Big Show holds up John Laurinaitis' hand in victory. Photo via WWE.com.
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) was back on pay-per-view (PPV) last night (May 20, 2012) with the Over the Limit event that took place at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.
And, as expected, John Laurinaitis went over on John Cena thanks to Big Show returning and assisting the Raw and Smackdown General Manager. With the victory, "Ace" keeps his job and now Show is, presumably, back in good standing with the boss.
On top of that, CM Punk retained the WWE championship with an unclean victory over Daniel Bryan and Sheamus managed to overcome Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio to retain his world heavyweight championship.
In addition, Christian returned to win a battle royal and the Intercontinental championship in the same night with a clean pinfall win over Cody Rhodes. All that and more.
Enough with the results, though. If you want them in full, click here for the running live blog. You can also listen to King Combo, Grubtub and myself on the Cageside Live podcast gabbing after the show right here. Time to get to reactions, posted after the jump.
- The main event left a bad taste in my mouth. Not because of poor booking, because I think they absolutely did the right thing in having Cena dominate almost the entire match before Big Show returned to lay him out, but because it made me feel embarrassed to be a pro wrestling fan. I found myself wondering how I could ever justify to a fellow adult that I enjoy watching this product. It was silly and while silly isn't always a bad thing, when John Cena's involved, it seems to be. I know this because I imagined the exact same match but with Stone Cold Steve Austin in his place and you know what? I probably would have given him a pass and come up with a way to defend the position. Instead I felt ashamed to even be associated with it.
- Making the main event even worse was the freaking classic CM Punk put on with Daniel Bryan for the WWE championship. It's kind of funny to think of it this way but his WWE title is more like the old Intercontinental title. While the main event scene is clogged up with garbage like Cena and Laurinaitis feuding through silly stipulations, Punk is putting on three to four star matches on a consistent basis with nearly everyone he works with. Put him in the ring with Bryan and they put themselves in the running for "Match of the Year." He's become the workhorse champion, a guy busting his ass in every city and town he visits. Sure, his character is stale as shit with no flies buzzing around it but boy can he go once that bell rings.
- During the Cageside Live podcast after the show, King Combo, Grubtub and myself were unanimous in our dislike of the finish to the Punk vs. Bryan match. We just felt like they could have accomplished the same thing and done it clean. However, we're also unanimous in our desire to watch as many Punk vs. Bryan matches as possible and this particular finish leaves the door wide open for this feud to continue. Sign us up.
- I'm going to make sure to give some love to the Divas early in the reactions here because I think Beth Phoenix and Layla deserve accolades for their performance last night. If I were to rank each match on the card last night (hey, a column idea!) I'm not entirely sure they wouldn't come in fourth on a nine-match show. That's impressive for the ladies, especially considering how little time they're given. Layla screwed up her selling a time or two but I was entertained throughout. Can't ask for much more than that.
- The return of Christian was a sight for sore eyes and should provide a much needed shot in the arm to the mid-card of the roster. That said, I'm not sure I like the idea of Christian as a babyface Intercontinental champion. There are plenty of solid heels to feud with -- a program with Dolph Ziggler has me salivating at the thought -- but I always felt Christian worked better as a heel.
- It's not often that Fatal Four-Way matches are fluid but that's exactly what we were treated to last night when Sheamus, Randy Orton, Alberto Del Rio and Chris Jericho put together a damn good showing, much better than expected. One thing became painfully obvious in the process, though, at least to me -- Del Rio doesn't belong in this group. They can pass him off as a main eventer but that's all they would be doing -- passing him off. His inclusion here felt unnatural, which is rich when you consider the original plan was a singles match between he and Sheamus for the world heavyweight title. And while that match may have been just fine, the addition of Jericho and Orton made this a spectacular showdown that should hold up well upon repeated viewings.
- I also learned that Orton vs. Sheamus should be a pretty good program, all things considered.
- Ryback doesn't violently shake his head like Goldberg when he sells, he does it before the match to the tune of his entrance theme. I don't think there's a chance in hell he ever gets over in his current form, so WWE should get creative and turn him into a parody character. Nothing crazy like Brodus Clay but maybe a guy who starts getting playful by imitating monsters who squash jobbers every week. If done right, it could work. Besides, it couldn't get much worse than this, right?
- Speaking of The Funkasaurus, I reached another tipping point during his match with The Miz last night. Not only did I find myself eagerly awaiting the end of his segment, I actually sat and wondered what it was that drew me to him in the first place. There was literally a time when he was given a weekly post right here on Cageside. And call me a mark but I really think his lack of keeping up his catchphrases has hurt him. "My bad," "Should I get hymn," and "Sheeplex" all come to mind. Perhaps the thought process was that he should stop shouting such things out during matches so we would take him more seriously but the reality is we're never going to. Whatever. He is what he is and that's what he is, ya dig?
- Those black guys beat those white guys by high flying so the white guys could bump for the black guys while the loud screaming lady screamed on the outside. Still waiting on the results of that poll to name Kofi Kingston and R-Truth as a tag team.
- I really wanted David Otunga to win the battle royal and then beat Santino Marella to win the U.S. title. It would make sense, wouldn't it? He's a lackey for John Laurinaitis, the man in power who uses a presidential entrance theme. Why not put the U.S. title on him? It's not like Santino is doing anything special with it.
- Still love you, though, Santino.
Overall, this was a fairly good show with plenty of great wrestling that ultimately ended badly. Again, John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis was just a silly waste of time and had no business main eventing a PPV.
Still, I give Over the Limit 2012 a solid B.
That's it from me, though, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your reactions the event last night. What was your grade?