It was a battle of the Johns as General Manager Laurinaitis met top superstar Cena in the main event of WWE Over the Limit, shown live in the early hours of this past Monday morning on Sky Sports here in Britain.
The show began in the middle of the People Power Battle Royal, with the winner getting a shot at either the United States or Intercontinental title.
This was mostly filled with guys who never normally appear on the big shows, with the addition of the likes of the Miz and surprise entrant Christian.
The last three were Miz, Christian and David Otunga. The two heels quickly made a pact as they tried to take Christian out, but the returning star soon made his comeback, throwing Otunga over the top before battling with the Miz on the ring apron, eventually eliminating him with a shoulder block between the corners.
Then it was on to the first title match of the evening as Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler, accompanied by Vickie Guerrero, challenged Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the Tag Team titles.
This proved to be a very enjoyable encounter. ZigSwag once again put in a good showing as a unit, using Kingston and then Truth as their personal punching bags, and throughout the match I got the feeling that we’d see a title change.
That didn’t happen. Truth managed to get the tag to Kingston, and although Ziggler almost got the pin after a rocker dropper Kingston soon took his man out with his trouble in paradise kick for the winning pin.
The second title match of the evening saw Beth Phoenix challenging Layla for the Divas title.
It was nice to see that the Divas weren’t treated as filler material this month. As the fans chanted for Kharma and Colt Cabana these two put on a pretty good match.
Beth centred her attack on Layla’s previously injured knee, and the Brit did a pretty good selling job, judging by her screams.
Even though the Glamazon put in another good performance Layla kept coming back, almost getting the win when she countered the glam slam with a roll up before finally taking Beth down with a neck breaker from out of nowhere.
The Smackdown main event saw Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton challenging Sheamus for the World title in a fatal four way match.
I really enjoyed this one. All four guys put in great performances throughout in a match that looked like it could go to anyone.
It began in the usual way until Jericho rammed Sheamus into the barrier, taking him out of the early stages of the match. Jericho then formed an alliance with Del Rio as they attempted to put Orton away. Needless to say that their agreement didn’t last that long.
As the match progressed all four men turned it up a notch with the numerous pin and submission attempts coming thick and fast. It really did look like we were going to get a new champion until Sheamus took Jericho out with his white noise finisher for the winning pin.
The Miz then made his second appearance of the evening as he took on everyone’s favourite dancer Brodus Clay.
Has the Miz really upset someone over the past few months? Just over a year ago he was main eventing Wrestlemania. Now he’s going up against WWE’s latest pet project.
Don’t get me wrong, this match was okay, but it was basically a squash match. Miz got in a few moments of offence until Clay got the big win after a big splash.
Christian then made his second appearance of the evening as he challenged Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental title.
Despite having had hardly any ring time over the past few months Christian showed just how good he is.
Rhodes once again played the part of the cocky heel extremely well, insulting the fans before the match began, and once it began both men put in good performances, with Rhodes becoming frustrated when he couldn’t put Christian away.
In the end his frustration led to his downfall. Distracted by his own complaints he soon fell to Christian’s kill switch. Three seconds later and we had a new champion.
The Raw main event saw Daniel Bryan challenging C.M. Punk for the WWE title.
As a long time fan of these two this was the match I was looking forward to the most, and they didn’t disappoint.
From bell to bell these two put on a hell of a back and forth encounter, a master class if you will. As the fans rightfully said this was awesome.
We saw hold countered by hold, move countered by move, and plenty of false finishes as both guys went all out to get the win.
We even had a nod back to Bryan’s Ring of Honor roots. Punk had applied a figure four leg lock, and when Bryan made it to the ropes Punk kept the hold on until the referee counted to four. He then reminded the official that he “had to five”. Well it made this writer smile.
The ending, although we’ve seen it many times before, made perfect sense. Bryan synched in the yes lock, and it looked as if Punk would tap until he rolled his challenger over into a pinning position. The referee counted to three, but just as he finished his count Punk tapped out.
Bryan thought he’d won the match until the referee informed him that he’d been pinned as Punk celebrated his title win, ending a tremendous match and, hopefully, setting up another pay-per-view encounter between these two.
The penultimate match saw Camacho, accompanied by Hunico, taking on Ryback.
At least this was better than last month’s squash match, mainly because everyone knew who Camacho was.
The LAX clone got in a few moves with the help of his buddy, but there wasn’t much more to it before Ryback took the pin after his Samoan drop-like finisher. I guess the creative team hasn’t come up with a name for that thing yet.
The main event saw John Cena taking on his boss, Raw and Smackdown General Manager John Laurinaitis. A few stipulations for this one. This could only be won by pin or submission, and if anyone interfered they’d get fired. Laurinaitis’ job was also on the line if he lost.
I have to admit I don’t really know what to make of this one. I wasn’t expecting a five star classic, but I also wasn’t expecting to see what was essentially a comedy match.
It began with Laurinaitis trying to head for the hills until Cena grabbed him and dragged him into the ring. He then proceeded to take him down, adding a few comedic touches along the way, humiliating his boss as he went along.
Laurinaitis’ few moments of offence came when he targeted Cena’s injured arm when the former champion tried to stop him from escaping. He then clobbered him with a chair a few times before Cena came back into the match.
Big John then headed for the hills again, but this time Cena didn’t follow him, leaving the outcome of the match up in the air a little until the Big Show appeared to drag the man who’d fired him back into the arena and into the ring.
It looked as if Show was going to help Cena take the GM apart, but after pushing Laurinaitis into Cena so he could be taken out with the attitude adjuster Show clobbered Cena with his big right hand, knocking him out.
It was soon all over. Laurinaitis crawled over to Cena, rolled him over and pinned him, winning the match and keeping his job thanks to the man he’d fired a few days before.
In conclusion - despite a couple of moments that left me scratching my head Over the Limit certainly delivered. The two main events were great, with the Bryan/Punk classic the match of the night for me and one of the contenders for match of the year.
As for the main event while I can understand why it played out in the way it did I’m still not sure if I like it. I would probably have to watch it a few more times, but that’s not something I’m planning on doing in the near future.
With that being said let’s bring this thing to a close by giving Over the Limit the big thumbs up.