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Yes sir, we promised you a great main event...
Tonight's WWE Championship match is plugged. Highlights of Kane'e promo from last week is shown and then the opening montage airs.
John Cena comes out he enters the ring for a promo. Cena wishes everyone a Happy New Year and says he's going to make some changes to himself in 2012. First, he'll wear less underwear. Second, his father is banned from WWE after the terrible "This Is Your Life" segment. Third, after beats The Rock at WrestleMania he vows to prove to Rock that he lost his lady parts. But one thing that won't change is that he will remain who he is and his conviction will stay true. Cena said he got emotional last week, but it wasn't because of the fans since they have paid their hard earned money to earn the right to cheer or boo him. He said his disappointment was with Kane because he didn't settle his differences with him in the ring. He said that Kane wants him to turn his back on the fans, and Cena said he never will and that there is nothing better than being in the ring in front of the fans, and he will continue to enjoy the responses he gets. Kane's music hits.
Kane doesn't appear, but his voice is on the PA. He tells Cena that he will witness the power of hate tonight. Kane's in-ring pyro goes off to end the segment.
A brief "1/2/12" promo airs featuring the girl and ending with the text, "The End Begins Tonight."
World heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan's heads to the ring for the next match. They plug Bryan defending the title against the Big Show on SmackDown this Friday.
Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
Bryan pinned Rhodes clean and celebrated on the announce table after the win. He then celebrated at ringside with the audience.
The Miz approaches John Laurinaitis backstage. Laurinaitis said that what Truth did was unprofessional, but reminded Miz why Truth attacked him. Laurinaitis said that he will have some people keep an eye out to make sure Miz doesn't get attacked, especially during his match. Laurinaitis said that Miz would face Sheamus later tonight. Miz stormed off backstage and Truth emerged to a big pop. He started doing a chicken dance but was yelling "Quack! Quack," which lost his pop. He then walked off with an awkward smile on his face.
Highlights from the first televised Royal Rumble in 1988 are shown, won by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan.
Wade Barrett is out next. They show the end of his match with Randy Orton on SmackDown where Orton was thrown down the stairs. Barrett is shown smiling in the ring and cuts a promo and said that he's not going to wish everyone a Happy New Year because he doesn't care. He said the new year is already fantastic because it's one without Orton, and that it was either him or Orton to take the fall down the stairs. Barrett said that Orton is his past, and he's looking to the future winning The Royal Rumble and main eventing WrestleMania. Santino Marella's music hits, and there was some "1/2/12" static during his intro. Santino pranced around the ring doing laps before taking the mic in the ring. Marella noted that he lasted until the end of last year's Rumble, not Barrett. He said he will run over the Barrett Barage with the Santino train.
Santino Marella vs. Wade Barrett
Barrett squashed Marella before pinning him with the "Winds of Change."
The Bella Twins are backstage with the Miz arguing. Miz asked them if they saw R-Truth. They said no, but they saw "Little Jimmy." Miz walked off, and Truth was shown in the back, and told the audience to "Shhhh..."
Sheamus' music hits and he heads to the ring to face The Miz. Miz attacked Sheamus before the match started and tried to tie him in the ropes. Sheamus broke free and punished Miz before Miz ran through the crowd. R-Truth is on a mic in the crowd and said that he ran into "Little Jimmy" in the crowd and that he doesn't like Miz and that he needs to "get got." Miz jumped over the barrier to get back in the ring and was nailed with a Brogue kick from Sheamus. Truth got a bottle of water from the announce table and nailed Miz over the head with it. That's got to be a weird spot to sell. Truth's music hit and he left through the crowd and said that "This weekly Miz beat down was brought to you by Little Jimmy." Truth gave the mic to a fan who asked what he thought, and the kid yelled, "Happy New Year Miz!"
Punk vs. Ziggler for the title tonight is plugged yet again.
Josh Matthews interviewed Dolph Ziggler backstage, who was doing a headstand. Ziggler said that he pinned CM Punk last week as simply as he did that headstand. He said that the country is in decline because of states like Tennessee. He said that the only thing that he doesn't have is the WWE Championship, and that everyone should save their ticket stubs because he will win the title tonight.
A recap of the finish of last week's Gauntlet match is shown.
Zack Ryder is backstage talking to Eve and they are approached by Jack Swagger. Swagger said that an imposter was wearing the U.S. title. Ryder asked Swagger if he wanted to jo now. John Laurinaitis interrupted and said that there will be a six-man elimination match tonight with John Cena, Zack Ryder and The Big Show vs. Mark Henry, Kane and Jack Swagger.
CM Punk is shown heading to the ring, his match with Ziggler is next.
A SmackDown promo aired, hyping the Booker T/Cody Rhodes and Daniel Bryan/Big Show title matches.
CM Punk (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
During the match Laurinaitis came to the ring and distracted the official. Punk locked in the Anaconda Vice, but the ref was distracted. Punk threw Ziggler into Laurinaitis. After a series of reversals, Ziggler threw Punk into the ropes and Laurinaitis pulled the top rope down, sending Punk to the floor. The ref proceeded to count Punk out, allowing Ziggler to win the match by count-out. Despite not winning the belt, Ziggler grabbed the title after the match and celebrated with it.
Another short "1/2/12" promo aired ending with the text, "He Is Here."
Highlights are shown of Shawn Michaels winning the Rumble in 1995.
Kelly Kelly and Eve vs. The Bella Twins
The Bellas pulled off a little bit of "twin magic" when Eve had one of the Bellas pinned after hitting a moonsault off the top rope. The Bellas switched places when the ref got distracted by Kelly, and the fresh Bella rolled up Eve to get the pin.
Laurinaitis is talking to David Otunga backstage and CM Punk stormed in. Punk called Laurinaitis "a piece of..." but Laurinaitis cut him off. Laurinaitis said that his problem is with Ziggler, and that Ziggler will get a shot at The Royal Rumble with Laurinaitis acting as special referee. Punk said that if Laurinaitis screws him, he'll get arrested for animal cruelty because he'll beat him "like a b-tch."
Another "1/2/12" promo saying that the end of the world as you know it ends... NOW! The lights go out in the arena and there is a loud "Y2J" chant. Chris Jericho is on the top of the ramp with a Michael Jackson-like jacked with bulbs on it and his music hits.
Jericho enters the ring and is giddy to be back and slaps hands with fans at ringside. Loud "Y2J" chants. I sense a heel turn coming... Jericho keeps acting giddy as the fans chant "Welcome Back!" Jericho keeps milking the reaction from the crowd, he's definitely turning heel. Fans are starting to boo. Jericho spends the next several minutes playing to the crowd. This is pretty funny. Jericho drops the mic and continues celebrating in the ring. Jericho goes back running around the ring slapping hands. The fans are finally starting to turn against him. Jericho stands at the top of the ramp as the fans start booing before heading to the back.
WrestlingInc.com reader Logan Sekulow texted me that someone was escorted under the ring, likely Kane.
It's main event time!
The ring introductions are done and it is announced that Kane will not be competing, so the match is now a handicap match.
John Cena, The Big Show and Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger and Mark Henry
Big Show and Mark Henry were eliminated after fighting to a double couent out. So we're down to Cena and Ryder vs. Swagger. Shortly after, Cena nailed Swagger with an AA to get the win for his team.
After the match, Kane's pyro hit again and Cena walked up the ramp to confront him. Kane came out from under the ring and beat up Ryder before turning his attention to Cena. Kane smothered Cena outside of the ring, leaving him unconscious. He then turned his attention back to Ruder in the ring. Ryder tried to run but Kane grabbed him and then dragged him under the ring. Cena got back in the ring and pulled Ryder out. Flames burst out from the hole in the ring and Kane's music played while Cena looked freaked out to end the show.
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