Pruett's WWE Over The Limit 2012 Preview and Predictions: The battle of the Johnny's in Cena vs. Laurinaitis, the internet mega powers explode with C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Randy Orton, and two other guys battle, and more!
By Will Pruett
The following predictions are made from a place of complete ignorance to the finishes. They are merely predictions of what I would find entertaining, interesting or what I believe Vince McMahon will change the show to a few hours prior to the event.
John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis in No Disqualification match: The build up for this match has been slightly better than expected, but it was overwhelming. The announcement was a huge shock (partially because the build to the announcement was almost nonexistent). After that announcement, it seemed like WWE had one goal: put heat on John Laurinaitis. They succeeded in doing that.
The other goal has been to make John Cena slightly vulnerable (at least it was until Monday night). With the arm injury he was selling and the beatings he took at Extreme Rules and the next night, he seemed to be on an almost level playing field with Big Johnny. Then on Monday, he was suddenly impervious to threats, impervious to insults, and impervious to fear. The story they were telling shifted from John Cena being threatened to John Laurinaitis being almost guaranteed to lose.
With all of the hoopla surrounding Big Show's (Have you ever thought of how weird of a name that is to use on a regular basis? Is Show his last name?) firing, his interference is expected. WWE has invested too much in Laurinaitis as General Manager at this point. They also have the built in story of Show interfering (obvious as it may be). I'm not expecting anything spectacular, but I do believe that Laurinaitis will pull out more than we expect.
Prediction: John Laurinaitis pins John Cena after Big Show interferes, thus starting a boring rivalry we haven't seen since 2009.
C.M. Punk vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship: This match has not even had a build. It was announced, Daniel Bryan put the "Yes Lock" on Punk once, and now it is happening. This is quite a disappointment.
I'm not expecting WWE to suddenly call it an "ROH Dream Match" or allow them to cut long promos about their past, but I was expecting a little more of an issue to be raised. Where is Daniel Bryan discussing how much he wants the WWE Championship? Where is Punk discussing how much it means to him to keep it? This match doesn't have to be about anything but the title, but that hasn't really been built up.
As for the actual match, this card is thin enough to give these guys 20 to 30 minutes. With that much time, there is no reason not to expect Punk and Bryan to be great. I feel like WWE is depending on this match to deliver the wrestling portion of the card, since the battle of he Johnny's will be a spectacle at best.
I think we'll see A.J. get involved somehow and possibly help Bryan. If that happens, I'd assume we'll see this feud advance for a couple months.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan defeats C.M. Punk to win the WWE Championship after A.J. interferes.
Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Chris Jericho for the World Heavyweight Championship: This match has had my favorite build out of any on the card. I rarely enjoy the built to four-way matches, but WWE used a few scenarios to create an organic entity here.
Sheamus is off to an unimpressive start after WrestleMania. The 18 second match did not set him up for success and despite having the bet match of his career last month, his character is suffering. Sheamus needs to develop beyond the guy who tells Irish fairy tales.
Chris Jericho is another character that has stalled considerably. With WWE acknowledging that he may be leaving soon on their website, it seems that this unspectacular short run is coming to an end. Don't get me wrong, he has put in some good performances, but I am disappointed by the end result of this run. My expectations were high, which is probably my own fault.
Randy Orton is making his return to the title picture here and his star power is sorely needed. Orton is also a character in limbo. He just is who he is, but there doesn't seem to be a story happening around him. Perhaps this is an issue with the entire Smackdown roster at this point. There aren't stories being told in the long-term, there are just moments and matches for the week or the month.
Alberto Del Rio is returning to pay-per-view action here, but he hardly matters. Since returning at Elimination Chamber, then after WrestleMania, he hasn't had much of an impact. It's repetitive in this match, but he is a stalled and broken character.
The match itself should be pleasant. Hopefully they avoid the stereotypical spots of long selling outside the ring, rapid fire finishers, and fluke endings. I would like to see the wrestler that goes over here really go over clean and see them advance due to the result.
I expect Orton vs. Sheamus to build up to SummerSlam (despite the long match we saw from them on Smackdown), so I'll pick retention here.
Prediction: Sheamus pins Chris Jericho to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs. Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Tag Team Championship: When was the last time the two major promotions had promising Tag Team Championship matches on pay-per-view in the same month? This match looks like it could be great. Truth and Kingston are stuck together as a tag team, but that is not a bad thing. They can compliment each other and excite fans rather well.
Ziggler and Swagger are both quite talented in the ring and quite capable of wrestling a great tag team style match. If Ziggler is not going to be close to the main event scene, the tag scene is not a bad place for him to be.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger defeat Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to win the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Layla vs. Beth Phoenix for the Diva's Championship: I was one of the few people who didn't mind seeing Layla as the surprise return at Extreme Rules. I think she can be a solid babyface for the division, but that is dependent on her actually getting to show her personality. Beth Phoenix is a known commodity at this point and I don't see the point of returning the championship to her.
Prediction: Layla defeats Beth Phoenix to retain the Diva's Championship.
Zack Ryder vs. Kane: The YouTube classic is apparently going to live on forever. This is coming way to late in the feud these two had. Unless this is a restart to their feud to ease back into a Zack Ryder push, this is will be pointless fluff match that will be used to point towards the pay-per-view. It's interesting how this the pay-per-view card is, as this could have easily been on the actual show with Miz vs. Brodus Clay in the YouTube slot.
Prediction: Zack Ryder defeats Kane via Disqualification.
This looks like the weakest pay-per-view of the year at this moment. There is not one single match that seems like a draw when you take build and match quality into account. The four-way gets close, but still falls short. There should be some quality action on the show, but it is easily skippable.
I will be live tweeting during the show at twitter.com/itswilltime, so you can follow and interact with me in addition to checking out Dot Net live coverage of WWE Over The Limit tonight.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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