OVER THE LIMIT
WWE Over the Limit comes to you live from Raleigh, North Carolina. Hope you’re all enjoying your long weekend. It’s also the 1-year anniversary of the passing of Macho Man Randy Savage. Sad stuff. I’ll be taking a break from my Criminal Minds marathon on Bravo, and will opt to do live coverage of the show as it happens. Keep refreshing the page to get up-to-date thoughts and analysis. Actually, don’t. Fuck that. Go outside and enjoy the sun. But make sure you come back for CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan. That’s got Match of the Year written all over it. I hope.
People Power Battle Royal–Christian d. The Miz (C)
We start with a massive brawl in the ring in progress. Winner chooses either a United States Championship match with Santino, or an Intercontinental Championship match against Cody Rhodes. Both men are watching ringside. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Booker T are calling the matches. Christian has returned to action! I kind of hope he loses so he can get a better storyline. Typical Royal Rumble-style stuff. I’m too busy enjoying listening to Booker T talk. He brings an element of gangster that Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler just can’t. The final four are The Miz, Tyson Kidd, David Otunga and Christian. Kidd executes a great double drop kick springboard, with a nice near elimination. He looks great, but he’s knocked out as he’s hanging on for dear life. Weak. Crowd gave Kidd a nice pop for his offence.
Otunga and Miz gang up on Christian, but he eventually fights back. Christian escapes an Otunga bodyslam and throws him over the top for the elimination. Miz and Christian reverse each other’s finishers. Christian’s fighting for his life on the apron, but throws Miz to the apron on the adjacent apron, then hits him with a shoulder block to the stomach for the win at 12 minutes. Post-match, Christian gestures to Santino that he wants a US Championship match, meaning he likely stays heel. Overall, a good little match with a nice finish.
People Power video package, putting over John Laurinaitis, then into a Laurinaitis/Cena video package.
Opening pyro. Wow, that was disappointing. Tight budget I suppose.
Vickie Guerrero is out next to make my ears bleed. She welcomes the WWE Board of Directors watching at home, and says she’s on the short list of possible Laurinaitis replacements should he lose to Cena.
Tag Team Championships: (C) Kofi Kingston & R-Truth d. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger (B-)
Spanish announce table is there. Yeah, that’s getting broken. You know I don’t speak Spanish. In English, please. Kingston shows some impressive offence early. He’s an underrated athlete. The faces work over Swagger at the start, but he eventually regains the upper hand and works over Kofi. Kofi makes the tag to Truth who takes out Swagger. Vickie creates the distraction. Truth takes out Ziggler on the apron with a nice heel kick, but Swagger gets the upperhand back. God, Vickie’s screaming is so bad ringside, but when she’s laughing, she’s completely inaudible. How’s that possible? Truth is getting worked on in the ring, and tries to back Ziggler into the corner for a tag, but can’t. Truth lands a quick backslide nearfall before Ziggler regains control for another nearfall. Swagger and Ziggler execute a nice double team–with Truth in position midway through a Glam Slam, Ziggler runs in and lands an X-Factor for a nearfall. Haha Ziggler is doing a handstand while Truth is in a sleeper hold on the mat. What a showoff!
Truth sneaks another small package nearfall, but the heels quickly regain control. Truth reverses a Superplex attempt by Swagger into a tornado DDT off the top. Nice. Truth makes the hot tag to Kofi who goes nuts, including a massive springboard clothesline! He hits the Boom Drop on Ziggler, with Vickie losing her mind. Kofi misses Trouble in Paradise, then Ziggler pushes him into the turnbuckle, but Kofi counters into a massive moonsault splash for two. Wow, that was some big air. Swagger gets flipped to the outside, then Ziggler hits a Fameasser for a nearfall, but Truth breaks it up from the apron. Then he jumps over the top and takes out Swagger on the outside. Ziggler tries for a running clothesline with Kofi at the turnbuckle, but Kofi hits a smooth Trouble in Paradise to retain the Tag Team Championships at 12 minutes. Overall, a nicely done tag match.
Backstage, Eve with Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins. She tells them to confiscate any anti-Laurinaitis signs. She asks Otunga if it’s legal. Of course it is, dumbass. You’re the company, how can you not control what customers are allowed or not allowed to bring in? Idiot.
Divas Championship: (C) Layla d. Beth Phoenix (C)
Layla comes out. Booker says, “ducky ducky quack quack.” Seriously. Beth with a nice knee knee drop in the corner, dropping it on her shoulder as Layla crashes to the mat. Layla’s got a protective brace around her right knee. Beth keeps working the knee, using the ringpost as leverage. Beth applies a half crab. “Ask her! Shutup!” Is she the kind of plagiarist Chris Jericho was talking about? Layla gets out and tries a schoolboy for two. Layla kicks Beth off the apron, sending her face first off the apron to the outside. Beth picks her up with a guerilla press, but Layla counters with a DDT, but Beth kicks out. Beth goes for a superplex, but Layla counters with a reverse DDT–midway, Beth reverses and tries for a Glam Slam, but it’s countered with a frontroll, then re-countered with a rollup and tights grab for a pair of nearfalls! Nicely done. Layla hits a Lay Out neckbreaker for the pinfall to retain the title at 7 minutes. Best Divas match I’ve seen in a long time. It actually was good. Why can’t they do this all the time? Why have 15 second matches when they can put this out with time?
Backstage, Matt Striker with Randy Orton. Flashback to his SmackDown match where he lost to Sheamus. Orton says the victory was a fluke, but tonight will be a different story. Chris Jericho walks in. “And none of us like each other.” Jericho says he watched the match and enjoyed it. Jericho says they’re too stupid to know they’re being played, as they beat each other down while he does nothing. Tonight he’s going to become World Heavyweight Champion for a 7th time, proving he’s the best in the world at whatever he does. Orton says if he gets in the way, Jericho will be the best in the world at being RKO’d and losing to him.
World Heavyweight Championship–Fatal 4-Way: (C) Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho (B+)
ADR out in a Maserati Granturismo worth $150K. Nice. Goddamnit I love Jericho’s jacket. I want one so bad. Lilian does the announcements with all four in the ring. Don’t break a shoe! Kidding. First to record a pinfall or submission wins. Sheamus takes a big spill into the barricade on the outside. Orton gets worked on by the heels. On the outside, ADR hits a nice running knee to the shoulder on Sheamus. The heels slam him into the front of the main announce table. Back in the ring, Orton regains control and tries for a pin on Jericho, but ADR breaks it up. The heels get back on top, and Jericho kicks ADR in the head to break up a pinfall. ADR is knocked to the outside as Jericho hits a baseball slide on Sheamus on the outside. Jericho works on Orton. All three men are going for a massive superplex, but Sheamus breaks it up, sending Jericho and Orton to the outside. He hits a battery ram off the top rope on ADR and works him over in the ring. Ricardo Rodriguez creates the distraction, allowing ADR to hit an amazing enziguri for a nearfall. Wow.
ADR and Sheamus go back and forth in the ring. ADR misses a running clothesline against the ropes, and Shemus starts chest pounding him. Jericho runs in and hits a springboard dropkick. Orton runs in and goes nuts, taking out Jericho and Sheamus. Orton with an incline DDT, then goes RKO hunting. ADR hops back in and locks in a Cross Armbreaker on Orton, who can’t reach the rope. Orton is near tapping, but Jericho breaks the hold. ADR blocks a lionsault, then Orton hits an inverted DDT for a nearfall. Sheamus Irish Curse on ADR, then Sheamus and Orton exchange finisher reversals before Sheamus gets a nearfall. Orton hits a double incline DDT on ADR and Ricardo, but ADR kicks out! Jericho ducks an RKO and delivers a Codebreaker, sending Orton out. ADR applies the Cross Armbreaker on Jericho, who powers out and applies the Walls of Jericho! Sheamus runs in and misses a Brogue Kick, then Jericho gives him a Codebreaker for a nearfall! This match has quickly become fast-paced. Jericho rolls out of a Sheamus move, then applies the Walls of Jericho. Sheamus tries for the ropes, but Jericho moves him back to the middle of the ring. Orton runs in and RKO’s Jericho, but ADR breaks it up! Orton RKO’s ADR, then Sheamus Brogue Kick’s Orton, leading to a Jericho rollup for a nearfall! Sheamus hits White Noise on Jericho for the pinfall to retain the title at 17 minutes. White Noise sounds like the name of a fart. Did Booker T just say the match was 35-40 minutes? A slow start to the match, but it quickly picked up with a nice finish. Well done. Orton looks on angrily from the outside with a cut on the bridge of his nose. Please don’t leave Jericho.
WrestleMania 28 DVD promo.
Backstage, Rhodes talking to Eve. They’re talking about Laurinaitis’ preparation and People Power. Christian can legitimize the US title, just like he did the IC title. Rhodes is chirping Christian, who ends up being right beside him. Rhodes starts lying through his teeth, wishing him luck tonight. Christian says you’re full of crap, and he’s now changed his mind–he wants Rhodes and the IC title instead. So much for staying heel I guess.
Thousand Foot Krutch providing the music for OTL. They’re alright. “Fire It Up” is their biggest hit in my opinion.
The Miz comes out with a promo. “Really? Really? Really?” He doesn’t like the ovation from the fans after they get to see him twice tonight. He says the problem with WWE is Brodus Clay, and his fan appreciation is pathetic. Did he just say Brodus droppings? What exactly would that look like? Miz says he’s the most must-see wrestler of all-time, and the best dancer in WWE. He says kids can’t come dancing with him in the ring because dreams don’t always come through. Miz starts dancing. He’s doing Brodus’ moves, but throws in some Brian Christopher from Too Cool. It’s a sobering reminder of just how much he’s fallen off the map. It makes me sad in the face.
Brodus Clay vs. The Miz (D)
Brodus with his usual dancing in the ring. Brodus looks like a giant fucking jack-o-’lantern. Or a Terry’s chocolate orange. Why orange and black? It’s May for God’s sake. Whatever. Maybe we’ll see some Brodus droppings. Brodus starts in control, but Miz gets the upperhand and gets some offence in. The guys ringside are arguing over which dinosaurs they are. Brodus gets back in control and hits a battery ram headbutt. Clay hits a top rope flip, then a Terry’s chocolate orange splash for the pinfall. Post-match, kids are dancing in the ring with Clay. Brodus droppings for everyone!
WWE don’t try this at home promo. You’re not the boss of me.
In the crowd, Reks and Hawkins are confiscating inappropriate signs. They take some stuff.
Intercontinental Championship: Christian d. (C) Cody Rhodes (C)
Pre-match, Rhodes asks if the fans are happy that he needs to defend the IC title. Rhodes says he was never allowed to wrestle in North Carolina, and calls the fans short-sighted. Two Christian matches in one show? Awesome. This could be another match where, given the time, could be really good showing. Christian tosses Rhodes to the outside and hits a dive. On the outside, Rhodes gains the upperhand, tossing him into the steel steps. Rhodes hits a superplex off the top rope. Christian plays possum and gets a nearfall. Christian with a big clothesline that sends both men to the outside. Christian hits a forearm to the midsection as Rhodes tries for a double axe-handle, giving him control. Rhodes evades a Killswitch, but Christian hits a slap from the outside. Christian misses a crossbody splash, giving Rhodes with a nearfall. Rhodes counters a tornado DDT off the top. Rhodes climbs up and hits a big moonsault for a nearfall. “Name somebody better than me! I’m better than all these idiots!” Christian counters an irish whip with one of his own into the turnbuckle, then hits a Killswitch for the pinfall, as we have a NEW Intercontinental Champion at 8 minutes! Why is the crowd dead? Christian wins his 4th IC title in his return to the ring while also turning face. Nicely done. Good chemistry and nice flow to the match.
Backstage, Josh Mathews with CM Punk. Punk’s beard is coming in nicely. Flashback to SmackDown for Punk/Kane. Punk says he feels like crap, but is happy because Laurinaitis is going to lose his job. He talks about his history with Daniel Bryan and says it’ll be a 5-star classic. I hope. Punk does a bad Vince McMahon impression. AJ walks in and says it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch, and wishes him luck.
WWE Championship: (C) CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (A)
YES! Here we go. This one has the potential to be Match of the Year. Two of the best in-ring performers this company has to offer. CM Punk and YES! chants. I’m expecting big things. Technical start, with both guys feeling each other out. Duelling Daniel Bryan/CM Punk chants, followed by YES! chants, and YES! shouts for every Bryan move landed. Cole says he hasn’t heard the word “YES!” in regards to a salary raise in 15 years. Nice. Bryan leads, then escapes a GTS before Punk lands a leg kick and takes control. Punk with a modified Figure 4 leglock, this puts him into a surfboard stretch, but slams his head into the mat. Bryan tossed to the outside, where Bryan takes control. He hits a suplex on the barricade, then dropkicks Punk over into the ringbell area. More duelling chants. Bryan tries for a small package for two. Bryan is standing on Punk’s calves from behind, then folds him into a weird sunset stretch, pulling him by his limbs while screaming YES!. Bryan pulls it into a full fledged surfboard. Punk grabs Bryan’s head, but Bryan reverses into a reverse chinlock. Wow. That was cool. Bryan misses a running knee, and Punk tries for a pinfall. Booker suggests we could be here for another hour. I can thing of a few reasons why that won’t happen. More duelling chants, the loudest so far.
Bryan with a snap suplex, then goes up top and hits a flying headbutt for a nearfall. Punk gets the upperhand as the match starts to pick up. Bryan with a big boot in the corner, but Punk counters with a quick powerslam for two. Punk flips Bryan to the outside, then Punk hits a big suicide dive as they crash into the barricade. Punk goes off the top rope, but Bryan counters with a dropkick to the midsection for a nearfall. Bryan with a series of kicks to the chest, but Punk counters the last one and locks in a Figure 4 leglock. Wooo! The two start slapping each other, reminiscent of Ben Stiller slapping Dexter the monkey from Night at the Museum. Bryan reverses a move into a nearfall, then Punk with a toehold and both men exchange a series of nearfalls. Bryan gets up and lands a massive kick to the head for a nearfall! Damn. “This is awesome” chant. Damn right. Bryan hitting unprotected knees in the corner as the fans scream YES! On the top rope, Bryan falls and splits his legs on the top rope. Punk hits a springboard clothesline for a nearfall. Nice. Another “this is awesome” chant.
Duelling “yes/no” chants for Bryan and Punk punches. Both guys missing headshot kicks. Bryan counters a GTS into a crucifix pin, then they exchange nearfalls again. Bryan counters one pinfall into a YES! Lock, but Punk powers out and slingshots him into the ropes. Bryan swings himself back in, but Punk hits a big kick to the head for a nearfall. Nicely done. Punk climbs up top for an elbow drop and hits it, but his injured ribs won’t allow him to cover. He eventually covers but gets two. “Randy Savage” chant. Bryan starts hitting some knees to the ribs and starts screaming YES!. Bryan misses a big flying leg, then Punk hits a running knee. On the bulldog attempt, Bryan locks in the YES! Lock in the middle of the ring! Punk rolls back and scores the pinfall, but taps out in the process at 25 minutes. Woah. Punk’s music hits and he’s awarded the WWE Championship. Bryan is arguing the call. The replay shows Bryan’s shoulders are down, and Punk began tapping out just after the three count. Bryan is in enraged disbelief in the ring as Punk celebrates on the stage. Overall, an excellent match that just missed being incredible.
Backstage, Eve with Otunga. Teddy has a shit-eating grin on his face. Eve says Teddy thinks he can get Laurinaitis’ job back if he loses. If that happens, he says he can talk to the Board to see if they’ll put Eve and Otunga in charge, or if he could get those two terminated.
Ryback vs. Camachi (F)
Who in the blue hell are Camacho and Hunico? They look like LAX from TNA. Or The Mexicools. They came out riding on a bicycle. It’s so random. Why? What is this, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas? “Goldberg” chants for Ryback. Ryback won in a squash with a spinebuster/powerbomb combo, then a torture rack drop for the pinfall at 1 minute. Snore. On the outside, Ryback kicks their bike. Ha!
Best of WCW DVD promo.
John Laurinaitis/People Power promo.
John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis (D)
Ace comes out in a weird skin-tight Under Armour tracksuit, while Cena comes out to a mixed reaction. As soon as the bell rings, Ace tries to bail, but Cena pulls him back in and lays him out with a clothesline. Cena reverse-jersey’s him and hits a big slap to the chest, then the back. Cena goes for an Attitude Adjustment, then does an airplane spin and ace falls right off and stumbles around. He falls right through the ropes and spills to the outside. Cena grabs the ringbell and ring it right beside Ace’s ears. Cena starts smashing his head against both announce tables. Cena puts the headset on and puts a set on Ace as well. He impersonates Booker T, as Ace is barely conscious. Cena slams his head into the table, then tries to throw him in the ring, but Ace comes up short and goes gut-first into the ring side. Wow. Ace is pleading for mercy and offers a handshake, but Cena slaps him and stays on the attack.
Cena grabs the mic and says he’s going to put on the STF–if he taps out, he’s fired; he’ll let go if he can last 10 seconds. He asks the fans to count aloud. Cena applies the STF, but Ace doesn’t tap. Cena says that was pretty good–good news is he made it, bad news is he’s doing it again. Cena re-applies it, but Ace doesn’t tap out again. Cena says he’s exhausted and goes to get a water. Cena grabs three more bottles and pours them over Ace’s head. Cena opens Ace’s pants and pours a bottle on his groin. Ha! Cena grabs a fire extinguisher, then fakes spraying it. Ace backs into a corner and Cena sprays him down. Cole says, “he looks like frosting!” Cena continues the beatdown on the outside, then grabs a garbage can and dumps it all over Ace. Tons of popcorn in there, what a waste! Ace tries to bail again, but Cena tries to get him back in. Ace counters with an arm slam into the barricade and suddenly the power has shifted. Ace starts working over Cena’s arm, slamming it into the announce table, then the steel steps. Ace grabs a chair and hits three shots, but Cena kicks out. Cena blocks a headshot with the chair, then takes out Ace from behind the knees with it. Cena hits the 5-Knuckle Shuffle (kind of) with the chair, but Ace counters with a low blow. No DQ, so the match continues. Ace climbs over the barricade and leaves through the crowd, stumbling and limping down the aisle. Ace heads out through the exit of the floor, as Cena is confused in the ring.
Big Show comes out with his hand around Ace’s neck and brings him back to the ring! Cole is screaming “HE WAS FIRED!” Show picks him up by the neck and brings him right back in, tossing him to the floor. Ace is stuck between Show and Cena. He tries to leave, but Show steps on his hand. Ace turns and goes for a Chokeslam, then tosses Ace Cena’s way. Cena goes for an Attitude Adjustment, but Show KO’d Cena the fuck out! There’s the much-anticipated heel turn. Ace eventually gets up and covers Cena for the pinfall at 17 minutes. OMG! A grown ass man dressed in Cena gear is in utter disbelief. If that’s me in a few years, someone put me out with a shotgun to the balls. Show helps Ace up and raises his arm. Show leaves as Ace struggles to leave the ring, and Cena is still out cold. Overall, not really a match as much as it was a comedy show. The finish was seen a mile away. Cole says as we fade to black: “All hail John Laurinaitis, and all hail People Power! I cannot wait for Raw tomorrow! Haha!”
Three Stars of the Show
* CM Punk
** Daniel Bryan
Final Grade: C
Meh. Punk/Bryan was excellent, but it just missed being a classic. Christian’s return and title win was nice, although having Rhodes’ second title reign being so short doesn’t help the value and prestige of the IC title. The Fatal 4-Way was also done well after a slow start. Hell, even the Divas match was good. The tag title match was also good. The finish for the main event was expected, so there weren’t really any surprises throughout the show. Nothing was really out of place except for Miz’ dancing, but he made up for it with his Brodus droppings line. We also got some good one-liners from Miz, Cole and Lawler.