Over the Limit 2012 is a PPV that had three weeks to hype its card following the previous month’s Extreme Rules PPV, and during that time it actually did a decent job of doing so. The main problem is that the card was fairly weak. Those who collect PPV DVDs may be used to this, but those who pick up a select few each year, only looking for the best, would no doubt be weary after looking at the back of the case and seeing only five matches advertised.
The actual PPV has a total of eight matches, plus a battle royal at the very beginning. Of course, two of the unadvertised matches are pure squashes, but still, why not just put them on there to make it look as though the card was fleshed out somewhat? I get that they may not want to spoil the winner of the Battle Royal who gets to go on to challenge for a title later in the night; however, the PPV is already in the past, and anyone who keeps up with wrestling (ie: those who would buy this in the first place) already know who won.
In the end, it all comes down to quality though. So, out of those matches is there enough quality to warrant a purchase? Let’s find out below.
(Winner gets to choose either an Intercontinental Title match or United States Championship match for later that night)
This match starts already in progress, though nobody has been eliminated yet. Right from the very start Cole is ripping into Booker T and his announcing skills, and I must agree with him. I got to meet Booker T years ago, and he’s a really nice guy; however, I really can’t stand him as an announcer. Of course, it doesn’t help that he and Lawler and Cole have no real group dynamic, but I believe he’d be better suited on NXT alongside William Regal in order to practice, or just remain.
The match itself is alright, though I find that Battle Royals can come off feeling sloppy in some cases, with wrestlers just wandering around not sure what to do. It’s also scary how often it looks like people are thrown out wrong and seem injured. I get that selling is vital in the industry, but Yoshi Tatsu gets suplexed out by Drew McIntyre and lands awkwardly on his leg (which bends backwards) and it looked legit. Looking it up, reports say that when asked on Twitter by fans about if he was hurt he responded by saying he’d be “fine.” Still, ouch.
Things get interesting when we get down to the final handful of participants and we can actually tell what’s going on. Tyson Kidd has some skills and it’ll be fun to watch him showcase them in the upcoming Money in the Bank match. The finale worked out well to put Christian into the face role against The Miz and David Otunga. Christian pulls off the victory, and challenges Santino Marella for the United States Championship (though he’d later reverse his choice and go after Cody Rhodes).
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler Vs. Kofi Kingston & R-Truth
I still believe that the WWE dropped the ball with R-Truth, and now he and Miz are both treading water as characters, instead of being a dominant heel pairing (and or group at this point). Sure, R-Truth is holding a title right now, but much like pretty much every other title aside from the two main ones, there’s no real meaning behind it. But I’ll have more on that later on during the IC title match, so for now, let’s just focus on the match at hand. The competitors in this bout instantly push it to entertaining status, as all four men know how to get things done inside the squared circle; however, the same can’t be said for those on commentary during this match. Lawler won’t stop talking about Vicki’s “extra navel” or something of the likes and it’s distractingly annoying and also makes him look foolish when moments later he insults to Cole for going off topic.
Eventually cooler heads prevail (or maybe I just started to tune Lawler out) and the match ended up being a great opener to help get fans hyped up. Unfortunately, the crowd seems rather quiet for a PPV crowd, though the card isn’t that spectacular, so I’m sure that doesn’t help. Still, all participants deliver, and the match is definitely worth checking out for those interested. Hopefully after Money in the Bank we’ll start seeing Ziggler arrogantly walking around with a briefcase in more singles oriented matches though!
Diva’s Championship Match
Beth Phoenix Vs. Layla
This match just doesn’t work at all. At one point in the match Beth has Layla locked in a single leg Boston Crab after working her injured knee for most of the match, and eventually she starts to weaken the hold and Layla breaks free. Of course, I understand that the winners are predetermined and everything is scripted; however, it’d be nice if they made it seem a little bit more realistic. I mean, if we’re to believe that Layla is going to get out of this move, then make it so that the move is put on a bit closer to the ropes and have her get out that way. To have Phoenix awkwardly loosen the hold, and then put herself in a position where Layla can launch Phoenix away is just bizarre. With how the move was put on in the match, there’s no way Layla should’ve gotten out of it and held on as long as she did.
In fact, for most of this match, Layla works quite awkwardly, and it makes them both look bad since Phoenix has to pause multiple times so that Layla can pull off a move. It’s just an awkward match all around, and it’s a wonder why WWE feels that Layla is the Diva’s champion with quite a few better competitors and or performers in the division.
Fatal 4-Way Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus Vs. Randy Orton Vs. Alberto Del Rio Vs. Chris Jericho
Maybe I’m alone in thinking this, but Alberto Del Rio has one of the longest, most annoying entrances that I’ve ever seen. Luckily, I can fast forward through them on these DVDs, but when it comes to watching him live on RAW or Smackdown! I can’t get to the mute button fast enough. I get that it’s to build on his arrogance, and help get him heat with the crowd before a match, but it’s just annoying.
Here we go again with the individual introductions after all four competitors have entered the ring. Do we really need to spend another minute with each one being introduced a second time? This match is just filled with pet peeves of mine and it hasn’t even begun!
As the match progresses, one major thing that I don’t like about matches like this is that it takes competitors so long to recuperate from the simplest things. In a one on one bout, if someone gets thrown outside the ring they’re back up and ready to go in a few seconds; however, in a match like this, they always seem to want to try and keep the focus on just two guys at a time, so when someone gets tossed out they’ve got to sit out there for minutes at a time. Of course, there are times when it works, after a big move and people are laid out and forgotten about until five or so minutes go by, but during this match, it’d make a lot more sense to have two guys fighting in the ring, while two other guys fought outside of it and just keep all four active more often than not until enough time has passed that it’s believable that whoever gets tossed to the outside is actually winded and needs to rest.
The final portion of this match is great, with at least three competitors taking it to one another inside the ring at all times. Jericho once again steals the show and helps make everyone else look great, and he almost pulls it off too, until a few more solid finisher spots brings this one to a close with Sheamus once again retaining the title.
The Miz Vs. Brodus Clay
The Miz comes out and shows once again why he’s one of the coolest heels in the WWE right now, stating, “Really? Really? Really? You people get to see me twice tonight and that’s the reception I get? You people should be on your feet praising my existence!” He then goes on to rip into Brodus Clay, and how the fans eat up all the “Brodus droppings” that he leaves behind. He then states that he’s the best dancer in the WWE, and goes on to do some wacky dancing before Clay inevitably comes out and busts a move inside the ring.
I actually don’t mind Clay, and enjoy his character enough for its wacky entertaining side. The two have a quick match that isn’t even written on the back of the DVD case; though neither is the IC title match – and while I get that it was “made on the spot”, you would think that they’d want to advertise as many matches as possible on the back of the case. It’s a fast, harmless match that Brodus wins, and while I hate seeing Miz wasted, the amount of entertainment he provides proves that he can shoot back up to the main event without much problem. Of course, if he keeps getting buried the way he has been as of late, even his sheer entertainment value won’t save him, as there’s only so much you can take before you’re not really seen as a threat of any kind by fans.
Cody Rhodes Vs. Christian
Rhodes comes out and rips into the audience on the mic, showcasing why he could easily win the upcoming Money in the Bank match and why he’ll eventually become a top guy in the company. The match itself is solid, and the two put on a mix of brawling and technical wrestling that tells a story without there actually being any build-up to this match, which just goes to show the amount of talent the two share.
Now as I stated earlier, the other than the WWE Championship and World Heavyweight Championship (and some would argue that even they could be included) the remaining titles have little value any more. There’s no real glory in becoming the Intercontinental champion, and this is a title that used to propel upper echelon superstars into the main event. Rhodes had done a solid job of bringing back some credibility to the title; however, that was tossed aside with his Wrestlemania loss to Big Show.
So Christian says that the reason he wanted to go for the IC title was so that he could bring it back to the spotlight, and help make it mean something again. That’s great, and a good goal that Christian is a perfect candidate for, but it makes me wonder why he isn’t defending it at the Money in the Bank PPV. I understand that he’s one of the few superstars experienced in ladder matches, and so his inclusion makes sense; however, I’d much rather see him defend his title and help build the credibility of that title instead of just wasting him in a match that everybody knows he’s not going to win.
I know I’m not alone in thinking this, though there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about it. There are plenty of worthy competitors that Christian could go up against at Money in the Bank, and one of them is Drew McIntyre. I’ve always liked this guy, and his initial push hasn’t just come to a halt, but vanished completely. These two would have some great bouts I’m sure, and create a feud that would help both competitors moving forward.
The Miz would be another great opponent, and with these types of feuds, the upper mid-card Superstars would have something to work towards and strive for before heading into the main event. And even if they don’t ever make it to the top of the card, at least it creates some bigger names in the tier below the main event that will help flesh out these PPV cards in the future.
WWE Championship Match
Daniel Bryan Vs. CM Punk
Daniel Bryan is such an amazing performer. His in-ring work is amazing, but it’s his character that really helps separate him from the rest. He’s created such an amazing “bad guy” persona that is hugely entertaining. The build-up to this match was great, and this was where AJ really started getting involved in everything.
Speaking of AJ, her character is also beyond entertaining, and she has such an amazing look as of late, that really pulls off the crazy feel. But while she’s acting crazy, she’s also someone who gets involved in creative and entertaining ways. The only way I can see things working out with this storyline is if she goes back with Bryan, but plays a stronger role by his side (ie: not the verbally abused victim), helping to create an evil duo that would rival Edge and Lita.
As for this match, it’s without a doubt the best of the entire PPV, though that’s not really giving it enough credit. The match was good enough to have taken place at Wrestlemania, with both guys giving it their all and proving why they’re at the top of the pile at the moment. The technical aspects to this match were great, and it interchanging between a brutal beat down between the two and a submission filled match was superb.
The ending was solid, with Bryan somewhat getting himself pinned just before Punk submitted, though I would have liked to have seen a tap from Punk at the same time as the count of three, just to really stir up controversy. Still, great outing by both parties, and these are two guys I’d love to see an Iron Man match between sometime. There aren’t many around who could pull it off, but I think these two could really make it happen and make it interesting from start to finish.
Camacho Vs. Ryback
Here’s a bit of a breather match after the masterful bout that just took place in order to cool the crowd down a bit before the main event. The best part of this Ryback push will be the moment he actually comes out against a main eventer or someone that’s actually got some credibility in the WWE. They keep building him properly in these matches, and sure it’s being done just like Goldberg; however, that moment when Cena or Sheamus, or CM Punk is in the ring and Ryback comes out and completely destroys them will be fun.
It’ll be interesting to see how the WWE moves forward from that point on, as to whether or not he’ll be an unstoppable force for a while, or if he’ll just become a mortal with muscles after a PPV or two. I guess the real question is whether or not he’ll be a face or a heel. I instinctively thought heel, as it’s easier to build him as a monster that way; however, having him come out down the road and decimate a heel could make him a fan favourite. Time will tell.
(If John Laurinaitis loses, he’s fired)
John Cena Vs. John Laurinaitis
There’s no denying that John Laurinaitis is actually an entertaining character. His role as GM of both RAW and Smackdown! have led to some great moments, and entertaining segments, and while he certainly may be involved in a few too many feuds, he still does the heel GM role quite well.
That said, for a climactic build of Cena finally getting to destroy Laurinaitis and end is reign of People Power, this was a travesty. There’s no real way to make this match a good one, as it’s more of a beating that lasts twenty minutes or so. It actually gets quite boring after a minute or so, and while I get that Cena is trying to be entertaining and funny with all he’s doing, the crowd is dead and seems like they just want it to end.
Speaking of ending, I can’t remember of a time when the ending of a match was so poorly constructed. The turn of The Big Show wasn’t the bad part, but it was the fact that Laurinaitis won with his help that did it. The next night on RAW Cena would explain that no matter how quickly he pinned Laurinaitis, The Big Show would’ve showed up and cost him the match. He said that it was a done deal and there was nothing he could’ve done about it. That’s a horrible explanation and it really just makes everyone involved look bad.
Of course, there are ways to have made that work, like having Show just come down during the match and take out Cena, but that would make sense. Instead, they went the route of having Show look like he was on Cena’s side by dragging Laurinaitis back into the ring. There were multiple times in the match where Cena had Laurinaitis in the STF, and released it after ten seconds if Laurinaitis could hold out. So what if he tapped? How would the Show have stopped that? How was that in the bag? Why would Laurinaitis put himself through this horrible beat down instead of just having Show come out right near the start and blindside Cena?
I get that we’re supposed to turn a blind eye to logic sometimes, but this was just a weirdly played out match, with a horrible conclusion. My favourite part is the Cena fan in the front row that is in just absolute shock about what Big Show did to Cena. I guess wrestling is still real to some.
Overall, Over the Limit was a pretty average PPV after two really great ones. The Bryan Vs. Punk match was the best of the night, while Christian Vs. Rhodes, the final half of the Fatal Four Way and the Tag Team Championship match are all worth seeing. As far as matches that warrant repeat viewings go, it’s all about CM Punk Vs. Daniel Bryan.
Like usual for WWE DVD releases, the visual quality of this PPV is solid throughout, and so is the audio portions. As I’ve stated before, the WWE is almost always on the top of their game when it comes to video production, so this should be no surprise to those who collect these DVDs.
There is only one special feature, which sees Matt Striker holding an interview with Sheamus after his Fatal 4-Way match. The special feature is a minute and a half long. While I liked the CM Punk interview after Extreme Rules, which was fun and somewhat out of character, this is all kayfabe, with Sheamus just yammering on about overcoming the odds and retaining the title.
WWE Home Video presents Over the Limit 2012. Featuring: John Cena, John Laurinaitis, CM Punk, Chris Jericho, The Big Show, Cody Rhodes, Beth Phoenix, Layla, Christian, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz. Approx. Running Time: 3 Hours. Rating: TV-PG. Released: June 19, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.
Tags: alberto del rio, Beth Phoenix, chris jericho, christian, cm punk, Cody Rhodes, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, jack swagger, john cena, John Laurinaitis, Kofi Kingston, Layla, Over the Limit, R-Truth, randy orton, sheamus, the big show, The Miz, WWE Over the Limit DVD