Hey guys! Remember how great Extreme Rules was? It’s rare for WWE to hit gold twice in a row, but would you belive they kinda did. …no, really! Over The Limit was kind of fucking AWESOME, right up until the last fourty minutes. Here’s the complete rundown.
Pre-Show: Zack Ryder vs. Kane
The Over The Limit pre-show, aired exclusively on YouTube for free before the PPV began, was disappointing in a variety of ways. For starters, this is the match that should have taken place back when Kane had essentially crippled Zack Ryder. Fucking shame it took this long to get the match to happen, but Kane seems to be the only Superstar to get any kind of lasting continuity. That said, a pretty decent match to kick things off. Kane wins, which isn’t to be unexpected. Don’t write off Zack Ryder yet, though. While fan’s are already crying he’s being punished for attaining fame on his own and not as one of Vince’s chosen favorites, bear in mind he’s gone from Superstars to opening up the pay per view. Zack’s not the top guy yet, and make no doubt about it he doesn’t deserve to be yet; but he’s settling in nicely to his Jobber To The Star role he’s in now. In a few years and once his current gimmick has been toned down, I could see Zack capturing the gold.
People Power Battle Royal
The Pay Per View began proper with an over the top rope battle royal, the winner getting their choice of title shot against Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship or against Santino Marrella for the United States Championship. The ending to the battle royal was blown almost immediately when it was pointed out that Christian, sidelined with an injury a few months ago, had made his return as a late entrant into the match. The royal is, all in all, a decent match. It does feel like a sign of how wasted the WWE’s talent is these days, however. Everyone in the ring is either wasted off camera, or another year or two off from retirement, aside from maybe 5 or 6 guys I could see. That being said, Christian pulls off the win, and challenges Santino for his US title. A bit confusing at the time; Christian was coming off as a face in the ring, but challenged the other face opponent.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler for the Tag Team Championship
It’s a damn shame that Swagger and Ziggler are being so wasted. Both are way above their current level, and should be in the upper card on Smackdown instead of floundering in the midcard on Raw and chasing something as uncared for as the Tag Team Titles. Pretty good match, though. Lots of offensive from Swiggler, but Kofi gets the pin after a Trouble in Paradise to retain the titles. Ziggler sells it like a champ, but that’s not surprising; Ziggler could sell the Fingerpoke of Doom and you’d still love it.
Layla vs. Beth Phoenix for the Divas Championship
Way too short of a match. These two could probably put on a great match if given the opportunity. The only thing worth really noting here is that Beth’s finally ditched that hideous skirt and is back to her pants outfits, which look 100x better on her. Layla retains the title.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Chris Jericho vs. Randy Orton; Fatal 4-Way for the World Heavyweight Championship
The match got off to a slow start, which wasn’t a good sign as I almost immediately began to lose interest. For good reason, too. I like Jericho in most cases and remain on the fence about Sheamus, but Orton and Del Rio just bore the hell out of me. Once things finally picked up, this became a much better match, but still feels like nothing was really resolved; kind of a major problem with a Fatal 4Way match. Sheamus manages to pin Jericho to retain the title.
Miz vs. “Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay
So, you remember when The Miz main evented and won Wrestlemania? The WWE doesn’t, because here he did the “Thriller” dance, then got squashed by Brodus Clay. When the most interesting thing about your match is the debate as to why Brodus Clay has the creepy key guarding mask from Super Mario Bros. 2 on his tights, you’ve got a problem.
Cody Rhodes vs. Christian for the Intercontinental Championship
Christian overhears Cody talking shit backstage, and tells Cody he’s changed his mind; he’ll be challenging for the Intercontinental Strap instead. Cody comes out and cuts a promo about how his father would never let him come to shows in North Carolina as a child and berates the crowd when Christian comes out to a sizeable pop. Worth noting that he’s finally ditched his hideous blue “Hit the Switch!” shirt and is back to his old tee. The two put on a great match, as is to be expected of these two. Christian pulls off the win and captures the Intercontinental title, bringing him back from injury as a face and a champion. Hopefully these two will get a good feud going; with the upcoming three hours of Raw, there should be more than enough time available to restore the prestige this title so richly deserves.
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship
Let me get this out of the way: it is fucking insulting that THIS MATCH is not the main event. I don’t know how the WWE hasn’t learned this lesson yet, but the WWE title hasn’t main evented a match all year long. A terrible sign of things to come. And a damn shame too, because this was match of the YEAR so far, hands down. Punk and Bryan always put on a great show, and tonight they pulled out all the stops. Lots of high flying maneuvers and a ton of submission wrestling, and the North Carolina crowd was white hot for almost every second of it (even letting a few WOOOO!s out for Figure Four’s). In the end, a bit of a shady finish: while Bryan has Punk in the YES! Lock, Punk manages to flip Bryan over and pin him; a second after the ref counts three, Punk taps. The ref awards the win to Punk, who retains the WWE Championship. Does this set up mean Bryan and Punk’s feud will continue? Probably. Are we going to complain? Lord no.
Camacho vs. Ryback
Camacho and Hunico make their way to the ring, while Hunico announces that Camacho is going to get in the ring (his first televised match for the WWE). Jillian flubs, announces Hunico is in the match. Oh well. The opponent turns out to be Ryback. I admit, I’m disappointed; Sin Cara recently returned at a house show after his knee injury nearly a year ago, and this would have been a great time for him to show back up, but maybe they’re putting it off. Anyways, Ryback comes out and does his thing, squashing Camancho. Big step for Ryback, who has now moved on to squashing active roster after a month or so of squashing local talent. We’ll see where the big guy’s headed next soon enough, but breaking his leg and being out of action was the best thing to happen to Ryback/Skip Sheffield, in my opinion.
John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis
The real insult may be that the WWE thought this was THE match to send the fans home with. It’s really not. Cena spends the match goofing around, taunting and torturing John Laurinaitis (hey guys, Be A STAR) until Laruinaitis runs away. Of course, he’s drug out from the back by the recently fired Big Show (it’s the SWERVE that everyone saw coming). Big Show proves he’s on nobody’s side by giving Cena the knockout punch (totally didn’t see that coming either!) and Laurinaitis wins the match by pinfall. Yes, a night of great matches is capped off with the heel GM defeating the babyface top man in the company, and that’s how the fans get sent home.
Ultimately, this was a pretty stacked pay per view. Lots of great matches and action. It’s a 3.5/5 star pay per view easily, teetering on 5 stars. But that final match…45 minutes of slow, plodding, excruciating nothing drags the whole thing down. I’ll probably wind up buying the DVD of this one for the Punk vs. Bryan match, but the utter disappointment in the way it ended brings the whole thing down.