-Quick hits regarding WWE Over the Limit: except for the Divas title match (which didn’t suck), every title match delivered, and made the PPV worthwhile. Punk-Bryan may well be MOTY for 2012 when all is said and done (I went ***** on it; we’ll see if my intuition holds up another day), the World Heavyweight four way was much more awesome than anticipated, and Christian-Rhodes and Ghana Get Got-Jack Dolph were quality mid-level matches. Overall, it’s an easy thumbs up on the body of those matches alone.
-Now, that was the good. Want the bad? Try the farce that was Cena and Laurinaitis if you’re talking “future WrestleCrap induction.” Now, I know they weren’t going to portray Laurinaitis, who’s been retired for beyond a decade, as a threat to Cena, but the match itself…..really, that was the main event? I’m not even talking the obvious swerve of Big Show being goaded into screwing Cena to get his job back; I’m talking the put-on cartoon that the “main event” ended up being, complete with Cena looking ever the fool in the process. If you want my theory as to why Cena is possibly the worst hero of all time, give this a read (http://bluebarcage.blogspot.com/2012/05/john-cena-worst-hero-ever.html).
-WWE Monday Night RAW is live from Richmond, VA. I have no snippety remark to add here, so come up with your own.
Hey look, the guy who looked worse last night than any opponent WWE ever made look weak at his expense. Cena has a mini-freakout of disbelief, which is more than he’s done after any other loss in the last seven years. Cena: “Why the hell would something like that happen?” The structure of the match? I agree. “It was everything it was supposed to be!” Cena’s not allowed to book when he retires; that cinches it. He wants to know why Show did what he did, mostly because Cena’s never sat in on “Predictable Endings 101.” That’s part of Russo’s seminar, I think. Cena claims he never could have finished Laurinaitis off if Show was lurking. Uhh, genius, you had him in your SUBMISSION FINISHER. Had you kept it on more than 10 seconds, he would have tapped out and you’d have won. God, I hate plot holes. “THIS IS CRAP!” sayeth Cena, and, well, who am I to argue? Luckily, Eve makes her way out in white and beige and I’m not annoyed anymore. She introduces Ace, who arrives in the PEOPLE POWER SENIOR SCOOTER! That is one pimped out ride. Laurinaitis lists off his injuries, but that’s cool, because he’s a fierce competitor, and he won. Outside the ring, if Cena lays a finger on him, he’s fired. And he brings out Show, who will be Cena’s opponent at No Way Out. Nice shout-out to North Jersey from Ace, where my Devils are currently beating the Rangers. Show gives a sterile speech about nobody needing an explanation for his actions, but he explains he did what he had to do, because he couldn’t give up the business. Show gives an impassioned speech, galled that the fans would dare judge him for doing what he did. Threats are made for No Way Out, and that’s that. Or, no, because David Otunga makes his way out just to drag this. It’s a good thing we’re moving to three hours in July, so we can maybe get 40 minute opening segments. Cena warns him about getting in the ring with him, and Otunga’s all “aight.”
Segment Rating: 3/10. 20 minutes for that? I want Punk/Bryan to book their rematch!
Match 1: John Cena vs. David Otunga
Battle of the few guys on the roster that use their real names. Cena can’t control his emotions, and Otunga plays cat and mouse with him. Otunga lulls him into an attack, and Laurinaitis gives the thumbs up from the PEOPLE POWER SENIOR SCOOTER. Cena quickly regains control with a series of clotheslines and a quick AA. Otunga taps quickly to the STF. Suddently, Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Darren Young, and Titus O’Neil jump Cena from the crowd, and Sheamus runs in for the save. Laurinaitis is miffed. Tonight, it’s Cena and Sheamus vs. three men to be named in a lumberjack match.
WINNER: John Cena via STF
Rating: 2/10. 1 point for Otunga not blowing any spots, 1 point for getting Hawkins on the A show.
-Santino Marella disrupts Ricardo Rodriguez’s ring introduction, and makes sorta-ethnic jokes to the amusement of several. They have an R-rolling contest, which is sadly the best part of the show so far. Santino introduces Alberto to the amusement of none.
Match 2: Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton
Nice pointless cameo from the US Champion. Lawler even points out the stupidity of Show being re-signed Saturday and still being able to interfere, but Cole has a solid cover: the agreement was verbal, and wasn’t signed until this morning. Alright then. Orton telegraphs a kneedrop, and ADR works the shoulder. Orton tries the hanging DDT, but is backdropped to the apron and knocked off. We go to commercial for the second time in three minutes. We return to ADR working the shoulder, hitting the double knee spike for 2. Orton gets busted open with a gash near his eyebrow, but Del Rio misses a straight dropkick, sailing through the ropes. Back inside, Orton gets the snap slam, followed by the hanging DDT. Mixed reaction for Orton tonight, as he gets into Viper Mode, but Jericho runs in and lands the Codebreaker for the DQ.
WINNER: Randy Orton via DQ
Rating: 5/10. Rushed and tedious; they’re killing their matches tonight with all the crap beforehand.
-Jericho cuts a bitter “best in the world” speech, and hits a second Codebreaker. This actually seems a bit random. Third Codebreaker connects. And….yeah.
Talk Segment: Daniel Bryan and CM Punk
Serenity now. Punk and Bryan showing up is like getting a conjugal visit on this Raw. Bryan claims injustice, because Punk tapped out, even though it was after the bell. Bryan answers his own questions, all of which point to him being champion. In other words, lots of Yeses. Crowd’s doing some nifty mutual yes/no yells. Anyway, Bryan wants a rematch. See, he can get to the point, why can’t anyone else tonight? This brings out Punk, as you’d expect. Punk puts over the match itself, to a respectful applause, but says he did pin Bryan. Man’s got a point. Then he shows the Smackdown footage of Bryan pulling the ruse where Kane attacked Punk with the chair. Punk introduces Kane as Bryan’s opponent for tonight. Punk = Teddy Long in disguise?
Match 3: Kane vs. Daniel Bryan
Punk joins us on commentary, just to try and save the show. Punk even puts Bryan over by admitting the potency of the Yes Lock. Bryan manages to stagger Kane with kicks and the seated senton, but Kane snares a goozle. Bryan avoids the chokeslam and lowbridges Kane over the top rope. A suicide dive later and both men are outside. Punk senses opportunity and brings the chair into play, but Kane catches Bryan holding the weapon. Kane goes ballistic and whacks Bryan with the weapon for the DQ. Pair of chokeslams in the ring punctuates Punk’s snarky revenge.
WINNER: Daniel Bryan via DQ
Rating: 3/10. More of an angle than a match.
-Afterward, Punk hits the ring under the guise of aiding the injured Bryan, and snares him in the Anaconda Vice, making Bryan tap out. As long as the feud continues. Punk steals the Yes appeal.
-AJ flirts with Punk, and he rebuffs her seemingly innocent advance, and she cries. So he gives her a rather gentle hug, and admits he likes crazy chicks. This makes her happy. I have my new power couple, I think.
Match 4: Christian vs. Jinder Mahal (non title)
Poor Christian’s been gone so long, he probably thinks that’s Muhammad Hassan. Christian dominates from the onset, hitting a top rope dropkick, but Mahal manages to backdrop him to the floor. Lawler and Cole have a weird laugh over pronunciation as crowd rallies behind Christian. Christian lands a sunset flip for 2. You know Christian’s a face again, because he does the crowd-involvement clapping thing. Mahal has the camel clutch fail, and Christian lands the Killswitch. He then finishes with a frog splash, which he also used in TNA.
WINNER: Christian via frog splash
Rating: 4/10. That’s actually the best match of the night that didn’t involve chicanery. This is like watching Impact in 2007.
Match 5: Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix
Hey, it’s the 2011 anti-feud of the year! Beth mauls Kelly from the start, hammering away and hitting a scoop slam. Layla watches backstage in daisy dukes, thus making my night. Kelly lands the Flying Seafood Buffet (aka the Thesz press). Corner handspring hits an axe handle, and Beth lands the Glam Slam for the easy win.
WINNER: Beth Phoenix via Glam Slam
Rating: 2/10. Kelly lost, so I’m satisfied
Couldn’t resist on the team name. Maybe Ziggler can bump for five men and save the show. Sheamus and Dolph have a basic sequence ending with a free fall on Ziggler for 2 as Laurinaitis bravely watches from the stage. Then Cena has fun with Swagger, but Tensai gets the tag and destroys Cena. Swagger tags back in and sends Cena hard into the post. Swagger Bomb misses, and tag is made to Sheamus. Powerslam drops Swagger, but Ziggler makes the save, only to be heaved to the floor. Tensai steps in and goes toe to toe with Sheamus, which would be an interesting match actually. Sheamus is knocked outside, and the IRISH TEMPER causes him to go off on the heels at ringside. Quick tags among the heels as Tensai works over Sheamus with a neck twist as we go to commercial. We return to Sheamus escaping Swagger’s clutches and missing a Brogue Kick, only for Swagger to get an ankle lock. He drags Sheamus to the corner and tags Tensai. Sheamus gets thrown outside and gets a beatdown, led by a vindictive Jericho, before being tossed back in. Sheamus tries for the hot tag, but Swagger rolls him back and tags Dolph. Tensai appears to have busted himself open off of headbutts. Speaking of unnecessary skull damage, happy birthday, Chris Benoit! This thing is dragging ass worse than a legless gogo dancer. Swagger works the ground, just to help folks forgo warm milk tonight. Sheamus tries to fight back on Tensai, but is cut down. Ugh, come ON. Cena finally gets the hot tag as I’m waffling here. Spinout bomb on Ziggler. The lumberjacks attack Sheamus on the floor and Cena runs out to help as it turns into a schmozz. A host of faces, including Punk, Christian, Truth, Kofi, and others hit the ring for a huge brawl. Cena goes up the ramp looking for Show. Cena goes backstage and demands to know where Show is from Laurinaitis, but gets nothing. And then Show kills him. The end.
WINNER: No decision rendered
Rating: 3/10. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
OVERALL: Is it Thursday yet? I wanna watch Impact. Or is it Wednesday? I wanna stream NXT.
Justin Henry is a freelance writer whose work appears on many websites. He provides wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture columns for CamelClutchBlog.com, as well as several wrestling columns a week for Wrestlechat.net and WrestleCrap.com. Justin can be found here on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/notoriousjrh and Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/cynicjrh.