2012 looks to be a great year for WWE pay-per-views if the second half lives up to what the first half produced. Over the Limit presented surprises, two legitimately great matches and even a little bit of comedy. The opening battle royal was surprising as was the return of Christian that it brought with it. Christian then took part in the first of two great matches of the night against Cody Rhodes. As good as this match was the match was one-upped by Punk/Bryan who delivered arguably the match of year so far. John Laurinaitis and John Cena topped the night off with a little comedy that was a nice change of pace from how lame Cena usually is. While not the best show of the year, Over the Limit kept the string of quality pay-per-views going and avoided being a stinker.
Christian won a battle royal also featuring The Miz, David Otunga, Tyson Kidd, Alex Riley, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, William Regal, The Great Khali, Heath Slater, Titus O’Neil, Darren Young, Ezekiel Jackson, Jinder Mahal, Tyler Reks, Drew McIntyre, Curt Hawkins, Michael McGillicutty, JTG and Yoshi Tatsu
The big news for this match is that it marks the return of Christian, which is a nice surprise. Oh yeah, also the winner got a shot at either the WWE Intercontinental Championship or the WWE United States Championship depending on the winner’s preference. Heath Slater is the first to get chucked out. The Usos perform a nice double super kick and eliminate JTG. William Regal has the fighting spirit in him as he goes after both Darren Young and Titus O’Neil. O’Neil gets knocked out relatively early, but Young stays in longer and at one point almost eliminates himself along with an Uso. It almost looks like WWE have faith in him until he is eliminated by Alex Riley. Speaking of Riley, surprised he is actually getting some good face time as he hits a devastating spinebuster on The Miz before being eliminated. The final four are Tyson Kidd, David Otunga, The Miz and Christian. Kidd is out first after he skins the cat once, but is dumped out before he can try it again. Three heels? Nope, looks like they are bringing Christian back as a face. Otunga and Miz double team Christian, but then Christian eliminates Otunga after a running powerslam attempt. Miz and Christian battle for a while until Miz almost tackles Christian out of the ring. Christian gets back in the ring and Miz is quickly thrown out. Christian apparently challenges Santino for the WWE United States Championship. Shame since Christian/Cody would have been better.
Rating: 3.25 stars
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (with Vickie Guerrero) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship
Swagger and Kingston start off and after a few holds Swagger has Kingston down with a shoulder block. Kingston gets back in control of the match and tags R-Truth. Swagger muscles R-Truth over to the corner and Ziggler tags himself in. Kofi gets tagged in and hits Ziggler with a flying punch. The match goes on like a typical Monday Night Raw tag affair until R-Truth gets caught in the heels’ corner. Kingston gets the hot tag after Truth hits a tornado DDT off the top on Swagger. Kingston explodes on the heels and almost gets the three count on Ziggler. Ziggler comes back, but quickly gets smacked in the face with the Trouble in Paradise for the loss.
Rating: 3 stars
Layla (c) defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the WWE Divas Championship
The two lock up and Layla gets Phoenix in a headlock. This doesn’t last long as Phoenix is soon laying her boots to her. Phoenix soon goes after Layla’s injured knee and slams it against the ring post. It almost looks like Beth wants to wrap the figure-four around the ring post on Layla, but never does. Maybe Layla isn’t familiar with that spot. Phoenix gets Layla back in the ring for two and continues to target the knee. Layla hits a low dropkick on Beth and rolls her up for two. Layla starts mounting her comeback and gets some time to rest. She doesn’t have long though as Phoenix gets her in a gorilla press position. Layla awkwardly reverses it with a DDT. The two fight a bit longer until Layla hits a neck breaker on Beth and scores the pin.
Rating: 2.5 stars
Sheamus (c) defeated Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez), Randy Orton and Chris Jericho to retain the World Heavyweight Championship in a fatal four-way match
The competitors pair off with Sheamus quickly stomping the tar out of Del Rio and Orton running off Jericho. Sheamus and Orton face each other, but Del Rio and Jericho jump the two from behind. The faces run off the heels again and now Sheamus and Orton are squaring off. The heels sneak their way back into the match and soon find themselves double teaming Orton. Del Rio goes outside and attacks Sheamus who is just lying around like a big lummox. Jericho rejoins Del Rio and the heels are ruling the ring until Orton explodes with a comeback. Del Rio and Jericho get back in control, but then turn on each other. Jericho and Orton take center stage. Sheamus finally gets back in the ring and hits a clothesline from off the top on Del Rio. Sheamus gets distracted by Ricardo and now Del Rio is back in charge of the match. Apparently Jericho and Orton are doing nothing. The competitors are doing a really bad job of staying busy while they are not in the spotlight and all four guys are rarely in the ring at once. Jericho gets back in the ring and hits a dropkick on Sheamus before being tossed back out by Orton. Orton hits his DDT through the ropes on Sheamus and prepares for his finisher. Alas, Del Rio sneaks up from behind and puts the armbreaker on Orton. Orton is out of the submission and bedlam starts to erupt with all four guys in the ring. Orton clears the ring before getting a double DDT through the ropes on Del Rio and Ricardo. Jericho gets back in and hits a Codebreaker, but is then met with Del Rio clutching on the armbreaker. Jericho reverses for the Walls of Jericho, but Jericho has to let it go when Sheamus re-enters. Jericho eventually gets Sheamus in the Walls of Jericho and Orton hits the RKO on Jericho and then Del Rio. Orton turns around to get a Brogue Kick from Sheamus. Sheamus hits his new finisher, the White Noise on Jericho and gets the pin.
Rating: 3.75 stars
Brodus Clay (with Cameron and Naomi) defeated The Miz
The idea of this match is kind of annoying since Miz already wrestled in the opening battle royal. If Miz won, would he have wrestled three times that night? Anyway Miz cuts a scathing promo before the match and claims to be the best dancer in the WWE and proceeds to do some Michael Jackson moves. Brodus interrupts with his usual lame entrance. Miz locks up with Brodus and gets pushed down. Brodus follows up with a shoulder block and Miz responds by smacking the Funkasaurus. Yuck, just typing that word makes me feel dirty. Brodus continues to dominate, but runs into the ring post outside after trying to slam Miz into it. Back in the ring The Miz hits a double axe handle from the top on Brodus. Miz hits a few more offensive moves and gets Brodus in a sleeper hold. Brodus powers out and finishes The Miz off after a fallaway slam from up top and a big splash. This one felt like a chore to watch.
Rating: 1.25 stars
Christian defeated Cody Rhodes (c) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
In a backstage segment Christian caught Cody Rhodes talking smack and changed the title he was challenging for. Christian signals for a test of strength to start off, but Rhodes takes the short cut and starts pounding on Christian. Christian comes back by sending Rhodes out of the ring and going after him. Cody gets back some momentum by launching Christian into the stairs. Back inside Rhodes gets a two count after a Russian legsweep and then puts a resthold on Christian. Rhodes releases it and hits a dropkick on Christian for another two count then starts pounding on Christian again. Rhodes hits a beautiful looking superplex on Christian and the ref starts a 10 count. The two get back up and after some shots Christian clotheslines Cody out of the ring. Quickly back inside and back to Cody being on offense until Rhodes gets a shot in the breadbasket after a top rope attempt. Christian is back in control, but misses a crossbody leading to Cody making a comeback. Christian attempts a tornado DDT from the top, but is tossed off. Cody hits a Kurt Angle-esque moonsault for a close two. Rhodes then starts badmouthing the crowd and throwing a tantrum. Christian sneaks in with the Killswitch for the win. Great match! Shame Cody didn’t retain as he is a great heel champ, but Christian with a title is never a bad thing.
Rating: 4.25 stars
CM Punk (c) defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship
Punk starts the match off by throwing a couple of kicks. Bryan responds by delivering a kick of his own and then the two lock up. Bryan wastes no time getting Punk in a headlock, but Punk pushes him off and leapfrogs Bryan who attempts to bounce back. Punk gets in control of the match by nailing Bryan with an armdrag. The pace of the match slows down as Punk begins to work on Bryan’s leg. Bryan gets back up and hits three nasty European uppercuts on Punk. All this action is tough to keep track of, but ends with Bryan in the Indian deathlock. Bryan gets back up, but is just as soon driven back down. Punk tosses Bryan out of the ring and slides himself out. Bad move as Bryan tackles Punk into the guardrail. Back in the ring Bryan hits a nice looking dropkick from off the top. Bryan locks on a seated abdominal stretch. Is it just me or is Punk’s face redder than usual? Punk gets out of it and attempts a submission move, but is snapped up in a small package. After the kick out Punk finds himself in a surfboard that Bryan slowly clamps on while chanting, “Yes!” Bryan transitions the move into a variation of the Dragon Sleeper. Punk elbows out and hits some forearm shots for good measure. Punk is on the mat while Bryan hits some jumping knee drops on Punk, but misses the last one. As the two start to exchange blows a dueling chant starts. Bryan comes out on top and then hits a flying headbutt on Punk. After Bryan makes a brief return to a submission hold the two hit each other with crossbodies simultaneously and the ref starts a 10 count. The two get up and Punk starts wailing on Bryan. Bryan runs at Punk, but is caught and slammed back down. The two take a breather and Bryan again charges at Punk, but is thrown out of the ring this time. Punk follows up with a suicide dive through the ropes. As Bryan gets back in and regains his composure Punk attempts a clotheslines by launching himself off the ropes, but is met with a dropkick. Bryan’s time on top is short lived as Punk locks on a figure-four and the two smack each other while it is locked on. The two get a series of two counts on each other and a “this is awesome” chant breaks out. Bryan attempts a Frankensteiner on Punk from off the top, but is tossed off and hit with the clothesline Punk missed earlier. Punk gets a two count and the two are back to slugging it out until Punk gets Bryan in his Go To Sleep setup. Bryan wiggles out and then almost gets Punk in the Yes Lock. Punk hits a kick to the head on Bryan and Bryan goes down like a tree, but Punk merely gets two. Punk slowly climbs the ropes and hits the Randy Savage elbow drop. Punk is too hurt to make the cover immediately and when he does manage to roll over Bryan kicks out. Bryan is reinvigorated as he savagely knees Punk in the ribs and then starts shouting, “Yes!” Bryan attempts to hit a dropkick in the corner, but misses. Punk hits his trademark high knee in the corner. Bryan clamps on the Yes Lock, but Punk rolls him over. The lock is still on, but Bryan’s shoulders are down and Punk gets the win. Bryan is fuming, but the two have presented a brilliant match. If this feud continues they should deliver that elusive 5 star classic.
Rating: 4.75 stars
Ryback defeated Camacho (with Hunico)
This is a typical Ryback squash match. Camacho gets in a little offense and at one point even gets Ryback off his feet. Ryback hits a powerbomb on Camacho then drags him up for another one before getting Camacho in the torture rack position and slamming him down. Ryback gets the win (shocking) and chantsm “feed me more!”
Rating: 2 stars
John Laurinaitis defeated John Cena in a no disqualification match
Laurinaitis quickly tries to exit the ring and Cena just as quickly catches him. Cena pulls Ace’s shirt over his head and smacks his chest. Cena puts Johnny in a fireman’s carry, but instead of hitting the Attitude Adjustment he just does an airplane spin. Cena gets the ring bell and hammers it next to Johnny’s head a few times. Cena laughs a bit and then smacks Ace against both announce tables. A few times on the English table and then on the Spanish table. Cena then puts Ace in one of the Spanish commentator’s chairs and pretends to do commentary with him. The fun does not last long as he throws Ace back in the ring and Johnny begs for a handshake. Cena refuses it and instead smacks Johnny before slamming him down. Cena grabs the mic and announces that he is about to put Johnny in the STF and will let go after 10 seconds. The fans count to 10 and Ace doesn’t submit. Cena gets on the mic and then announces he is going to do it again. Ace doesn’t submit and Cena is back on the mic. Cena says that he feels like a drink and then says he is sure Johnny could use some too. Cena grabs some water bottles and starts pouring them on Ace. After dousing Ace’s face and genitals, Cena then grabs a fire extinguisher and sprays Laurinaitis. As Johnny exits the ring Cena grabs a trash can and runs over to Ace pouring the trash all over him. Ace attempts to leave, but Cena catches him. This time Laurinaitis goes after the arm and actually gains control of the match. Ace clobbers Cena with a few chair shots and gets a two count. Cena blocks Ace after Johnny goes for a head shot and then grabs the chair to deliver some shots of his own. Laurinaitis hits low blow and stumbles out of the ring and into the audience. Cena stands in the ring puzzled until The Big Show drags Ace back into the ring. Ace is caught between Cena and Show and attempts to crawl out of the ring when Show steps on his hand. Johnny gets to his feet and pleads with Show. Cena puts Ace in the Attitude Adjustment, but is predictably clocked by Big Show and Ace scores the pinfall. It might have been just as predictable, but I would have preferred a Brock Lesnar run-in.
Rating: 3 stars
Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org