Royal Rumble 2012 Review
It’s time for our next Old School Review, this time looking back at the 2012 Royal Rumble event. With a severe lack of star power in the Rumble Match, WWE tagged the event as a match where anyone could enter. They meant it literally as you are about to find out. On the undercard, Daniel Bryan defends his World Championship against Mark Henry and Big Show inside a steel cage. Dolph Ziggler challenges CM Punk. Whilst Kane tries to force Cena to embrace the hate… yes guys it’s THAT angle. So, sit back and enjoy the WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Review.
World Championship Steel Cage Match
Daniel Bryan (C) vs Mark Henry vs Big Show
There’s a boo for Daniel Bryan? Such a strange thing to hear considering the year Bryan was about to have. Daniel was added to the long standing feud between Mark Henry and Big Show, when Daniel “stole” the World title from both of them at TLC 2011. Since winning the title Daniel turned into a very arrogant champion and acquired AJ Lee as his girlfriend. Bryan must defend his title against two giants locked inside a steel cage.
The ending saw Daniel Bryan try to escape the cage. The Big Show grabs Daniel, with the fight continuing on top of the cage. Bryan somehow gets over the top, with the Big Show holding on tight. Until Daniel manages to let go and fall to the floor for the victory.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Overall a really entertaining match and a cracking opener, something that played beautifully to the strengths of all three men. Daniel Bryan came across strong without sacrificing Mark Henry or the Big Show.
We are treated to a promo for the main event of Wrestlemania 28, focussing on John Cena. I had forgotten how much WWE shoved Rock vs Cena down our throats. Also at this time, John was truly despised by fans, feeling he had gotten stale. The video focused on Cena’s dedication but also shown the fans dislike for the leader of the Cenation. After the video finished the whole crowd booed.
8 Diva Tag Match
The Bella Twins, Natalya and Beth Phoenix vs Alicia Fox, Tamina, Kelly Kelly and Eve Torres
Brilliant, Beth Phoenix team is all wearing turquoise, a nice touch. Pretty standard booking for PPV’s for the time, lets bring every diva and have a multi diva tag. Only real notable moment was when 7 divas started fighting outside the ring. Kelly Kelly then leaped off the turnbuckle in a cool obvious spot. Beth Phoenix hit the Glam-Slam on Kelly to win the match.
Winner: Beth Phoenix, Natalya and the Bellas.
Next we are treated to a recap from Monday Night Raw. Zack Ryder is over so how can we squash him? Let’s have Kane destroy him. Big Johnny welcomesa crippled Zack to the Royal Rumble. Eve Torres defends her boyfriend and threatens Johnny and wishes he gets fired tomorrow on Raw.
John Cena vs Kane
The boos, seriously, the boos. I actively shouted Cena sucks; however its strange to see how a crowd have completely went against John Cena. It is also a testament to see how far John Cena has transformed from the same of boring Cena of old. Michael Cole treats the fans with the fact that John Cena will succeed 10 million Facebook followers later on tonight. Even more than The Rock.
Naturally Cena is booked into a superman situation as he faces the monster Kane. The crowd are really fed up of this. The match ends as both men get counted out which stopped the match. The fight continues backstage where Kane finds Zack Ryder in his wheelchair. Kane wheels Ryder to the ring, shoving him out of his chair and beating him up. Finally John Cena returns and helps Ryder. Kane ends up on top following a chokeslam.
Winner: Double Countout
WWE booked themselves into a corner with this. Kane had recently returned as a monster, John Cena needed a strong run coming up to his Wrestlemania match with The Rock. The match got eaten alive by the fans who couldn’t buy into John’s superman character. The ending was pretty poor, why did it take so long for Cena to return to the ring?
Drew McIntyre vs Brodus Clay
Why why why do I have to relive this? Seriously Brodus Clay gimmick was utterly terrible. Drew McIntyre who later moved to TNA as Drew Galloway is about to get buried. Least Drew got some offence to begin with. Brodus literally squashes any momentum with an easy win. Earth to 2012 Drew just leave, it’s the best thing to do.
Winner: Brodus Clay
CM Punk (C) vs Dolph Ziggler with John Laurinaitis as Special Referee
The build up for the main event is nothing to do with Dolph Ziggler, its a feud between CM Punk and John Laurinaitis. Big Johnny is the special referee, who has come clean and said he will screw CM Punk of the WWE Title. To counter this, WWE Board Of Directors has informed John that he will in fact have a job evaluation the following night on Raw. Big Johnny needs to be fair; in order to do this, he has informed the WWE Universe that he will oversee the match from ringside. An official will referee the match.
I had forgotten about this match, initially really excited for it. On paper, this has classic written all over it. However Dolph Zigglers role was minimal as Big Johnny’s hatred of CM Punk took centre stage. Johnny constantly got involved which disrupted the flow of the match. In the end, multiple referee distractions, bumps saw sense prevail with CM Punk hitting the GTS for the win.
Winner: CM Punk
2012 Royal Rumble Match
It is now time for the 2012 Royal Rumble match, 30 men will enter the “most star studded Royal Rumble ever”. The Miz is the unlucky number one slot. His former protege Alex Riley is the second man to enter the match, very fitting considering the history between these two. Riley didn’t last too long being eliminated by the Miz with 30 seconds spare for the next entrant. Number three is Miz’s former friend R-Truth. Number 4 to the ring is Cody Rhodes followed by Justin Gabriel and Primo. The Miz launches R-Truth over the top rope to eliminate Truth.
Car Crash!!! Mick Foley has entered the Royal Rumble at Number 7, eliminating Primo. The 2011 Royal Rumble winner has returned… no wait it’s a smashed up car. Ricardo has entered the Royal Rumble this is brilliant. Ricardo goes after The Miz, and then eliminates Gabriel with the help of Mick Foley. Santino is next down, who has some playful wrestling with Ricardo. Following Ricardo’s elimination, Santino turns his attention to Mick Foley. It’s Socko vs Cobra, sadly Epico interrupts the classic showdown who doesn’t exactly lasts long. The duel continues between the fierce competitors; however Miz and Cody Rhodes get the better of the duo. Santino and Foley are eliminated to the dismay of the fans.
With just Cody Rhodes and the Miz left, our number 11 entrant is Kofi Kingston who immediately picks up the pace. Shockingly Jerry Lawler is the next man to enter the Royal Rumble match. The Miz receives a trademark top rope fist from The King, however quickly eliminated by Cody Rhodes. Ezekiel Jackson and Jinder Mahal enter the Rumble next who are cleared out of the ring by the Great Khali. Number 16 is Hunico, this event is only five years old and I barely remember half of the previous 6 entrants! Hold on a moment, Booker T who is commentating the event has also entered the Rumble match. Michael Cole is complaining how commentators shouldn’t enter the match…
The Miz eliminates Kofi Kingston, but wait both feet must touch the floor. Kofi touches the floor with his hands and handstands to safety AMAZING. Dolph Ziggler enters into the Rumble match as number 18. Incredible the first winner of the Rumble match Hacksaw Jim Duggan enters as number 19, a massive USA chants hits the arena. His entry is short lived as Cody Rhodes eliminates Duggan, who later eliminates Khali and Booker T. Who is next? Cole says “I think I know, I have a hunch”, the most ridiculous entrant ever is Michael Cole. Thankfully Kharma (TNA’s Awesome Kong) makes a shocking return (sadly a one off) and scares Michael Cole to eliminate himself. Kharma hits her facebuster on Dolph Ziggler, though quickly eliminated by Ziggler.
Sheamus enters the match and quickly eliminates Kofi Kingston. Number 23 see’s another shocking return, “OOO You Didn’t Know” Road Dogg makes his Rumble return. Jey Uso enters the rumble match at number 24. Are there any other big names to enter the Rumble match? The current United States Champion Jack Swagger doesn’t help. Wade Barrett and David Otunga follow. Finally St Louis own Randy Orton enters the match at number 28. The crowd have finally erupted, Orton eliminates Jey Uso, Wade Barrett. Chris Jericho enters makes his return to WWE following a 2 year break. The final man to enter the Rumble match is The Big Show.
After 40 minutes both The Miz and Cody Rhodes are still in this match. Left in the Rumble match are, The Miz, Cody Rhodes, Chris Jericho, Big Show, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler and Sheamus. Cody, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler are quickly eliminated leaving just four men left. Incredibly Chris Jericho eliminated The Big Show and Randy orton leaving Jericho and Sheamus to battle it out to main event Wrestlemania 28. Jericho and Sheamus go back and forth in an entertaining battle. Sheamus launches Jericho over the top rope, Jericho holds on however receives a Brogue Kick to the face allowing Sheamus to win the 2012 Royal Rumble match.
A solid end to a relatively lackluster Royal Rumble match. With six surprise entries, the lack of top level talent hindered the Rumble match severely. The crowd are pretty quiet and not into the match too much, especially during the middle of the match where Jackson, Hunico and Mahal entered. Quite honestly, the commentators entering was terrible, but only done to make up for the numbers. Kharma entering was a lovely touch. Considering this is technically her debut and only match in the WWE. Realistically, the big names entered the match far too late in the match. A saving grace was Chris Jericho’s return that was an utter shock and frustrating that he didn’t win. Sheamus win at the time was the right decision, considering how easy it was to book Chris Jericho vs CM Punk at WrestleMania.
Royal Rumble 2012 Review Summary
By far one of the poorer Royal Rumble matches, but typical of the standard of recent years. The event was pretty good, the Triple Threat cage match was fun to watch. The Diva’s and Brodus Clay matches were passable, whilst John Cena and Kane match was booked into an awkward corner that never should have materialised. On paper the WWE title match should have been brilliant, however the storyline involving Big Johnny was the match story which was a shame. The following couple of months these two faced each other on house shows, but very rarely on TV. Another match to add to the if only wish list. Whilst Royal Rumble 2012 isn’t the worst event WWE have ever produced, it wasn’t the greatest. It is worth watching for the cage match and the surprise entrants to the Rumble match, even to laugh at Michael Coles reaction to Kharma.