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WWE Royal Rumble 2012 results: Event photos gallery from St. Louis

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WWE invaded the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri, last night (Sun., Jan. 29, 2012) with its Royal Rumble pay-per-view event, the second biggest show on the calendar each year for the world's largest pro wrestling promotion.

Much to the surprise of many, Sheamus entered at number 22 and lasted to the very end to win the Rumble match, last eliminating Chris Jericho, who failed to deliver on his promise to "end the world as we know it."

CM Punk successfully defended his WWE championship with a clean pinfall victory over Dolph Ziggler. He even got a fair shake from John Laurinaitis, despite some shenanigans teasing otherwise.

John Cena went to a double countout with Kane, though Cena ended the night lying flat on his back staring up at the lights aftera chokeslam from a smiling Kane, who had also just delivered a tombstone to Zack Ryder while Eve looked on. All in a night's work for the "Big Red Machine."

In other action, Daniel Bryan escaped a steel cage to retain his world heavyweight championship over Big Show and Mark Henry in the opening match of the evening. That's not to mention a gang of Divas doing their thing in an eight man tag match while Brodus Clay delivered another squash, this time over Drew McIntyre.

A photo gallery of the night's action is available for your viewing pleasure after the jump.

The Royal Rumble

CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler

John Cena vs. Kane

Daniel Bryan vs. Big Show vs. Mark Henry

Brodus Clay vs. Drew McIntyre

Divas!

All photos via WWE.com. For complete results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.