WWE Over The Limit
Aired live on pay-per-view
Raleigh, N.C. at PNC Arena
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker hyped some pay-per-view matches and they went right to ring introductions for the pre-show match...
Kane vs. Zack Ryder. Ryder knocked Kane to the floor at ringside and immediately told the ref to begin his count. Kane returned to the ring and blasted Ryder with a boot. A short time later, Kane applied a bear hug. Ryder came back a short time later with a Rough Ryder attempt, but Kane avoided it and hit a side slam for a near fall.
Ryder finally went on the offensive and hit a running kick to a seated Kane's head in the corner. Ryder stood up and lined up Kane for his finisher, but Kane caught him and chokeslammed him for the clean pin.
Kane defeated Zack Ryder in 6:55.
Powell's POV: Internet Champion, my ass. I feel for Ryder. The guy worked so hard to get himself over and he isn't getting any help from creative.
The announcers hyped the pay-per-view matches...
Powell's POV: Suddenly, the actual television pre-show looks more entertaining because Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler are cutting a promo.
A video showcased John Laurinaitis and John Cena...
Backstage, Eve stood by while Santino Marella and Cody Rhodes argued about which one of them was more deserving of their championship and which title is more valuable. Eve said she and David Otunga came up with the idea of holding a battle royal with the winner getting a shot at either the U.S. or the Intercontinental Title...
Powell's POV: I know I can't be the only longtime pro wrestling fan who finds it odd to see the son of Dusty Rhodes state that the Intercontinental Title is more valuable than the U.S. Title.
Michael Cole, Booker T, and Jerry Lawler made their entrances and replaced Mathews and Striker. Cody Rhodes and Santino Marella came out and took seats at ringside for the battle royal...
Powell's POV: Will they finish the battle royal before the pre-show are are they going to end it during the match as another incentive for viewers to purchase the show?
Ring entrances for the battle royal took place. The non-tag team wrestlers received their own entrances. The entrants were Great Khali, The Miz, JTG, Ezekiel Jackson, Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Michael McGillicutty, Yoshi Tatsu, Tyson Kidd, The Uso Brothers, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Heath Slater, Alex Riley, William Regal, David Otunga, Titus O'Neil, Darren Young, and Christian.
Powell's POV: Christian's entrance concluded the free pre-show. A heroes of WWE Superstars battle royal wasn't a great tease for the pay-per-view, but perhaps battle royal lovers and some Christian fans were sold.
WWE Over The Limit PPV
1. People Power Battle Royal for a shot at the U.S. Title or Intercontinental Title. The match was joined in progress. Heath Slater didn't last long. Khali eliminated McGillicutty with a chop to the head. McIntyre suplexed Tatus over the top to eliminate him. Hawkins and Reks eliminated Jackson. Young and O'Neil teamed up to eliminate one of the Uso Brothers.
Khali eliminated Reks and Hawkins. He followed up by eliminating Jinder Mahal. The Miz, O'Neil, and Khali eliminated Khali. The remaining Uso kicked O'Neil out of the match. Young eliminated the remaining Uso. Christian eliminated Regal and the crowd booed. Alex Riley eliminated Young. The Miz eliminated Riley.
The final four wrestlers were The Miz, Tyson Kidd, David Otunga, and Christian. Kidd got a nice moment of glory as he hit a springboard split-legged dropkick on Miz and Otunga. He followed up by nearly pulling Miz over, but Otunga saved Miz and eliminated Kidd in the process at 9:10.
The heels double teamed the apparent babyface Christian. He came back and eliminated Otunga. Miz tried to attack Christian from behind to eliminate him, but Christian fought him off. Christian ended up on the ring apron near elimination. He fought back and had Miz on the ring apron next to his side of the ring. Christian, while standing on the apron, shoulderblocked Miz through the ropes and knocked him to the floor to win the match.
Christian won a People Power Battle Royal to earn a title match.
Lawler said we now know that we'll have a United States Championship match, meaning we'll probably have an Intercontinental Title match. Cole shifted the focus to Cena vs. Laurinaitis and set up a video that showcased their issues...
Powell's POV: Did I miss Christian's babyface turn? This was mostly a punch and kick battle royal with the exception of Kidd's moment of glory. Let's just say the battle royal that aired on Impact was much more entertaining.
They aired the opening video for Over The Limit and played pyro on the stage...
Powell's POV: Wow, I guess we just saw the first ever pre-show overrun. My buddy Pooch wants to know if this is WWE's way of making sure the battle royal entrants can't claim to deserve a real pay-per-view payoff.
Vickie Guerrero came out and did the "Excuse Me" routine...
2. Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. Early in the match, Booker T said something stupid. Then he said, "Oh, baby." Then Michael Cole ripped the work of both color commentators. Oh, and there was a match going on.
There was a cool spot with Swagger teetering R-Truth and then Ziggler checked in and hit him with a Facebuster from that position. The challengers went for the pin and didn't get it. Booker said he didn't know what the hell Kingston was thinking. "You got to get in there and help your tag partner, son." Apparently, the role of the babyface color commentator is to put out the shortcomings of the babyface wrestlers.
Truth made a hot tag to Kingston at 10:45 and the crowd was up for it. Kofi hit some of his signature spots on Dolph, but he missed his Trouble in Paradise kick. Swagger ran in and Kofi dumped him to the floor, but Ziggler caught him with a Fameasser. R-Truth broke up the cover, which made Booker very pleased based on his earlier comment. In the end, Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise on Ziggler for the win...
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger to retain the WWE Tag Titles in 12:15.
Powell's POV: The match started slow and built nicely to the finish. As expected, it was most entertaining whenever Ziggler and Kingston were in the ring together. The live crowd liked the tag champs a lot.
Backstage, Eve told Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins that Mr. Laurinaitis was happy that they accepted the assignment of going into the crowd and taking anti-Laurinaitis fan signs away. Otunga assured her that there was nothing illegal about taking the signs away...
3. Layla vs. Beth Phoenix for the WWE Divas Championship. For a second it sounded like five guys were chanting, "Let's go Layla." Instead, five guys were actually chanting, "Colt Cabana." Beth targeted the injured knee of Layla, which was covered by a bedazzled knee brace. Speaking of ring gear, Beth wore new gear rather than a leather skirt and the granny panties that Donna wore on an episode of "That '70s Show" so that was a nice change.
Booker T said the knee brace tells him that Layla is still hurting and should not be in the ring. Lawler pointed out that Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels wore knee braces for years. At 5:35, Beth pressed Layla over her head and the crowd cheered. Layla countered into a DDT. Good spot.
Later, Beth went for a Glam Slam, but Layla turned that into a roll up. Beth rolled through and held the tights, but Layla kicked out. Layla came back with a nasty looking neckbreaker and scored the clean pin...
Layla defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the WWE Divas Championship in 7:10.
Powell's POV: Mark it down, I enjoyed a Divas match and the story that was told. I like the way Beth targeted the knee consistently throughout the match, and Layla's counters to her big moves. I don't care for the end result or the way Beth's monster vibe has been killed by all of her losses. Still, this was a quality Divas match.
Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Randy Orton, who spoke about how none of the four men in the Fatal Four Way like one another. Chris Jericho entered the picture with a smirk on his face. He said he enjoyed the Orton vs. Sheamus match on Smackdown and the way the two neanderthals destroyed one another. Jericho said he's going to become champion and prove to the world that he's the best in the world at everything he does. Orton told him that if he gets in his way he will become the best in the world at being RKO'd...
Powell's POV: Short, simple, and effective. I love the way Jericho looked slightly embarrassed as he looked back at Striker after Orton walked away, only to going back to smirking.
Ring introductions for the four-way match took place. Ricardo Rodriguez handled the Alberto Del Rio introduction. Lilian Garcia handled the in-ring introductions. Orton received the majority of the babyface cheers...
4. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) in a Fatal Four Way for the World Heavyweight Championship. They paired off early by having wrestlers take turns selling on the floor while two others did their thing in the ring.
The first good near fall of the match occurred at 8:20 when Del Rio caught Sheamus with a good kick to the head in the corner. Sheamus sold it beautifully and the crowd bought into the possibility of the match ending despite it being relatively early in the match.
Sheamus delivered a series of forearms to the chest of Del Rio on the ring apron. Orton returned to the match with a crowd pleasing flurry. He struck the Viper's Pose and waited for Sheamus to get up, but Del Rio struck while Orton was down and applied the Cross Arm Breaker. Jericho returned and broke it up by dropping an elbow on Del Rio at 11:40.
At 12:15, Orton and Sheamus squared off after both heels were cleared to ringside. Orton got the better of the exchange and sent Sheamus to ringside. Orton roughed up Del Rio and did the same to Ricardo after he tried to interfere. Orton dropped them both with a double middle rope DDT and got a near fall on Del Rio.
At 13:30, Del Rio went for the Cross Arm Breaker on Jericho, who twisted away and applied the Walls of Jericho. Sheamus went for the Brogue Kick, but Jericho ducked and then released the hold and dropped Sheamus with the Codebreaker for a near fall of his own. A short time later, Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho on Sheamus. Orton entered the ring and hit the RKO on Jericho.
Orton went for the cover, but Del Rio ran in for and broke it up. There was a good flurry and Jericho ended up rolling up Sheamus for an excellent near fall. Moments later, Sheamus came back with White Noise and scored the clean pin on Jericho. Orton, who suffered a scrape on his nose at some point, glared at Sheamus holding the title belt afterward...
Sheamus defeated Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, and Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in 15:55.
Powell's POV: An excellent four-way match. Sure, they had a lot of spots with two men selling on the outside, but it worked out nicely and the timing of the four men was great. This really clicked. The only negative is that even though the fans bought into so many near falls, they didn't think the White Noise move by Sheamus was the finish. They still cheered after the pin was counted, but they did die down at just the wrong time because they didn't recognize it as a finishing move. Nevertheless, that was a strong title match with each challenger having at least one moment where the crowd truly believed he was on the verge of winning.
A WrestleMania 28 DVD commercial aired...
Backstage, Cody Rhodes spoke with Eve and said he was worried The Great Khali was going to win the battle royal. Rhodes said Christian can legitimize the U.S. Title just as he has done for the Intercontinental Title. Rhodes said he made the right call in going after Santino because he's injured and he would have embarrassed Christian.
Christian entered the picture and asked Rhodes what he was saying. Cody wished Christian luck. Christian said he was full of crap and said he changed his mind. He said he was challenging Rhodes to a title match instead...
The announcers spoke at ringside...
The Miz headed to the ring and cut a promo about Brodus Clay. He said the fans have no idea what a dancer is supposed to look like. He said he's the most must see performer in WWE and the best dancer. He said he was going to prove it. He said the kids can't join him in the ring. "Sometimes dreams don't come true," Miz said.
Miz danced like Michael Jackson briefly until Brodus Clay's music interrupted him. Brodus and his dancers did their usual routine. The dancers were referred to as the "Funkadactyls"...
5. Brodus Clay (w/dancers) vs. The Miz. Brodus got off to the fast start. Miz slowed him down briefly. Brodus finished him off with the running splash. Afterwards, Brodus and his dancers brought a group of kids into the ring and danced with them...
Brodus Clay defeated The Miz in 4:10.
Powell's POV: Okay, we get it, Brodus Clay beats The Miz every time. Can they hurry up and film The Marine 3 so Miz can take a much needed hiatus?
Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks were shown taking signs away from the fans. Cole said he wished they would come take away the two anti-Johnny announcers. He's not alone...
Cody Rhodes made his entrance and cut a promo on his way to the ring. Cody said his family goes way back in the Carolinas. He said his father never let him come to a show in North Carolina and told him he would understand someday. Cody said he's better for not growing up around them. Christian made his entrance...
6. Cody Rhodes vs. Christian for the Intercontinental Title. Cole noted that Christian won the battle royal to earn the title match. After nearly seven minutes of solid action, Rhodes hit a moonsault onto a standing Christian for a good near fall. Christian came back with the Killswitch and scored the clean pin...
Christian defeated Cody Rhodes to win the Intercontinental Title in 7:30.
Powell's POV: Me: "They're going to have Christian win just to have a title change, aren't they?" Pooch: "Yes." Seven and a half minutes later... The match was fine, but I like when they actually build up to these moments. Of course, Christian is a babyface now so the live crowd liked this more than I did. My guess is Cody goes to Raw and takes the U.S. Title from Santino given the boring war of words they've had.
Highlights aired of Kane roughing up C.M. Punk during their match during their match on Smackdown...
Backstage, Josh Mathews asked C.M. Punk how he was feeling. Punk said he's happy because John Laurinaitis will be out of a job. Punk turned his focus to his match with Daniel Bryan. He said if someone would have asked Vince McMahon ten years ago about Punk and Bryan wrestling for the WWE Championship on his pay-per-view, he would have asked who the hell they are and his head would have exploded.
Punk said this should be a reward for both of them, but Bryan has changed. He said it's not just going to be the five star classic that everyone is expecting. He was about to say something else when A.J. walked onto the set. She said it was going to be a lot of fun to watch and told him good luck...
Powell's POV: Okay, who wants a free Dot Net Membership for six months? I will pick one winner at random. Cut and paste the following on your Twitter page right now: Read @Prowrestlingnet's live coverage of CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan at prowrestling.net #overthelimit
7. C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions for the match. There were dueling chants for both wrestlers as the match got underway. At 4:30, Punk placed his leg on Bryan's back and pulled his arms back, then stomped his face into the mat. Cool move.
Bryan Came back and applied a surfboard hold around 9:00. He arched Punk's head all the way back and then applied a Dragon Sleeper and yelled, "Tap." Punk fought out of it. Bryan came right back and hit Punk with running knees. Punk responded with a Perfect Plex. There were "Daniel Bryan" and "C.M. Punk" chants that sounded near 50/50.
At 15:10, Punk performed a suicide dive onto Bryan at ringside. Punk threw Bryan back inside the ring. Punk springboarded into a dropkick from Bryan. A short time later, Punk applied the figure four. Both men sat up and exchanged slaps. Punk kept the hold locked in. Bryan reached the ropes. The ref counted to four as Booker explained that Punk had until five and was using every second.
Punk continued to target the knee by going for a knee breaker, but Bryan avoided it. Punk was lighting fast as he performed a series of moves that led to a pinning situation. Bryan kicked out and came back with a big kick to the side of Punk's head. The fans chanted, "This is awesome."
At 19:20, Punk had Bryan crotched on the ropes. Punk performed a springboard clothesline. They headed to the middle of the ring and exchanged blows. Bryan made a move for a Yes! Lock, but Punk avoided it. Punk nearly sent Bryan over the top rope, but he remained in the ring. Punk blasted Bryan with a kick to the head and went for a cover. Bryan put his leg over the bottom rope at the last second. Very good near fall.
Punk sold(?) exhaustion as he went to the ropes. He climbed to the top and played to the crowd before hitting a top rope elbow. Punk came up selling a rib injury that played into Bryan's early offense. Bryan got up and nailed Punk with repeated knees to the ribs. Bryan went to the opposite corner and said, "Yes!" repeatedly. He went for a running dropkick in the corner, but Punk moved.
Bryan regained offensive control at 23:30 and applied the Yes! Lock at 23:30. Bryan pulled on the Yes! Lock and ended up on his back with Punk still in the submission hold. The referee counted to three and Punk tapped out a half-second later. Bryan acted as if he won the match, but the referee awarded the title belt to Punk. Bryan was livid in the ring afterwards. Lawler said he didn't think Bryan realized the referee was counting...
C.M. Punk defeated Daniel Bryan in 23:55.
Powell's POV: The match lived up to expectations and that's really saying something. This wasn't Money in the Bank in Chicago, but the live crowd added a lot with their split reaction. Um, rematch now, please? I'm surprised they played up the A.J. situation as much as they did only to keep her backstage. I wonder how many fans weren't taking the near falls as seriously because they expected her to get involved. Either way, that was a hell of a match and the way the finish was executed make it obvious that this is only the beginning for those two. I'll announce our contest winner on Twitter prior to the main event.
Backstage, Teddy Long spoke with Eve and David Otunga. He said he could see the board putting them in control if John Laurinaitis loses his match. He was about to enter Laurinaitis's locker room to bring him a protein bar when he stopped and said, then again, he could see the board firing them too. Eve and Otunga pondered that thought as Teddy headed inside the locker room...
8. Ryback vs. Camacho (w/Hunico). There were some light "Goldberg" chants and a lot of silence otherwise as the match got underway. Ryback dominated the match with power moves and finished him off with a slam from the torture rack position. Cole noted that Ryback is "still undefeated." As Ryback was leaving, he knocked down Hunico...
Ryback defeated Camacho in 1:50.
Powell's POV: Ryback is undefeated as Ryback, but not so much as Skip Sheffield. They are acting as if Skip never existed.
A Clash of Champions DVD commercial aired...
Powell's POV: Our contest winner is Tim McQuade of Boston, Mass. Didn't win tonight? Join me for live coverage of WWE Raw on Monday night and try again.
9. John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis. Big Johnny wore an under armor shirt with his log on it and long gym pants. Cena roughed him up from the start. Punk performed an airplane spin on Big Johnny. He took him to ringside and rang the ring bell in his ear a couple of times. Cena slammed Johnny's head into the announcers' desk. "Are you okay?" asked a concerned Cole. Lawler laughed hysterically as the beating continued.
Cena placed Laurinaitis in a chair and put a headset on him. Cena sat down next to him and put on his own headset. Cena impersonated Booker and then Cole. "Five time," Laurinaitis mumbled. A fan reached over and touched the headset. Cena pulled it away and brought Laurinaitis back inside the ring, where Big Johnny begged off.
Cena continued to clown around by bringing a microphone inside the ring with him. He dared him to survive ten seconds in the STF and said he would release the hold if he did. The crowd chanted along and Big Johnny survived. Cena did it again. He took bottles of water from ringside and poured it on Johnny's head and then down his pants.
At 8:15, Cena grabbed a fire extinguisher from ringside and brought it back inside the ring. Laurinaitis begged off. Cena eventually hot the fire extinguisher at him and the live crowd cheered. Laurinaitis fled to ringside and Cena kept spraying him. Laurinaitis ended up in the front row. Cena reached over to grab him and Big Johnny slammed his bad arm on the rail. Cena sold briefly.
At 13:30, Laurinaitis hit Cena with a low blow in the middle of the ring. Laurinaitis fled the ring and headed toward the back. Cole questioned whether this meant Big Johnny would keep his job since he didn't technically lose. Suddenly, Laurinaitis reemerged with Big Show's hand wrapped around his neck, dragging him to the ring. Cena was happy.
Show tossed Big Johnny over the top rope and he tumbled awkwardly into the ring. Laurinaitis tried to crawl away, but Show put his foot on Johnny's hand. Laurinaitis got back to his feet and backed away from Cena and into a choke from Show.
Johnny spoke to Show, who shoved him toward Cena, who then performed the Attitude Adjustment. Before Cena could perform the move, Show hit him with the WMD punch. With Cena down, Laurinaitis slowly crawled over to Cena, rolled him over, and covered him. The referee counted to three. "Yes! Yes! Yes! Big Johnny did it!" Cole exclaimed.
John Laurinaitis pinned John Cena in 17:00.
Powell's POV: This was highly predictable and the live crowd's reaction to Big Show appearing tells me it wasn't just an internet thing. It was very quiet from the moment show arrived. Some fans cheered for him, but it really seemed like the majority of the fans knew what was coming. I did like the way they had Laurinaitis talk to Show in the ring to make it seem like they made the deal on the spot, as it would have been even worse if the idea had been that Show was working in cahoots with Johnny before the match and let him take that much punishment before saving him. After all, Cena could have pinned him at any point.
I have no idea why this match went on last. The Punk vs. Bryan match was phenomenal and was the real and rightful main event of the show. That match would have sent people home happy, whereas Cena losing in the manner he did was predictable and left a lot of people rolling their eyes. Overall, the two World Title matches were entertaining, and just about everything else left something to be desired. The women's match was better than expected, yet it wasn't good enough that people will be talking about it two days from now. I'll have more to say about the show in tonight's Dot Net Members' audio review with Chris Shore, and in Monday's WWE Over The Limit Hitlist. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.