It feels weird saying this, but Over the Limit was not all that bad. In fact I might dare to go so far to say that it might qualify as being pretty good. Especially when you consider that this PPV last year consisted of an excruciating “I Quit” match between Cena and The Miz, as well as the third PPV in a row to feature a match between Lawler and Cole, one that has a “Kiss My Foot” stipulation no less. So while the Over the Limit bar was set pretty low (pun) it was nice to see a PPV with that title that was actually fun to watch.
I don’t want to harp on this too much but I do need to say something quick to get it off of my chest. Matches such as Ric Flair’s career threatening match and Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker 1 both were put in the middle of the card because the night had to end with a title match. And now, when you have a case of a title match being what will easily be the highlight of the night, you decide that it’s ok to stick it somewhere in the middle? Instead we close the evening with what ends up being the John and John comedy show. That being said, I actually hated this match a lot less than I thought I would. Yes, there were low points, yes it shouldn’t have ended the night, and yes it had a twist ending that everybody in the world saw coming, but parts of the match were actually quite smartly done. The fact that Laurinaitis was attempting to go to the same alcove right from the very beginning of the match was a nice touch. And I’m as surprised as everyone else, but for some reason, Michael Cole was not only bearable but near enjoyable for this match.
But enough about the fake main event lets talk the real match of the night. Punk and Bryan put what is sure to be a match of the year contender just like we all knew that they could. Earning a well-disserved “This is Awesome” chant from the crowd, this match feels like it was everything I could ever want from these two guys. And yet as I watched these two put on the show of the night, I began to imagine that in a few years these two will be headlining WrestleMaina with each other, and they will do something, I don’t know what, but something that will blow the match from Sunday out of the water. If that “Greatest Rivalries” DVD turns into a series, I want to be able to buy one about these two guys in ten years. Plus I have to mention how oddly brilliant the ending of this match was. With Punk tapping a split second after the three count, it was if we were watching both guys win. Even after the match, Punk has an interview on WWE.com where he states that any match between Punk and Bryan is a match that can go either way. And best of all, this ending offers a perfect setup to get these two guys in a heated rivalry for the next couple of months. WWE hear me, I will gladly watch all the Cena vs. Big Show main events you want, as long as you can promise me that this feud will continue.
And in other news…
It was announced this past week and then officially on Raw that starting July 23rd, in celebration of their 1000th episode, Raw will be three hours every week from now on. Guys, I’m nit sure if you’re aware of this, but three hours is an awfully long time to fill. And if your past “three hour” episodes are any indication, I’m not sure if this is the best idea long term. I’ve said before that the average Raw is a great hour-long episode that is stretched out to fill two hours. And on those nights where we get three hours, the content feels extra thin.
Now this could work. If something specific is done with the extra hour then this could be great. Maybe add a new lightweight or hardcore division and have the whole new hour dedicated just to that. Or perhaps you can have a rookie section to help introduce your new guys to the crowds at home, and stop feeling like you need to catapult rookies into the main event only to have them burn out a few months later. Or perhaps the first hour can be your more family friendly programming with the “fun” wrestlers that the kids enjoy. And then at nine or ten bring out the more serious wrestlers when they can get away with more stuff. The possibilities of what to do with your new hour are endless. But if we just get the same show we’re getting now but an hour longer every week, it’s going to be terrible.
Unrelated Thought: For those of you who spend way too much time on the internet, you may have discovered that currently tickets for the Monday Night Raw after MiTB (which will be in Las Vegas by the way) are advertised as Monday Night Raw vs. WWE. This of course has kicked off all kinds of rumors about what may be the buildup to the summer story, and if we’re getting some kind of company fight (which sounds like a repeat of WCW vs. NWO) Then again it could just be a glitch in the Ticketmaster system. Who knows?