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Published: May 21, 2012
By Jared Silberkleit - Over the Limit was definitely and up and down PPV from WWE. There were a few solid matches on the undercard and two really strong world title matches, but the show was dragged down by a terrible main event and some unnecessary filler. The main event did the most damage, as Cena/Laurinaitis obviously had no business closing the PPV. This was WWE’s 5th PPV of 2012, and neither world championship has main evented any of these shows. That is a problem and that is how you diminish the credibility of your titles. If it’s a big money match like Cena/Rock or Cena/Lesnar, it’s understandable, but when your world champions are taking a backseat to John Laurinaitis of all people, it’s time to reevaluate the card structuring. Still, there was enough good for me to give the show a mild thumbs up, but this was certainly a big step down from Extreme Rules and Wrestlemania.
The PPV started with the match already in progress, as the entrances were done at the tail end of the pre-show. The winner would receive their choice of either a United States or Intercontinental Championship match later in the show. The announcers made note of the fact that Christian was in the match, making his return after a brief absence due to injury. Typical battle royal action with rapid eliminations and bodies flying everywhere. Final four were Miz, Tyson Kidd, David Otunga, and Christian. Kidd hit a springboard double dropkick to Miz and Otunga before trying to eliminate Miz with a headscissors, but Otunga kicked him to the floor. Miz and Otunga then double teamed Christian until Christian eliminated Otunga by escaping a powerslam and tossing him out. Christian and Miz had a nice finishing sequence with several counters and teases before Christian won after he gave Miz a shoulder block from the apron and Miz fell to the floor. Christian gestured to Santino Marella afterwards, indicating that he wanted a US title match. Most of this was standard battle royal fare but the match got good once it came down to the final four. Fun way to kick off the PPV. Match Time: 12:02 Star Rating: **3/4
Before introducing the challengers, Vickie Guerrero got on the mic briefly, talking about how she would like to run Raw and Smackdown in the event of John Laurinaitis’ termination tonight. Truth went back and forth with the heels at the start before the heels took control for several minutes. Eventually Truth hit a tornado DDT to Swagger and got the hot tag. Kofi hit the Boom Drop to Dolph and a springing cross body out of the corner for 2. Ending saw Truth dive onto Swagger on the outside as Kofi hit the Trouble in Paradise to a charging Dolph for the win. Good old school tag team match with the crowd into everything and all the wrestlers playing their roles very nicely. Finish was really hot and the action was well paced throughout. Match Time: 12:17 Star Rating: ***
They tried here, but this didn’t turn out good. Beth targeted Layla’s knee for several minutes before Layla countered a military press into a sloppy tornado DDT. Both girls went for roll-ups before Layla got the win out of nowhere with the hangman’s neckbreaker. The effort was there but Layla just is not a good worker and even when she tries she still can’t produce good matches. A tiny step above most Divas matches because of the attempted storytelling but the wrestling was bad. Match Time: 7:10 Star Rating: *3/4
This was laid out similar to most WWE 4-ways, though that wasn’t a bad thing at all here. Heels worked together for a few minutes before trading shots. Sheamus and Del Rio went back and forth for a bit until Jericho dropkicked Sheamus to the floor as Sheamus was giving Del Rio the clubbing blows in the ropes. We then got a wild frenzy to close the match with a ton of finishers and counters. Ricardo Rodriguez got on the apron and Orton hit a double spike DDT to Ricardo and Del Rio. Jericho hits a Codebreaker to Orton and puts Del Rio in the Walls of Jericho. Sheamus tries to break it up with a Brogue Kick, but Jericho ducks it and gives Sheamus a Codebreaker. Jericho puts the Walls on Sheamus, but Orton hits an RKO to Jericho and Del Rio. Sheamus then nails a Brogue Kick to Orton before hitting the White Noise to Jericho for the win. This was a super fun, frenetic 4-way with a ton of big moves and near falls to close the match. Tons of talent involved here and just a lot of fun to watch. I would not mind seeing any combination of these four in future PPV matches. Match Time: 15:54 Star Rating: ***3/4
This was an unadvertised filler match. Miz cut a short pre-match promo and then proceeded to do a horrible dance routine to his theme song. They had a Raw match. Miz hit a couple double sledges off the top before Clay made a comeback. Clay hit a fall away slam off the second rope before getting the pin with the diving splash. It’s laughable how far Miz’s stock has fallen over the last year. Bad match here with a dead crowd. Match Time: 4:12 Star Rating: *1/4
Christian changed his mind about facing Santino in a backstage segment with Cody. Christian hit a baseball slide early but Cody took control after sending him into the steel steps. Cody hit a nice modified Disaster kick off the steel steps on the outside. Christian eventually makes a comeback and hits a missile dropkick for 2. Cody hits a moonsault to a standing Christian for 2. Finish saw Cody yell at Christian repeatedly before Christian sent Cody into the corner and hit the Killswitch for the win. Crowd was again dead here but the work was pretty good for the short amount of time they were given. Christian should be above the IC title at this point but we’ll see where this goes. Match Time: 7:25 Star Rating: **1/2
Unsurprisingly, an outstanding match from these two. The crowd is finally showing signs of life with dueling chants early on. We even got a brief “ROH” chant. The intertwining stories of this match were Punk targeting Bryan’s knee and Bryan going after Punk’s ribs. Bryan took control early with his old school offense, similar to how he worked over Sheamus at the last PPV, utilizing a surfboard and a dragon sleeper. Later Bryan hit a series of kicks to the chest before Punk caught one and put Bryan in a Figure 4. Bryan escaped and we got a tremendous counter sequence before Bryan hits a kick to the head for 2. Bryan ends up crotched on the top rope and Punk hit Nigel McGuinness’s massive lariat off the top that sent Bryan tumbling into the ring. Punk hits the Savage elbow drop but couldn’t immediately cover due to the injured ribs and only got a 2 count. Punk hits the high knee in the corner and goes for the bulldog, but Bryan counters that into the Yes lock. Punk struggles for a bit before countering with a roll-up for the win. The finish was a bit sudden and anti-climactic but they’re probably having a rematch at No Way Out so it was understandable. Punk and Bryan were completely on top of their game here, keeping the match very even-handed as both men targeted the other’s injured body parts and simply put on a wrestling clinic with near falls and submissions. The in ring storytelling and psychology was clicking brilliantly here. With another five minutes and a more decisive finish, this would have been an all time classic. Match Time: 23:54 Star Rating: ****1/4
Another unadvertised match. You know how I just said Punk/Bryan could have used a few more minutes? Those few minutes went to this apparently. Typically Ryback squash match with a little interference from Hunico on Camacho’s behalf. Ryback did a bunch of power moves and won with the fisherman lift Samoan drop. Not much else to say. Match Time: 1:54 Star Rating: N/A
Well this certainly coordinated with the silly go-home segment on Raw. Stipulation here was that if Laurinaitis lost he would be terminated, and if any WWE superstar interfered they would be terminated as well. First 10 minutes was Cena goofing around while dominating Laurinaitis. He put a headset on Johnny and pretended to do commentary while he was beaten down, he put him in the STF and kept breaking if Johnny lasted 10 seconds without tapping, used a fire extinguisher, and did other stuff played for comedy. Most of this felt like a Nickelodeon TV show rather than a wrestling match. Johnny briefly targeted Cena’s arm with a chair, but Cena came back and hit a chair assisted Five Knuckle Shuffle. Johnny tried to bail through the crowd but eventually Big Show appeared and brought him back into the ring. Show teased a chokeslam before feeding Johnny to Cena, but just as Cena readied for the AA Show hit Cena with the WMD punch. After taking a long time to cover, Johnny pinned Cena. Announcers tried to put this over as a shock but this was the most predictable finish in the universe. The match was ridiculously stupid and not entertaining for anyone who has graduated junior high. It’s pretty sad and pathetic that Cena is such a priority that even when he’s involved in crap like this, it still must main event over quality championship matches. Match Time: 16:59 Star Rating: DUD
Overall PPV Rating: 7/10
Tagged with: Apron, Backseat, Battle Royal, Eliminations, Extreme Rules, Final Four, Headscissors, Intercontinental Championship, John Laurinaitis, Main Event, Marella, Miz, Powerslam, Pre Show, Springboard, Strong World, Teases, World Champions, Wrestlemania, Wwe