Welcome to our exclusive live ongoing play-by-play coverage of WWE Royal Rumble 2012. Please use the links above and below to follow along with this particular match. Continue to refresh the page for the latest updates.
We get a video package featuring the events over the past couple of weeks that have led up to this match.
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.
Ziggler stalks Punk, waiting for him to get to his feet. Ziggler goes for a hurricarana, it looks like, but Punk counters with a spinning sit out powerbomb, holding on to pin him for a two count. Punk hits Ziggler with a couple of big chops to the chest and a couple more stiff kicks. Punk is a flurry of offense with a clothesline and spinning neckbreaker. Punk hits a running high knee in the corner and follows with the running bulldog. The crowd is totally behind Punk. Punk is calling for the Go to Sleep. Punk shoulders Ziggler, but Ziggler fights out of it and slingshots Punk into the corner. Punk counters with a cross body from the middle, but Ziggler rolls through into a pin for two. Ziggler tries for the sleeper, but Punk fights out and hits him with a nasty kick, laying Ziggler out for another two count.
Punk looks a bit surprised at Ziggler's resiliency. Punk picks Ziggler up and slams him to the mat before heading up to the top turnbuckle. Punk leaps off the top with an elbow drop to Ziggler's heart, but he still can't keep him down for a three count.
Punk shoulders Ziggler again, but Ziggler fights out and shoves Punk into the referee, who falls to the outside. Ace is checking on the ref on the outside while on the inside, Punk is able to lock in the Anaconda vice. Ziggler is tapping, but there's no ref and Ace is checking on the one who's down on the outside.
Punk goes over to yell at Johnny, and he's rolled up by Ziggler. Punk rolls through and has Ziggler pinned, but there's still no ref. Punk puts Ziggler down, and Ace rolls the ref back into the ring. Ziggler tries to get Punk from behind, but Punk shoulders Ziggler. Punk swings Ziggler around and Ziggler's legs hit Ace, sending him to the outside. Punk connects with the GTS, and goes for the pin, but there's still no one to make the count. Punk says the next GTS is for Ace. Punk shoulders Ziggler again and goes for the GTS, but Ziggler counters with a rocker dropper, he goes for the pin, but Punk kicks out at two.
Ziggler hits Punk with rights to the back of the head, and elbows to the shoulder and neck. Ziggler waits for Punk to get up, but Punk catches him and slingshots him into the corner. Punk shoulders Ziggler and goes for the pin. Both the ref and Johnny Ace make the three count at the same time for Punk.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: CM Punk
Ace hands the title over to Punk before immediately making his way out of the ring toward the back.
Punk sits in the middle of the ring with his title around his shoulder while Johnny applauds him at the top of the entrance way. Punk runs around the ring, celebrating with his title as the crowd cheers.
We get video promos for both the new WWE YouTube channel, and another Mania promo, letting us know it's only 63 days away.