Great White WrestleMania.
The 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble came to you, live on pay-per-view, from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, MO. The Rock, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Ric Flair, and Batista are just some of the legendary names that have won the Royal Rumble Match in the event’s quarter century existence and, at the silver anniversary of the Royal Rumble, one WWE Superstar will etch his name in history as the winner of the 2012 Royal Rumble Winner, earning that individual a shot at the title of their choosing, either the WWE or World Heavyweight Title, at WrestleMania XXVIII in Miami. With Superstars like “The Great White” Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, R-Truth, The Miz, Chris Jericho, and “The Hardcore Legend” Mick Foley all confirmed to appear and with every WWE Superstar being eligible to enter for the first time in history, who will earn the guaranteed title shot at WrestleMania? The Royal Rumble will also go a long way in determining who may be defending the WWE Championship at WrestleMania as CM Punk defends the WWE Championship against “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler, but the x-factor will no doubt be the Special Referee for the match as the all-important WWE Title match will be presided over by a man who has publicly stated that he will screw Punk out of the WWE Title, Interim RAW General Manager and the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis. After using any means necessary to escape with his World Heavyweight Title in matches against Big Show and Mark Henry, there will be nowhere to run for Daniel Bryan as he defends the World Heavyweight Championship against “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show and “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match. After doing everything in his sinister power to get John Cena to “embrace the hate”, including a chokeslam to Cena’s good friend, Zack Ryder, through the stage, “The Big Red Monster” Kane would go one-on-one with John Cena.
- World Heavyweight Championship: Triple Threat Steel Cage Match: Daniel Bryan (c) def. Big Show & Mark Henry by escaping the cage to retain.
- 8-Diva Tag Match: Beth Phoenix, Natalya, & The Bella Twins def. Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox, & Tamina by Beth Phoenix pinning Kelly Kelly with the Glam Slam.
- John Cena and Kane fight to a Double Count-Out.
- Brodus Clay def. Drew McIntyre by pin following What The Funk.
- WWE Championship: Special Referee- John Laurinaitis: CM Punk (c) def. Dolph Ziggler by pin following the GTS to retain.
- 30-Man Royal Rumble Match: WINNER- Sheamus
Order of Entry
- The Miz
- Alex Riley
- Cody Rhodes
- Justin Gabriel
- Mick Foley
- Ricardo Rodriguez
- Santino Marella
- Kofi Kingston
- Jerry “The King” Lawler
- Ezekiel Jackson
- Jinder Mahal
- The Great Khali
- Hunico (with Camacho)
- Booker T
- Dolph Ziggler
- “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
- Michael Cole
- Sheamus (Winner)
- Road Dogg
- Jey Uso
- Jack Swagger
- Wade Barrett
- David Otunga
- Randy Orton
- Chris Jericho
- Big Show
Order of Elimination
- The Miz elim. Alex Riley
- The Miz elim. R-Truth
- Mick Foley elim. Primo
- Mick Foley & Ricardo Rodriguez elim. Justin Gabriel
- Santino Marella elim. Ricardo Rodriguez
- Mick Foley elim. Epico
- Cody Rhodes elim. Santino Marella
- Cody Rhodes elim. Mick Foley
- Cody Rhodes elim. Jerry “The King” Lawler
- The Great Khali elim. Jinder Mahal
- The Great Khali elim. Ezekiel Jackson
- Cody Rhodes elim. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
- Cody Rhodes & Dolph Ziggler elim. Booker T & The Great Khali
- Booker T & Jerry “The King” Lawler elim. Michael Cole
- Dolph Ziggler (with Vickie Guerrero) elim. Kharma
- Sheamus elim. Kofi Kingston
- Wade Barrett elim. Road Dogg
- Chris Jericho elim. David Otunga
- Big Show & Sheamus elim. Jack Swagger
- Big Show elim. The Miz & Cody Rhodes
- Big Show elim. Dolph Ziggler
- Randy Orton elim. Big Show
- Chris Jericho elim. Randy Orton
- Sheamus elim. Chris Jericho
The silver anniversary of the Royal Rumble kicks off with a Royal Rumble first as a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship kicks the show off as Daniel Bryan steps into the cage to defend the World Heavyweight Title against “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show and “The World’s Strongest Man” Mark Henry where the only ways to win are by pinfall, submission, or by escaping the cage. In the end, Daniel Bryan tried to escape the cage over the top, but Big Show gets a hold of Bryan, holding the entire weight of Bryan with one arm. However, Big Show is unable to hold the weight any longer as Daniel Bryan drops to the floor to successfully retain the World Heavyweight Championship!
The Divas Champion returned to action at the Royal Rumble as Beth Phoenix teams with Natalya and The Bella Twins to face Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox, & Tamina in an 8-Diva Tag Match. At the end of a chaotic 8-Diva Tag Match, it was Beth Phoenix pinning Kelly Kelly after the Glam Slam en route to the Divas Champion leading her team to victory.
After being chokeslammed through the stage by Kane on RAW, Zack Ryder is wheeled into the arena backstage, where he is met by Interim RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis, who panders to the injured Superstar, giving Ryder his own room to watch the Royal Rumble event. Eve then confronts the GM, saying that Laurinaitis is “vindictive” and she hopes he gets fired tomorrow night on RAW, adding that Laurinaitis is an “ass”!
After weeks of being told, by Kane, to “embrace the hate”, John Cena went one-on-one with the masked monster who has terrorized him and his friend, Zack Ryder, in recent weeks, “The Big Red Monster” Kane. In a hard-fought match, Kane and John Cena would fight to the outside with the match ending in a double count-out. With the match over, Kane and Cena brawl to the backstage area where Cena throws Kane into a group of trash cans. Kane is then able to find a steel chair as Kane uses it to repeatedly hammer the back of Cena. Kane then sets his sights on the personal dressing room of Zack Ryder as “The Big Red Monster” busts into the room where he finds a defenseless Zack Ryder. Unable to get out of his wheelchair due to the injuries to his back, Ryder is unable to defend himself as Kane uses his gloved hand to render Ryder unconscious. Kane then wheels Ryder past a still downed Cena and continues to wheel Ryder out to ringside where he dumps Ryder out of the wheelchair onto the floor. Kane then rolls a barely conscious Ryder into the ring as Eve makes her way to the ring to plead with Kane to not hurt Ryder any further. Kane then looks right at Eve as he delivers the Tombstone Piledriver to Ryder. As Eve watches helplessly, John Cena rushes to the ring, but is quickly taken care with a chokeslam by Kane. After being brutalized by Kane yet again, what is the status of Zack Ryder? Will we ever see Zack Ryder competing in a WWE ring again?
After a recent losing streak has put him closer and closer to being fired, Drew McIntyre was given another chance at the Royal Rumble as McIntyre faced “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay. In the end, “The Funkasaurus” kept his dominant streak alive as Brodus hits What The Funk on Drew McIntyre en route to picking up the win.
Before he serves as the Special Referee for the WWE Title match, the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and Interim General Manager of RAW John Laurinaitis announces that he will be presiding over the match from ringside with a WWE referee calling the match from the inside.
Then it was time for the WWE Championship to be defended in controversial fashion as CM Punk defends the WWE Title against “The Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler, with Vickie Guerrero in his corner, with the man that Punk hates the most and the man who has publicly admitted he will cost Punk the title presiding over the match as Interim RAW General Manager John Laurinaitis serves as the Special Referee from the outside of the ring. Before the match, John Laurinaitis enters the ring and ejects Vickie Guerrero from ringside, per the ruling several weeks ago that both Vickie and Jack Swagger would be banned from ringside. During the match, CM Punk goes for the GTS on Dolph Ziggler, but Dolph fights out, shoving Punk into the referee, taking the referee out of the ring and out of the match. With the original referee out, the refereeing duties would delegate to John Laurinaitis, but Laurinaitis would have his back to the proceedings in the ring as he nursed the original referee back to consciousness. After having Dolph Ziggler beat twice, CM Punk would get the attention of Laurinaitis, who rolls the original referee back in the ring before confronting Punk. Punk then hoists Dolph up for the GTS, swinging Dolph around so that Ziggler’s feet connect with Laurinaitis’ head, angering the GM. Punk then hits the GTS on Dolph, but the referee is still recovering and is unable to count the pinfall. With the original referee recovered enough to continue calling the match, CM Punk goes for another GTS, but Dolph Ziggler counters with Punk kicking out. Punk then hits the GTS again and, with Laurinaitis rolling into the ring, the original referee and Laurinaitis count to three in unison as Punk successfully retains the WWE Title. How will John Laurinaitis’ surprising impartiality weigh in when Laurinaitis has his job evaluation conducted by WWE COO Triple H tomorrow night on RAW?
Then it was time for the main event and the namesake of the Royal Rumble as, for the 25th year in a row, it was time for the Royal Rumble Match as 30 Superstars would compete and, for the first time ever, every WWE Superstar is eligible to compete. In the historic Royal Rumble Match, two Superstars would start the match and every ninety seconds, another Superstar will enter the match until all thirty have entered with a Superstar being eliminated when a Superstar goes over the top rope with both feet touching the floor. The winner of the Royal Rumble Match will earn a guaranteed shot at either the WWE or World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania XXVIII.
Per his loss to R-Truth on RAW, the #1 entrant into the Royal Rumble Match was The Miz, who says that no one ever thought he would headline WrestleMania or be the WWE Champion, but he did and he assures everyone that he will survive 29 other Superstars to win the Royal Rumble Match and will headline WrestleMania. The #2 entrant is then revealed to be the former protégé of The Miz, Alex Riley. The first elimination of the 2012 Royal Rumble Match sees The Miz eliminate Alex Riley before Miz awaits the #3 entrant, which was revealed to be Miz’s former tag team partner, R-Truth. As Miz and Truth continue to try and eliminate each other, the #4 entrant is revealed to be Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes. As the ring begins to fill up, the #5 entrant is revealed to be Justin Gabriel, followed by the #6 entrant, one-half of the WWE Tag Team Champions, Primo. In the second elimination of the match, The Miz sends R-Truth over and out of the match. Truth responds by pulling Miz out of the ring and hitting the Little Jimmy on the outside of the ring. “The Hardcore Legend” then enters the match as Mick Foley enters the Rumble at #7. Foley wastes no time making an impact by eliminating Primo before the #8 entrant is real head-scratcher as it appears to be Alberto Del Rio returning from injury, but it is Del Rio’s personal ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, instead as Rodriguez enters in Del Rio attire, driving a heavily used car. Surprisingly, Rodriguez works with Mick Foley to eliminate Justin Gabriel before the Assistant to the SmackDown General Manager, Santino Marella, enters at #9. After giving a wedgie Rodriguez, Santino eliminates Rodriguez from the match before Foley and Santino have a face-off with Foley putting Mr. Socko on and Santino putting the Cobra sock on!
The #10 entrant, WWE Tag Team Champion Primo, feels the wrath of the Cobra and Mr. Socko before being eliminated by Mick Foley. The Miz and Cody Rhodes then re-enter the fray as Rhodes eliminates Santino from the match. Foley then gets the Mandible Claw on The Miz, but Cody Rhodes comes to the rescue, eliminating Foley from the match. The #11 entrant, Kofi Kingston then enters the match before the #12 entrant emanates from ringside as RAW commentator and Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler makes his surprise entry into the match! Lawler has an impressive showing in the match before being eliminated by Cody Rhodes moments before Ezekiel Jackson enters the match at #13. Entering at #14 is Jinder Mahal, who takes his time entering the ring, before the Royal Rumble Match enters the halfway point with the #15 entrant as the The Great Khali makes his return to the WWE! Khali easily eliminates his rival, Jinder Mahal, before eliminating Ezekiel Jackson as well. The #16 entrant, Hunico, then enters the match before SmackDown commentator and six-time World Champion makes his second consecutive Royal Rumble Match appearance at #17! In a Royal Rumble moment to remember, The Miz tries to eliminate Kofi Kingston, but Kofi does a handstand, walking on his hands to avoid elimination! After being unsuccessful in his quest to win the WWE Title, Dolph Ziggler enters the match at #18. The very first Royal Rumble winner in history then enters the Royal Rumble Match as Hall of Famer “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan enters at #19! The nostalgia is short-lived, however, as Cody Rhodes eliminates another legend as the Intercontinental Champion sends Duggan out of the match. After this, Rhodes aids Dolph Ziggler in eliminating both Booker T and The Great Khali from the match.
After witnessing his colleagues compete in the Royal Rumble, the #20 entrant is none other than Michael Cole! However, the #21 entrant is even more shocking as, after nearly a year of being out of action, Kharma returns to be only the third female competitor in Royal Rumble history! Kharma immediately targets Cole, who climbs over the top rope and tries to talk his way out of being eliminated by Kharma, but Booker T and Jerry Lawler help out by knocking Cole off of the apron, eliminating the commentator. Making it clear that she fears no one, man or woman, Kharma targets and lays Dolph Ziggler out moments before a timely distraction allows Dolph to eliminate Kharma from the match. “The Great White” then enters the match as the #22 entrant is Sheamus, who eliminates Kofi Kingston. The surprises just keep on coming as the #23 entrant is none other than former New Age Outlaw and former DX member, Road Dogg Jesse James! The #24 entrant, Jey Uso, then enters the match before United States Champion Jack Swagger enters at #25. Another Rumble favorite, Wade Barrett, then enters at #26, eliminating Road Dogg, before the Legal Counsel for John Laurinaitis, David Otunga, enters at #27. The #28 entrant is then none other than St. Louis’ own, Randy Orton, who eliminates Jey Uso before delivering the RKO to Wade Barrett before eliminating Barrett from the match. The #29 entrant is then revealed to be “Y2J” Chris Jericho as Jericho enters the match, quickly eliminating David Otunga. Then it was time for the final entrant into the 2012 Royal Rumble Match as Royal Rumble veteran, “The World’s Largest Athlete” Big Show enters at #30. Big Show immediately makes an impact, assisting Sheamus in eliminating Jack Swagger before knocking Swagger out with the W.M.D. before powering both The Miz and Cody Rhodes over the top rope and out of the match! Big Show then eliminates Dolph Ziggler, bringing the match down to the final four as Sheamus, Big Show, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho remain. After being dropped with the RKO, Big Show shoves Sheamus away as Orton and Sheamus try to work together to eliminate Show, but Orton manages to hoist Show over, eliminating Show from the match. With Orton’s back turned, Chris Jericho sends Orton over the top rope, eliminating the St. Louis native from the match, leaving only Jericho and Sheamus in the match. After a hellacious war between Sheamus and Chris Jericho, it was Sheamus finally knocking Jericho off of the ring apron with the Brogue Kick to win the 2012 Royal Rumble Match! Sheamus has won the 2012 Royal Rumble Match, earning him a guaranteed shot at either the WWE or World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXVIII, but the question remains, which championship will Sheamus decide to contend for on April 1 in Miami?
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