Over The Limit 2012
People Power Battle Royal : ** 1/2
R-Truth/Kofi Kingston vs Zig/Swag : ***
Layla vs Beth Phoenix : ** 1/2
Sheamus vs Randy Orton vs Chris Jericho vs Alberto Del Rio
Had this at **** on my first watch, checking back in on DVD to see how it holds up. Very slow build here, they stay in the feeling out process for a while with the faces going against the heels and the heels teaming up against the faces. Liked (not loved) the exchange between Sheamus and Orton, and I always thought their chemistry was OKAY if nothing else. Jericho was pretty boss in this one, making EVERYBODY look good. When the heel alliance finally explodes, this thing finally begins to pick up, and we go into a finisher fest and a near fall frenzy.
This segment of the match is fucking fantastic, and one of the best near fall sequences I've ever seen. The pace is awesomely fast and all 4 men look good in this segment. I have a simple problem with this however ; This near fall and heightened pace came out of NOWHERE. We had a slow build where everybody was feeling each other out, and then we explode to the climax of the match. The drama is there, but I feel this match needed a better middle portion to really be a classic. Is it a great match ? No doubt as the last 5 minutes are some of the best I've ever seen, and neither man comes out of this looking weak. Not exactly a SHOW STOPPING match, but a match you enjoy more on the first watch. Exciting.
The Miz vs Brodus Clay : * 3/4
CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan
Who would have ever thought that these two would SEMI main event (I love you Cena, but this should have gone on last) a PPV for the WWE championship ? We start off with some really stiff kicks by both men as the big fight atmosphere is there, but these guys don't pander to the crowd at all. This tells me one thing ; the audience is buying into the actual WRESTLING of the match, which is something we don't see too often. These guys go back and forth and back and forth with some really brutal strikes that kind of remind me of the chops that we saw in the Steamboat-Flair series. Early on Punk begins to work Bryan's leg with some good kicks, and it essentially becomes a bullseye for the rest of the match, as well as when Bryan begins to target Punk's ribs. What we get from these two in this match is some of the best fucking psychology I've ever seen, as both men sell their injuries PERFECTLY.
Now I'm going to talk about the various holds and moves used in this match. Both men use a wide array of moves that they don't normally use, such as Punk whipping out a dueling figure four leglock to the injured leg of Bryan, or Bryan using a Mexican surfboard to stabilize Punk. These moves look brutal (in a good way of course) and it only serves to me as a reminder that straight up wrestling can be exciting to everybody if executed correctly. Besides using unique holds, both men use a variety of aerial manuevers on each other, complete with top rope springboards and perfect double missle dropkicks. This adds a more exciting dimension to an already awesome match, as we see the slow build that we were getting earlier gradually build into a more well layered encounter (take notes SD FFW !). We then move to what I perceive to be the climax of the match, with both men trying to hit that home run manuever but not seemingly being able to (that missed kick sequence is awesome and you should check it out right now) until Bryan gets the YES! Lock.
This leads us to an interesting finish, as Punk rolls over and gets Bryan down for the 123 and the win, however he taps seconds after the bell rings. I thought it was a good finish as Punk more or less SURVIVED Bryan and caught him in his own move, rather than definitively beating him. After this match, I'm fucking spent. The brutality without having to use a single weapon or resort to spotty wrestling, the amazing psychology and brilliant storytelling, the back and forth technical wrestling and fantastic holds, I think I just had a wrestling orgasm. Wait... No, definitely not. It's giving me a REALLY hard time to say this but.... THIS is the MOTY so far in 2012 (I'm sorry Trips
). Everything clicked, and for SOME REASON I'm not going to give this the full five, although I might if I sleep on it. Might be a top 25 WWE match of all time IMO. Watch this immediately.
Ryback vs Camacho : N/A
John Cena vs John Laurinaitis
If I could describe this match in one word (minus the ending) , it would be FUN. This is your typical big time face destroys corporate figure match, except this is less intense and more of a comedy type match. Cena doesn't BRUTALLY beat Johnny Ace throughout the match, he just toys with Ace until the finish. It was interesting and it kept me engaged, especially Johnny Ace's Booker T impression that had me cracking up. It was something we haven't seen before in the main event of a PPV , but I feel that it somewhat worked... Until the finish.
Oh my god, do I HATE the ending to this PPV. Not that Johnny Ace won, it's just the fact that we laid witness to one of the worst heel turns in history. Here's a few reasons why this ending sucked : Number one , this was extremely obvious. Number two, this is 2012 and the Big Show switches allegiances atleast 3 times a year so nobody really cares. Number three, if you're going to go this route, DO IT BEFORE THE EPIC WWE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH. Why did this have to end the PPV... I mean... THE BIG SHOW ? If it had to be somebody relevant like Punk or Ryder it would have been cool, but SHOW ? Ugh nevermind. This was super fun while it lasted, but the ending pisses me off more than anything I've ever seen in wrestling, and that's saying ALOT. Hard to grade, so we'll give it an average one.
This PPV exceeded my expectations, the main reason being that we got an all time classic featuring the 2 greatest workers the business has to offer today and my personal MOTY so far. Not only do we get that, but we get another pretty great world title match that featuring an exciting finish, and a pretty great opener by today's tag team standards (battle royal technically isn't the opener). It's the kind of show where nothing is really BAD at all, as I thought everything on this was either decent-great, or just short (Clay, Ryback). Fuck, I even enjoyed the WOMEN'S match, and that's saying something. I WOULD say that this is a complete show that you should check out, but the last 5 minutes of the PPV has really been an albatross for me, sinking in down into the depths. Still, despite the fucked up ending, we get one of the greatest matches of our time and some good complimentary pieces to that. Not as good as ER or Mania, but a pretty good PPV in it's own right.