WWE Over Limit 2012 was a show headlined by John Cena facing off against the on-screen authority figure John Laurinaitis while the WWE Champion CM Punk faced Daniel Bryan as well.
This show was written live on the day it took place and I haven’t changed anything in it. I have added some 2022 thoughts in blue font.
WWE Over The Limit
PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina
May 20, 2012
At the end of the pre-show, wrestlers filled up the ring for the over the top rope battle royal. The winner of the battle royal gets a title shot at either Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Title or Santino for the United States Title. It features a lot of midcard talent. Most notable was Christian entering at the very end, so this is his return to action after being out for many months.
Also in the pre-show, Kane beat Zack Ryder in about seven minutes.
The announcers for the show are Michael Cole, Booker T and Jerry Lawler.
The show began with the battle royal. No video package. No fireworks. This is the most unique PPV opening I’ve ever seen WWE do.
(If you hit play on the PPV, they are already in the ring doing the battle royal. It’s a unique way to start the show.)
Battle Royal for Intercontinental or United States Title Contendership
There were some eliminations early for people like Heath Slater, Ezekiel Jackson, Drew McIntyre. Then Khali eliminated Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins and his “brother in law” Jinder Mahal. I was hoping we could forget that awful storyline. The biggest pop so far was for Khali being eliminated by Darren Young and Titus O’Neil in their bright green trunks. O’Neil received a superkick from one of the Usos, so he was eliminated. Young eliminated one of the Usos. Both Usos are now gone. Christian just threw out Regal, so we’re down to five after Riley eliminated Young. Those still in the match: Miz, Christian, Riley, Otunga and Kidd. Miz eliminated Riley, so we’re down to four men left. Otunga and Kidd have survived although neither has done anything noteworthy. I am of course rooting for Kidd, who is the most underrated performer on the roster. Kidd put on a show and did a great springboard dropkick to Otunga and Miz at the same time. Kidd went to knock Miz out with headscissors after skinning the cat, but Otunga kicked him out of the ring. The crowd popped for Kidd, so that was great. There were three heels left, or so we thought. Miz and Otunga went after Christian. Christian fought out of it and he was able to eliminate Otunga. Christian was working babyface style. He was getting cheered. Christian eliminated Miz with a shoulderblock to the stomach while Miz was on the apron. Match went 12:24.
Analysis: **1/2 That was a fun battle royal. As soon as Christian entered I figured he would win, so I’m glad it happened. I’m also pleased that Tyson Kidd had a good showing and that he made the final four as well. The crowd popped for his offense. Hopefully that earns him more TV time. Christian was getting face pops, but I’d assume he stays heel since he’s going after Santino. If he picked Rhodes I have no doubt that the crowd would be totally behind Christian.
(It was a way to get a lot of people on the show. I actually like the idea of doing a battle royal to open to set up a title shot later in the show. Why not? It’s a fun way to start the show.)
We got a “People Power” video package highlighting John Laurinaitis. I guess that was like the intro to the PPV video because after it was over the fireworks started.
Prior to the next match, Vickie Guerrero said she was on the short list for people to replace John Laurinaitis if he loses later in the show. Then she introduced her tag team, who were the number one contenders to the tag team titles.
We got to meet the Spanish announce team. I wonder if the table is secure? I’m guessing it’s not. That table deserves a DVD! I’m only partly serious.
Tag Team Titles: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (w/Vickie Guerrero)
The first few minutes saw Kofi and Truth in control, but Ziggler was able to isolate Kofi after a nice slam. I love how Booker says “Swag” by the way. Swagger hit a belly to bellow on Kingston, who was able to tag in Truth. It’s too early to consider it a hot tag. Truth hit the flying forearm on Swagger and then a front suplex. Guerrero jumped on the apron. Ziggler went on the apron, but Truth knocked him down. That allowed Swagger to threw Truth into the post and hit a Swagger Bomb for two. In other words, the heels took control after some cheating. Lawler keeps mocking Guerrero’s outfit because it’s got holes in the side of it. I guess he’s making fun of her. Not really funny though. Truth countered a neckbreaker into a rollup, so Ziggler followed up with the best dropkick in the business for two. He brought in Swagger as they continued to work over Truth. Nice double-team maneuver by Ziggler and Swagger that saw Ziggler drop him with a facebuster. Booker was shocked Truth was kicking out. It’s like he hasn’t seen a babyface in peril spot in a tag match.
Truth almost made it to the ropes, but Ziggler prevented it from happening as we reached the 10-minute mark. Truth hit a nice tornado DDT on Swagger, which led to the hot tag to Kingston and Ziggler also got the tag. Kingston hit his fast-paced offense including an awesome dropkick followed by the Boom Drop. Ziggler avoided Trouble in Paradise. Kingston hit a springboard crossbody for two. Swagger got flipped out to the floor. Ziggler hit the Fameasser for two, which was broken up by Truth. Truth hit a dive over the top to knock down Swagger. Ziggler charged at Kofi with a leaping attack, but Kofi countered with Trouble in Paradise for the pinfall at 13:44 for the win.
Winners by pinfall: Kofi Kingston & R-Truth
Analysis: *** A very good tag match as expected. I didn’t expect a title change. It followed the tag formula with the heels working over Truth and then Kingston was fantastic when he got the hot tag. The crowd reacted to it very well. I enjoyed it.
(I liked Kofi and Truth as an energetic babyface team. They didn’t have a long run together, but the crowd was into it when they had matches. Swagger and Ziggler were brought together by Vickie managing them. It was just a way to make two midcard heels into a team sometimes.)
Backstage, Eve was talking to Hawkins & Reks in the locker room. She told them to take away any signs that were anti-Laurinaitis. She asked Otunga if that was legal. He said it was fine. Hawkins & Reks left. Needless to say, it was not the most exciting segment in the history of wrestling.
Divas Title: Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
Beth is wrestling in leather pants here as opposed to the skirt she has been wearing recently. Yes, I notice the attire of females. Layla got a pinfall early with a seated dropkick. Phoenix did a nice power move by grabbing Layla’s injured right knee and rammed it against Beth’s own shoulder. In the ring, Phoenix clipped the back of Layla’s knee and then used a variety of moves to work on it. She went for a few pinfall attempts as well. Phoenix just said “ask her” while putting Layla in a submission. That’s Jericho-esque, so you know I approve. Layla got a quick nearfall for two, but Phoenix was able to get control back. Layla was able to come back with a dropkick that sent Phoenix to the floor. Phoenix was able to recover, put Layla in a Gorilla Press position and Layla was able to counter into a DDT for two. Nice spot there. Phoenix drove her to the corner. Layla went for a DDT out of the corner. Phoenix turned it into the Glam Slam. Layla countered it with the front roll, Beth rolled her up, grabbed tights and that got two. Layla ended up winning with the Lay Out neckbreaker at 7:50.
Winner by pinfall: Layla
Analysis: ** I liked the psychology with Beth working over Layla’s injured knee, which has a brace on it. When Beth went for the Glam Slam, the fans thought that was it. It wasn’t. Layla was able to hit her finisher for the win. It was a hard-fought win that told a good story.
(Beth ended up leaving later in the year, so they used her to put over some different people. Going eight minutes or less was pretty much normal during this period.)
Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Randy Orton. They showed a replay of Smackdown when Orton gave Sheamus an RKO after he lost to him on Friday’s show. Chris Jericho showed up. He said he enjoyed watching Orton and Sheamus beat eachother up on Friday. Jericho said he’d be the World Champion once again. Orton said that at the end of the night Jericho would be the best in the world at getting RKO’d and losing to him.
No video package for the World Title match. Alberto Del Rio was the first one to enter. Chris Jericho is next with an expensive jacket that costs just a few dollars less than the expensive car that Del Rio drives in. Huge pop for Randy Orton. Sheamus is last to a good pop although I think Orton’s was bigger. Lilian Garcia does the intro for each guy as they are in the ring.
World Heavyweight Title: Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio
It started off with Orton and Sheamus knocking the heels out before facing off with eachother. Then the heels attacked them to get control. Orton brawled with Jericho on the floor while Sheamus went after Del Rio. No countouts in four-way matches. Back in the ring, Orton went at it with Sheamus. Jericho pulled Sheamus to the floor while Del Rio stomped away at Orton and there were some “si” chants for that. That means yes, people. That’s great. Jericho and Del Rio worked over Orton while Sheamus was out on the floor. Then they went after Sheamus, going after his injured shoulder and then whipping him right into the announce table. In the ring, Orton recovered with a dropkick on Del Rio and then a suplex on Jericho. Del Rio ended up on the floor while Jericho hit an enziguiri on Orton. He hit a baseball slide dropkick on Sheamus to keep him out of the ring. It’s a very fast-paced match so far. Cole just mentioned the three-hour Raw concept starting July 23. Sheamus knocked Jericho and Orton off the top rope. Then he hit a shoulder block on Del Rio for two. Sheamus put Del Rio down with a slam, so Ricardo Rodriguez jumped on the apron and then Del Rio came back to nail Sheamus with an enziguiri that led to a great two count. This is following the “two guys fight and the other two guys chill on the floor” format we often see for four-way matches. Sheamus made a comeback with a shoulder block, a high knee and then a powerslam for two as we reach the ten-minute mark.
We got the spot where Sheamus did his ten punches to the chest of Del Rio while he was in the ropes. Jericho knocked both of them to the floor. Orton snuck up behind Jericho. He hit a powerslam on Jericho and then Sheamus. He hit the DDT off the ropes on Sheamus. Del Rio snuck into the ring and put the Cross Armbreaker on Orton. Jericho broke it up. Cole correctly pointed out no DQ or countout in a four-way match, so Orton getting the ropes wouldn’t break the hold. Jericho went for the Lionsault on Del Rio, but that missed. Orton hit his backbreaker on Jericho. Del Rio broke that up. Sheamus hit a backbreaker on Del Rio. Sheamus rolled up Orton for two. That was a VERY fast sequence of moves. Ricardo tried to interfere, so Orton hit the double DDT off the ropes to Del Rio and Ricardo, which got a two on Del Rio. Jericho avoided an RKO and hit a Codebreaker on Orton, but Randy fell out of the ring. Del Rio put the Cross Armbreaker on Jericho, who turned it into the Walls of Jericho to a big pop. Sheamus missed a Brogue Kick. Jericho hit a Codebreaker on Sheamus for two. Best nearfall so far. Jericho countered a Sheamus attack leading to the Walls of Jericho by Jericho on Sheamus. Orton gave Jericho the RKO while he had the Walls on. Del Rio broke it up at two. RKO on Del Rio. Brogue Kick by Sheamus to Orton. Jericho went for a rollup on Sheamus for two. Sheamus hit Jericho with White Noise for the win at 16:15. The White Noise is the same move as the Celtic Cross that Finlay used.
Winner by pinfall: Sheamus
Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very fast-paced and entertaining four-way match. All four guys got a chance to shine. As I write all the time, these matches can be formulaic. This one was no different, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad match. They timed everything perfectly. The crowd bought into a lot of it. I really enjoyed it. I hope Jericho sticks around longer, but I have no idea what his future plans might be. I wouldn’t be shocked if we get a singles match between Sheamus/Orton at the No Way Out PPV next month. Even as a babyface match, it could be really good just like their Smackdown match was.
(Pretty good match here that followed the typical formula for a multi-man match. The White Noise move by Sheamus would be a regular part of his arsenal over the years, but not really a finisher for the most part.)
After the replays aired, they showed Orton staring at Sheamus, who was celebrating with the title.
We got a commercial for the WrestleMania 28 DVD.
Backstage, Cody Rhodes was talking to Eve. He sucked up to her saying she did a good job putting together the Battle Royal. He said if Christian challenged him he would have lost. Christian told Cody he was full of crap. He said he’s changed his mind. He said he wants to face Cody for the IC Title. It looks like Christian is a babyface again.
The Miz made his entrance. He complained about Brodus Clay, so I guess he wants to lose to him again. He said he was the best dancer. Then he danced poorly to his theme song. He was doing the “Thriller” dance. Brodus Clay made his entrance with Naomi and Cameron.
Brodus Clay vs. The Miz
This is not a new match. I don’t expect the outcome to be new either. Brodus was on the attack right from the beginning. It went to the floor. Miz outsmarted him and drove him into the ring post. Cole said “we got a wounded dinosaur.” Then Cole started talking about dinosaurs. In the ring, Miz hit him with an atomic drop and then kicked him in the head. Booker said he thought that pinfall would be Miz’s breakthrough moment. Isn’t he a former WWE Champ? I think holding that title is more important than beating the guy they call a dinosaur. Clay made his comeback. He hit a headbutt to the stomach of Miz. Clay hit his overhead slam off the middle rope. The splash finished off Miz at 5:48.
Winner by pinfall: Brodus Clay
Analysis: * That Miz dance was awful. The match wasn’t very good either although they tried to tell a story. I don’t think the crowd believed Miz had a chance, nor should they believe it. He’s been booked like a loser for a long time. In June, Miz will be off to film The Marine 3. Clay needs some kind of real feud. You can’t keep having him squash people in these same matches every single week. It’s going to get old.
(This was over a year after The Miz was the WWE Champion that main evented WrestleMania. This was a long way from that as he was used to get squashed by Brodus Clay.)
After a “don’t try this at home” commercial, we saw Reks & Hawkins go through the crowd and take signs away. I wonder if they were planted. That’s sarcasm.
Prior to the IC Title match, Rhodes did a promo ripping on the fans of North Carolina. He said his dad wrestled there a lot, but he wouldn’t let Cody go and he blamed the people of NC for it. It was a good promo to make sure Christian would get cheered. Christian did a get a nice babyface reaction upon his entrance.
Intercontinental Title: Cody Rhodes vs. Christian
If this gets a lot of time it could be excellent. After some very early offense from Christian, Rhodes was able to dominate and work him over. Rhodes hit a superplex on Christian. Oh no, Lawler and Cole are mentioning their match from Over the Limit last year. I tried to erase that atrocity from my memory. Christian came back with a clothesline that sent both guys flying over the top rope to the floor. Rhodes hit a Disaster Kick by using the steps to assist him. He rolled Christian into the ring for a count of two. Christian avoided a double axe off the top, then hit a kick to the face and a dropkick off the middle rope. Christian dropped him across the middle rope and hit him with a punch. Christian missed a cross body off the top. Rhodes rolled him up for two. The crowd isn’t that loud at this point. Christian went for a Tornado DDT, but Cody countered. Cody hit a moonsault on Christian for two. Cody was angry about it. Christian came back by throwing Rhodes into the turnbuckle. Christian followed it up with the Killswitch for the pinfall victory at 8:35.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Intercontinental Champion: Christian
Analysis: **1/4 Good match with a cool finish. It’s a shame that Cody’s IC Title reign this time was so short after having such a long reign the first time he had the title. Now the title has changed hands at successive PPVs. I’m okay with Christian holding it because he works well as a babyface and can have good matches with anybody. They had strong chemistry. Hopefully we get some rematches.
(I like both guys. The Killswitch has always been one of my favorite finishers, but I liked the Unprettier name better.)
The next WWE PPV is No Way Out on June 17.
Backstage, Josh Mathews interviewed CM Punk. Before that, though, we got a video showing us a clip from Smackdown when Kane attacked Punk after their match. It led to Kane beating him with steel chair shots. Punk said he was hurt, but if you asked Vince McMahon ten years ago if he thought it would Punk would face Bryan for the WWE Title at a PPV Vince would wonder who they were. He did it in a Vince voice, which was funny. As he talked about the match being a five-star classic (he read my mind), AJ Lee walked in and said the match would be a lot of fun to watch. She wished Punk good luck. Punk just walked away. She gave him a smile.
(I don’t know if Punk and AJ were dating by this point. They might have been. They got married about two years after this.)
Daniel Bryan made his entrance. Lots of “yes” chants. Cole is talking about how the world is talking about the Cena/Laurinaitis match. Shut up, Cole. It’s the WWE Title match. Talk about this. It should be more important than who is in charge of the show. CM Punk entered. Very big pop for the champion.
WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
There were dueling “CM Punk/Daniel Bryan” chants at the beginning. Cole: “I don’t think I’ve heard somebody say yes in about 15 years.” Finally, he says something that’s funny and accurate. There’s a loud atmosphere for this WWE Title match, which is a great sign of course. Punk put him in a leg lock submission while the announcers put over Bryan’s ability to get out of holds. Bryan fought out, delivered a series of kicks and Punk was able to come back. He stomped the back of Bryan into the mat while he was in a surfboard type hold. That was cool. Punk gave Bryan a kneebreaker and he followed it up by throwing Punk over the top to the floor. Bryan rammed him into the security wall. Back in the ring, Bryan hit his awesome missile dropkick for two. Bryan gave him an abdominal stretch as Cole pointed out that Punk has sore ribs and a sore back due to the attack of Kane on Smackdown. Story continuity is a good thing. Punk tried to fight back with the figure four, but Bryan rolled him up for a count of two. Bryan kicked him in the back for two. The dueling chants continued although it’s not like the guys want to chant against Punk either. There were “yes” chants as Bryan stepped on the back of Punk’s knees and pulled back on his arms. He yelled “yes” as he put Punk in the surfboard. He pulled Punk’s face down as Booker said he didn’t know what to call that. If you did a shot every time Booker said “this boy” or “that boy” you’d be very drunk by now, by the way. Bryan hit two running knees to the back of Punk as we reach the ten minute mark of the match. The third one missed. CM Punk hit a Perfectplex for two. That’s the name I’m using for it. Sorry to all the fishermen out there.
Bryan dropped him with a suplex. He went to the top rope and hit a flying headbutt for the count of two. Bryan tried to wear him down, but Punk was able to make his comeback. He hit a side kick followed by a neckbreaker. Bryan blocked a corner charge by getting his foot up and then Punk hit a powerslam for two. Cole talked about how they weren’t poster boys for WWE. Booker put over how their talent got them there. Bryan charged at him and Punk gave him a back body drop over the top to the floor. Punk hit a dive between the middle and top rope that knocked Bryan down. Booker just used “with the greatest of ease” and “that boy” in the same sentence. Punk went for a springboard attack. Bryan countered with a dropkick to the ribs. I’m loving this match. Bryan attacked with a series of kicks. Punk blocked the last one, gave him a dragon screw legwhip and then put him in the Figure Four Leglock. They had a punch fest while they were in the FFL. Bryan was able to get to the ropes so Punk was forced to let go. After each guy went for a rollup, Bryan decked him with a stiff kick to the head. That got him a count of two. We’re at the twenty minute mark now as a “this is awesome” chant breaks out. The crowd is absolutely right about its awesomeness.
In the corner, Bryan tried to set him up for a superplex. Punk shoved him off, Bryan got crotched and Punk hit a springboard clothesline while Bryan was sitting on the top rope. That got him a count of two. They had a slugfest while on their knees. Punk won that, went for the Go to Sleep and Bryan escaped. They each got a nearfall. Bryan went for the Yes Lock, but Punk fought out of it and gave him a slingshot. Bryan did a skin the cat move to get back in. Punk kicked him for a count of two as Bryan got his foot on the rope. Punk was able to keep Bryan down. Punk went to the top rope and delivered the top rope Flying Elbow for a count of two. A small “Randy Savage” chant broke out on this day, which is the one year anniversary of his death. Punk sold like he couldn’t cover because his back and ribs were hurting. Bryan fought back with a series of knees to the ribs. His corner charge missed as Punk moved. Punk hit his running knee in the corner. Bryan countered the bulldog out of the corner with the Yes Lock! Bryan had him in the hold. Punk rolled back. Bryan’s shoulders were down for a three count and just as the ref counted to three, Punk tapped him on the shoulder as a tap out. The replay showed that Bryan’s shoulders were down before the tap out. The match went 24:14.
Winner by pinfall: CM Punk
Analysis: ****1/2 This was outstanding pro wrestling. It was nearly a five-star match. The finish will likely mean a rematch at No Way Out, which I predicted in the preview because it didn’t seem like this would be a one-time thing. Their chemistry was fantastic. I didn’t know how the match might end, so the way they did was certainly different. Not like I’m complaining, though. The crowd was hot for most of it, chanting “this is awesome” many times and they weren’t really against either guy. Even though Bryan is a heel, the “yes” chants are very popular and continue to remain that way. This was the kind of wrestling match that fans like me want to see all the time. Punk and Bryan have the ability to have classic matches. It’s important that they are given that kind of opportunity once in a while because “wrestling” is what a lot of fans still want. Thank you Punk and Bryan for this great match. It won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
(I rewatched it because I hadn’t seen it in a while and I stand by the rating I gave it. Dave Meltzer gave it 4.5* too. It’s a very even match where it looked like either guy could win, but obviously, they were in the middle of Punk’s long run as the WWE Champion. Punk would up end up turning heel about two months after this.)
After the match, Eve & David Otunga walked up to Teddy Long. Teddy was thinking that after Laurinaitis loses he could get his GM job back and those two may be terminated.
Ryback vs. Camacho
Ring announcer Lilian Garcia said it was Hunico in the match. She was wrong. Hunico kicked Ryback in the back and Camacho knocked Ryback down. Ryback quickly came back to take care of both guys. Powerbomb on Camacho. Ryback hit his Muscle Buster finisher for the win at 0:54.
Analysis: A squash as expected. It was typical of every Ryback match. At least he took one bump this time.
(Just a squash since they were building up Ryback as a babyface on the rise. He would work with Punk in a WWE Title feud later in the year. Poor Punk.)
A commercial aired for the “Best of Clash of the Champions DVD” that recently got released.
The video package aired for the Cena/Laurinaitis match.
John Laurinaitis walked out first. He was wearing a red jumpsuit with the “People Power” logo on it and it said “GM” on it as well. During Cena’s entrance, I noticed a sign that said “The John Report” on the right side of the aisle near the ring. Thanks to @topecgaheel for that. Good stuff.
(That was from the WWE.com photo gallery of the event. Pretty cool.)
John Laurinaitis vs. John Cena
Laurinaitis is wrestling in a skin-tight black top that has the “people power” logo on it. JL tried to run away. Cena decked him with a clothesline. Cena pulled him back into the ring. He pulled up his top and chopped him hard in the chest followed by a hard chop to the back. Cena set him up for the Attitude Adjustment. Instead he gave him an airplane spin. Laurinaitis tumbled to the floor. Cena grabbed the ring bell and rang it by the head of Laurinaitis. The comedy continues. Cena rammed him face first into the announce tables. They replayed the Laurinaitis fall after the airplane spin. They sat in the chairs at the Spanish announce table. They put on the headsets and Cena imitated the announcers. Laurinatis said “five time” after Cena said he was Booker T. I admit I chuckled. Cena rolled him back in, but on the first try Laurinaitis crashed into the apron. They all laughed at that spot. In the ring, Cena slapped him and hit a body slam. They replayed the spot where Cena threw him into the side of the apron. Cena grabbed the microphone and said he would put him in the STF. If Laurinaitis lasted ten seconds he’ll let him survive. He put him in the hold, the crowd chanted along and got to ten. Cena said he’d do it again. Laurinaitis held on again as the crowd counted to ten. An ex-wrestler (who hasn’t wrestled in 12 years according to Cole) can take the submission move of the top guy for twenty seconds and he can survive. I guess it’s not a good submission move then huh? Cena dumped water onto the head of Laurinaitis. Cena pulled open the front of JL’s pants and poured water into there. Down where? Down there. Cena took out a fire extinguisher and sprayed it all over Laurinaitis. The announcers were laughing. The crowd enjoyed it. It’s been ten minutes of Cena humiliating him.
The next spot saw Cena grab a garbage can and he dumped it all over Laurinaitis. I guess this would be satisfying to the people that paid to see Laurinaitis humiliated. Laurinaitis tried to get away. He grabbed the arm of Cena and rammed it into the security wall. He was stunned that he hurt Cena. He threw Cena arm first into the steel steps. Laurinaitis attacked with a steel chair. He hit him in the arm with it. Cena came back, hit the “you can’t see me spot” with the chair and then Laurinaitis came back with a low blow. Then Laurinaitis went over the railing. He limped away, back to the backstage area. Cena was still in the ring. Shouldn’t he chase him? All of a sudden, Big Show grabbed Laurinaitis by the neck and threw him over the security wall. Show, who was storyline fired, threw Laurinaitis into the ring. I love how they just let a fired guy in the ring. Laurinaitis was down in the middle of the ring between both guys. Show stepped on JL’s hand as he tried to crawl away. I hope Cena knows Show is going to turn heel here because everybody else knows. Show grabbed JL by the throat. He threw Laurinaitis to Cena. Cena put JL on his shoulders and Show decked Cena with the KNOCK THE FUCK OUT~! punch. There’s the heel turn we all expected. Laurinaitis covered for the victory at 17:02.
Winner: John Laurinaitis
Analysis: 3/4* This was not much of a match. It was 15 minutes of Cena doing comedy with Laurinaitis while the announcers laughed at how much of an idiot JL is. Then Show arrived, grabbed Laurinaitis by the neck and gave us the finish that everybody knew was coming. I’m okay with it happening. It shouldn’t have been changed to somebody else. It worked the best with Big Show. That doesn’t mean I like it as the main event of a PPV.
(It was a stinker for sure. The finish was predictable because they weren’t going to remove Laurinaitis from the job as a heel authority figure, so he had to win and there were rumors of Big Show doing one of his many heel turns. The fact that Cena could get 17 minutes out of Laurinaitis for this “match” was surprising. I thought it would be much shorter.)
After the match, Show raised the hand of Laurinaitis. Then he walked away on his own. It was a heel turn, but not one where he was over the top and demonstrative with the heel boss. It felt like one of those “did it because I had to” type of things.
To end the show, Laurinaitis was limping up the aisle. Meanwhile, Cena was still motionless in the ring. He didn’t move for five minutes after taking the Big Show punch.
This event had a runtime of 2:45:30 on WWE Network.
Five Stars of the Show
1. CM Punk
2. Daniel Bryan
3. Chris Jericho – I would have loved a win, but didn’t expect it to happen.
4. Randy Orton – He was the other shining star in that World Title match.
5. Christian – Welcome back. Feels fresh in the babyface role.
It’s a 7 out of 10. It was not the best PPV of the year, but better than the worst ones. Since we’ve had five PPVs so far this year, that means it goes in the spot as the third best of the year so far.
(That rating is fine. I agree with it. There was enough good wrestling to warrant a 7 out of 10.)
The Punk/Bryan match was a clinic on what professional wrestling should be. I absolutely loved it. While I didn’t give it a five star match rating, it was very close. I’m not here to nitpick. I just think the finish could have been done a bit better. With that said, though, it will likely mean a rematch at next month’s PPV. I’m all for that especially if it’s a steel cage match like we expect it to be.
The four-way World Title match was well done. No complaints from me. It was exactly what I expected. Look for Sheamus vs. Orton to happen again very soon.
It was nice to see Christian in the babyface role. His heel work is exceptional, of course. He’s a guy that can pull off either role and excel at it. I think it’s time for Cody Rhodes to move up to the main event level. He’s a favorite to win the Money in the Bank match in July.
I liked the Divas match. It wasn’t exceptional or anything like that, but they did a nice job in terms of having Layla show a lot of heart in fighting back to get the win. I wish the women got more time during their TV matches, though. They’re capable of a lot more than we see on television. They show that when they get the time on PPV.
As for the main event, it was the predictable ending we all expected. I’m not going to say I was the only one to predict it. Lots of us saw it coming…except for John Cena and the announcers apparently. They should read the internet. We know everything! I’m just kidding, of course. We just know obvious finishes when they are set up the way this one was.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.My contact info is below.