Reviews

TJR Retro: WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Review (Sheamus wins Rumble, Punk vs. Ziggler)

The 25th Royal Rumble took place at a time when a lot of people were looking ahead to WrestleMania 28 because we knew The Rock was going to face John Cena in the main event of that show. However, we had to get through the Royal Rumble first.

Heading into the show the favorites for the Royal Rumble match were Chris Jericho, Randy Orton and Sheamus. I looked it up and saw that I picked Orton while my PPV preview buddies Christian & Andrew picked Jericho. As it turns out, none of us were right.

This show was used to build up Elimination Chamber 2012 and WrestleMania 28 (read the review here).

The review for the Rumble match was written several years ago. However, I did not review this show in 2012 for some reason (even though I did all the other PPVs that year and since then as well), so the writeup is fresh in 2021.

WWE Royal Rumble
January 29, 2012
From Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri

The opening video package featured wrestlers talking about how they were going to win the Royal Rumble. The video mentioned that it was 25 years of the Royal Rumble.

There was an impressive pyro display to start the show and a shot of the packed house in St. Louis with over 18,000 fans according to Michael Cole. The announce team of Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T were at ringside to call the action.

Daniel Bryan made his entrance as the World Heavyweight Champion that was doing the “Yes” chant to taunt the audience because Bryan was a heel. Mark Henry was up next without much of a reaction. Big Show got a nice pop as the babyface in the match. There was a replay from Smackdown three weeks earlier when Big Show ran over Bryan’s girlfriend AJ Lee at ringside. Bryan called Show a monster while Show said it was an accident.

World Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Pre-match notes: Daniel Bryan was the heel World Champion, Big Show was a face and Mark Henry was a face. Henry was dealing with a knee injury that he suffered on the last Smackdown episode and probably shouldn’t have been in the match, but there he was. At Armageddon 2011 one month before this, Big Show beat Mark Henry for the World Title and then Daniel Bryan cashed in Money in the Bank to beat Big Show and become World Champion for the first time.

Bryan tried to climb up the cage, Henry pulled him down and Show hit a Spear on Bryan. Show with a running shoulder tackle on Henry. Show hit a running splash on Henry against the cage. Show did it three times. Bryan tried to climb up the cage, but Show stopped him and slammed Bryan into the ring. Show was dominant as he whipped Bryan into the cage and hit two headbutts to knock Bryan down. Bryan came back with a running dropkick to the left knee along with a sliding kick to Henry on the mat. Bryan worked over both big guys with running kicks. Bryan tried to walk out the door, but Henry stopped him and punched Bryan to keep him in the cage. Henry continued to work over Bryan by sending him into the cage and hitting a headbutt. Show with a superkick on Henry. Show whipped Bryan into the cage two times. Show punched Bryan, whipped Bryan into the cage and hit a hard body slam in the ring. Show with a headbutt on Bryan and Henry was back up with a clothesline. Henry whipped Bryan into the cage, but then Bryan ducked a charge by Henry and Show hit a Spear on Henry with Bryan getting a two count. Show with two clotheslines on Bryan, then two whips into the cage and a kick to the face. Big Show did his Chokeslam yell leading to a big pop, he sent Bryan into the turnbuckle and Bryan came back with a Tornado DDT on the much bigger man with Show doing a power kickout. Bryan with the LeBell Lock on Show with Henry kicking Bryan to break it up. Henry picked up Bryan for a slam and Show did a KO Punch to Henry to knock him down, but Bryan was there to break up Show’s pin attempt. Bryan climbed up the cage, Show grabbed Bryan while he was on the top and Show was holding onto Bryan on the cage. Show managed to sit on top of the cage while Bryan’s body was off the side of the cage, Show was holding onto Bryan’s hand and Bryan ended up dropping down to the floor for the win at 9:08.

Winner: Daniel Bryan

Bryan celebrated with the World Title doing the “YES” taunt. Cole ripped on Bryan for being lucky while Booker said it was crafty. Cole was critical of Bryan all the time during this period.

Analysis: **3/4 It’s rare to see a triple threat steel cage match and you would think a match like that would go longer, but they did a decent job here. It was all about Bryan finding a way to escape as the champion and that’s what he did. You could tell Henry was hurting with the knee injury because he spent a lot of the match on the mat doing nothing. I think this would have been a better match if it was just Bryan vs. Show and they told a similar story. Henry was so limited with the knee injury that I think he hurt the match.

John Cena Video Package

There was a video package about the 10-time WWE World Champion John Cena to get people excited about WrestleMania 28 against The Rock. Cena made a point to say that he’s not going to change who he is. They showed interviews with fans that were supportive of Cena and others that were critical of Cena. There were a lot of clips Cena interacting with kids and fans that loved Cena. Cena said that his upcoming match with The Rock means everything to him.

Analysis: This is the kind of thing that they should have aired on Raw, which they did anyway. They didn’t need to put this on the Royal Rumble broadcast. Why not give fans another match with the time that WWE used up for this video and The Rock’s video later in the show? We knew Cena vs. Rock was coming in two months. I don’t think we needed a video at Royal Rumble to remind us about the match.

There was an eight-diva tag team match added to the show that was up next.

Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Nikki Bella and Brie Bella vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox and Tamina

Pre-match notes: Beth was the Divas Champion and her team were the heels. Kelly Kelly’s team were the faces. This was before Nikki was dating John Cena and also before Nikki was um…enhanced…in certain areas.

Natalya battled Tamina with a shoulder tackle, then Tamina came back with chops and a headbutt for two. Eve tagged in with a standing moonsault on Natalya, who came back by taking Eve to the heel corner. Phoenix tagged in with Eve hitting a clothesline and Eve went from a senton attack, but Beth got the knees up to block. Brie tagged in with a weak looking kick on Eve and an even weaker looking chinlock. Fox tagged in with two dropkicks and kicks to the ribs. The Bellas did a switch with Nikki taking over and the announcers missed it. Nikki slapped on her own weak looking chinlock. Kelly got the tag and the crowd woke up a bit as Kelly hit a spinning headscissors on Nikki. Kelly with a handspring back elbow for two as Brie made the save. That led to most of the women getting into a fight on the floor. The women got together in a pile on the floor and Kelly jumped onto the seven women to knock them down. Nikki sent Kelly into the rope, Phoenix tagged herself in and Phoenix hit the Glam Slam on Kelly for the pinfall win at 5:29.

Winners by pinfall: Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Nikki Bella and Brie Bella

Analysis: *1/2 A boring tag team match. The crowd was dead for most of it until Kelly Kelly tagged in and hit that dive on the floor. The finish could have been booked better because Kelly hit a dive on everybody, then Beth finished off Kelly right after. The other women on Kelly’s team were down without trying to save? It could have been a more creative finish.

There was a clip shown from Raw on the previous Monday when Kane gave poor Zack Ryder a Chokeslam through the stage with poor Zack getting taken away in an ambulance. Eve, who was “dating” Zack Ryder, told John Cena it was all his fault and Eve went with Ryder to the hospital.

Zack Ryder was shown being wheeled backstage with a back brace on. Ryder said he had to be there to see John Cena beat Kane. Raw GM John Laurinaitis showed up to tell Ryder he’s got a special room ready for him. Eve showed up and ripped on Laurinaitis for his actions while telling Johnny she hopes he gets fired on Raw. Laurinaitis left while Eve wheeled Ryder into the room.

John Cena made his entrance with a loud reaction that was a mix of cheers and boos, which was common during this period. The announcers pushed the story that Kane wanted Cena to “embrace the hate” with John refusing to do that. As Cena stood in the ring, the boos got louder.

Kane made his entrance in his masked persona while also wearing a mask on top of his other mask for the entrance. The announcers said that Kane was more heinous than ever this time around.

John Cena vs. Kane

Pre-match notes: John Cena was the face even though he was booed a lot while Kane was the heel. It was the masked version of Kane.

Cena ran into a back elbow by Kane, which drew cheers. The loud “Let’s go Cena/Cena sucks” chants filled the arena. Cena worked over Kane on punches followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Kane with an uppercut on Cena on the floor. Cena whipped Kane into the steel steps as the crowd did another dueling Cena chant. Back in the ring, Cena tried to go for the AA, but Kane fell on top of him. Kane worked over Cena with punches, kicks and even a running low dropkick that was impressive by the big man. Cena and Kane exchanged punches with fans chanting “boo” for Cena’s punches and “yay” for Kane, who got a two count after an uppercut. Kane hit a suplex while Cole was sucking up to John Laurinaitis since Cole was doing his heel persona gimmick. Cena fought out of a chinlock, but Kane stayed in control with an uppercut punch. Cena went for a bulldog and Kane avoided it while sending Cena across the ring. Cena with a neckbreaker across the top rope, but Kane came back with another punch to the face. Kane tried to slap on his claw move covering the face, Cena tried to fight it off and Kane took down Cena to his knees. Cena countered it into the STF submission with the fans screaming, but Kane fought out of it and Kane hit a sidewalk slam. Kane went up top, he jumped off and hit the clothesline that he did so many times in his career. Some fans were cheering Kane while an “Embrace the Hate” shown was visible on camera. Cena came back with two shoulder tackles and the spinning slam. Cena said “Now” to Kane, so Kane choked him and Kane got back up with a boot to the face for two. The dueling Cena chants were back as Kane set up Cena on the turnbuckle, Cena with a headbutt to knock Kane down and Cena jumped off the top with the fist drop that barely grazed Kane’s head. Cena went for a STF submission, Kane kicked Cena out of the ring and Kane went after Cena, who stumbled away from the ring. The wrestlers went up the aisle more, it was a double countout and the fans booed the finish. It went 10:56

Match Result: Double Countout

Analysis: *3/4 A boring average match with Kane throwing a lot of punches and Cena nearly making the big comeback. The crowd rooting against Cena for the most part was the most interesting part of the match. They went with a DQ finish because there was a rematch at the next PPV, so that’s why they probably felt it was fine to end this way. Plus, there was more on this show.

They went fighting to the backstage area near the technical area and look that, it’s a “The John Report” sign. I forget who brought that, but I thank you for bringing it!

The fight between Kane and Cena continued in the backstage area with Cena tossing Kane into some trash cans. Kane hit Cena in the ribs with a steel chair along with two chair shots to the back of Cena. Kane hit a third chair shot to Cena’s back although he hit the floor to make it sound worse than it was. Kane saw a door that said “Zack Ryder” on it so he kicked in the door and put his hand on Ryder’s face to “knock him out” or whatever it is that Kane did with his hand on the face. Kane wheeled Ryder out towards the arena while nobody tried to help Ryder at all. Kane dumped Ryder out of the wheelchair by the ring and then tossed Ryder in the ring.

Kane had a hold of Ryder in the ring while Eve went down to the ring to pleased with Kane to stop. Kane picked up Ryder and gave Zack a Tombstone right in front of Eve. Cena ran out to the ring to fight with Kane again, Cena couldn’t lift Kane for that AA due to the chair shots to the back and Kane gave Cena a Chokeslam. Kane left while laughing maniacally as if he was proud of his work.

There were referees and doctors in the ring checking on Ryder and Cena while Eve was sad about what happened to Ryder. Cena sat up against the ropes looking on as Ryder was placed on a board so that he could get taken away on a stretcher.

Analysis: I thought this storyline was lame and the booking was a big reason for it. When Cena wrestled Kane at the Elimination Chamber PPV, it wasn’t that interesting at all. This feud sucked. The 2012 WWE Johnny Award winner for Worst Feud went to Kane vs. John Cena/Zack Ryder because it was terrible from start to finish.

There was one of WWE’s anti-bullying videos. Be a star. They aired this after a man just bullied a guy that was a wheelchair. Nice timing there.

The Rock Video Package

There was a video featuring The Rock showing him in different venues like being on movie sets, visiting fans, at a movie premiere and being at WWE events as well. Rock talked about how his life and career took off after his debut at Survivor Series 1996. The Rock talked about how he wanted to motivate fans on Facebook and Twitter with messages that inspire. They showed Rock when he was getting ready for the Survivor Series 2011 event when he teamed with John Cena to beat The Miz and R-Truth. Rock said when he left WWE he left into a world he wanted to find success in. They showed Rock on set filming the movie Snitch. There were also comments from Rock’s mom talking about how he was half black and half Samoan. They showed clips of Rock visiting kids at the high school he went to in Hawaii. Rock also visited the cemetery where his grandfather and grandmother were buried. Rock said his grandparents would have told him to shine with all heart.

Analysis: Nice profile video on Rock the same way they did it for John Cena earlier in the show. As I said for the Cena video, while it was good, it would have been nice to

Drew McIntyre made his entrance. The Spanish announce team was shown wishing that nobody breaks their table. Brodus Clay entered as the opponent with his dancers Naomi and Cameron.

Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre

Pre-match notes: Brodus Clay was a babyface while McIntyre was a heel. It is weird writing this in 2021 with Drew McIntyre as a great WWE Champion while Brodus Clay has been out of wrestling for a few years.

The fans chanted “Funkasaurus” for Clay. McIntyre tried repeated clotheslines, Clay no sold them and hit a headbutt to the chest. Clay with a belly to belly suplex across the ring and a corner splash. Clay hit a running cross body block called the What The Funk for the pinfall win at 1:05.

Winner by pinfall: Brodus Clay

Analysis: 1/4* A squash match to put over Clay because he was new at the time and he got a bit of a mild push. Poor Drew McIntyre. At least his career did get a lot of better after this match.

There was a video package for the WWE Champion CM Punk facing Dolph Ziggler with John Laurinaitis as the referee. The main feud here was between Punk and Ziggler with Punk taking repeated shots at Laurinaitis, so Johnny made himself the referee of the WWE Title match. There was also the storyline that John Laurinaitis status as Interim Raw GM was going to be evaluated the next night on Raw.

Analysis: I remember the feud because of how much they made it about Punk vs. Laurinaitis instead of Ziggler, but they did have Ziggler pin Punk in a Gauntlet Match on Raw after a distraction from Laurinaitis. Once again, that made it about Laurinaitis rather than Ziggler.

John Laurinaitis was introduced first as the Interim General Manager of Raw with Johnny dressing in a referee tank top. Booker made jokes about the outfit. Laurinaitis reminded us he’s the Executive VP of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of Raw. The fans chanted “WHAT” during his promo with Johnny saying he’ll officiate from outside the ring while a WWE referee with officiate in the ring, so referee John Cone was the referee in the ring.

Dolph Ziggler made his entrance with manager Vickie Guerrero. There were boos from Ziggler, who was in heel mode here.

CM Punk made his entrance as the WWE Champion with fans chanting “CM Punk” before he made his entrance. That was a really good pop for the popular champion. Ring announcer Justin Roberts did the championship introductions. The match was about to begin with Laurinaitis ejecting Vickie from ringside with Cole noting that was agreed upon before the match.

WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/Vickie Guerrero)

Pre-match notes: CM Punk was the babyface WWE Champion while Ziggler was the heel challenger. This was about two months into CM Punk’s WWE Title reign that would eventually last 434 days.

Punk got a rollup on Ziggler early on. Cole was doing his heel schtick talking about how CM Punk was a bad WWE Champion while also putting over Laurinaitis a lot for being great at his job. After a lockup, Punk kicked Ziggler in the legs two times, then a leapfrog and Ziggler held onto the ropes. Punk got a sunset flip pin attempt for two. Punk went for an armbar, but Ziggler managed to get to the ropes. Punk with elbow shots to the ribs followed by a suplex across the top rope with Ziggler going to the floor to take a breather. Punk hit a suicide dive to knock down Ziggler on the floor. Back in the ring, Punk went up top and Ziggler swiped the legs to knock Punk down. Ziggler with a neckbreaker followed by repeated elbow drops to the chest leading into a chinlock. Punk hit a belly to back suplex to get out of that. Punk with chops to the body, Ziggler jumped onto Punk’s back going for a sleeper, but Ziggler got out of that and Ziggler hit a dropkick for a two count. Ziggler went for a Fameasser, Punk caught him and hit a spinning Powerbomb for a two count. Punk had a flurry of offense that led to him hitting a neckbreaker. Punk charged with a knee against the turnbuckle followed by the running bulldog. Punk had Ziggler on the shoulders, Ziggler got out of that and a catapult into the turnbuckle, Punk saved himself and Ziggler countered a cross body block into a pin for two. Punk managed to come back with a roundhouse kick to the head for a two count. Punk with a body slam and then Punk went up top while staring at Laurinaitis on the floor. Punk jumped off the top with the elbow drop that he loved to do and that was good for a two count with fans chanting “Randy Savage” for the elbow drop. Ziggler shoved Punk back first into referee John Cone, who bumped to the floor. Booker thought it was totally an accident even though it was clear that Ziggler shoved Punk into the referee.

Punk slapped the Anaconda Vice submission on Ziggler, who tapped out while Laurinaitis was checking on John Cone on the floor. The announcers talked about how Punk just got screwed. Punk yelled at Johnny, who was still checking on the referee. Punk countered a Ziggler move with a rollup attempt with no referee there to count. Laurinaitis rolled Cone into the ring, but Cone was hurting. Laurinaitis got into the ring, so Punk yelled at him and Laurinaitis reminded Punk he was the referee. Punk had Ziggler on the shoulders, he used Dolph’s legs to kick Laurinaitis out of the ring and then Punk hit the Go to Sleep. Referee Cone was still hurting while Laurinaitis was on the floor and Punk was yelling about how he beat Ziggler three times. Punk told Laurinaitis the next GTS is for him “clown shoes.” Punk picked up Ziggler, who countered the GTS into a Fameasser! That was awesome as Ziggler covered Punk and referee Cone counted the pin for a two count. Great nearfall there. Ziggler worked over Punk with punches. Ziggler charged, Punk caught him with the catapult into the turnbuckle and Punk hit the Go to Sleep for the second time. Referee Cone counted the pin and John Laurinaitis also went into the ring to count the pin as well. The match went 14:30.

Winner by pinfall: CM Punk

Analysis: ***1/4 It was a good match between two of the best workers in WWE at the time although I would have expected a better match going into it. There were a few tense moments after the referee bump. I thought that spot where Ziggler countered the GTS into the Fameasser for a two count was really good. The fans were solidly behind Punk the whole way while Ziggler worked well as a heel and Laurinaitis being there helped too. It just felt like Ziggler was an afterthought in the build up to this match and during the match as well other than the one nearfall where it looked like Ziggler might win.

Post match, Laurinaitis grabbed the WWE Title and handed it over to the referee to hand to Punk. Cole put over Laurinaitis for doing the right thing. Booker and Lawler talked about how Laurinaitis was scared of being fired on Raw. As they replayed the finish, Cole once again sucked up to Laurinaitis putting over the pride in Laurinaitis. Punk held the WWE Title in the ring while Laurinaitis applauded him.

The Royal Rumble “By The Numbers” video aired to get us ready for the Rumble match.

(The Rumble match review is below. That was written a few years ago. It is not detailed as some of the Rumble reviews I have done, but it does have all the details. I don’t feel like redoing it since it was just an average match.)

Royal Rumble Match

The #1 man is The Miz as we know and he did a promo about how awesome he is. In at #2 is Alex Riley. Miz dumped out Riley in about 45 seconds. I’ll save the more specific details for the more important people. The #3 guy is R-Truth. I’m getting tweets from people mocking Miz’ fake tan. It is pretty bad. Some are even saying that his tan is staining the ring. God bless HD TV I guess. In at #4 is Cody Rhodes, who I like and would expect to go far. The heels double team R-Truth during that entire interval. The #5 entrant is Justin Gabriel, who hits a crossbody on Rhodes & Miz at the same time. Not a whole lot going on between the four guys in the ring.

Primo is #6, who is one half of the tag team champions along with cousin Epico. Truth knocked down Cody. Miz capitalized and threw Truth out. After the elimination, Truth pulled Miz by the foot, yanked him out to the floor and hit his Little Jimmy finisher. I guess Miz can sit on the floor for a little while. It’s Mick Foley at #7 in a Cactus Jack shirt. He threw out Primo pretty quickly. He hit all of his signature spots on Cody including the running knee in the corner and the double arm DDT. Crowd was loving it all. Del Rio’s music hits, but instead it’s Ricardo Rodriguez in a crappy car as the #8 entrant. There was a loud “Ricardo” chant. He is a trained wrestler for those that don’t know. Ricardo teamed up with Foley to throw out Gabriel. That was a bit of a surprise. Ricardo celebrated. Meanwhile, Cody was in the corner while Miz was still on the floor. In at #9 is Santino to do some comedy with Ricardo, who was scared of the cobra. Atomic drop by Santino. Then they did a unique rolling cradle move that sent Ricardo to the corner. Santino gave Ricardo a wedgie. Then he threw him out. Fun performance by Ricardo. In ring, Foley took out Socko and Santino took out the Cobra. The crowd loved it. Epico ran in the ring as #10. Santino gave him the Cobra, Foley gave him Socko and threw him out in a matter of about 20 seconds.

We have four in the ring now. Cody threw out Santino. Foley went after Miz. Cody snuck up from behind and threw Foley out. Mick had a nice run. I liked it. The #11 man is Kofi Kingston. He knocked them down and hit the Boom Drop on both of them. Cody came back with a dropkick to Kingston. The music of Jerry Lawler started up and he’s #12. Lawler hit his fist drop on Miz rather easily. Rhodes threw Lawler out. The #13 man is Ezekiel Jackson. King was already back at the announce desk. They are keeping to the 90 second intervals, so that’s nice. Zeke hits power moves on everybody including a nice side slam on Kingston. It’s Jinder Mahal at #14 as Jackson waits for him while Mahal takes his time to get in the ring. Mahal hit a knee on Kingston followed by a neckbreaker on Jackson. Here’s a surprise with The Great Khali entering at #15. I thought he was gone forever. Nope. He chops Mahal and throws him out. Then Khali throws Jackson out rather easily. Lawler says Khali is a favorite to win. There’s my old joke coming to fruition where they say that the big guys are always a favorite to win even though they rarely win the Rumble.

It’s Hunico at #16. Khali chops him down quickly, but he doesn’t get eliminated. The #17 entrant is Booker T, who has one of my favorite theme songs ever. He goes after Cody right away. Cole was criticizing him for being in the match. Kingston skins the cat to avoid elimination. Wow. Kofi almost got eliminated as his hands were on the ground, but his feet weren’t so we made his way over to the ring steps by walking with his hands in a handstand position. I can’t explain it. Wow that was incredible by Kingston, similar to Morrison’s spot last year. It’s Dolph Ziggler at #18, so he works twice at another PPV after failing to win the WWE Title earlier. Hacksaw Jim Duggan is #19 to a huge pop. HHHHHOOOOOO! Tough guy. Huge “USA” chants for Duggan. I think Duggan got the biggest pop of the match so far. That’s not a good sign when you think about it. Rhodes throws out Duggan. A bunch of guys team up to throw out Khali & Booker at the same time. Oh man, it’s Michael Cole at #20. He takes off his suit to reveal his awful wrestling gear that we’ve seen way too much of. By the way, there are six total in the ring now. Nothing happens as Cole is in the ring because the others are fighting.

It’s Kharma at #21. Wow. That was a surprise. Cole runs away from her. The announcers pull Cole out. Kharma hit the Implant Buster. Then she threw out Hunico. Dolph recovered to throw out Kharma, so she was only in the match for about a minute or so. Sheamus is #22 to a big pop. There are five guys in the ring now. Sheamus eliminated Cody so we’re down to Miz, Rhodes, Ziggler and Sheamus, who dominates the three other guys. OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW…the crowd went nuts for #23, who is the Road Dogg. He works backstage as a road agent now. He hit his signature punches on Rhodes and the pumphandle slam on Miz. Crowd is chanting “you still got it” to Road Dogg, which probably makes him very happy. It’s Jey Uso in at #24 as Jimmy walked beside him, so I guess he’s not in the match. Uso hit a corner splash on Road Dogg. The #25 spot belongs to Jack Swagger, so we’ve still got two favorites in Orton & Jericho to come. There are seven in the ring now: Miz, Rhodes, Sheamus, Swagger, Jey Uso, Road Dogg and Ziggler.

It’s time for the final five. Wade Barrett is #26 with new theme music. I liked his previous song. Barrett eliminates Road Dogg rather easily. Ziggler hits the Fameasser on Jey Uso, but he can’t eliminate him. We’ve got David Otunga at #27. The match has been pretty average so far. They are going to need a hot finish, but it’s loaded with good workers so they will likely finish strong. The hometown boy Randy Orton is #28, going after Barrett right away and hitting his powerslam on a couple of them. Orton set up Ziggler & Rhodes for his DDT off the ropes spot. Yep, a double DDT. That was pretty sweet. Orton throws out Uso, RKO to Barrett and he throws him out. The #29 spot belongs to Chris Jericho “connecting physically for the first time in two years” says Cole. September 2010 to January 2012 is not that long, Mike. Jericho threw out Otunga rather easily. And yes, he had the jacket on. Cole mentioned Miz being in the match for 43 minutes and Rhodes for 41 minutes. It’s Big Show at #30, so that’s the last man. Sheamus eliminated Swagger, who pushed Big Show and he decked Swagger with the KNOCK THE FUCK OUT~! punch. Big Show cleared the ring of everybody except four: Orton, Jericho, Sheamus and himself.

It’s final four time with Jericho, Sheamus, Orton & Show staring at eachother. Show hit a chokeslam on Jericho, Sheamus hit Show in the back and Orton hit the RKO. Randy eliminated Show. As Randy was celebrating, Jericho dumped out Orton. Final two are #28 Chris Jericho and #22 Sheamus as they both look at the WrestleMania sign.

Jericho almost got eliminated, but he was able to hang on. He hit a missile dropkick on Sheamus, but Sheamus came back with the Irish Curse backbreaker. He sets Jericho up for Celtic Cross, Jericho hit a clothesline and Sheamus hung on. Jericho hit his springboard corner dropkick. Sheamus hung on again. Sheamus gets back in the ring with a shoulderblock over the rope. Jericho avoided the Brogue Kick and put Sheamus into the Walls of Jericho. Crowd popped huge for Jericho. They are mostly cheering for Jericho. Chris charged in, Sheamus with a back body drop, but Chris held onto the top rope. I like that they’re getting time for the final sequence. They fight up on the top rope. They punched eachother, both fell down on the apron and went back in. Jericho with the Codebreaker. He followed that up with a pin attempt. Oops. Jericho came close to eliminating Sheamus again. Jericho slapped Sheamus in the face a few times. Sheamus got angry and missed the Brogue Kick because Jericho moved. They did a spot where Sheamus tried to throw Chris out, Jericho held on Shawn Michaels style and got back up on the apron. Sheamus readied himself and hit the Brogue Kick. Jericho went crashing to the floor to give Sheamus the win.

Winner: Sheamus

The match ended at 54:55.

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS

– I think it was average for a Rumble match with some good moments. They had a few surprises, they had some comedy spots and they had a lot of star power in the end to bring it home. I expect better than average when I watch the Royal Rumble. It was underwhelming. There wasn’t one dominant competitor in the match. Usually when that happens the match feels less important. That’s what happened with this one. We need to see one babyface we should get behind or a heel to root against for it to feel like a big deal.

– The plan was for Chris Jericho to win the match, but then WWE realized that a lot of people seemed to know that, so they changed it up to Sheamus winning. It didn’t really matter that much anyway because both guys got WWE/World Title matches at WrestleMania, so is there really a difference between the winner and runner up? Not really, in this case and in other years too.

– I like that there was a five-minute sequence between Jericho & Sheamus to end the match. It was similar to the Michaels/Undertaker ending in 2007 although not as good. It was the same idea, at least. The crowd was into it and even though Jericho was getting cheers I think the fans were fine with Sheamus getting the win.

– The Miz and Cody lasted the longest, but were easily dispatched by Big Show during his run of eliminations. That made their long runs in the match seem a bit meaningless.

– People always make a big deal out of surprises. I usually don’t. Why? Because in this match the surprises were Road Dogg (cool), Jim Duggan (okay) plus the announce trio of Cole, Lawler & Booker. Mick Foley was entertaining as a part-time performer, but that didn’t last long. None of the surprises felt special.

FACTS & OPINIONS

Person that lasted the longest: The Miz at 45:39.

Most Eliminations: Cody Rhodes with 6.

Best Performers (3): Chris Jericho – He was on fire as soon as he got in there. Carried the ending.

Sheamus – He really impressed me with his performance.

Cody Rhodes – Eliminated the most people and lasted over 43 minutes.

Best Elimination: Sheamus hitting the Brogue Kick to eliminate Jericho at the end.

Match Rating: ***1/4

Sheamus celebrated the win in the ring while standing on the turnbuckles and pointing at the WrestleMania sign like most Royal Rumble winners tend to do. The pyro went off by the WrestleMania and on the stage as Sheamus continued to celebrate. That was the end of the show.

This event had a runtime of 2:42:08 on WWE Network.

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Show Rating (out of 10): 5.5

This was a disappointing show overall. The Royal Rumble match was just average with Sheamus getting the win even though Chris Jericho was the original plan that got changed. It didn’t really matter because both of them got WWE/World Title shots at WrestleMania. The Punk/Ziggler match for the WWE Title was more about the Punk storyline with John Laurinaitis, so it was tough to get into the match even though the action was good. Most of the rest of the card was below average because I didn’t like the Cena/Kane feud with poor Zack Ryder getting beat up all the time. I liked a lot of things in WWE during this period. I just don’t think this was a very good PPV by any means.

Best Match: Royal Rumble match and CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler (***1/4 out of 5)

Worst Match: Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre (1/4*)

FIVE STARS

  1. Chris Jericho
  2. Sheamus
  3. CM Punk
  4. Daniel Bryan
  5. Cody Rhodes

Check out the WWE Royal Rumble review archive right here.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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