WWE PPV Review: Royal Rumble 2012
By Phil Allely
The Royal Rumble is one of the WWE’s most popular, talked about and often exciting events on its Pay-Per-View calendar. The 2012 effort may not join some its predecessors in historic terms, but it did offer up some interesting encounters/results and it did (as it should) pave the way for event of the year WrestleMania.
Opening up with a steel cage match, the Rumble tried its utmost to build a decent level of momentum to carry the live crowd and viewing audience through to the all-important 30 man over the top main event.
Said cage match saw World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan face off against the huge lumbering duo of Mark Henry and Big Show. Although average at best this was a decent bout for all concerned (considering the opponent for Bryan’s gold). Bryan fared well against the mighty power of Henry/Show and escaped the cage to retain his belt and hopefully progress to a more worthy championship defence at Mania.
Next up was a hastily thrown together Divas encounter, which to be honest only ate into valuable ring time. The teams of Beth (Divas Champ) Phoenix, Natalya and the Bella Twins facing off against the quartet of Kelly Kelly, Tamina, Alicia Fox and Eve Torres. The ladies tried their best, but the short length of the match and talent on offer reduced the quality here. Phoenix nailed a reasonable Glam Slam to take the win for her team after some back and forth action.
Kane’s return under his mask once again has seen his character back at its more edgy self. The match between him and perennial main eventer John Cena was an adequate effort from both, Cena especially was on the receiving end of some serious fan reaction. His heel turn teasing continued (but will probably never happen) and Kane showed no sign in losing any of the momentum his newly rejuvenated character has gained. Kane’s monstrous nature came to the fore throughout the match, he took a beating from Cena, but kept on ticking. The pair ended up being counted out for a non-decision, although a laughing Kane decided to take things further by brutalising both Cena and Zack Ryder, leaving them prone in the ring as he strode off in celebration.
In another bonus match the repackaged Brodus Clay tackled Drew McIntyre in an unfortunately poor (squash style) encounter. Clay nailed his ‘What the Funk’ finisher to net himself the win.
The match of the night (as expected) was the semi-main event pitting Dolph Ziggler against WWE Champion CM Punk. John Laurinaitis as guest referee proved inconsequential, when push came to shove. Both combatants shone and although we never expected Ziggler to net the title, he did try. Punk true to form overcame the eager Ziggler by nailing a nice GTS to retain his gold and taking another step towards WrestleMania.
The main event Royal Rumble was lacking star power at times, but the performers on hand did make the most of their time in the ring. With a short 90 seconds gap between each participant it was really a case of make your entrance, hit a move and then move aside as the next combatant arrived on the scene. Highlights were Mick Foley having a Socko versus Cobra stand-off with Santino Marella, Kharma making her Rumble debut (and in-ring return), Ricardo Rodriguez lampooning his former cohort Alberto Del Rio (with cheap car etc.), legend hacksaw Jim Duggan entering to a healthy pop from the live crowd, former DX member Road Dogg making a re-appearance and the entire announce team (Booker T, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler) dipped in for some ring time too.
The rumble boiled down to match favourite Chris Jericho and Irish tough guy Sheamus, both worked hard to create tension and tease the decision. Jericho took the advantage on several occasions before Sheamus countered a ‘codebreaker’ and nailed a nice loking ‘brogue kick’ to send his foe over the top rope and himself into the history books.
Royal Rumble 2012 was a mixed bag of matches, but it did serve its purpose, the road to WrestleMania is looking good and having a guy like Sheamus win a title shot at the biggest event of year certainly makes things interesting.