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Case Number 23945: Small Claims Court

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WWE: Royal Rumble 2012

WWE // 2012 // 175 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // June 8th, 2012

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All Rise...

Judge Franck Tabouring used to rumble with his stuffed animals. He was a weird kid.

Editor's Note

Our reviews of WWE: Royal Rumble 2009 (published May 8th, 2009), WWE: Royal Rumble 2010 (published April 15th, 2010), and WWE: Royal Rumble 2011 (published April 2nd, 2011) are also available.

The Charge

Everything is at stake.

The Case

You would think the WWE would go above and beyond to put together a glorious show for the 25th anniversary of the Royal Rumble. Instead, wrestling fans are in for a disappointing pay-per-view culminating in a so-so main event many will quickly forget. Let's take a closer look at what viewers are in for at WWE: Royal Rumble 2012.

• Daniel Bryan vs. Mark Henry vs. Big Show in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
This year's event kicks off with a pretty significant title match, as two of WWE's biggest and strongest stars square off against Bryan for a shot at gold. The cage match only lasts for 10 minutes and isn't as exciting as it sounds. Following a slow start, Big Show and Bryan go at for a while, leaving Mark Henry without much action time. Show delivers a few good kicks here and there, but that's about as interesting as it gets. Sadly enough, the ending to this battle ranks among poor finishes.

• Beth Phoenix, Natalya & The Bella Twins vs. Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Tamina and Alicia Fox in a Divas Tag Team Match
Well, what can I say? Most of the divas look stunning (as usual), and that's about the only joy you'll get out of this short 5-minute brawl. Some of the women give us some fast-paced, high-risk maneuvers, but then again, it's really not worth it. Time to move on.

• John Cena vs. Kane
This matchup starts off pretty well as both wrestlers offer a variety of their signature moves, but everything goes downhill very fast when they leave the ring and take the action around the arena. Kane and Cena end up at Zach Ryder's room backstage, proving yet again that the folks at WWE spend a little too much time developing unnecessary, weak storylines. This battle had potential, but whoever was in charge of setting the rules for this one definitely screwed the pooch. Next!

• Drew McIntyre vs. Brodus Clay
Sure, Clay's gimmick is pretty darn hilarious (just as much as it is absolutely ridiculous), but an act alone isn't going to keep fans around. WWE writers, take notice! This could and should have been a fun fight, but instead, all we get is a 1-minute disaster of a matchup. Something just doesn't smell right here.

• CM Punk vs. Dolph Ziggler in a WWE Championship Match
Finally we got ourselves some decent wrestling action. Although John Laurinaitis lurks around the ring as special guest referee, Punk and Ziggler pull off a solid show, changing up their moves and delivering strong kicks, high-risk maneuvers, and quick submission holds. Things spin out of control again when Laurinaitis get involved toward the end, but all in all, this title match is one of the few decent ones of the night. Without the special guest referee silliness, it could've been a great battle.

• 30-Man Royal Rumble Match
This brings us to what everyone really wants to see at this PPV: the one-hour Royal Rumble Match. This being the 25th anniversary, fans hoped for a memorable main event, but unfortunately, the 2012 edition of the big battle can't quite keep up with past rumbles. On a more positive note, this being an important year, the WWE made sure to bring back some very popular Hall of Fame members to get audiences to cheer and prove that even legends still have what it takes. Road Dogg, Mick Foley and "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan all show up for special appearances, but they obviously don't last long. Jerry Lawler and Booker T. also get in on the action, as does Michael Cole, unfortunately. Highlights though include performances by Kofi Kingston, Kharma, Sheamus and Chris Jericho, who really gets the crowd going. While this rumble starts off slow, the action does start to pick up, and the final 20 minutes do offer fast-paced wrestling action. Could've been a better one, but definitely the highlight of this pay-per-view.

In terms of technical aspects, the disc includes a clean standard def 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer, and a Dolby 5.1 Surround mix, both of which perform their tasks adequately. The only bonus features we get are two backstage interviews. Nothing memorable here, either.

Despite a decent thirty-man free-for-all, WWE: Royal Rumble 2012 falls short. The matches on the card fail to impress, and, generally speaking, the event lacks energy. The Royal Rumble being the PPV that kicks off the road to WrestleMania, it's time for the WWE to step up and provide fans with better material, especially at these competitions.

The Verdict


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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 69

Perp Profile

Studio: WWE
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
• None
Running Time: 175 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Performance
• Sports
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Interviews


• IMDb
• Official Site

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