Welcome back to Breakin’ It Down with Austin Spenney. This will be my first review, and it will be on the 2012 WWE Royal Rumble. I will be writing it as I watch.
The show starts off with a good video package telling how important it is to win the Rumble. The commentators are the always entertaining Booker T, the always annoying Michael Cole, and of course Jerry “The King" Lawler.
The Royal Rumble this year is in St. Louis, so I feel like I should give a shout out to my favorite baseball team, the St. Louis Cardinals. They may be close to signing longtime rival Roy Oswalt. MLB.com's Matthew Leach reported that Cards GM John Mozeliak denies rumors of negotiations, even though reports said he was close to a deal with the reigning World Champions on Friday.
Now, that’s enough about the best sport in the world. Let’s get back to men in tight clothes fighting for a strap.
World Heavyweight Championship: Steel Cage Match—Mark Henry vs. The Big Show vs. Daniel Bryan
The night is starting off with the World Heavyweight Championship match. It is a triple threat with champion Daniel Bryan, The Big Show, and Mark Henry. I’m surprised Henry is still in this match. According to noDQ.com (partial source: PW Insider) he injured his knee at last Tuesday’s Smackdown Tapings in a match against The Big Show.
Henry is trapped between the ropes and the cage early in the match. Show runs into him three times. Perhaps trying to limit his workload? He’s a tough guy. He’s been working injured since sometime in December.
Bryan tries to escape frequently. He’s a heel—they try to take the easy way out. I think it should be the only way to win. It would give the cage match more meaning.
The three competitors go back and forth. Later in the match Henry is down and Big Show goes for the chokeslam on Bryan, but he counters. Big Show kicks him to the turnbuckle, and Bryan hits a tornado DDT. Apparently King has never seen that move before. They need new JR. Show kicks out after the DDT and D-Bry locks in the LaBell lock. Henry breaks it up.
The World’s Strongest Man throws Bryan into the cage and picks him up for the World’s Strongest Slam, but Big Show catches him with a knockout punch. Bryan breaks up the pinfall and quickly climbs the cage. He gets out to the outside but can’t get to the floor because Show has him by the throat. They struggle up there. Eventually Show is holding Bryan by the wrist, and he loses his grip. The American Dragon falls to the floor to retain his title.
Interesting ending. I’m glad Bryan won. I’ve heard rumors of Bryan winning the Rumble and challenging Punk to unify the titles at WrestleMania. I would love to see that.
We get a promo hyping the popularity of Cena. He’s an awesome guy. Hard worker, loves the business—I am sure he’s a great guy. His character is old and needs to be changed. I’ve been enjoying him more lately, and I’m actually intrigued to see where his storyline with Kane is going.
I can’t say I really care since Kharma isn’t in this match, so I’ll take this time to say that I plan on doing some Q&A pieces. It will either be article or video form. I haven’t decided yet. E-mail all your questions to BreakinItDown@GMX.com
Back to the Match
Eve does a nice standing moonsault. I wish I could do a backflip. Brawl on the outside of the ring. K2 does a splash off the top. Kelly and one of the Bellas are legal. Beth, with a hard slap for the tag, yells at her to “get out of my ring” and hits Kelly with the Glamslam for the win.
That was cool. I like Beth. I hope she’s in the Rumble again. Beth vs. Punk at WrestleMania. The storyline is, "who is the main problem in their relationship?" Book it, Vince! That was sarcastic if you couldn’t tell.
They talk about Cena more. Then we have an appearance by Zack Ryder backstage. He’s in a wheelchair selling his herniated disk. Laurinaitis is there. They remind us that he may be fired soon. He’s doing a great job, but if he does get fired, who could replace him? Read about my top 10 choices here.
It’s time for Cena and Kane. Cena comes out to a mixed reaction. It sounded like mostly boos to me. It is the hometown of Randy Orton, one of my favorites to win the Rumble later. My other picks are Jericho and Bryan.
There are “let’s go Cena, Cena sucks” chants early. Cena goes for the AA and can’t hold Kane up for some reason. Did I miss something? Kane’s not as big as Show, and I don’t remember any leg injuries with Cena. Why would they do that?
There’s a lot of punches and rest holds through the match. Not too many notable moments to mention besides a few near falls by Kane.
Later Kane looks at his mask and then Cena. Kane is going for that smothering hold he has been using. Cena counters into what looks similar to a crossface. Kane escapes. He hits his clothsline off the top and goes for the chokeslam. Cena counters and goes for his five moves of doom. He grabs him around the throat during the 5-knuckle shuffle and goes for the chokeslam.
Cena counters, Kane hits a bit boot, and pins him for a near fall. Kane goes for a superplex, Cena knocks him to the mat and hits the 5-knuckle shuffle from the top. Sets up the AA again, but countered by Kane.
They go back to the outside. They brawl up the ramp as the ref stops the match with a countout. They keep brawling to the backstage area. Cena kicks Kane in the shins and throws him into some trashcans. Kane hits Cena with a steel chair about 4 times. He sees Zack Ryder’s dressing room. He kicks in the door and smothers Ryder. Kane punches Ryder out to the ring in his wheelchair, and dumps him onto the ground and throws him into the ring.
Eve comes out for the save. Are you serious, bro? Zack wouldn’t want that. You’re lucky it’s PG. Kane gives a tombstone to Ryder as he stares at Eve. Cena comes running down and receives a chokeslam. Kane exits, and Zack is carried out on a stretcher.
Next is a video package for The Rock. He’s here at the Rumble live via pre-recorded video message! All jokes aside, I love The Rock, and I can’t wait for his next appearance.
Drew McIntire makes his entrance—does this count as a debut? I don’t remember his last PPV appearance. He’s fighting for a job on Smackdown. Who’s his opponent tonight? SOMEBODY CALL MY MAMA! It’s “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay.
Drew is not happy about this. The crowd, which Cole says is over 18.000 strong, starts a loud funkasaurus chant. Brodus starts with some gyrations. He hits his suplex, baby, and ends it quickly with the What The Funk.
I hope McIntire starts winning soon. He has a lot of potential. Now it’s time for a Johnny Ace video. Must mean the WWE Championship is on the line next.
Laurinaitis is out first. He cuts a promo saying he will be officiating from outside, and an actual referee will be on the inside of the ring. It looks like he’s trying to save his job. Ziggler is out next, and finally CM Punk. This should be a great match with an interesting ending.
Random thought: I would love to see some Orton vs. Punk matches in Chicago and St. Louis.
Vickie is ejected by JL. Punk starts the match with a rollup. Dolph kicks out. They’re doing some good counter wrestling to start. Dolph does some showing off. Punk looks to be entertained. Dolph almost gets caught in the Anaconda Vise but he escapes.
Punk lifts him up for a suplex and dropped him face first on the ropes. That looked painful. He hits the dive through the middle rope to the outside, and then they get back into the ring. Ziggler takes advantage, hits a dozen or so elbows and Punk kicks out at one.
Ziggler goes for a sleeper. Punk does a hip toss counter into the Anaconda Vice, which Dolph counters into the sleeper. Punk escapes and Dolph hits a dropkick for 2. Ziggler goes for the move formerly known as the Fameasser, but Punk has a fantastic counter into a spinning powerbomb.
Ziggler kicks out at 2. Punk hits his signatures. The Zigzag Man, as Booker calls him, counters the GTS. Later Punk hits my favorite kind of kick, an out-to-in crescent on Zigglar and gets a near fall.
Punk hits the scoop slam, staring at Johnny Ace as he goes up top. He hits the elbow from the top, which gets Randy Savage chants. Dolph throws Punk into the ref and he is knocked out. Punk locks in the Anaconda Vice. Dolph taps, but there is no ref to see it as Laurinaitis is checking on the ref.
Dolph rolls up Punk, and Punk counters into a rollup of his own. Punk has the three-count, but still no ref. Punk hits the GTS, and hits JL in the process. Punk covers, but still no ref. Punk yells at JL again. He tries for another Go To Sleep, but Dolph counters with another Fameasser. Punk kicks out.
Who was your favorite surprise entrant?
Finally Punk gets the victory after another GTS as JL and the real ref count the 3 at the same time.
That was a great job from both wrestlers. They worked very hard. It will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow when Triple H returns to Raw. Does he have enough evidence to say JL is fired? I think Trips will say that he wishes he could fire JL, but due to the fact that he didn’t screw Punk, he does not have sufficient proof that Laurinaitis is abusing his power. We’ll see.
Time for the Royal Rumble! We get the “by the numbers” video again. I can’t wait to see the surprise entrants. I’ve been avoiding spoilers all week so it would be a surprise. The only spoiler I did see was Isaac Yankem being spotted backstage. I guess he’s working double duty.
Entrant #1: The Miz
Cole thinks The Miz will win. He has a mic in his hand. He says he’s not bothered that he’s the number one entrant. He says he’s not scared or not intimidated. It’s basically his usual “I proved everyone wrong” promo.
Entrant #2: Alex Riley
I haven’t seen Riley in a long time. I love his music. Can Riley get revenge on the Miz for turning on him so long ago? Riley nearly throws The Miz out a couple times, but The Miz eliminates Riley quickly.
Entrant #3: R-Truth
That was predictable. Is Morrison number 4? I doubt it, but I would be okay with it.
Entrant #4: Cody Rhodes
No Morrison, but Rhodes is great, too. He hits the beautiful disaster immediately. Miz and Rhodes ream together at first. Truth fights them off.
Entrant #5: Justin Gabriel
Nice cross body on Rhodes and Miz. Nice spin crescent to Miz.
Entrant #6: Primo
He comes in and takes advantage of everyone to start. He hits a very nice hurricanrana. Miz eliminates Truth. Truth pulls Miz through the bottom and hits his finisher. I’m guessing he’ll be laying out there until close to the end.
Entrant #7: Mick Foley
Here comes The Hardcore Legend! Foley eliminates Primo and then goes after Rhodes. He hits his Fisherman DDT.
Entrant #8: Alberto Dell Rio
Or not. Ricardo Rodriguez is coming out to Alberto’s music. It fooled me. Foley and Gabriel wait in the ring. Loud Ricardo chants. He starts to work on Rhodes. Ricardo and Foley eliminate Gabriel.
Entrant #9: Santino Marella
He powerwalks to the ring. Looks like Ricardo vs. Santino for a bit. They’re both great wrestlers with comedy gimmicks. Check out their FCW and OVW stuff. Santino eliminates Ricardo and then it’s Foley vs. Santino. Foley pulls out his sock and Santino pulls out his cobra. I guess it’s time to see who’s hand puppet is better.
Entrant #9: Epico
It’s the wrong place at the wrong time for him. He runs straight into a cobra and mandible claw. Foley eliminates him, and the Rhodes eliminates Santino and then Foley as he was doing the mandible claw to The Miz, who returned to the ring.
Entrant #10: Kofi Kingston
He knocks them both down and hits a double Boom Drop, and then tries to eliminate Miz unsuccessfully.
Entrant #12: Jerry “The King” Lawler
He starts to say he’s next before his music even starts. Way to sell the randomness, King. He hits his fist drop on Miz and then is eliminated by Cody.
Entrant #13: Ezekial Jackson
Entrant # 14: Jinder Mahal
Ezekial is still dominating as Jinder walks slowly to the ring.
Entrant #15: The Great Khali
Look who is back. It’s the 7’3 Great Khali. He hits shops to take everyone out. He quickly eliminates Mahal. Jackson is the next eliminated by Khali.
Entrant #16: Hunico
He is knocked down by Khali.
Entrant #17: Booker T
Another announcer is in the Rumble. I wonder if Cole will be in later. Loud Booker T chants. Miz tries to eliminate Kofi, but he does a hand walk to save himself. That was very impressive.
Entrant #18: Dolph Ziggler
Booker nearly eliminates Hunico but his feet don’t hit the floor.
Entrant #19: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
The winner of the first Royal Rumble is here. He starts out strong. The USA chants start. Rhodes eliminates Duggan. Khali and Booker are eliminated by Cody
Entrant #20: Michael Cole
Again he says he knows who’s coming in before the music starts. He taunts after he gets in the ring.
Entrant #21: Kharma
Now, this is awesome! I did not expect her back yet. I guess the pregnancy is done. I hope it went well. She attacks Cole and he climbs over the top rope. He is eliminated by Kharma from the outside. She hits her finisher on Ziggler and then eliminates Hunico. Then she’s eliminated by Dolph. I guess I will be paying attention to the women’s division again.
Entrant #22: Sheamus
He dominates to start the match and eliminates Kofi
Entrant #23: “Road Dogg” Jesse James
Oh, you didn’t know? He’s a producer now. He comes out wearing all DX gear, and the D-O-Double G starts off strong. He does the Shake Rattle-n-Roll on Rhodes. "You still got it" chants by the St. Louis crowd.
Entrant #24: Jey Uso
He takes out James to start out and then goes to The Miz.
Entrant #25: Jack Swagger
We’re still missing Orton, Jericho, and Bryan. Those are my three favorites to win the match.
Entrant #26: Wade Barrett
He goes after everyone. He eliminates Road Dogg.
Entrant #27: David Otunga
I don’t think he’ll last long. There’s a reason he is usually only on TV and John Laurinaitis’ sidekick. My 3 favorites still are not in.
Entrant # 28: Randy Orton
Here’s the hometown hero. He hits everyone who is standing. A Double DDT from the middle rope on Orton. He eliminates Uso and Barrett.
Entrant #29: Chris Jericho
Lights go out, and here is your silent savior. He eliminates Otunga.
Entrant #30: The Big Show
There will not be a title unification at WrestleMania apparently. He helps eliminate Swagger. Show eliminates Cody, Miz and Ziggler. Cole says that’s 25 eliminations in his career. We’re down to the final 4.
Show hits a chokeslam on Y2J and Orton hits the Randy Knockout on Show. Orton and Sheamus eliminate The Big Show. Jericho eliminates Orton.
It’s down to the final two, Jericho and Sheamus. Sheamus nearly eliminates Jericho. He survives and hits a missile dropkick. Sheamus hits The Irish Curse later, and goes for the Celtic Cross. He escapes and throws Sheamus over the top rope. Y2J hits the springboard dropkick, but Sheamus hangs on.
Sheamus hits The Battering Ram. He gets another near elimination, but no luck. Sheamus misses a Brogue Kick. Chris ducks and locks in the Walls. Sheamus gets to the ropes but it doesn’t matter. Jericho goes to the top rope. Sheamus goes up to meet him.
They get back into the ring, and Sheamus takes a Codebreaker and goes for the cover. No count obviously. They both get back up again. Jericho goes for the Codebreaker but Sheamus catches him. He throws him over the top rope. Jericho hangs on, but Sheamus hits the Brogue kick for the win.
I didn’t expect that one, but I don’t mind.
Not a bad PPV, but not a great one either. Kharma’s return was probably the best part of the show. Tomorrow on Raw we will see if John Laurinaitis keeps his job, and hopefully hear some words from Chris Jericho.
That’s all from me tonight. Don’t forget to send your questions to BreakinItDown@GMX.com. You can also send them on Twitter or Facebook if you want. So, until next time...
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