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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2012

January 24, 2017 | Posted by Rob Stewart
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Reviewing The Rumbles: 2012  

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2012: Shades of 1995

Hmmmm. Sometimes Royal Rumbles are negligible.

Even when the ultimate outcome is indirectly very important, sometimes the Rumble itself is reduced to filler. Say, for instance, you could adjacently link one Royal Rumble to the creation of the Yes Movement, which was a yearlong storyline that culminated in one of the best WrestleManias ever. You’d think that Rumble would have to be pretty remarkable, right?

You’d think.

The Participants

1. The Miz
2. Alex Riley
3. R-Truth
4. Cody Rhodes
5. Justin Gabriel
6. Primo
7. Mick Foley
8. Ricardo Rodriguez (having taken some time off from being 100% of Alberto Del Rio’s charisma)
9. Santino Marella
10. Epico
11. Kofi Kingston
12. Jerry Lawler
13. Ezekiel Jackson
14. Jinder Mahal
15. Great Khali
16. Hunico
17. Booker T
18. Dolph Ziggler
19. Jim Duggan
20. Michael Cole
21. Kharma (one of WWE’s great lost opportunities)
22. Sheamus
23. Road-Dogg
24. An Uso (Just the one… the other never appears. I guess they couldn’t BOTH crack this murderer’s row of WWE talent)
25. Jack Swagger
26. Wade Barrett
27. David Otunga
28. Randy Orton
29. Chris Jericho
30. ………………………………………………………………. The Big Show.

The Final Four

4th – Big Show (eliminated by Orton)
3rd – Randy Orton (eliminated by Jericho)
2nd – Chris Jericho (eliminated by Sheamus)
WINNER – Sheamus

And, for the first time ever that I can recall, all members of the F4 are babyfaces at the time. Huh.


-So before the match, the commentary team off-handedly makes the weird remark that this is the first Rumble “open to the entire WWE roster”. I wasn’t sure what that meant. I guess I’m still not, but… woof. This Rumble’s dog lineup ends up being almost as bad as 1995’s.

-No pre-match video; just the standard “By The Numbers” thing. Even the prematch isn’t excited for this one, guys. The dread, it is filling me.

-Honestly, we get through 6 whole entrances, and NOTHING was worth noting. I’m just tapping my pen to the page in my notebook. After Primo was in the ring for a few seconds, I jotted down “Still waiting for something to happen”. I ended up taking fewer notes on this Rumble than any I had reviewed since 2000. So maybe I didn’t put forth MY best effort here, but honestly… neither did WWE.

-Enormous pop at #7 for Mick Foley, but it takes only a few seconds to see that… Jesus, is this guy broken down. He can barely walk, much less move. Can you imagine the pain that has to come with just being Mick Foley at this stage in his life? It’s unfathomable to me, though I whine like a child when I pinch my forearm between my desk and the arm of my chair. And how do we, as fans, repay him for this? By lusting after his daughter.

-Ricardo apes Alberto Del Rio’s ring entrance, complete with a busted-up junker car instead of Alberto’s more stylish models. His oblivious excitement to everything earns him a “Ricardo!” chant. Foley helps Ricardo toss Justin Gabriel (not the Worldwide Underground’s proudest moment), and Ricardo acts as though he just solved nuclear fusion. He runs around like a crazy man and does a sliding celebration on his knees.

-More off-the-wall goofball comedy early, as Santino and Ricardo have an embarrassingly silly exchange before Marella pitches the ring announcer. He turns to face Foley, and the two have a Sock-Off with The Cobra fighting Socko. Epico interrupts, but gets them both for his trouble. The Sock-Off is a solidly fun visual, I’ll give it that.

-Lawler enters from commentary, but only lasts about a minute. Booker T is congratulatory, but Michael Cole (STILL a heel here, jeez) scoffs. Not long after, Booker T has his own spot in the match. Cole spends Booker’s whole run lamenting that Booker and Lawler have a job to be doing, and they are making a mockery of the Rumble. So it’s pretty obvious what is still to come…

-This is the year that Kofi made his handstand save from elimination, walking over to the steps on his hands and re-entering the match. So… that’s a thing that happens.

-Cole, completely unsurprisingly, finally gets buzzed in, and he removes his suit to reveal a singlet. He enters, lasts more time than Jerry Lawler does but then gets scared of Kharma, allowing Lawler and Booker to pull him out of the match. So there you have it: “open to the entire WWE roster”.

-So, as a review, through #21, we’ve had: all three members of commentary; a female wrestler who should have had a decent run, but lasts only a few seconds (like Chyna and Beth Phoenix before her); Jim Duggan; a broken down Mick Foley just there to goof; a ring announcer/manager; a bunch of jobbers, low-end midcarders, and comedy acts. Well Dunn, Kwang, and the Blu Brothers aren’t looking so bad about now.

-Miz and Cody end up with pretty good Iron Man runs (as they should… they are the ONLY worthwhile superstars before Ziggler at #18, Sheamus at #22, and Swagger at #25).

-“You still got it!” chant for Road-Dogg. Hell, little did we know he was two years away from another run as a tag team champion here.

-Big deal, lights-out entrance for Jericho. The fans are appreciable.

-Jericho and Sheamus try to salvage SOMETHING as the final two, and they have a genuinely very good little exhibition. Sheamus wins, and the fans do not like that one bit. It barely matters… both guys would get title matches at WrestleMania (Sheamus against Bryan, and Jericho against Punk). I wonder how many times that has happened! Let’s retroactively check…

So it happened here (2012)… it also happened in 2010 (Edge and Cena), 2008 (Cena and HHH were both in a Triple Threat match with champ Orton), 2007 (Undertaker and Shawn), 2006 (Orton and Rey were both in a Triple Threat match with champ Angle), and 2005 (Batista and Cena). It DIDN’T happen in 2009, but something similar did… the guy who came in second (HHH) won the title en route to ‘Mania (in the Elimination Chamber) and defended against the winner of the Rumble (Orton).

So between 2005 and 2012, both the Royal Rumble winner and the runner-up were involved in a world title match in EVERY WRESTLEMANIA save one, and that was the one where Santino was the runner-up. Huh, I’ll be darned.


1. 2001 (Austin III) – 10/10

2. 2010 (Edge) – 9/10
3. 2004 (Benoit) – 9/10
4. 1992 (Flair) – 9/10

5. 2007 (The Undertaker) – 8/10
6. 1997 (Austin I) – 8/10
7. 1998 (Austin II) – 8/10

8. 2008 (Cena I) – 7/10
9. 2002 (HHH I) – 7/10

10. 2005 (Batista I) – 6/10

11. 2003 (Lesnar) -5/10
12. 1989 (Studd) – 5/10
13. 1996 (Michaels II) – 5/10
14. 2011 (Del Rio) – 5/10
15. 1999 (McMahon) 5/10

16. 1993 (Yokozuna) – 4/10
17. 1990 (Hogan I) – 4/10
18. 1994 (Hart/Luger) – 4/10
19. 2009 (Orton) – 4/10

20. 2012 (Sheamus) – 3/10
21. 1991 (Hogan II) – 3/10
22. 2006 (Mysterio) – 3/10
23. 2000 (The Rock) – 3/10

24. 1995 (Michaels I) – 2/10
25. 1988 (Duggan) – 2/10

The final score: review Bad
The 411
This was a bad Rumble that tried to be saved by a great final two encounter and some decent comedy bits that were a bit too many, too hokey, and too overdone.