By Will Pruett
- In the YouTube classic, Zack Ryder fell once again to Kane. I expected Ryder to win, but I was probably being delusional. Ryder's "push" has been rather sad recently. The character isn't great, but Ryder's level of overness should justify a little more than he is getting.
- The introductions on the pre-show were a very interesting way to turn pre-show viewers directly into buyers. The Christian return just moments before the show beginning worked really well for this aspect.
- Opening the show with the sounds of a battle royal in the background as the FBI warning played was different. Messing with the pay-per-view format was interesting. I applaud WWE for changing the format on occasion.
- Christian's return and sudden babyface turn is a mixed bag for me. I like Christian as a veteran presence in the mid-card. He's not a long-term main event wrestler and he can help a lot of young talent get over. The babyface turn disappoints me simply because his turn could have been more of a moment. Imagine if he had ran to the rescue of Sheamus or Randy Orton at some point to cement himself?
- Tyson Kidd should be mentioned for his great moment in the battle royal. He is a guy that would really benefit from a Cruiserweight division being established, as he can work that style extremely well.
- WWE also did right by their fans in the arena by making sure they still got to see the pyro display. That is always one of my favorite parts of going to a pay-per-view.
- The live crowd was quite into Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. They had every right to be, as this was a good match. Truth looked out of place in the ring with three superior workers, but Kofi held up his end nicely.
- The finish of the tag team match was excellent. Ziggler and Kingston have some of the best chemistry I have seen in years.
- Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins could be a great heel tag team doing the bidding of Big Johnny. They have the talent to go after the tag team champions and have a convincing feud. I hope what we saw from them here was a sign of things to come.
- Layla defeating Beth Phoenix was the right booking choice to me. I just don't see where else WWE can go with Beth that they have not already.
- Layla sold the knee well in her match. Beth worked it over well and felt like a monster. This match was all story and psychology and I liked it.
- Sheamus, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio, and Chris Jericho all delivered good performances in their four-way match. I actually thought this one should have been higher on the card (or it could have even closed it out) and the match justified that.
- I said in my predictions column that I hoped this match wouldn't contain all of the stereotypical four-way spots. They teased some of them (like the tower of doom), but did not deliver on all of them. This was a nice way to nodding to that convention, while still doing something original.
- The ending chaos, with the multiple finishing moves leading up to the final one, was straight out of the four-way playbook. It has been a while since we've seen it, so it worked here. The timing on the finish was really exceptional.
- This win in a four-way does quite a bit for Sheamus to make him seem like a major champion. Since what is largely regarded as a misstep at WrestleMania, his rebuilding has been one of the major stories of Smackdown.
- Sheamus using White Noise as a finisher is a new development that I like. It didn't quite click here, but it should going forward. He does have quite a few finishing maneuvers now.
- I had to step away and take a phone call after the four way and suddenly I returned to The Miz doing the Thriller dance. I'm sure this was less-jarring to watch all the way through, but I'm going to give it a thumbs down.
- Brodus Clay showed some good fire towards the end of his match with The Miz, but he still doesn't quite live up to wrestling in longer matches. His lack of prowess in even a five-minute match is making me see why WWE did not give him the major monster push. He could not have sustained it when he reached anywhere near main event status.
- Christian challenging Cody Rhodes made sense. Christian beating Cody Rhodes was an okay choice. I would have rather seen Cody lose it in an advertised match, but the surprised return aspect was decent. Rhodes and Christian did have a good match.
- I would love to see Rhodes and Christian have a long program, but I would bet on Rhodes moving to Raw and feuding with Santino. Christian will be a nice babyface for the heel-loaded mid card in WWE.
- Daniel Bryan and C.M. Punk put on the match of the night and one of the best matches of the year. It was intense, technical, fun, and exciting. This match was WWE styled, but with the styles that Bryan and Punk uniquely bring mixed in. This was a great effort all around and it should have closed the show.
- The submissions in the first portion of the match from both men were fantastic. They really pulled out all the stops and rocked a technical match, with a lot of setup. The time they took payed off, especially in the end.
- More of an argument for Bryan and Punk closing the show was the happy ending. Sure, it was slightly screwy (thankfully enough to justify a rematch), but the finish was a babyface celebrating his win over a heel.
- Daniel Bryan was made by this title match with Punk. He needed this big match to go well and it did. For his sake, I hope that this was the beginning of the story between them and that it will continue through the summer.
- At No Way Out, I would be happy to see these two meet in a cage match of some sort to continue this feud.
- Ryback squashing Camacho was less than necessary.
- Also less than necessary was a large portion of John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis. This was a comedy match that tried to incorporate element of Vince McMahon vs. Steve Austin from St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1999. The tone didn't work.
- Laurinaitis hasn't done enough to Cena to justify this level of revenge, so Cena just seemed like he was bullying the older, less fit competitor. This is not the right message to send with John Cena and I am quite disappointed to see it in a WWE main event.
- Big Show's turn was the most predictable portion of this show and it did not even come off well. Why would I want to see Cena vs. Big Show again? Their long series in 2009 was not compelling, interesting, or watchable. We're going to see it rehashed three years later with Show in worse shape? This is a poor booking choice.
- Wouldn't the run in during the main event slot be a great way to debut a new competitor to WWE (like Big Show did at St. Valentine's Day Massacre in 1999)? WWE went to a star from 13 years ago instead of trying to bring in someone new and making them. This has been the problem in WWE for the last few years and it was highlighted here.
This was a pretty good pay-per-view. If you cut out the main event, I would probably give it a solid B-. With the main event, my letter grade drops to a C-. That match was bad enough, boring enough, and so against the message that WWE regularly tries to send that is brought this show way down. The main event also left me thoroughly unexcited for what is to come in WWE.
The rest of the card was fine. It ebbed and flowed, with the filler doing its job and the two World Championship matches delivering. Daniel Bryan vs. C.M. Punk delivered in every way and it should be what everyone is talking about today. If you're thinking of purchasing the DVD of this show, skip it and buy the Punk and Bryan match on iTunes instead.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this show! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
Pruett's Pause: WWE Over The Limit - C.M. Punk and Daniel Bryan tear the house down, Big Johnny retains his job, John Cena bullies his boss, Sheamus retains the World Championship
May 21, 2012 - 02:45 PM
May 21, 2012 - 02:45 PM
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