match is over, it’s a double count out!

The fight continues though all the way to the back where Kane hits Cena with a chair. Kane now goes equal with Shawn Michaels with 7 PPV’s, a record in the WWE. Kane notices Zack Ryders locker room and kicks open the door before choking him out and wheeling him on to the entrance ramp! Past a stretcher funnily enough. Kane wheels Ryder down to the ringside area and tips him over before rolling Ryder into the ring. Eve then comes out and begs Kane to stop. Kane hits Ryder with a tombstone. Cena emerges form the back but Kane hits him with a chokeslam and leaves. Ryder leaves on a stretcher.

Rating: 5.75/10

There’s a VT about superstars being bullied.

Next up is a VT about The Rock.

WWE Photo

Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre

This is a pay per view debut for Brodus Clay who doesn’t come out as a monster but as a dancing Funksaurus. Clay is flanked by the Funkadactyles, Naomi and Cameron. Drew McIntyre is on a big losing streak at the moment. Drew gets a cheap shot in and follows it up with a clothesline in the corner. Brodus Clay no-sells, instead jiggles. Clay hits a headbutt and a t-bone suplex before hitting a big splash in the corner and a cross body which is enough for the three! A squash tonight but a win for Brodus Clay in his PPV debut!

Rating: N/A

There’s a video package next, showing how the WWE Championship match came about.

CM Punk (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler – WWE Championship match with John Laurinaitis as special guest referee

This is a first time PPV match between these two men. I’m hopeful their styles will compliment each other. CM Punk has wrestled in the Royal Rumble match the last five years so he’s yet to pick up a victory at this event yet. Dolph is 0-4 at the event himself. John Laurinaitis is out first and announces that he will be officiating from outside the ring. WWE referee John Cone will be the referee inside the ring. Ziggler is joined by Vickie Guerrero. Vickie doesn’t last long though as John Laurinaitis sends her to the back. Punk beat Swagger in a match on Raw a couple of weeks ago that meant she wasn’t supposed to be out here. Ziggler takes a cheap shot in the early going but Punk avoids a fame-asser. Ziggler counters a go to sleep attempt and there’s a stand off. Punk hits some kicks and there are a few counters resulting in another stand-off.

Punk hits a sunset flip which Ziggler kicks out of and Punk then attempts to lock on the anaconda vice but Ziggler gets to the ropes. CM Punk locks on an abdominal stretch and lays in some elbows before suplexing Ziggler on to the top rope. That was sloppy. Dolph falls to the outside and the WWE Champion hits him with a suicide dive. Punk rolls Dolph back into the ring and then goes up to the top but Ziggler pulls him down. Which was also sloppy. Ziggler gets a two count and hits a number of elbow drops for a one count. Dolph applies a chinlock but Punk gets out of it. Ziggler then looks to lock on a sleeper but Punk counters and attempts the anaconda vice but Dolph counters that and applies a sleeper. Ziggler hits a dropkick for a two count and then looks for a fame-asser but Punk counters with a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. John Laurinaitis is texting on the outside. Punk hits a dropkick and a neckbreaker before hitting his trademark running knee and a bulldog.

Punk motions for a go to sleep but Dolph counters and slingshots Punk who lands on the second rope and hits a cross body which Ziggler rolls through for a two count. Ziggler looks for a zigzag but Punk holds on to the ropes. Punk then hits a high kick for a near fall. Punk hits a powerslam and then heads to the top, glaring at John Laurinaitis as he does. The WWE Champion hits an elbow drop and pins Ziggler for a two count. Punk looks for the go to sleep again but dolph counters and shoves Punk away. Punk hits the referee, taking him out. Punk hits an arm drag and locks on the anaconda vice. Ziggler taps out but the referee is down and Laurinaitis is seeing to the him. Punk screams at John to get in the ring. Ziggler rolls Punk up but Punk rolls through and gets a three count but still no referee. Laurinaitis rolls the referee back into the ring and goes in with him.

Ziggler looks to hit the zigzag but Punk counters and hits Dolph with the go to sleep! Punk swung Dolph into Laurinaitis as he did, knocking the interim Raw General Manager out of the ring. Punk pins Dolph but there’s still nobody to count. Punk looks for another go to sleep but Ziggler counters with a fame-asser for a near fall. The referee is back up now. Ziggler hits Punk with right hands and then looks for another fame-asser but Punk counters, slingshotting Ziggler into the ringpost and then hitting the go to sleep! Punk hooks the leg and both the referee and John Laurinaitis count the three! CM Punk wins the match and retains the WWE Championship!

Rating: 7.25/10

There’s a video package next hyping the Royal Rumble and numbers to go with it. Every superstar is eligible for the first every time. I don’t even know what that means. But hopefully it brings some surprises.

The 2012 Royal Rumble match

We already know that number is The Miz following his loss to R-Truth on Raw last week. Miz gets on the mic before the match and says that wrestlers are laughing at him because he’s the number one entrant but Miz will show them like he did when he won the WWE Championship. He’s wearing too much fake tan. Number 2 is Alex Riley. Riley is Miz’s former protege and made of mess of last years Royal Rumble when he was eliminated accidentally. It’s back and forth in the early going but Riley takes down Miz with a clotheslines and then looks to eliminate him. Miz fires back and lays in the boots before looking to eliminate Riley but Riley counters and throws Miz over the top and on to the apron. Riley runs at Miz but Miz pulls down the top rope and Riley falls out of the ring! Alex Riley has been eliminated. Number 3 is R-Truth who also has a lot of issues with The Miz. Truth takes down Miz, hitting him with right hands and a dropkick. Both men look for their finishers and both men counter. Truth hits a version of a death valley driver but still can’t eliminate Miz.

#4 is Cody Rhodes. Some solid midcarders in the ring now. Rhodes hits a beautiful disaster kick on Truth and then a face-first suplex. Miz and Rhodes then double team R-Truth. Truth manages to fight them off, back-dropping Cody on to the apron. Miz drops Truth with a backbreaker which allows Rhodes to get back into the ring. #5 is Justin Gabriel who hits a big cross body on Miz and Rhodes. Gabriel hits a sit-out powerbomb on Rhodes and then a big spinning kick on Miz. Gabriel then takes down Truth but Rhodes attacks the South African from behind. Rhodes and Gabriel pair off as do Miz and Truth. Rhodes and Gabriel have had their issues on Smackdown as of late. #6 is Primo who is still looking for his first ever PPV victory. Primo takes down everyone in sight. He hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on Justin Gabriel but Miz throws Truth over the top and out of the match! R-Truth has been eliminated. Truth drags Miz out of the ring and wipes him out on the outside.

#7 is Mick Foley! We knew he was going to be involved. Foley lays into Primo, hitting him with right hands and then back body dropping him out of the match! Primo has been eliminated. Cody Rhodes goes after Foley but Foley fires back with some right hands. Foley hits a running knee on Rhodes and then a double armed DDT! #8 is Ricardo Rodriguez! We’re led to believe it’s Alberto Del Rio but Rodriguez comes out in a terrible car. This is an in-ring PPV debut for Rodriguez. Foley finds it hysterical. A “Ricardo” chant breaks out. Rodriguez goes right after Cody Rhodes who is down in the corner. Justin Gabriel dropkicks Rodriguez but Ricardo fires back with right hands! Mick Foley and Ricardo Rodriguez then double team Justin Gabriel eliminating Justin Gabriel from the match! #9 is Santino! The comedy continues as Santino hits a back body drop on Ricardo and inverted atomic drop.

Santino and Ricardo then roll around the ring together. Santino wedgies Ricardo and then throws him over the top! Ricardo Rodriguez has been eliminated! There were a few boo’s for that. Mick Foley pulls out Mr Socko and Santino pulls out cobra! They circle each other for a minute as the next entrant is on his way! #10 is Epico who still looks for his first PPV victory. Santino hits the cobra on Epico and Mick Foley rams Mr socko down his throat, managing to tip him over the top! Epico has been eliminated! Foley and Santino lock hand puppets but they are attacked by The Miz and Cody Rhodes! Cody Rhodes eliminates Santino from the match! The Miz and Mick Foley go at it but Cody Rhodes attacks Mick from behind eliminating Mick Foley from the match! #11 is Kofi Kingston. Kofi goes after both Miz and Rhodes, taking both men apart with kicks. Kingston hits a springboard clothesline on both men and then a double boom drop!

Kofi looks to eliminate Miz but Miz hangs on. Cody attacks Kofi from behind, hitting a dropkick. Cody can’t eliminate Kofi but Miz looks to help him out. #12 is Jerry “The King” Lawler! Lawler gets a huge pop! Miz and Rhodes look to double team Lawler but The King fights off both men! King powerslams Miz and then goes up to the middle rope, drops the strap and hits a fistdrop! But Cody Rhodes attacks Lawler from behind, throws him over the top, eliminating Jerry Lawler from the match. #13 is Ezekiel Jackson who hasn’t had much luck recently. Jackson drops Cody and Miz and then hits Kofi with a clothesline. Ezekiel hits Miz with a clothesline and then slams Cody Rhodes. Jackson chokes The Miz with his boot and then lays into Kofi Kingston, hitting him with a spinning sidewalk slam. Jackson then goes back after the man that beat him for the Intercontinental Championship, Cody Rhodes. #14 is Jinder Mahal. Jinder has been feuding with the likes of Ted DiBiase and Sheamus as of late. It’s a PPV in-ring debut for Jinder Mahal.

Ezekiel Jackson waits for Jinder who is taking his time. Jinder drops Jackson with a neckbreaker and then goes after Kofi Kingston. Miz lays into Ezekiel and is helped out by Cody Rhodes. #15 is The Great Khali who we haven’t seen for a long time. Jinder Mahal had turned his back on The Great Khali beat Mark Henry put Khali out of action. Khali hits everyone with chops and then throws out Jinder! Jinder Mahal has been eliminated. The Great Khali then eliminates Ezekiel Jackson! Cody and Kofi go at it whilst The Great Khali stomps all over The Miz. #16 is Hunico who gets a ride in from Camacho. Hunico takes out Kofi Kingston with a cross body and then a dropkick for The Miz. Hunico drops Cody Rhodes but Khali chops Hunico in the head. The Miz manages to get the better of The Great Khali. #17 is Booker T! The second commentator of the night gets in the Royal Rumble match. Booker goes right for Cody and then takes everyone down! Except The Great Khali.

Great Khali drops Booker T with a headbutt. Khali and Rhodes then double team Booker T before they turn on each other. Miz and Kingston go at it and Miz nearly eliminates Kofi! Miz baseball slides Kofi out but Kofi lands on his hands and walks on his hands over to the steps! #18 is Dolph Ziggler who once again pulls double duty. Khali chokes Miz in one corner as Kofi goes after Rhodes in another. Dolph Ziggler then goes after Kofi Kingston. Booker T drops Hunico. Booker T nearly eliminates Hunico. #19 is “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan! The winner of the very first Royal Rumble back in 1988! Duggan takes shots at everyone as a huge “USA” chant breaks out. Duggan knocks Miz and Cody Rhodes’ heads together. Great Khali is now laying into both Booker T and Kofi Kingston. Duggan misses with a splash in the corner and Cody Rhodes clotheslines him over the top. Jim Duggan has been eliminated. Great Khali, Dolph Ziggler and Cody Rhodes triple team Booker To to get him over the top and Khali goes with him. Booker T and The Great Khali have been eliminated!

#20 is Michael Cole. That’s all three commentators in the Rumble tonight. Cole takes off his suit to reveal his orange wrestling attire. He also has his helmet. Michael Cole celebrates in the ring and even points to the Wrestlemania sign. #21 is Kharma. She returns to the ring, making her PPV debut tonight! She’s the third female ever to enter the Royal Rumble match. Kharma drops Michael Cole with a clothesline and Cole runs away, over the top rope! Booker T and Jerry Lawler then pull Michael Cole off the apron! Michael Cole has been eliminated from the match! Kharma then hits Dolph Ziggler with a double underhook driver. Kharma eliminates Hunico from the match. Dolph Ziggler eliminates Kharma from the match. #22 is Sheamus. He joins The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler in the ring. A solid five-some. Sheamus hits anything that moves, hitting powerslams and back body drops. Kingston hits a pendulum kick on Sheamus. Sheamus eliminates Kofi Kingston from the match. 

Sheamus lays into Cody Rhodes with ten clubbing blows. Sheamus then hits The Miz with ten clubbing blows! Ziggler looks to attack Sheamus from behind but Sheamus shakes him off! #23 is The Road Dogg! Road Dogg hits Cody Rhodes with his patented jabs and shaky legs knee drop! Road Dogg hits The Miz with a pump handle slam and then goes back to work on Cody. Sheamus lays into Dolph Ziggler as a “you’ve still got it” chant breaks out aimed at Road Dogg. #24 is Jey Uso! Jey Uso hits a spinning something on Road Dogg and then a running arse splash on the former tag team and Intercontinental Champion. Jey Uso goes after The Miz whilst Sheamus lays into Cody Rhodes. Road Dogg and Dolph Ziggler are also paired off. The Miz has been in there a long time. #25 is Jack Swagger, the United States Champion. Swagger hits clotheslines on Miz, Jey and Cody Rhodes. He drops Sheamus with a belly to belly suplex.

Road Dogg chokes The Miz in the corner as Jack Swagger lays into Jey Uso. Dolph has Sheamus on the apron. #26 is Wade Barrett who has new music. It’s pretty bad. Barrett probably one of the favourites to win this but I don’t think that he will. Barrett takes shots at everyone and then throws Road Dogg over the top! The Road Dogg has been eliminated. Barrett then goes after the man he has been feuding with as of late, Sheamus. Dolph hits a fame-asser on Jey Uso. #27 is David Otunga. Otunga walks very slowly to the ring. The Miz chokes Jack Swagger in the ring. Otunga goes after Cody Rhodes, smashing him into a top turnbuckle. Otunga and Barrett go at it, the first ever winner and runner up of NXT. Miz and Jey Uso go at it. #28 is Randy Orton who comes out to a huge pop. We are in At Louis. This is his 43rd PPV in a row which is a record. Orton takes down everyone but focuses on Wade Barrett. Cody Rhodes attacks Orton from behind.

Orton hits a double hangmans DDT on both Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. Randy Orton eliminates Jey Uso. Orton hits an RKO on Wade Barrett and then tosses him out of the ring! Wade Barrett has been eliminated. #29 is Chris Jericho. This is his first PPV match back in a while. Jericho takes shots at everyone and eliminates David Otunga. Jericho lays into Dolph Ziggler. There are seven men in the ring with one more to enter. Jack Swagger has Sheamus balances over the top rope. Jericho lays into Cody Rhodes but Ziggler takes down Jericho. #30 is The Big Show who also pulls double duty tonight. One of these 8 men will be going to Wrestlemania. Sheamus eliminates Jack Swagger and Big Show lays out Swagger with a WMD on the outside. Big Show hits headbutts and right hands on everyone before eliminating both Cody Rhodes and The Miz. Big Show then eliminates Dolph Ziggler!

We’re down to the final four. The Big Show, Randy Orton, Sheamus and Chris Jericho. Randy is the only man to have won it before. Orton, Jericho and Sheamus attempt to triple team Big Show but show fights them all off. Big Show hits Jericho with a big chokeslam and Orton then hits Big Show with an RKO! Randy Orton eliminates The Big Show and Chris Jericho then eliminates Randy Orton! We’re down to just Sheamus and Chris Jericho. Both are looking to win a Royal Rumble for the first time. The crowd seem to be behind Chris Jericho. Sheamus hits Jericho with lefts and rights and a couple of shoulder charges. Jericho looks for a bulldog but Sheamus counters and nearly eliminates Jericho. Jericho hits a missile dropkick. Sheamus hits an Irish curse backbreaker and then tries for a crucifix powerbomb but Jericho counters and clotheslines Sheamus out on to the apron. Jericho hits a springboard powerbomb but Sheamus still hangs on.

Sheamus hits a flying shoulder charge over the top rope to get back into the ring. Sheamus looks for a brogue kick but Jericho avoids it and locks on the walls of Jericho! Jericho breaks the hold and runs at Sheamus but sheamus back body drops him over the top. Jericho hangs on to the top rope and then looks to suplex Sheamus out of the ring but Sheamus counters. Both men drop out to the apron and then roll back into the ring. Jericho hits a codebreaker and then pins Sheamus, forgetting the match he’s in. Jericho slaps Sheamus a couple of times so Sheamus tosses him away and looks for a brogue kick which Jericho avoids. Jericho looks for a codebreaker but sheamus catches him and dumps him over the top. Jericho hangs on and gets up to the apron but Sheamus hits him with a brogue kick! Jericho falls to the outside which means Sheamus wins the Royal Rumble and gets a title match at Wrestlemania!

Rating: 7.5/10

And that was the 2012 Royal Rumble event! It was pretty poor for the most part but the last two matches saved it. It started with the World Heavyweight Championship match and it wasn’t terrible to be fair. I guess I just have very high expectations for cage matches and this was just ok. Big Show and Mark Henry are pretty limited in what they can do but man do they hit hard. Daniel Bryan plays a great cowardly heel and you don’t usually see this pay off but it did in this match! Daniel Bryan wins the match and retains the World Heavyweight Championship which is great because he’s really good. I would assume he’d face Sheamus at Wrestlemania but there could be more twists and turns yet!

Then came an 8 diva tag team match which was, to the best of my knowledge, unscheduled. I’m not sure the purpose of this match unless it was just to make Beth Phoenix look dominant. It did a good job of that and showing that she doesn’t even care for her own teammates. She pinned Kelly Kelly so that’s the end of any kind of push for her. There is literally nobody that could step up as an opponent to Beth right now unless they do a slow turn with Natalya. John Cena and Kane then battled to a draw. The fight went to the outside and they got counted out. I can only assume that this means the feud will continue into Elimination Chamber, giving Cena something to do before his clash with The Rock. Zack Ryder gets another big beating which is better than what he was doing before but looks to be the end of his push. Speaking of people getting buried, Brodus Clay beat Drew McIntyre. Brodus is hilarious, I’m a big fan of this ridiculous gimmick. McIntyre is squashed, literally and figuratively.

All of this up to now was bang average. But then came the WWE Championship match which was good. There was a great story surrounding the match that made you question whether CM Punk could win with John Laurinaitis as the referee. CM Punk did win though with Laurinaitis helping to count the three. I really like the John Laurinaitis character, I think they could go really far with it. Dolph Ziggler lost in a world title match, much like he did at last years royal Rumble event. His time will come, I’m sure of it. Good match between these two.

And then came my favourite match of the year. For me there were four parts to this match. First you had some solid midcarders start the match with the likes of The Miz, R-Truth and Cody Rhodes. Guys I would expect to come in later but to be fair Miz and Rhodes did go the distance. So after these guys you had the comedy part of the match with Mick Foley, Santino and Ricardo Rodriguez. This was a lot of fun and I actually enjoyed it. Ricardo Rodriguez’s entrance was brilliant. Then came your entrants 10 to 24 with a lot of lower card guys like Epico, Jinder, Ezekiel Jackson, Jey Uso and Hunico as well as a few surprise entrants in Jim Duggan, Kharma and Road Dogg as well as all three commentators. Then came the final six who were all pretty serious contenders like Randy Orton, Wade Barrett and Chris Jericho. When it came down to it, the final four were Sheamus, Orton, Jericho and The Big Show. But it was Sheamus that won the match and goes to Wrestlemania. This was a good Royal Rumble match but not one of the better ones.

Overall Rating: 60/100 (ranked joint 101st out of 274)

Match Of The Night: The 2012 Royal Rumble match
Worst Match Of The Night: 8 diva tag team match
Surprise Of The Night: The Road Dogg, Kharma & Ricardo Rodriguez in the Royal Rumble match
Worst Booking Of The Night: N/A
Superstar Of The Night: Sheamus
The 2012 Royal Rumble PPV will be remembered for: Sheamus winning the Royal Rumble match