Rumble to Rumble: The Greatest Main Events of the Past Year

Christopher OlmsteadSenior Analyst IIIFebruary 4, 2013

Rumble to Rumble: The Greatest Main Events of the Past Year

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    A great deal of thought and effort goes into building the card for a pay-per-view.

    The match that is deemed to main event any given show is usually put in that spot for a reason.

    In some cases, the last match that you see will either make or break the pay-per-view, in the eyes of the viewer.

    Here is a ranking of this past year's main events.

13. Survivor Series: Ryback vs. John Cena vs. CM Punk (WWE Championship)

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    CM Punk came into this match fresh off of handing Ryback his first loss at Hell in a Cell. Ryback was only in this WWE Championship feud because of an injury suffered by John Cena, which sidelined him for a few weeks.

    There really wasn't much suspense heading into this title match. Ryback was here to avenge how he lost at Hell in a Cell and Cena was here because it was his feud to begin with.

    At this point, most of us were already looking ahead to the Royal Rumble and a CM Punk vs. The Rock showdown.

    The match itself was decent. It was fun to see Ryback and Cena really throw down for the first time. One of the big spots of the match came when Cena and Punk put Ryback through the announce table.

    The real turning point of the match was the debut of The Shield, which had the spot of the match when they triple-powerbombed Ryback through the Spanish announce table.

12. Elimination Chamber: Kane vs. John Cena (Ambulance Match)

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    John Cena was on his road to WrestleMania to face The Rock. However, before he got there, he had to face a returning Kane.

    The angle of this program was Kane trying to force Cena into accepting hate. Unfortunately, this was not the start of a John Cena heel turn, which would have been great. Instead, John Cena was able to rise above that said hate.

    This was the second Ambulance Match in WWE history; sadly, it didn't even compare to the first one.

    The combination of the PG era and John Cena not risking injury prior to WrestleMania, really slowed this match down.

    There were a few good spots, like the chokeslam through the table and the use of the ambulance as a weapon.

    The spot of the match was Cena delivering the AA to Kane off of the top of the ambulance, onto what seemed to be the softest landing spot ever.

    In the end, Cena was meant to come out looking strong, I suppose he did.

11. No Way Out: Big Show vs. John Cena (Steel Cage Match)

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    I was not a big fan of the Cena/Show program. I felt that this was just another situation where WWE was utilizing the Big Show poorly.

    The stipulation going into this match was as follows; If John Cena won, then John Laurinaitis would be fired. If Big Show won, then John Cena would be fired.

    If you were not a fan of Big Johnny, you might have really enjoyed this match.

    Aside from Big Johnny's suit, there wasn't really much else that stood out during the match. There were some good spots using the cage walls and a good spot with McMahon and Laurinaitis on the outside.

    Interference by previous victims of the Big Show aided John Cena.

    In the end, we got to hear Vince say those famous words, which is always pretty cool.

10. Over the Limit: John Laurinaitis vs. John Cena

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    If John Cena won, then John Laurinaitis was fired.

    One of the greatest parts of this match was the ring attire that Big Johnny was wearing, and Michael Cole's comments regarding it.

    The match itself was nothing special. There were quite a few comedy spots, which was entertaining. The commentary during this match was spot-on.

    Big Show would end up making his return, thus saving Big Johnny's job.

    Let the record show that John Cena was pinned by none other than John Laurinaitis himself.

9. Night of Champions: John Cena vs. CM Punk (WWE Championship)

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    John Cena was in front of his hometown crowd in Boston.

    Whenever Cena has a big match in Boston, you always have to wonder if he is going to get the win. Thankfully, he did not.

    CM Punk was rocking some pinstriped tights, not too shabby.

    The match was classic Punk/Cena, good, but nothing amazing. They put on a solid performance, as you would expect from two guys on their level.

    Swerve ending with the false Cena win. I have to admit, I was fooled for a minute.

8. Royal Rumble 2012: Dolph Ziggler vs. CM Punk (WWE Championship)

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    Yes, this did not main event. However, I did not feel it was fair to put an actual Royal Rumble on this list. So, here is the runner-up from that night.

    This match came early in Punk's title reign, so as a fan you did not know where it was going to go.

    Big Johnny was the special referee for this match, even though there was an actual referee in the ring. The story here being that Johnny was trying to suck up to Triple H, one night before his performance review.

    The match itself was good. Punk and Ziggler work well together in the ring. Vickie Guerrero wasn't at ringside for long, so we didn't have to listen to her shriek.

    They teased a possible screw job from Laurinaitis all match, but in the end, the finish was clean.

    I think they had Ziggler take one to many knees to the face in this match.

7. TLC: John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (Money in the Bank Ladder Match)

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    This marked the first time ever that we saw an one on-one Ladder Match for the briefcase.

    Cena had won the majority of their TV matches leading up to this event.

    The match was good, with a few solid spots. The double fall through the table and Cena picking up the ladder with Ziggler on top were cool.

    The big spot came at the end when AJ interfered in the match.

    It was a good performance by both guys, and a good win for Dolph. It's just a shame that it wasn't clean.

6. Money in the Bank: Cena vs. Jericho vs. Kane vs. Show vs. Miz (Ladder Match)

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    The hype going into this match was centered around John Cena.

    This was his first time competing in this event, and he of course guaranteed victory.

    Heading into this event there was also a small rumor going around that Jericho might get the win; that's what I was rooting for.

    The match was good. All five of these guys each had their own unique spots.

    The finish came a few seconds early when the briefcase had a handle malfunction.

    John Cena's reaction at the end was pretty good.

5. Hell in a Cell: Ryback vs. CM Punk (WWE Championship)

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    Although the quality of this match wasn't top notch, everything else about it was.

    Something had to give, Punk's belt or Ryback's perfect winning record.

    Going in, you felt that "something" would happen to cost Ryback the match, but you weren't sure what.

    The moment that Ryback hoists Punk up for the Shell Shock, for half a second you think it might happen.

    Then we get Brad Maddox.

    The happenings following the match were a nice touch as well.

4. Extreme Rules: John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar (Extreme Rules Match)

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    Having Brock Lesnar back was awesome!

    Watching Brock Lesnar take it to Cena in the weeks before was even better.

    This match had a lot of hype around it seeing as how we had not seen Lesnar is quite some time.

    The match did not have a great amount of technical things going on in it. Both men bled, which was a welcomed site by all of us Attitude Era fans.

    Cena played his all too well known underdog role in this match. They really gave you to the feeling that Cena wasn't going to be able to pull it out.

    The finish saw Lesnar get the AA on steel steps.

3. Royal Rumble 2013: The Rock vs. CM Punk

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    I think that we all knew The Rock was going to win the WWE Championship.

    The part that was up in the air was whether it would be at the Rumble or the following month at Elimination Chamber.

    This match had a great build and some good in-ring action.

    A big spot of the match was supposed to be a Rock Bottom through a table, but the table gave way early.

    Swerve ending with The Shield and Vince McMahon.

2. Summer Slam: Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar (No DQ, No Count Out)

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    This was one of the best matches of the year in my opinion.

    This was not your classic technician match, instead it was just a knock-'em-down brawl.

    The build to this match was fun, especially since Stephanie got involved.

    There were not a lot of huge spots in this match, but there were a lot hard shots exchanged.

    I was happy with the outcome given how Lesnar looked following his previous match with John Cena.

1. WrestleMania 28: The Rock vs. John Cena

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    I don't think any other match could have gone in this spot.

    Everything about the build was terrific. The crowd was alive and hot throughout the whole match.

    The Rock put on a decent showing for having not gone this long in a ring for almost a decade.

    The match featured a lot of back-and-forth and near-falls, which were amplified by the crowd's reaction.

    The end was clean, which was one of the worries coming in.

Conclusion:

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    So that is what a year's worth of main events look like.

    The WWE had their share of hits and misses this past year, but overall I would say it was more good than bad.

    What was your favorite main event of the past year?