– The 2012 WWE Royal Rumble pay-per-view opens up with a video package focusing on tonight’s 30-man main event and the opportunity to headline WrestleMania. The video goes on to look at some of the history of the Rumble.
– We’re live from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis with Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T on commentary. The World Heavyweight Title match is up first as the cage is brought down over the ring.
Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Title: Big Show vs. Mark Henry vs. Daniel Bryan
We go to the cage and out first comes the World Heavyweight Champion. Out next comes Mark Henry followed by Big Show.
Lilian Garcia does formal ring introductions as we get ready for the bell. Immediately Bryan tries to climb the cage but gets pulled down and slammed by Big Show. Henry stops the pin attempt and goes at it with Show. Show knocks Henry down with a big shoulder and splashes him into the side of the cage. Big Show with another big splash on Henry. Show goes in again and Bryan starts climbing. Show grabs him and throws him down to the mat. Show works over Bryan in the corner now. Big Show eventually goes for the WMD punch but Bryan moves and he punches the cage. Bryan goes at it with Show but gets dropped with a headbutt. Show with a back splash in the corner but Bryan comes back and dropkicks his leg out.
Bryan takes Show down and goes to work on Henry now. Bryan has both men down and the door is opened. Henry stops him from leaving and tells the referee to shut the door. Henry smashes Bryan’s face into the cage and works him over in between the ropes and the cage. Henry hits Bryan with a headbutt but turns around to a big kick from Big Show. Show grabs Bryan and whips him into the side of the cage. Bryan climbs the cage but Show pulls him back down and throws him into it. Bryan stands up to Show but Show keeps beating him down. Show throws Bryan high into the cage and scoop slams him. Show hits another headbutt on Bryan and goes back to Henry. Henry hits him with right hands and a big clothesline. Henry goes to work on Bryan now, choking him with his boot. Henry throws Bryan into the cage and charges but he moves. Henry goes down and Bryan covers for 2.
Show runs over Bryan and throws him into the sides of the cage. Show drops Bryan with a big kick and calls for the chokeslam. Bryan blocks it with kicks and ends up hitting a tornado DDT from the top rope on Show. Show kicks out at 1. Bryan goes for the LaBell Lock on Show and gets it locked in. Henry breaks the hold with a boot to Bryan’s head. Henry throws Byryan into the cage wall and picks him up. Show hits Henry with a WMD punch and he falls. Show covers Henry for 2. Bryan tries to climb the cage again and makes it to the top before Show can grab him. Bryan gets both legs over the cage but Show has a hold of him. Bryan tries to fight him off and fall to the floor but Show stops him. Bryan sits on top of the cage and punches Show. Bryan tries to escape but Show starts climbing over the top now. Bryan is hanging by Show’s arm as Show tries to pull him back in. Bryan manages to fall to the floor for the win.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
– After the match, Bryan celebrates as Show looks on from the top of the cage.
– We get hype for John Cena vs. The Rock at WrestleMania 28 and a video package looking at John Cena.
Beth Phoenix, Natalya and The Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly, Tamina, Alicia Fox and Eve Torres
We go to the ring and out comes the team of WWE Divas Champion Beth Phoenix, Natalya and The Bella Twins. Out next comes Kelly Kelly, Tamina, Alicia Fox and Eve Torres.
Natalya and Tamina start things off going at it. They trade slaps before Tamina chops her and headbutts her for a 2 count. Tamina tags in Eve and in she comes with the booty pop and moonsault for 2. Natalya rams Eve back in the corner and tags in Beth. Beth goes back and forth with Eve. Eve connects with a kick and a clothesline. She goes for a back splash and Beth puts her knees up.
Beth works over Eve some more for another 2 count. One of the Bellas come in and choke Eve on the ropes. Eve gets kicked in the face and covered for another pin attempt. Bella with a chinlock now. Eve comes back and tags in Alicia. Alicia comes in with a clothesline and a pair of dropkicks. Alicia stomps away in the corner as the referee pulls her off. The Bellas switch out and Alicia gets beat down in the corner now. Kelly finally gets the tag and does the head scissors takedown. Kelly with the back elbow in the corner and then the bulldog for 2 as the other Bella broke it up. Natalya comes in and goes at it with Eve. Tamina joins in on the fight and all the Divas brawl on the floor. In the ring, Kelly Kelly climbs up top, then splashes onto the other Divas and the floor. Kelly comes in the ring and goes at it with one of the Bellas. Beth smacks the twin on the back and tags herself in. Beth nails the Glam Slam on Kelly for the win.
Winners: Beth Phoenix, Natalya and The Bella Twins
– We see what Kane did to Zack Ryder last week. Backstage, Ryder is wheeled in by someone and he’s in a wheelchair in bad shape. John Laurinaitis greets him and has him a room all set up. Eve Torres runs up and says Laurinaitis has done enough. She calls him names and hopes he gets fired tomorrow night on RAW. Laurinaitis says “that’s gratitude for ya” and walks off. Eve calls him an ass and wheels Ryder into his room.
John Cena vs. Kane
We go to the ring and out comes John Cena to a very mixed reaction from the St. Louis crowd.
Cena waits in the ring for a minute as the crowd boos him. Finally the stage explodes and out comes Kane. Cena strikes first with a kick and goes to work. Kane drops him with an elbow and turns things around. Kane backs Cena into the corner and drops him with punches. Dueling chants start from the crowd as they take the fight outside of the ring with Kane in control. Cena makes it back in the ring and in limps Kane. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Kane blocks it and drops him on his head.
Kane continues the assault on Cena and kicks him in the head for a 2 count. Cena fights out of a headlock and trades shots with Kane in the middle of the ring. Kane keeps control and suplexes Cena for another pin attempt. Kane goes back to keeping Cena on the mat. Cena fights out again and they trade right hands before Kane drops Cena with a big uppercut. Kane splashes Cena in the corner and down he goes. Kane charges but Cena hits a drop toe hold and Kane lands on the turnbuckle. Cena goes for a bulldog but Kane shoves him off and Cena lands on the apron. Cena drops Kane over the top rope but comes in the ring to a big clothesline. Kane waits for Cena to get up and goes for the mandible but Cena blocks it. Kane tries to get it applied but Cena holds him. Kane takes Cena down and goes to the top. Kane comes down for a big shot on Cena and calls for the chokeslam. Cena ducks it and hits a shoulder block. Another takes Kane off his feet. Cena with the back drop and then he goes for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena bends down for the hand gesture but Kane grabs him and lays him out. Kane covers for 2.
Kane takes Cena to the top for a superplex but Cena fights him off. Kane falls to the mat and there’s a lot of boos for Cena as he stands on the top and raises his hand. Cena does the gesture and hits a Five Knuckle Shuffle from the top. Cena goes for the AA but Kane blocks it again. Cena takes out Kane’s leg. Cena grabs the leg but Kane kicks him out of the ring. Kane follows to the floor and rams Cena into the apron. Kane takes the fight towards the ramp and the match is counted out.
– After the bell, Kane and Cena continue fighting up and into the backstage area. Kane hits Cena in the gut with a steel chair and then cracks him in the back with it. Kane continues hitting Cena in the back with the chair and drops it when he sees Zack Ryder’s room. Kane kicks the door down and Ryder is kicking in his wheelchair. Kane applies the mandible on Ryder and he passes out in the chair. Kane wheels Ryder out of the room and past a knocked out Cena. Kane wheels Ryder out to the ringside area and dumps him on the floor. Kane puts Ryder in the ring and out comes Eve Torres. She pleads with Kane to stop. Kane grabs Ryder and nails a Tombstone. Cena comes running to the ring but Kane chokeslams him. Kane leaves the ring laughing as his music plays. Eve and WWE referees check on Ryder and Cena in the ring. Ryder is taken away on a stretcher as we go to a “be a STAR” video.
– We get more hype for John Cena vs. The Rock at WrestleMania 28 and a video package looking at The Rock.
Drew McIntyre vs. Brodus Clay
Back to the ring and out comes Drew McIntyre for another bonus match. Brodus Clay’s dancers come out and make the introduction before he comes dancing his way to the ring.
A chant breaks out for Clay before the bell. Clay shakes and Drew blows a kiss to his dancers. Drew strikes first and takes Brodus to the corner. Clay just shakes him off and dances. Drew with more offense in the corner but it doesn’t phase Clay. Clay comes back with the big overhead suplex and then the splash in the corner. Clay hits “What The Funk” for the win.
Winner: Brodus Clay
– We get a promo video for Triple H’s return to RAW tomorrow night and then one looking at tonight’s WWE Title match.
WWE Title Match: Dolph Ziggler vs. CM Punk
We go to the ring and Justin Roberts introduces tonight’s special referee, John Laurinaitis. He takes the mic and introduces himself to everybody. Laurinaitis says that in the interest of fairness, he will oversee the officiating from outside of the ring. He will leave the officiating inside the ring to a WWE referee and calls for one to come down. Out first comes Dolph Ziggler with Vickie Guerrero. WWE Champion CM Punk is out next to a big pop from the crowd.
Roberts does formal ring introductions. Despite being previously banned from ringside, Vickie Guerrero i allowed to stay. Laurinaitis comes in the ring and stops things. Now Vickie is sent to the back screaming. We get the bell and they lock up. Punk goes for a quick roll-up for 2. Ziggler hits a forearm and goes for a leg drop but Punk counters. Punk goes for GTS and Ziggler counters that.
They go back at it and trade holds. Punk with another pin attempt. Punk grabs Ziggler from behind and locks him in an abdominal stretch while hitting elbows. Ziggler ends up on the floor and Punk dives through the ropes taking him out. They come back in the ring and Ziggler takes control. Ziggler hits a series of elbow drops for another pin attempt. Punk back drops Ziggler and both are down. They get up and Ziggler strikes first. They trade shots now with punches and kicks. Punk gets the upperhand but Ziggler goes behind and applies the sleeper hold. Punk goes to the mat and turns it into an Anaconda Vice. Ziggler counters that and gets on Punk’s back with the sleeper. Punk stands up with Ziggler on his back. Ziggler breaks it and dropkicks Punk for 2.
Punk comes out of nowhere with a big sitdown powerbomb for 2. Punk hits the high knee and a swinging neckbreaker on Ziggler. Punk hits the knee in the corner and then the bulldog. Punk calls for GTS but Ziggler counters. Ziggler whips Punk into the corner but he catches himself and comes back with a crossbody for 2. More back and forth action until Pun kicks Ziggler in the head and lays him out. Punk with another 2 count. Punk slams Ziggler and hits a big elbow from the top but Ziggler kicks out at 2. They go back and forth again and Punk gets knocked into the referee. The referee goes out to the floor as Punk and Ziggler go at it. Punk applies the Anaconda Vice but there’s no referee as Laurinaitis is checking on the other referee. Ziggler is tapping but there’s no referee.
The match continues and Punk gets the pin but again, there’s no referee looking. Laurinaitis picks the referee up and rolls him back in the ring. Laurinaitis comes in also and Punk has words for him. They argue as Ziggler comes from behind. Punk grabs him for the GTS. While on Punk’s shoulder, Ziggler’s leg hits Laurinaitis and knocks him out of the ring. Punk hits GTS and covers Ziggler. Laurinaitis is pissed off and won’t make the count. The original referee gets up as Ziggler lays out Punk for a very close 2 count. Ziggler stomps and punches away on Punk until the referee has to back him off. Ziggler goes for his finisher but Punk catches him and catapults him into the corner. Punk nails GTS for the pin and as the referee is counting, John Laurinaitis slides into the ring and counts along with him.
Winner: CM Punk
– After the match, we go to replays. Laurinaitis claps for Punk from the stage as Punk celebrates in the ring with the WWE Title.
– We get a promo video for tonight’s 30-man Royal Rumble main event.
30-Man Royal Rumble Match
The Miz is out first as #1. Miz takes the mic and says everyone in the back doesn’t think he will make it to the end but they’re the same ones who told him he would never do anything in WWE like be WWE Champion. Miz says he will be the last man standing and he will go on to headline WrestleMania 28 because he’s The Miz and he’s awesome. Out comes Alex Riley as #2.
They go at it and Riley takes control. He tries to eliminate Miz but Miz counters and takes him down in the corner. Miz stomps away at Riley and talks trash. Riley counters and tosses Miz over but he hangs on. Riley charges and Miz dumps him. Riley is eliminated.
Out next comes R-Truth and he tackles Miz. They go at it and Truth hits a kick to the jaw. Truth tries to eliminate Miz but he hangs on. Miz fights his way back in and goes for the Skull Crushing Finale but it’s countered. Miz then counters Truth. Truth tosses Miz over again but he hangs on. WWE Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes is out next. He runs in and hits Beautiful Disaster and then drops Truth on his face. Cody holds Truth so Miz can work him over with the double team. Miz holds Truth now.
Cody also hangs on as Truth tries to eliminate him. The next man out is Justin Gabriel. Cody charges and they go at it. Gabriel splashes off the top and takes out Miz and Cody. Gabriel continues the offense and takes out Truth. Cody drops him with a right hand and stomps away. Cody tries to eliminate him but he hangs on. The next man out is one-half of the Tag Team Champions Primo. Primo comes in with offense on everyone and takes Gabriel down with a head scissors. Truth ducks a kick from Cody and takes him out. Miz tosses Truth and R-Truth is eliminated.
Truth pulls Miz out to the floor under the bottom rope and lays him out at ringside. The next man out is Mick Foley. Foley tries to run to the ring and knocks down Primo. Foley works over Primo as Gabriel and Rhodes look on. Foley dumps Primo over the top and Cody attacks. Foley wails away with right hands on Cody in the corner. Foley charges with the knee to the face and hits the double arm DDT. Gabriel and Foley try to eliminate Rhodes but can’t get him. The next man out is the returning Alberto Del Rio! A beat up looking car comes driving in but wait. It’s Ricardo Rodriguez. He’s wearing a scarf and acting like Del Rio. Ricardo makes his way to the ring as Foley, Cody and Gabriel look on. The crowd chants for Ricardo.
Ricardo kicks Cody in the head and wails away on him in the corner. Foley knocks Ricardo down. Ricardo gets up and goes at it with Gabriel. Foley and Ricardo toss Gabriel over and Justin Gabriel is eliminated. Ricardo celebrates and the next man out is Santino Marella. Foley, Ricardo and Santino are in the ring. Ricardo backs down from the Cobra. He charges and Santino backdrops him. Santino with an atomic drop and another on Ricardo. They trade roll-ups and roll all the way across the ring. Santino gives Ricardo a wedgie and tosses him over the top. Ricardo Rodriguez is eliminated.
Foley pulls out Socko as Santino pulls out the Cobra and they square off. The other half of the Tag Team Champions Epico is out next. Santino hits him with the Cobra and then Foley applies Socko. Epico is eliminated. Socko and Cobra lock up as Cody Rhodes and The Miz attack them. Both were still in the match.
Cody tosses Santino over and Santino Marella is eliminated. Foley and Miz go at it. Foley applies Socko but Cody hits from behind and Mick Foley is eliminated. Kofi Kingston is out next.
Kofi comes in and unloads on Miz and Cody. Kofi kicks them both in the head and springboards in, taking both men down. Kofi hits a double Boom Drop and tosses Miz over but he hangs on to the ropes. Cody attacks Kofi from behind and dropkicks him. Cody tries to eliminate Kofi and The Miz comes to help. The next man out is Jerry Lawler. LAwler stands up and takes off his shirt to reveal his ring gear. Lawler comes in and Cody grabs him. Cody holds Lawler for Miz to hit him but Lawler ducks and Miz decks Cody. Lawler hits right hands on both of them and dropkicks. Lawler slams Miz and goes to the second rope. Lawler drops his strap and hits the right hand from the second rope on Miz. Cody comes over and tosses him. Jerry Lawler is eliminated.
Ezekiel Jackson is out at #13. He goes at it with everyone, splashing Kofi and Miz in the corner. Zeke scoops Cody and slams him hard. Zeke stomps on Miz in the corner and goes back to work on Kofi. Zeke with a big sideslam on Kofi. Zeke with body shots on Cody in the corner. The next man out is Jinder Mahal.
Jinder takes his time coming to the ring but takes out Kofi and Zeke when he comes in. The next man out is The Great Khali, making his return. Cole reminds us that Khali and Mahal are brother-in-laws. Khali tosses him and Jinder Mahal is eliminated. Zeke attacks Khali but Khali decks him and tosses him. Ezekiel Jackson is eliminated. Khali works over Miz in the corner as Cody and Kofi go at it. The next man out is Hunico. He rides to the ring on a bike drove by his bodyguard Camacho.
Hunico comes in and goes at it with Kofi but gets dropped by Khali’s big chop. Khali drops Kofi now and tries to eliminate The Miz. Miz kicks him off and kicks him in the head. The next man out is Booker T. Booker stands up from commentary and joins the match. Booker drops Cody and goes at it with everyone else. He turns around to Khali and gets dropped by a headbutt. Khali works Booker over in the corner and Cody joins in. Khali grabs Cody and hits him with a massive chop in the corner. Miz tosses Kofi but he hangs on. They trade shots while Kofi is down. Kofi ends up on the floor but does a handstand and walks it all the way to the ring steps. His feet never touched the floor so he is still in the match. Pretty impressive. The next man out is Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph comes in and goes at it with Kofi in the corner while Khali is still working on Miz. Hunico almost gets eliminated but hangs on. Khali drops Ziggler with a headbutt and the next man out is Hacksaw Jim Duggan to a big reaction from the crowd.
Duggan comes in with right hands for everyone as the crowd chants USA. Duggan knocks heads with Cody and Miz to more chants from the crowd. Duggan goes at it some more before Cody clotheslines him over the top. Hacksaw Duggan is eliminated. Khali tries to eliminate Booker T. Ziggler and Cody join in and Booker T is eliminated.
The next man in the match is Michael Cole. Cole takes off his suit and has a singlet on underneath. Cole puts his headgear on and enters the ring to dance around like he’s already won. Nobody is even paying him attention. The next person out is the returning Kharma! Kharma comes in and goes right after Cole with a big clothesline. Cole tries leaving the ring and makes it to the apron. Kharma laughs as Lawler and Booker come from behind and knock Cole off the apron. Michael Cole is eliminated. Ziggler tells Kharma to get out of the ring. She responds with an Implant Buster on him. Vickie Guerrero gets on the apron and has words for Kharma but she backs off. Hunico charges and Kharma tosses him over the top rope. Ziggler comes from behind and dumps Kharma to the floor. Kharma is eliminated.
The next man out is Sheamus to a big pop. Sheamus has forearm shots for everyone in the ring. Sheamus slams Ziggler and then Miz. Sheamus with a big back drop on Cody and a kick with punches for Kofi. Kofi ducks in the corner and kicks Sheamus. Sheamus responds by tossing him. Kofi Kingston is eliminated. The next man out is Road Dogg BG James. He comes in with right hands for everyone and hits a big pumphandle slam on Miz. James gets a “you still got it” chant from the crowd. The next man out is Jey Uso. Jimmy is with him but not dressed to wrestle. Uso drops James and hits the splash in the corner on him. The next man out is Wade Barrett. Jack Swagger is also out. #27 comes out and it’s David Otunga.
Barrett goes at it with Otunga while Ziggler takes Sheamus in the corner. #28 is Randy Orton and he comes out to a huge pop from the hometown crowd. Orton rns to the rung and runs over a few people with clotheslines before hitting Barrett with right hands. Orton continues the offense and slams Barrett. Orton hits the mat and waits for the RKO but Cody hits him from behind. Orton tosses Cody to the apron and grabs Ziggler. He hits the draping DDT from the second rope on Cody and Ziggler at the same time. Uso grabs Orton but gets tossed for his troubles. Uso is eliminated. Orton hits the RKO on Barrett and tosses him. Wade Barrett is eliminated. #29 comes out and it’s Chris Jericho.
Jericho comes in and hits Cody, Otunga and Miz. Jericho goes on and eliminates David Otunga. Jericho goes at it with Ziggler now. Sheamus tries to eliminate Swagger. The #30 man out is Big Show.
Show runs to the ring and Jack Swagger is eliminated. Swagger gets mad and Show knocks him out with a WMD on the floor. Show comes in with chops and headbutts for everyone. He grabs Miz and Cody, eliminating them at the same time. Show eliminates Ziggler next. It’s down to Sheamus, Orton, Jericho and Show. They all attack Big Show but he fights them off. Show splashes Jericho and chokeslams him. Orton comes and takes Show down with a big RKO. Show fights Sheamus off but Orton eliminates Big Show. Jericho comes from behind and dumps Orton. Randy Orton is eliminated. It’s down to Jericho and Sheamus.
Jericho and Sheamus face off. Jericho points up at the WrestleMania 28 sign. They lock up and go at it. Sheamus runs over Jericho. Jericho goes for a bulldog but Sheamus pushes him off. Jericho hangs on as Sheamus tries to eliminate him. Jericho comes back in with a missile dropkick. Jericho with kicks now. Sheamus catches him with the Irish Curse backbreaker and calls for the Celtic Cross. Sheamus goes for it but Jericho slides out. Jericho clotheslines Sheamus over the rope but he hangs on and comes back to the apron. Jericho with a dropkick from the second rope but Sheamus still hangs on. Jericho tries to kick Sheamus out of the ring but he still hangs on. Sheamus makes his way back in and kicks Jericho in the face. Sheamus scoops Jericho over the rope but he hangs on. Jericho fights back in but runs into a back elbow. Jericho ducks the Brogue Kick and applies the Walls of Jericho.
Sheamus gets to the ropes but Jericho doesn’t have to break the hold in the Rumble. He finally breaks it. Jericho charges but Sheamus backdrops him. Jericho hangs on and his feet don’t touch the floor. Jericho fights fro the apron and goes to the top rope with Sheamus in hand. Sheamus climbs up and has Jericho positioned for a superplex. They trade shots on the top and both fall down to the apron. They both come back in the ring and Jericho connects with a Codebreaker. Jericho looks as if he’s trying to pin Sheamus but realizes there’s on pinfall. Sheamus fights back but Jericho kicks him in the gut. Jericho with forearms to the chest now. He tries to dump Sheamus again but he hangs on and comes back in. Jericho slaps Sheamus repeatedly and this angers him. Sheamus shoves Jericho off but misses another Brogue Kick. Sheamus counters the Codebreaker and tosses Jericho but again, his feet don’t touch the floor. Sheamus comes back with a Brogue Kick and knocks Jericho to the floor for the win.
2012 WWE Royal Rumble Winner: Sheamus
– After the match, we go to replays and come back to Sheamus pointing at the WrestleMania 28 sign as the pyro goes off. The 2012 Royal Rumble goes off the air with Sheamus posing for the fans.