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Thread: WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Review

  1. #1

    Royal Rumble WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Review

    Royal Rumble
    January 29, 2012

    Daniel Bryan © vs The Big Show vs Mark Henry - Cage Match - World Heavyweight Title
    It was at the last PPV of TLC 2011, that The Big Show defeated Henry for the WHT, only for Show’s buddy, Bryan, to cash in his MITB contract and defeated Show for the title to kick off Bryan’s YES! heel run. Even though Henry did play a big role in the buildup to this Show/Bryan feud, I’m not sure why he’s actually involved. Maybe he’s working with an injury, but he was barely involved in the match. Since it’s a cage match, he wasn’t able to hide on the outside, but I’d say a good 80% of the match is just Bryan vs Show. That’s not a bad thing though as it’s pretty fun. Bryan’s character is that he’s a bit of a coward, constantly trying to escape the cage, but when he’s forced to actually fight Show, he does quite well. It will never not be entertaining to watch a smaller guy really beat up on a monster. The finish saw Henry pick Bryan up for a possible slam, but Show delivered a WMD to Henry. While Show is going for the cover, Bryan attempts an escape over the top of the cage. Show goes after Bryan and manages to catch him. In a fun moment, Bryan is hanging completely off of the cage, the only thing keeping him from falling to the floor is the one hand of Show hanging on to him. Eventually, Show loses his grip, Bryan falls to the floor to retain his WHT. It’s not anything amazing, but this was a fun opener. I’m surprised we never got a proper one-on-one PPV match between Bryan and Show. *** ¼

    Beth Phoenix, Natalya, and The Bella Twins vs Kelly Kelly, Eve, Tamina, and Alicia Fox
    I guess this is heels (Team Beth) vs faces (Team Kelly)? In a nice touch, everyone on Beth’s team is wearing the same aqua blue for their ring gear. The other team tries something similar with orange, but Kelly’s looks more red than orange and Tamina can’t even be bothered. I expected pure garbage from this, but this ended up being just fine. This was during the time period where I didn’t so much see Kelly Kelly as a good worker, but she had very noticeably improved to the point where she was no longer a determinant to her matches. Even Alicia Fox and Tamina managed to not screw up. The only moment in the entire match that I found myself annoyed was Eve’s cringeworthy twerking standing moonsault. This back and forth match saw Kelly dive off of the top rope onto everyone the floor below. The ending was built around one of the Bella seemingly have the match nearly won against Kelly, but Beth roughly tagged herself in, “Get out of my ring!” so that she can be the one to pin Kelly following a Glam Slam. The post-match with Beth celebrating with Natalya, but ignoring the other Bella, wanting to high five Beth, could have very easily set-up a future PPV match with Beth/Natalya vs The Bellas, but I don’t know if that match ever did happen. Went into this with extremely low expectations, came away feeling upbeat. **

    John Cena vs Kane
    Ah yes, the “Embrace the hate!” angle designed to keep Cena busy until his Rock match at Wrestlemania and to properly kill off Zack Ryder’s overness. This match was mostly okay. It’s a big brawl that remained in the ring. Kane keeps trying to use his glove to suffocate Cena, but Cena kept avoiding it. Speaking of avoiding, Cena’s attempts at hitting the FU never succeed. The first attempt caused him to collapse with Kane on top of him. Kane would counter the second attempt as well. Despite the fact that this is a Kane match, I was enjoying it well enough until the awful double count out finish. Not only is the finish lame on its own, but it didn’t even feel like we were close to heading into the finishing stretch. Weak...but it will get worse soon enough. Not awful. **

    What is awful is the post-match event with Kane and Cena battling in the back. Kane takes care of Cena and then bursts into Zack Ryder’s private locker room. Poor Ryder has already been put in a wheelchair by Kane. Kane pushes Ryder’s chair from the back to the ring without a single person trying to help the injured man. Kane would deliver a Tombstone in the middle of the ring with Cena and Eve then being in the ring to check on the downed superstar. The crowd doesn’t care at all about this, cheering the Tombstone and then booing Cena. The treatment of Ryder would only get worse as the weeks pass. Remember kids, all you have to do to succeed in the WWE is to grab that brass ring and surely the company will treat you right!

    Brodus Clay w/The Funkadactyls vs Drew McIntyre
    Just a short squash for the newcomer, Clay, and to help continue McIntyre’s losing streak. Everything McIntyre tries fails against the big man. Brodus wins with a running cross body. Considering the Brodus push was a monster dud, all of these short 2012 PPV matches feel pointless. SQUASH.

    CM Punk © vs Dolph Ziggler w/Vickie Guerrero - WWE World Title
    Johnny Ace was supposed to be your special guest referee, but since he’s getting a performance evaluation tomorrow on Raw, he announced that he’ll just be the outside ring enforcer. To further show that he’s been doing such a swell job as interim Raw GM, Ace ordered Guerrero to return to the back to allow this to be a fair match. Similarly to the previous year’s WHT match with Dolph Ziggler, you have a bit of a weak challenger, but the whole idea is that he has a chance due to outside forces. Just as you knew the Edge/Ziggler match couldn’t end until Vickie somehow got involved, you knew that this match wouldn’t end until Ace got involved. I thought Ziggler’s performance here was even better than the Edge match. At this point in his career, he was great in these filler World Title programs. They repeated a spot from the Edge/Ziggler match with Ziggler attempting a Fameasser, but Punk turned it into a sit down power bomb. Just to make it even nicer than Edge’s version, Punk added a swank little turn to it. It’s after a ref bump that the Sports Entertainment influence kicks in. Since Ace still needs to act like he’s doing a quality job, he tries to screw Punk over by focusing entirely on the knocked out ref on the outside, having his back turned from the ring, where Punk has the victory on Ziggler a couple of times. Even when Ace gets into the ring and Punk picks Ziggler up for another Go 2 Sleep, Ace accidentally gets hit in the back of the head. Ace sees this as a chance to ignore the action, but it’s not completely doing a shit job since he can claim he’s hurt. It doesn’t matter though as Punk manages to hit another Go 2 Sleep with the referee recovering enough to count to three. In a fun spot, Ace, knowing Punk is going to win, jumps into the ring to count along to once again show that he’s so unbias. Haha. Good match, but again, you just know Dolph isn’t going to win and there’s the slight frustration of knowing that the match comes second to what really matters - Johnny Ace. *** ½

    30 Man Royal Rumble Match
    The last Rumble I can really remember enjoying. It begins right away with some story as The Miz starts off as #1 due to losing a match against R-Truth on Raw where the loser would have to start the Rumble. Miz begins the Rumble with his former lackey, Alex Riley, coming out as #2. Miz would find success by tossing Riley before #3, R-Truth (Holy shit, Truth got screwed, won a match to keep from being #1, but still ended up #3?) came out. So again, it’s all about Miz battling his former buddies turned enemies. The rest of the first ten is all about the fun value with Primo and Justin Gabriel getting in some fun high flying spots and the comedy segments featuring Mick Foley (Which for now is his final match), Ricardo Rodriguez (Doing his poor man’s Alberto Del Rio act), and Santino (Mr. Socko vs The Cobra~!) Those three comedy acts didn’t last long, but they were incredibly entertaining. These spots remain some of my favorite comedy spots in Rumble history. The fun value continues as we go into the middle pack with Kofi Kingston officially stealing the crown of “Great near eliminations” from John Morrison with his legendary walking on hands to avoid elimination. It’s the first time Kofi did something memorable in a near elimination and I think it’s his best. Since Kingston kept having to top himself each year, they started to feel very choreographed, which caused it to lose value for me. This first one came across as pretty natural though. Some of the other fun value involved the surprise entrants of all three commentators (Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Booker T), Jim Duggan, Road Dogg, and Kharma. However, it’s in the middle of the match where my only true negative of the match starts to become evident. The Rumble had so much fun value, but where were the stars? You had The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, which were fine, but where are the actual main eventers? It’s not until Sheamus at #22 that an actual star shows up. He’s eventually followed by Randy Orton (#28), Chris Jericho (#29), and The Big Show (#30) to at least end the match with stars. Having the vast majority of the match be without proper main eventers caused the match to lose a lot of importance. It’s not like stars weren’t available. Why weren’t Mark Henry, Kane, or John Cena in this match? Hell, dust off Triple H and bring him out too. You could tell that the fans were losing interest in the middle of the match when the likes of Jinder Mahal, Hunico, and Ezekiel Jackson were all the Rumble could offer. This is also why I’m 100% fine with the Rumble “Wasting” three spots on the commentators since they at least got a reaction. Despite the fact that the match lacked importance for the middle of it, it ended on an amazing note. The final battle between Sheamus and Jericho is one of my favorite final battles in Rumble history. You could believe that either man could win, they were given loads of time for both men to tease elimination before Sheamus finally managed to Brogue Kick Jericho off of the apron to win the match. I know a lot of people feel Jericho should have won, but had the whole debacle at Mania with Sheamus/Bryan not have happened to ruin Sheamus’ overness, this Rumble victory would have been the start of one of the WWE’s #2 babyface. Add in some main event stars earlier in the match and you would have had one of the better Rumbles. Instead, it’s merely my favorite of the last several years. *** ¾

    WWE kicked off 2012 with a pretty good Royal Rumble PPV. The actual Royal Rumble match is currently my favorite from this 2010’s decade. Even though its importance is hurt by Sheamus’ failure as a top act, through no fault of his own, his actual Rumble win was great. Both World Title matches were good even if neither entered the great territory. Even the women’s eight man tag was better than it had any right to be. I could have done without the Brodus Clay squash, but I can’t say it was bad. Hell, I’ll go as far as to say that the Kane/Cena match wasn’t actually bad. Sure, the finish sucked, but the actual match was fine enough. However, Royal Rumble 2012 does have a modern WrestleCrap classic moment with the god awful Kane/Zack Ryder segment. To think, Ryder is one of the most over talents in the company at this point and the WWE is doing everything in their power to completely ruin that overness. Still though, Royal Rumble 2012 was a fun PPV. It’s just a PPV that I feel doesn’t have much importance when looking at it with today’s eyes.

  2. #2

    Ed's Avatar

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    Re: WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Review

    Sheamus Vs Jericho is probably my 2nd favourite ending to a rumble after Michaels/Taker; really dramatic and two top wrestlers going at it with equal chance to win. Has Jericho Vs Sheamus ever happened in a straight match? Have you seen the 2016 Rumble yet? I'd say that was the best one of the 2010s.

    I really enjoyed the opening triple threat for the WHC. Smackdown in 2011 had one of it's greatest ever years, and Bryan was just on point with his douchebag coward heel run escaping with the title against these giants and using AJ Lee to help him.

    I loved the Punk Vs Clown Shoes stuff. Big Johnny was fantastic in his role.

  3. #3
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    Re: WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Review

    I actually find the 2013 Rumble match to be really underrated. It's not got a great finishing stretch but the bulk of the match is excellent.

    I pretty much agree with all your review, Jim. Big Show and Bryan had some brilliant matches on SmackDown around this time.

  4. #4

    Re: WWE Royal Rumble 2012 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Has Jericho Vs Sheamus ever happened in a straight match?
    According to Cagematch, they had three matches on Smackdown between March and July 2012.

    Have you seen the 2016 Rumble yet? I'd say that was the best one of the 2010s.
    I've seen every televised Rumble match. The ones since 2012 hasn't done anything for me. They just seem like they're completely out of ideas and struggle to make things stand out now.

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