WWE Royal Rumble is all set to pop off tonight (Sun., Jan. 29, 2012) from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri at 8 p.m. ET, live on pay-per-view.
CagesideSeats.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, match-by-match coverage of Royal Rumble below, beginning with the first match of the evening and right on through to the main event.
Tonight's show will feature the very best match in all of professional wrestling, as 30 men will get inside the ring for the Royal Rumble. The undercard features CM Punk defending his WWE championship against Dolph Ziggler with John Laurianitis as special guest referee, Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry in a triple threat steel cage match for the world heavyweight championship and John Cena vs. Kane.
Kick your shoes off, relax, and enjoy all the action with your favorite pro wrestling website. And remember to keep refreshing!
Full results and match coverage after the jump.
WWE ROYAL RUMBLE 2012 RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG:
Sheamus wins the Royal Rumble
CM Punk def. Dolph Ziggler to retain WWE championship
Daniel Bryan def. Big Show and Mark Henry to retain world heavyweight championship
John Cena and Kane go to a double countout
Brodus Clay def. Drew McIntyre
The pay-per-view pre-show is popping off right now and both Ezekial Jackson and Santino Marella cut promos talking about winning the Rumble. That means we're up to 21 confirmed participants.
Broadcast is live. Let's do this thing.
Promo for the Rumble match with a gang of different superstars talking about winning it to go on to headline WrestleMania, even though they won't be headlining. Now showing past winners, the big dogs of the industry like Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Andre the Giant.
Man, I'm jacked for this one, Cagesiders. I hope you are too.
Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole and Booker T ringside for commentary. Everyone pumped for the match. Starting off with the world heavyweight championship steel cage match.
Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry: Out first is the world champ, Bryan. The funny thing here is Cole is still burying him on commentary, despite the fact that they're both heel characters. Booker T, a face announcer, puts Bryan over.
Bryan goes around the ring over-celebrating. Gets in the ring, climbs up the cage and continues celebrating. Love this character.
Here comes Mark Henry, who now has a groin and knee injury. Seems to be walking okay.
Finally, Big Show makes his way out and gets a solid pop from the St. Louis crowd.
They replay the segment on Smackdown last week where Bryan slapped Show and he snapped, sending Bryan into the corner and calling him an "arrogant little ass." That was awesome TV. Phenomenal performances.
Everyone gets an individual introduction from Lilian Garcia before we begin. What's this? A Daniel Bryan chant breaks out. That's interesting.
As soon as the bell rings, Bryan attempts to run up the cage but Henry sends him over to Show, who blasts him and goes for the cover. Henry breaks it up and they brawl for a minute. Henry gets between the ropes and the cage and Show does a few splashes.
No pain but it looks really good. Perfect for the steel cage match.
While this is going on, Bryan tries to escape again but Show runs him down and tosses him like a rag doll. Show already calls for the WMD but Bryan moves out of the way and Show's hand hits the cage. Henry is still selling on the mat, just laying there.
The Bryan chants are audible. Pretty shocking.
Bryan takes Show down and moves over to start working Henry. Lots of hard kicks and slides. Both big men are laid out and the referee opens the cage door for Bryan, who heads for it. Henry gets up and keeps him inside. Then screams at the outside ref to "CLOSE THAT DOOR."
The trembling referee did as he was told.
Henry proceeded to work over Bryan, sending him into the cage a few times before turning around into a big boot from Show, who is now recovered.
Now it's Show's turn to work on Bryan. They do a spot with Bryan slowly climbing up Show's body and slapping him in the face. They failed to get maximum effect out of it, though, because they were showing picture-in-picture replays of Show sending Bryan into the cage at the time.
The big men get back to going at it and Show hits a spear on Henry that looked awesome thanks to the collective girth of both men.
Show calling for the choke slam on Bryan but he gets countered with low kicks. Holy shit, Bryan hits a DDT off the middle rope. He looks for the LeBell Lock and he's got it. Show acts like he's going to tap and the crowd gets up for it but Henry makes the save.
Henry picked up Bryan for the World's Strongest Slam but Show hit the WMD. Went for the cover on Henry but Bryan made the save. Now they're up at the top of the cage and Show is holding Bryan up on the outside by his throat.
Bryan really close to climbing out. Holy hell, Show is up on the top. Bryan was held up by Show's wrist but eventually he slipped out and landed on the outside for the win to retain his title.
Daniel Bryan def. Big Show and Mark Henry to retain world heavyweight championship
They run an amazing video of John Cena, detailing his rise and the love and hate he receives from both sides of the WWE fanbase. Fantastic stuff from the production team.
Impromptu Divas match!
Beth Phoenix, Natalya, Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve, Alicia Fox, Tamina: They had some switching off before it broke down into a brawl and then someone got pinned. Sorry, but I've all but boycotted Divas matches.
Zack Ryder shows up in a wheel chair and a cast over his midsection. John Laurinaitis shows him to his very own dressing room. Does the "woo, woo, woo, you know it" line. Eve shows up and starts spitting some big words and tells Laurinaitis she hopes he gets fired tomorrow.
"That's gratitude for ya," Laurinaitis replies.
John Cena vs. Kane: Cena out first and St. Louis is very much reacting to him like a heel. Heavy boos for him.
Kane doesn't get much of a reaction at all but he still looks awesome with the two masks gimmick he uses to walk to the ring with now.
They immediately get rolling and Booker T delivers his usual awesome commentary -- "A fight just broke out, dog!" Here come the dueling chants. "Let's go Cena!" "CENA SUCKS!"
They continue brawling to the outside. Once they get back in, Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment but falls over like he can't handle the weight. Which is funny because he's held up around 700-pounds before.
They do the back and forth punches for the crowd to get into the "boo-yeah" schtick but Kane ends it with a big clothesline. Cena selling pretty big for Kane here.
Cena battled back and went for a bulldog but Kane just tossed him aside, to the point that Cena nearly fell out of the ring. They do a spot with a rack on the ropes and now Kane is going for the choke glove. Cena blocks it at first but Kane takes over and locks it in. Cena reverses into the crossface but Kane powers out. Up they go and Kane hits a sidewalk slam.
Uh-oh, Kane going for the top rope. Hits the clothesline. Now he's calling for the choke slam. Cena ducks under, of course, and here comes the five moves of doom. Shoulder block, slam, you can't see him. But wait! Kane grabs him for the chokeslam as Cena bends down. Cena pops out of the choke slam but gets hit with a big boot for his trouble.
Ensuing pinfall gets two.
They head for the top rope and Kane gets knocked off. Cena hits the five knuckle shuffle off the top rope. I hope that becomes a thing because it looks far less cheesy.
Cena picks up Kane for the AA but Kane elbows his way out. They go back and forth with counters and now Kane sends Cena out of the ring. Now they're brawling to the outside with the referee counting. He's up to nine and they're doing a double countout. Terrible finish to a terrible match.
John Cena and Kane go to a double countout.
They continue brawling all over the arena. Now they're in the back and Kane keeps smashing Cena. It just so happens he runs into Zack Ryder's dressing room. He breaks the door down and there's Ryder in his wheel chair. Choke glove!
Cena is laid out on the floor and Kane starts wheeling poor little Ryder out to the arena.
BUT HE'S GOT A HERNIATED DISK, KANE!!!
These are truly hateful actions, ladies and gentlemen. Kane gets all the way to the ring and dumps Ryder out of his chair. Got a nice pop for that. Throws Ryder into the ring. Here comes Eve and she's begging Kane not to hurt her man any further.
Kane picks him up and gives him the tombstone right in front of her, looking at her the whole time. The crowd cheered all this.
Kane turns his attention to Eve but here comes Cena, just in time to make the save. He runs into a chokeslam, though, and the crowd cheers that! This crowd is awesome. Kane laughs as he heads for the back with Cena and Ryder both laid out and Eve checking on Ryder.
They've got medical personal in the ring and it's time for another stretcher job. They should absolutely not waste this much time on stretcher jobs on pay-per-views. I didn't pay $45 to watch Ryder get carried out like this.
They run a Be a STAR promo.
Now it's time to run a promo for The Rock. The build to WrestleMania begins tonight, indeed.
Another impromptu unannounced match.
Drew McIntyre vs. Brodus Clay: Cole tells us that McInytre was given this match because he won't be in the Rumble. This is one way to get Clay a full entrance. Oh my god, he's wearing green now. New jumpsuit every week, huh? I can dig that.
McIntyre on the outside is yelling at Clay that he's a disgrace. Oh my god, he has Funkasaurus logo on the ass of his suit now. It looks like the Jurassic Park logo. That's amazing.
McIntyre beats on him and he doesn't sell for him at all. He did the splash in the corner and when he was running to the ropes to do the follow up "Aww Funk It" splash, he screamed out "Should I get hymn?"
Brodus Clay def. Drew McIntyre via being awesome
Time for the WWE championship match. Promo airing now.
CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler: Laurinaitis comes out wearing a referee shirt with the sleeves ripped off. He grabs the mic and goes through his schtick. Ace says he's going to have an actual ref come out to do the match but he's the official in charge ringside.
Ziggler out to a decent reaction.
Punk gets a big pop.
It's clobberin' time.
Laurinaitis first act before the match starts is to send Vickie Guerrero to the back to a huge reaction. The match kicks off and they chain wrestle to start. It all leads to Ziggler doing his showoff schtick.
Nice rollup from Punk as they restart. Gets just one and goes for the Anaconda Vice. Ziggler gets out and they reset.
Ziggler takes control off a nice leg sweep with Punk on the top rope. Punk sold it big by going back first instead of racking himself. That looked dangerous.
They battle back and forth leading to Punk hitting a big powerbomb. He gets a close two-count out of it and follows it up with a swinging neckbreaker. Time for the high knee and bulldog.
He calls for the GTS but Ziggler gets out. Catapults Punk into the corner but Punk catches himself and hits the cross body. Goes for the pin but Ziggler reverses into a two count.
Body slam from Punk and he goes to the rope for the Macho Man tribute. Nails it.
They chant Randy Savage for the late great superstar. Uh-oh, ref bump! You knew that was coming at some point.
Punk hits an armdrag and locks in the Anaconda Vice. Ziggler taps repeatedly and Laurinaitis doesn't see it because he's checking on the downed referee. Punk lets the Vice go and asks what the hell Ace is doing.
Surprise roll up from Ziggler but Punk reverses. The crowd counts to three but once again the referee is hurt and Laurinaitis isn't doing anything.
Ace puts the ref in the ring. Punk and Laurinaitis get into it and Ziggler shows up. Onto Punk's shoulders he goes and they helicopter into Ace, who takes a bump to the outside. The other ref is waking up but Punk's pinfall attempt doesn't get counted.
Punk gets distracted by Laurinaitis on the outside but picks up Ziggler to give him another GTS. It gets reversed into the zig-zag and holy shit this could be it. 1-2-kick out. Holy hell.
Another zig-zag attempt but Punk sends him into the corner. Another GTS and the ref counts the pinfall. Laurinaitis jumps in to count along with him. He then gets the WWE title and hands it to the ref to give to Punk. Gives him a golf clap and then walks off.
That was ... weird.
CM Punk def. Dolph Ziggler to retain WWE championship
Time for the big one.
Entrant 1: The Miz
Miz actually has a little set up at the top of the ramp. Wow. It's just the word AWESOME! in big blown up letters. He grabs the mic and starts cutting a promo. He botches it pretty quick by stumbling over his words.
Entrant 2: Alex Riley
Oh, look, it's Miz's former protege. They both stare at the WrestleMania banner and suddenly Miz attacks while A-Ry isn't looking. Riley gets the early edge but Miz takes control pretty quick. Miz almost gets tossed but Riley ends up out.
Eliminated: Alex Riley
Now Miz gets to sit and wait for the next guy.
Entrant 3: R-Truth
Of course. Storyline advancement FTW. Truth hits the press and starts smashing. Miz gets him back on a counter. I'm not sure what just happened but Truth looked for a suplex and Miz looked like he sandbagged him. Truth sent Miz over the top rope but Miz hung on.
Entrant 4: Cody Rhodes
Rhodes starts with the Beautiful Disaster kick to Truth. He picks him up and holds him so Miz can work him over. Now it's Miz's turn to hold Truth so Cody can work him. Drink if you're playing the game about pointing to the WrestleMania banner. Cody gets tossed over the rope but doesn't end up out. Miz hits a backbreaker on Truth.
Entrant 5: Justin Gabriel
Here come the jobbers, though Gabriel has been in a program with Rhodes. He cleans house before Rhodes comes back and tries to toss him out. It doesn't work, though, and it looks like the ring is going to fill up a bit.
Entrant 6: Primo
One half of the tag champs is in now and he's cleaning house, even. He hits an awesome spot in the corner with an awesome hurricanrana.
Suddenly Miz sends out Truth.
Truth grabs Miz and drags him to the outside underneath the rope and hits him with his finisher. Cole reminds us that Miz is not eliminated because he didn't go over the top rope.
Entrant 7: Mick Foley
Foley is terribly out of shape and he comes running down jiggling all the way. He sends out Primo, though.
Bang, bang! He works over Rhodes and then hits the double arm DDT in the middle of the ring. Foley and Gabriel try to get Rhodes out but can't.
Entrant 8: Ricardo Rodriguez
Here's our first surprise entrant, as
Alberto Del Rio makes his return. Oh shit, it's not Del Rio, it's Ricardo Rodriguez. He's driving a bomber and comes out wearing Del Rio's gear. The crowd chants for him. Rodriguez goes nuts on Rhodes before turning around and getting crushed by Gabriel with a dropkick. Ricardo makes a comeback, though, and along with Foley, sends out Gabriel.
Eliminated: Justin Gabriel
Entrant 9: Santino Marella
"Things just got even more goofy," says Cole. This is great. It's Foley, Rodriguez, Santino, Rhodes and Miz, who is still on the outside. Rodriguez and Marella trade roll ups as a comedy spot before Santino sends him out.
Foley and Santino meet in the center of the ring. Foley pulls out Mr. Socko and Santino pulls out the Cobra sock. They circle back and forth while Booker T says, "This is like a gunfight."
Entrant 10: Epico
In he comes, hit with the Socko and out he goes.
Rhodes finally gets back up and into the match and out goes Marella.
Eliminated: Santino Marella
Miz is back in and Foley gets Mr. Socko on him but Rhodes comes up and they both dump him out.
Eliminated: Mick Foley
Entrant 11: Kofi Kingston
Here comes Kofi, blowing everybody out of the water. And by everybody, I mean Rhodes and Miz, the only two guys left in the match at this point. He hits the boot drop and tries to eliminate Miz, who apparently is going to stay in for a while. Ugh. Rhodes gets to Kofi and hits a dropkick. They gang up on Kingston while the countdown hits.
Entrant 12: Jerry Lawler
The King takes off his stuff at ringside, gets off commentary and jumps in the ring. He cleans out, hitting dropkicks on both Miz and Rhodes. Booker T going crazy for him. He hits the spot off the middle rope but gets sent out by Rhodes, who points to the WrestleMania banner.
Eliminated: Jerry Lawler
Entrant 13: Ezekial Jackson
Zeke runs in and takes out the two who have been in the longest, Rhodes and Miz. He's not eliminating either, though, which is growing more and more irritating. I can't believe Miz is going to be the Iron Man of this Rumble match. Cole tells us he's been in for over 18 minutes so far. Zeke hits a sidewalk slam on Kingston. Gets Rhodes in the corner and starts beating him down.
Entrant 14: Jinder Mahal
We're up to 14 and there's been almost no star power as of yet. Mahal takes his sweet time getting in the ring, taking off his turban and jacket and all that. Once he climbs in, it's seconds before the next countdown.
Entrant 15: Great Khali
The next surprise entrant is Khali. He comes in and cleans house with his big punches. Sends out Mahal.
Eliminated: Jinder Mahal
Now it's Zeke's turn.
Eliminated: Ezekial Jackson
Khali is trimming the fat in a Rumble match that hasn't even gotten the chance to fill up yet.
Entrant 16: Hunico
Absolutely no response for Hunico, who comes out on his lowrider bicycle. He even gets the chance to clean house before Khali bonks him over the head and ends all that.
Entrant 17: Booker T
Ha. He said he wasn't going to be in but here he is. He takes off the suit coat to reveal all his ring gear. Oh, here's the stipulation getting paid off. Freaking announcers getting in the match. Great. It's not long before Booker starts getting worked by Khali. The crowd chants loud for him, though. Holy shit, we see the first awesome save of the Rumble with Kofi getting knocked out by staying alive by doing a handstand and walking over to the steps to stay in. AWESOME!
Entrant 18: Dolph Ziggler
Out comes one of the best in the game, Ziggler. Booker nearly eliminates Hunico, but he manages to stay in. Khali has been working Miz in the corner for like 10 minutes now.
Entrant 19: Jim Duggan
HOOOOOOOO!!!!!! He comes in and actually starts cleaning house. The crowd is going insane! "U.S.A." He stays in long enough to get his pop before Rhodes finally sends him out. The crowd didn't like that one.
Eliminated: Jim Duggan
Cole tells him to go back to his retirement home. Ha.
Eliminated: Booker T
Eliminated: Great Khali
At the same time, Book and Khali went out.
Entrant 20: Michael Cole
This just became one of the worst Rumble matches of all time. This stupid stipulation was just to waste three spots on the announce team. King and Booker, fine, but Cole? Ugh. He gets in and points at the WrestleMania banner and no one pays attention to him. I guess they're stalling for the next entrant. Countdown. Jim Ross?
Entrant 21: Kharma
She's back, folks. Kharma has returned. Cole looks like he's going to cry. She climbs in and goes right after him, laying him out with a clothesline. Cole actually climbs over the ropes himself, where Booker T and Lawler knock him off to get him done.
Eliminated: Michael Cole
Ziggler tells Kharma she needs to get out and she hits him with an awesome slam. Vickie gets pissy and starts complaining but Hunico gets gone now.
Ziggler gets another minute and comes up from behind her to take her out.
She looked like she landed bad on her leg but she walked out on her own power.
Entrant 22: Sheamus
Big pop for the Celtic Warrior. He comes in and cleans out, picking up Kofi and dumping him to the outside.
Eliminated: Kofi Kingston
Time for the forearms through the ropes spot. Rhodes gets it then Miz.
Entrant 23: Road Dogg
Big pop for Road Dogg and Michael Cole marks out big time for him. He's not in terrible shape but he's chubby as hell. He gets his usual spots in. Ziggler, Rhodes, Miz, Sheamus and Dogg are all in there now. Miz has been in for 33 minutes. The crowd chants "you still got it" at Road Dogg.
Entrant 24: Jey Uso
Uso comes in with a terrible spot for Road Dogg. He hits the ass in the corner spot and it looked damn good. The action in the ring has slowed down considerably.
Entrant 25: Jack Swagger
Swagger comes out with a head of steam, looking like a rhino charging while screaming like a banshee.
Entrant 26: Wade Barrett
Everything is moving really slow at this point. Road Dogg is surviving by hanging onto the bottom rope and barely moving. Just as I say that, Barrett takes him out.
Eliminated: Road Dogg
Cole says it was great to see Jim Duggan back but he was burying him when he was actually out here.
Entrant 27: David Otunga
This Rumble is cruising along. Counting Otunga, there are now eight guys in the ring with three spots left to come in, which we know are Jericho, Orton and someone else. HA. There's an awesome spot in the corner where Ziggler runs up screaming to hit Sheamus but Sheamus doesn't see him coming and fails to react. Good comedy relief.
Entrant 28: Randy Orton
Hometown boy gets a huge pop. He starts drilling everybody, especially Barrett. Everybody is laid out and Orton calls for the RKO on Barrett but Rhodes shows up. They set up the draping DDT. Orton hits it on both Rhodes and Ziggler at the same time. Jey Uso gets stupid and turns him around just to get tossed.
Eliminated: Jey Uso
Barrett does the same and out he goes.
Eliminated: Wade Barrett
Entrant 29: Chris Jericho
The lights go out for him and he's actually wrestling. Out goes Otunga.
Eliminated: David Otunga
Back to mindless brawling with everyone in the ring.
Entrant 30: Big Show
The big man is in after losing his world heavyweight championship match earlier. He can't even get in before Job Swagger gets sent out.
Eliminated: Jack Swagger
Swagger pushes Show after getting tossed and gets hit with the WMD for his trouble.
Whoa, same time eliminations.
Eliminated: Cody Rhodes
Eliminated: Dolph Ziggler
Just like that, the final four. Sheamus, Big Show, Randy Orton and Chris Jericho. Show gets teamed up on and sends everyone flying. Out of nowhere, Orton hits the RKO on Show. Sheamus picks him up along with Randy and they try to send him out. Orton gets it.
Eliminated: Big Show.
Right after, Jericho shows up and sends Orton over the top. Holy shit.
Eliminated: Randy Orton
Down to Sheamus and Jericho. Wow. They both point at the Rumble sign before they start brawling. "Come on, fella!" Oh shit, Jericho goes for the running bulldog but Sheamus almost sends him out on it. Dropkick off the top from Y2J. I can't believe Orton spent so little time in there. The crowd chants Y2J, as he works over Sheamus. Dear god, they're going to let Sheamus win this thing. Dear god, no.
Sheamus takes over with a slam and calls for the Celtic Cross. He picks him up and tries to send him over but Jericho reverses and almost sends him out. He stays in and Jericho hits a kick off the ropes and Sheamus still stays in.
Sheamus gets a kick and he's still on the outside of the ring. He comes in off a shoulder block. Nice spot to get back in the ring.
Sheamus trying to eliminate but Jericho hangs on. Looks for the Brogue Kick but misses and Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho. Won't do any good in this match but he can use it anyway. Sheamus gets to the ropes and I think he's hoping a ref will tell him to break. Jericho lets go and raises his hand.
The crowd cheers and Jericho goes to send him out. He almost goes out but barely hangs on. Feet almost touched but didn't.
They go to the top rope and Sheamus sets up for a superplex. Both men fall and rack themselves and nearly fall out of the ring. Jesus, this is getting seriously drawn out but it's awesome so I don't care.
Jericho hits the Codebreaker and ... goes for the pin. HA! Cole -- "I think Jericho hit his head." Jericho shouts at Sheamus to get out of the ring. The crowd is dead at this point. They're standing, though. Oh shit, Jericho almost sends him out and then slaps him legit. Now Sheamus does his get pissed gimmick and here he comes. Misses the Brogue Kick but Jericho misses the Codebreaker. Sheamus caught him and tried to send him out but Jericho stayed in. Once he got back up on the top of the apron, Sheamus finally hit the Brogue Kick and Jericho went flying off.
Eliminated: Chris Jericho
Sheamus wins the 2012 Royal Rumble.