Ah, the Royal Rumble. For 25 years now, it has been one of the cornerstones of the WWE—and wrestling history.
The Royal Rumble, as one of the "Big Four" PPVs, has always had its share of special moments every January, and this year's event in St. Louis was certainly no exception.
Here are the top-7 best moments of the 2012 Royal Rumble.
Note: To those who have not yet watched the Royal Rumble event, be warned that there are some spoilers.
I was honestly afraid that the match and the overall feud between John Cena and Kane was going to end in the typical Cena match.
You know, when Cena gets whooped across the ring, then comes back in the final two to five minutes of the match, does the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, delivers an Attitude Adjustment and either gets the pin or submits or his opponent to the STF.
Surprisingly, that didn't happen in this match. And that's a good thing.
Even more surprising, Kane dominated throughout the entire match and didn't let up. Cena was hit with a bunch of throat thrusts and side slams; he even countered the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, which I don't think anyone had ever done (at least not in recent memory).
But it didn't end there. The match ended in a double countout, but Kane still hurt Cena backstage.
The Big Red Machine then had his eyes set on Zack Ryder, who was forced to sit in a wheelchair due to his injuries. Kane delivered Ryder to the ring and tombstone piledrived him in the center of the ring. Cena came out and tried to deliver an Attitude Adjustment, but Kane countered and chokeslammed as a result.
I'm glad to see that this feud will continue. Kane's reinvention still appears very strong, while Cena slowly begins to "embrace the hate" as his big match with The Rock at Wrestlemania gets closer.
Brodus Clay, while he wasn't in this year's Rumble match, still had a very entertaining squash match.
Like many B/R writers, I enjoy watching the "Funkasaurus" in action. He brings a level of entertainment that has the nostalgic feel. He's like Mark Henry, Viscera and Ernest "The Cat" Miller rolled into one, complete with an awesomely funny theme song, a signature dance (apparently now known as "The Dactyl" according to Michael Cole and Booker T), showgirls and pyro.
It's awesome, and the WWE creative team really have a big guy that they can push.
This time around, he faced Drew McIntyre, who is in the middle of a storyline where he has suffered a long losing streak, which took Brodus roughly a minute to extend.
An interesting beginning to 2012 for both of these superstars.
Quick question: How many of you were expecting Ricardo Rodriguez to participate in the Rumble?
Naturally, when he first came out, I thought Alberto Del Rio was making his return, since his entrance music and his TitanTron played.
But here comes Ricardo Rodriguez, in an unbelievably goofy, yet awesome-looking car (I believe it was a Datsun).
Even more of a surprise, Ricardo got a huge pop from the crowd when he started fighting.
Believe it or not, he can wrestle. In Florida Championship Wrestling, he wrestles under the name Chimaera and has put on solid matches.
Could this Rumble appearance mean anything in the future? I'm not entirely sure, but there's one question that still is on my mind.
Where he did get that car and where I can get it?
Okay, so this was just absolutely silly.
But come on, you can't say that you weren't initially entertained by this showdown between Mick Foley's Mr. Socko and Santino's Cobra. This was just absolutely hilarious to watch.
Epico getting eliminated in the process made it even funnier.
Sock 'N Snake Connection, anyone?
Remember in last year's Rumble when John Morrison used his parkour abilities to leap from the ring apron to the guardrail and then onto the steel steps? That was pretty awesome, right?
Well, here's something that may have topped that.
Kofi Kingston, in the clip shown above, was going to be eliminated by The Miz, but instead of landing on the ring with his feet, he landed on his hands.
Remember, you are only eliminated from the Royal Rumble when both FEET touch the ground.
Kingston didn't touch with his feet, so he was still in it. With his hands, he performed a handstand and walked over to the steel steps, where he landed his legs, before continuing with the match.
Definitely the best spot of the match, for sure.
Although you have to wonder, what would have happened if Kingston, at any point, botched the spot?
Every year now it seems we get a couple of "legends" who compete in the ring.
Obviously, we already talked about Mick Foley's participation, although it didn't come as a surprise.
This year, we also got "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and Road Dogg as participants.
It's fitting that Hacksaw was in the silver annivesary of this event, considering he won the first-ever Rumble back in 1988 (back when the Rumble had only 20 men compete and there was no title shot for the winner).
Road Dogg, on the other hand, was a complete surprise for me. The former New Age Outlaw and five-time Tag Team Champion made his WWE return after 10 long years.
In front of a sold-out crowd in St. Louis, he shimmied across the ring to the delight of the fans. After making his surprise appearance, the crowd chanted "you still got it." And at age 42, he may very well still have a little left in the tank. He signed as an agent and producer for the company this past October, so a return to the ring wouldn't be that much of a stretch.
Now if only Billy Gunn made a return appearance, as well...
Most people believed that Chris Jericho would be one of the final competitors in the match. And sure enough, he was.
In fact, many believed that he would win the Royal Rumble and go on to face CM Punk at Wrestlemania 28.
Not so fast. Jericho may have been one of the final two, but he had to contend with the "Great White" himself, Sheamus.
Considered to be a dark horse in this match, the former WWE Champion Sheamus has been muddled in god-knows-what territory over the past several months. After having decent feuds with Mark Henry and Christian, he has been stuck facing guys like Jack Swagger and Jinder Mahal.
These two squared off for the last six to seven minutes of the match, going back and forth and nearly eliminating each other on several occasions. It was a very solid ending to the Rumble and made both of them look strong for the next several months.
Winning the Royal Rumble was just the kind of push Sheamus needed, as he heads towards Wrestlemania, likely to face Daniel Bryan for the title—a rematch from last year's Wrestlemania that PPV viewers didn't get to watch because it was a dark match (and stupidly ended in a draw).