By Bryan Alvarez
Daniel Bryan beat Big Show and Mark Henry in a cage match to retain the World Title. Match was short, largely due to Mark Henry being hurt I would presume. The finishing spot was Big Show and Bryan battling on top of the cage, and Show was literally holding onto him with one arm as Daniel hung above the floor. Show finally couldn't hold on any longer and Bryan dropped down to win. No gimmicked cage, nothing of the sort.
We got a big video package about John Cena and how, in fact, some people hate him. He said he was never going to change no matter what. Then they talked to fans about whether they liked him or not. A sad tune played and he gave the sad Hulk Hogan face at the end. A perfect video in the sense that if you like John Cena you probably shed a tear and if you hate John Cena you probably wanted to throw something through your TV.
Bellas & Natalya & Beth Phoenix vs. Alicia & Eve & Kelly & Tamina in an eight-person. Several missing women reappeared here. They did a spot where all the women ended up outside and Kelly did a big dive off the post onto all of them. It was less scary than when she runs the ropes, actually. Beth ended up pinning her with the Glam slam. Short and inoffensive.
Look who wasn’t even gone a week. Zack Ryder was there in a wheelchair with a back brace on. He said he had to be here to see Cena. John Lauranitis walked up and said he had a special room for Zack and if he wanted anything he just had to ask. Eve walked up and was outraged. The dialogue they had her recite today, it had to be a rib. She said she hoped Lauranitis was fired tomorrow, then he said talk about gratitude.
Cena and Kane went to a double countout. They had a better match than they’d have had on Raw, but that’s not saying much. The fight continued backstage. Kane killed Cena with chairshots, then noticed that Zack’s dressing room was right there. He went inside, gave Zack the suffocating claw, then wheeled him to the ring. It was very difficult for Kane to do this wheeling. Should have just carried him. Eve came out to beg for Zack’s life. Nobody was concerned, and, in fact, the front row was cheering as Kane gave Zack the tombstone. He went after Eve and there was more cheering, then Cena ran down to make the save and he got booed. Kane gave him the chokeslam, which also got cheers, then bailed, sparing Eve. This feud MUST CONTINUE. This show also SUCKS so far.
John Cena video package. So yeah, a star, this man.
Drew McIntyre is coming out. He’s not only not fired, he’s got a Royal Rumble PPV match.
Brodus Clay beat Drew McIntyre. This was every squash match that Brodus has had since debuting as the Funkasaurus. And I have no problem with it. Although this was part of the $54.95 I paid for this show, which I can understand folks questioning.
CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler. John Lauranitis came out before the match and said in the interest of fairness he was going to be the outside the ring referee instead of inside. NUNZIO came out to handle inside the ring duties.
That’s not Nunzio. I blame Craig.
Lauranitis ejected Vickie early. That was actually the stipulation a long time ago.
Punk won with the GTS. Actually, he won four times. Ref took a bump and Punk had wins with an anaconda vice, a cradle and a GTS. Lauranitis was busy trying to tend to the downed ref through most of this. They did some really creative spots at the finish, including one where Ziggler turned a GTS into his fame asser. So finally Punk hit the GTS and as the original ref dropped down to count, Lauranitis slid in and helped him count the pin. He then handed the belt to Punk, so the idea is that Lauranitis is desperate to keep his job tomorrow. He clapped on the ramp for Punk afterwards. Ziggler worked really hard, but doing four jobs in one match won’t help a man much in terms of upward mobility.
They just did a promo for all of these brand new exciting shows that are about to be available exclusively on — yes — WWE’s Youtube channel.
Time for the 2012 Royal Rumble. In order not to kill the site, I’ll make notes on all of the entrances on my Twitter, which is @bryanalvarez. I’ll be back here in about an hour to update the finish of the match, the winner, and overall notes.
Click here to follow me for the entrance updates: www.twitter.com/bryanalvarez
Sheamus won the Rumble, last eliminating Chris Jericho with the brogue kick, so they did the swerve finish. Orton, in his hometown, was in for five minutes before being eliminated. This was far, FAR from the best Rumble of all time. More comedy than anything else until about entrant 27. They did stuff like a cobra vs. socko battle with Foley and Santino, and this was as light on legitimate star power as any Rumble there has been in many years. It was fun in spots, and if you’re a fan of wacky wrestling comedy you probably thought it was a really good match. But in terms of arguably one of the most important matches on the second biggest WWE show of the year, it was a real disappointment until the very finish. Jericho and Sheamus did a fun final five minutes or so, helping save the whole thing. Nowhere in the universe of the HBK vs. Taker finale a few years ago.
Show overall was disappointing with a bunch of bad finishes and/or short matches early. Punk vs. Ziggler was by far best match on the show and, as noted, Jericho and Sheamus did a good job at the end.
Thanks for reading, my full match recap for the main event is on my Twitter (linked above), and Dave and I will be back tonight with an exclusive post-Rumble recap show running down all the matches, how this plays into Mania, Raw, weekend news and more. Shall be fun, so talk to you soon!