WWE Royal Rumble: Dolph Ziggler Vs. CM Punk (World Title Match)
- We get a promo for tomorrow night's Raw, where Johnny Ace's career will be in jeopardy as he's evaluated by HHH.
- A recap of the events leading to the WWE Championship match are shown.
Special Guest Referee: John Laurinaitis
CM Punk (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
John Laurinaitis is the first man to make his way out to the ring. He's wearing a sleeveless referees shirt, but unlike Vince McMahon, his arms aren't anything worth showing off. He gets a lot of boos as he makes his way out with no music. He's got a mic and he introduces himself and gives his title, even though he was just introduced. He says even though he was assigned the referee of the match, in the interest of fairness, he's decided that he'll officiate outside of the ring, and another WWE official will referee things inside of the ring. Another ref makes his way down to the ring quickly.
Ziggler is the first man to make his way out to the ring, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero. Dolph gets a pretty nice reaction from the crowd, but as soon as his music stops, the chants for Punk are overwhelming. Punk's music hits, and the champion makes his way out to the ring to a lot of love from the crowd.
Justin Roberts does formal ring introductions for both men, and it looks like we're ready to begin.
Before the bell rings, Laurinaitis makes his way into the ring and ejects Vickie Guerrero from ringside. Vickie makes her way to the back, screaming the whole way. The bell rings and Punk and Ziggler circle each other before locking up. Punk rolls up Ziggler for one. Both men test each other, but Ziggler punches Punk. Ziggler goes for the rocker dropper but Punk moves and shoulders Ziggler. Ziggler fights out and both men stare each other down. We get another lock up and Punk backs Ziggler into the ropes and gives a clean break. Punk catches Ziggler with a right and a stiff kick to the thigh. Ziggler knocks Punk away and struts to show off.
Punk is able to roll Ziggler up for a two count and he goes for the Anaconda vice, but Ziggler is able to fight it off and roll into the ropes. Ziggler and Punk lock up and Punk goes behind Ziggler locking in an abdominal stretch and clubbing down on Dolph's ribs. Punk plays to the crowd before picking Ziggler up and suplexing him face first into the ropes. Ziggler falls out to the floor, and Punk follows with a plancha through the ropes, crashing right into Ziggler and sending him to the floor. Punk sends Ziggler back into the ring and he goes to the top, but Ziggler sweeps Punk's legs out from under him, and Punk crashes to the mat. Ziggler goes for the pin but only gets two.
Ziggler stomps away at Punk before hitting him with repeated elbow drops to the chest. Ziggler continues to gloat before hitting a high elevation elbow drop. Ziggler goes for the pin and gets another two count. Ziggler locks in a rear chin lock, wearing down Punk and grinding him down into the mat. Punk is able to fight back up to his feet and put Ziggler down with a belly to back suplex.
Both men are slow to get up to their feet, and when they do they trade right hands. Ziggler gets in a kick, but Punk hits right after right. Ziggler is able to lock in the sleeper hold, but Punk counters, almost locking in the Anaconda vice, Ziggler turns it around, locking in the sleeper again. Punk fights up to his feet, and throws Ziggler off, but Ziggler comes up with a huge dropkick for another two count.