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May 24, 2010

Over the Limit thoughts

On a night in which WWE champion John Cena made a quitter out of Batista, and CM Punk was shaved bald, WWE’s Over the Limit pay-per-view Sunday was overshadowed by a serious injury to one of the company’s biggest stars.

Randy Orton suffered a separated right shoulder in his match against Edge, reported.

It was obvious that Orton was legitimately hurt when he began gingerly holding his dangling right arm immediately after doing the set-up spot for the RKO in which he violently pounds on the mat. Orton and Edge quickly went to an improvised double count-out finish in a match that lasted just under 13 minutes. The scene was reminiscent of Orton’s match against Triple H at the One Night Stand pay-per-view two years ago when Orton suffered a broken collarbone.

Orton’s injury and his abbreviated match with Edge put a damper on the show, and the Jack Swagger-Big Show match that immediately followed took it down another notch. The match – which Big Show won when Swagger, the world heavyweight champion, got himself intentionally disqualified – only went five minutes and was a big disappointment for a pay-per-view world title bout.

The Cena-Batista and Mysterio-Punk matches both delivered and most of the other matches were solid. The only title change among the five championship matches saw Kofi Kingston win the Intercontinental title from Drew McIntyre in the opener. Surprisingly, not a single heel got a victory on the show.

Perhaps due to the Orton-Edge match being shortened, the pay-per-view ended 16 minutes before the top of the hour, which is a good 5-to-10 minutes earlier than usual.

Here is a match-by-match look at the show:

WWE champion John Cena defeated Batista in an I Quit Match (20:30): It was pretty much a sure thing that Cena was going to win; the only question was what he would have to do to get Batista to say those two little words. Despite the predictable result, the match was entertaining. The first key spot occurred at the 6:15 mark, when Batista trapped Cena in what used to be known as The Rings of Saturn (Michael Cole referred to it as “Batista’s new submission maneuver.”) Cena powered out of it and immediately applied the STF. Batista passed out from the pain, so the match continued since he did not say that he quit. Cena revived him by pouring a bottle of water on him, and the match continued. Near the 11-minute mark, Batista power-slammed Cena through the announce table. The bump left Cena bleeding from the forehead and the match was stopped as a medic cleaned him up. After the medic finished, Batista told him to “come back later. He’s going to need you.” That was a great ad-lib.

Cena and Batista proceeded to fight through the crowd and up the arena steps. Batista teased dropping Cena off an elevated section of the concourse level, but Cena escaped and punched Batista, who fell from the section onto a group of security guys. At the 18:30 mark, Batista got in one of the cars that was sitting up on the stage as part of the set and backed it up, apparently crushing Cena up against the wall. A few seconds later, Cena emerged from behind the car none the worse for wear. Matt Striker said that Cena obviously had rolled out of the way. Cena then hit an Attitude Adjustment onto the car. When Batista still refused to quit, Cena said, “I was hoping you would say that.” Cena dragged Batista on top of the car and teased hitting an Attitude Adjustment off of it. As Batista was up on Cena’s shoulders, he said “I quit! I quit!” Cena delivered the move anyway, and Batista went crashing through the stage for the big spot of the night. Apparently this was Batista’s WWE swan song, at least for now. Striker said that “Cena knew he had to get rid of Batista, seemingly forever.” This was a convincing win for Cena, who has defeated Batista on three consecutive pay-per-views. As Cena celebrated his victory on the stage, Sheamus came out from the back and took him out with a bicycle kick to the face.

The Big Show defeated world heavyweight champion Jack Swagger by disqualification (5:05): After the unfortunate conclusion to the Edge-Randy Orton match, the last thing WWE should have done was have the very next match end in groan-worthy fashion. I get it that WWE didn’t want Big Show to get pinned or Swagger to lose the title, but it certainly could have come up with a more satisfying finish than having Swagger hit Big Show in the head with the title belt to intentionally get himself DQ’d after just five minutes of action. It amazes me that WWE didn't change things on the fly after the Edge-Orton match was cut short and at least have Swagger and Big Show go five minutes longer than originally planned. After the match, Swagger attacked Big Show with a chair, but Big Show made a comeback. He nailed Swagger with the chair, chokeslammed him onto it and then knocked him out with a big right hand. Swagger came off looking like anything but a credible champion.

Edge and Randy Orton wrestled no a double-countout (12:49): Just as things were starting to heat up, Orton got hurt, and a match that people had high expectations for came to an abrupt end.

Rey Mysterio defeated CM Punk (13:47): For my money, this was the most compelling match on the card due to the stipulations – Punk’s hair vs. Mysterio joining the Straight Edge Society – and the fact that it was hard to predict who was going to win. The match came to a halt at about the three-minute mark as a medic attended to a huge gash on Punk’s forehead, which appeared to be the result of him taking a header into the barricade. It was reported on that it took a dozen staples to close the wound. The break in the action actually may have come at an opportune time, as Mysterio appeared to be shaken up after taking a scary-looking bump. Punk had thrown him through the ropes and headfirst into the barber’s chair that was outside the ring. Mysterio hit the chair hard and looked as if he jammed his neck.

After the match resumed, there was some good back-and-forth action and exciting near falls. Mysterio eventually hit the 619, but he missed the springboard splash. Punk made a nonchalant cover by leaning back on top of Mysterio, but Mysterio snatched Punk in a crucifix cradle for the win. Punk freaked out as he realized he was about to get his head shaved. Luke Gallows, Serena and the masked man – all of whom were banned from ringside – came out and ganged up on Mysterio, but Kane of all people made the save. I have no idea what stake Kane has in any of this. Mysterio handcuffed Punk – who was bleeding heavily again – to the ropes and shaved off a good amount of his hair (the rest of it reportedly was shaved off backstage). Punk did a great job of selling the extreme haircut. I’m expecting a clean-shaven Punk to take his evilness to a new level.

Kofi Kingston defeated Intercontinental champion Drew McIntyre to win the title (6:24): This match was not at all what I had envisioned. Not only did Kingston take the title from McIntyre, but he did so rather easily. McIntyre went for the Future Shock DDT, but Kingston countered and hit an impressive-looking SOS for the victory. After the match, McIntyre demanded that Smackdown general manager Teddy Long come out and reverse the decision. Instead of Long appearing, however, Matt Hardy hit the ring and laid out McIntyre with the Twist of Fate. This came off like a burial of McIntyre, so perhaps the rumors of him having heat backstage are not without merit. I still think the guy has a huge upside.

WWE unified tag team champions The Hart Dynasty defeated Chris Jericho and The Miz (10:43): I was convinced that the belts were changing hands here, but THD won clean with The Hart Attack. This was a well-worked match with several decent near falls during the last couple minutes.

WWE Divas champion Eve Torres defeated Maryse (5:03): The Divas take a lot of abuse from Internet critics – most of whom don’t seem willing to even give them a chance – but I thought this was a fun match. Eve has improved a lot, and whatever Maryse lacks in in-ring ability, she compensates for with her facial expressions and mannerisms. Eve got the win after she countered Maryse’s French Kiss DDT, straddled Maryse’s head with her legs and then dropped down, driving Maryse’s face into the mat.

R-Truth defeated Ted DiBiase Jr. (7:46): I’m not surprised that R-Truth won, but I am surprised that Virgil wasn’t a factor in the finish. Either DiBiase was doing a great sell job or he was legitimately stunned by a hard slap to the face early in the match. Eventually, R-Truth hit the Lie Detector for the clean victory. I wouldn’t be surprised if DiBiase blames his loss on Virgil and fires him tonight on Raw.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 6:13 AM | | Comments (34)


Fantastic results.

A good definition of modern professional wrestling could be:
"It's a form of sporting entertainment theater where John Cena wins at the end".

1. The best match was definitely Cena/Batista with an impressive finish to end a rivalry. I believe that Batista will demand a rematch in the F4Way but will not be granted. Enraged, he'll say that he leaves this company as it does not deserve someone like him as storyline.

2. I knew that Swagger will retain the title by DQ as he could eventually not lift Show for the Gutwrench Powerbomb. But the match was way too short. I think that to compensate Edge/Orton match, Big Show was simply asked to punish Swagger more longer.

3. The other results doesn't really surprise me but still to see CM Punk getting shaved, it was worth to see it. I have a storyline in mind [correct me if i'm wrong]:-

- CM Punk's hair was his sign of 'purity' and hence, his reason to be the leader of SES. The masked man could hence, make Serena and Gallows rebel against Punk, as he no more has his hair.

4. Finally, I'd love to see the match you proposed for the WWE F4Way but, do you really think that Randy will be able to fight with his injured arm (I don't really know the extent of the injury)?

hi kev so orton injurys was real not fake


Hey Kev,

Just wanted to get your thoughts on the Kofi Intercontinental championship win. Who do you think will be his next challenger? Drew McIntyre again? Or will someone like Cody Rhodes or Dolph Zigger (i hope) get a shot?

Im glad that people liked the Divas Match because I never knew why people give these women such a hard time and there is nothing wrong with their matches either, so why can't people give the divas the respect they deserve because I Personally think all the TNA knockouts (execpt Victoria) suck and they all should go to hell.

Is this the first-ever PPV without a heel victory? I have to think so.

I take the Swagger/Show match as an indication that Big Show really can't be an effective singles wrestler. He's probably too big to keep it up for a lengthy match, and he's almost impossible to beat fair-and-square. He was perfectly placed as a tag-team heavy; it's hard to see him sustaining a top-level singles program.

You just saved me $44 ++ on my cable bill,thanks.

Worst PP since WrestleMania 25. Just shocking. One OK match, the rest were boring.

No heels prevailed then, hmmm.

Kevin, what are your thoughts on the commentary from the announcers during the Divas match? I personally felt it took away from the work that Maryse and Eve did in the ring.

The incessant cackling and guffawing from the announcers reminded me of a "Mexican Hardcore Match" in WCW years ago where the announcers spent most of the time laughing at the competitors, who really put on an excellent match by today's standards and even took hit some dangerous spots (at one point, Psichosis did a suicide dive outside the ring to La Parka, who greeted him with a baseball swing chairshot straight to the head).

I really didn't care for the jeering during a Divas match that really didn't deserve such.

Eve is actually really good. It's a shame people don't give the women much of a chance but then again in fairness, why should fans give them a chance when the WWE doesn't seem to very often. That was a good match though, Eve's moonsault is really cool.

On a scale of 1-10, what would you rate Over the Limit?


Fantastic Results Summary!
As someone who missed the PPV last night, I appreciate the detail!

Eck - I don't get it sometimes but maybe you can explain as you worked for WCW. Why didn't the ref end the match as soon as he knew Orton was seriously hurt? Why risk further injury? In addition, the 'powers that be' in the back could've pulled aside Big Show/Swagger and instructed them to add some time to their bout. Much more believable to the novice wrestling fan. Audibles look so weak and makes 'smart' wrestling fans look like idiots. Your thoughts?

RESPONSE FROM KE: The mentality in wrestling is that you don't just stop the match; you immedately improvise a finish.

It's one thing to tell your guys not to blade anymore, but to stop a world title PPV match with a 'hardcore' stipulation because of a little incidental blood is absurd.

It really sucks having Randy injured. The Orton and Edge feud was the most compelling thing going on Raw right now. And about Punk, I agree the shaved head should add a whole nother level of creepinies to his act. But I will die if I have to watch a Punk and Kane feud, it's been long enough Punk needs the title back at Fatal 4 Way, I'm just saying...

Is Batista still leaving WWE? I thought the match against Cena was "I quit WWE" match. Doesn't seem like it was. I hope he stays, he's at the top of his game right now. Too bad Cena can't be beat.

I tell you what, i'm getting really fed up of the doctors constantly stopping matches for a bit of blood. i mean i get that they want to further Linda McMahon's political aspirations by going PG, but this is just stupid. the only reason that the punk mysterio match didn't fall flat after the stoppage is because punk came back and threw mysterio around like a rag doll for about a minute. it's just something that really gets to a fan who grew up during the attitude era. got any thoughts on these stoppages kev?

RESPONSE FROM KE: I'm not a big fan of it, but I understand from a business standpoint why they're doing it.

I was looking forward to a good I-C program with McIntyre and Kofi however a 6 minute match is not doing anything for the championship or the guys fighting for it. (same could be said for the World Heavyweight Championship) I thought it was to early for Drew to drop the title but at least it was to Kofi who has a lot of promise. Both Kofi and Drew seems to have what it takes to move on to bigger things.

Speaking of young guys that should be the future of the company, I see THD as not only a great team but both could have successful singles careers down the line. Kidd seems very capable of being a breakout star because of his in ring skills which remind me of a mix between Bret and Jericho.

It's a shame that Orton was hurt, hopefully it will not keep him out for long.

I'm looking forward to a crazy bald Punk.

Hey Kevin-how much of the medical attention mid match and WWE booking on the whole do you think is based on Linda Mcmahon senate campaign?

RESPONSE FROM KE: It's definitely a factor in my opinion, but the other reason for the content change as to do with attracting top-level sponors.

Eck, who do you think benefits from Orton's likely absence? I'm hoping Sheamus, but part of me thinks that they may bring back HHH a little early to compensate.


To the fans who felt just as ripped off or slighted as I did watching last nights disasterous PPV, we have to keep in mind that SH** HAPPENS!

Why did the DiBiase/R-Truth match suck so bad? DiBiase suffered a concussion from the slap, yes SLAP he recieved in the beginning of the match, which left him pretty groggy for the rest of the match. This was the cause for why the rest of the match was so sloppy and unusual... they improvised and did the best they could, I suppose.

Why did the Orton/Edge match end so abruptly with a double DQ?

Orton went into this match ALREADY sore from the house show the day before the PPV, which contributed to his seperated shoulder around the 6 minute mark into what should have been a 15 minute match.

Also, Batista suffered an injury to his tailbone/lower back when he took the last two bumps of the evening. Not sure yet how serious the injury is, but don't be surprised if he isn't jumping in the ring tonight... he is taking a break from WWE, but reports online say this was not his last match... if the injury is bad enough, it just may be.

Punk recieved 12 surgical stiches in his head backstage after the PPV was over from the bump he took headfirst into the barricade.

All in all, people got hurt and it was no fault of their own. Accidents really do happen, and these Pros do their best to improvise and deliver excitement on the fly... so it is what it is.

I must admit though, this whole stopping of matches so the trainer can tend to a papercut is ridiculous! Wrestling is not different, WWE is!
You wanna see people like Flair, Hogan, and whoever else bleed like a stuffed pig at a rendevous, then watch TNA. They still wet the appetites for the fans of the 80's/90's/2000's. It's 2010, and WWE won't be catering to the hardcore fans anymore. A nosebleed will stop a match now for at least 5 minutes, and we have nobody but LINDA MCMAHON and her Senate run to thank for that. I hope she hurries up and drops her candacy so WWE can get their product back the way it should be!

Why the hell were there so many injuries? I heard Batista hurt his tailbone and back too.

Were they trying to recreate Brawl for All?

Apparently from what I read, DiBiase may have actually gotten a concussion from R-Truth's hard slap. Man, after seeing it again, it wouldn't surprise me if that wasn't the case.

RESPONSE FROM KE: The mentality in wrestling is that you don't just stop the match; you immediately improvise a finish.

Isn't that even more dangerous than a steel chair shot to the head or any hardcore elements in a match? Honestly!

Im glad that people liked the Divas Match because I never knew why people give these women such a hard time and there is nothing wrong with their matches either, so why can't people give the divas the respect they deserve because I Personally think all the TNA knockouts (execpt Victoria) suck and they all should go to hell.

Posted by: Rodman | May 24, 2010 10:38 AM

I think what happens is that people remember what the division once was and can't stand what it's become. It's hard to call them matches when they barely last 3 minutes. Even last night's match, which was above average, was only 5 minutes. I agree that most of the women are solid workers, you'd never know it by how they're booked.

Hey how did R-truth get the US title i thought bret hart won it last time on RAW?

For a PPV that's called Over The Limit, stopping two matches because of blood is just embarrassing! I know it's the new policy, but it just made WWE look tragic by doing it. It also seemed they were only filming from the back as CM Punks head was being shaved, as if they were not prepared to show the front shots because of the blood.

Rey Mysterio winning. Ugh.

One website has reported that Virgil was supposed to get involved in the match later, but that Ted's concussion made them have to drop the angle.

Drew Mcintyre seems like he is the future. He reminds of Orton back in the 2003 evolution days, He seems like he could carry some of the company on his back. I see him in 5 years competing for the WWE Championship headlining Wrestlemania

P:S Both Randy and Drew 1st title was the Intercontinental Championship

The funny thing about the PPV lasting less than expected is put an article many months ago where they put over Wrestling PPVs because "when you buy them, you have 3 hours of action guaranteed, unlike in MMA PPVs, where you can have sudden finishes and then fill-in matches to complete the time".
The other thing they put over in that article was PPV's prices. Ok...So I guess now they can only brag about prices.

Cmon when is it gonna happen.... either The Rock or Stone Cold to give and show John Cena that you gotta do alot more than make movies and sell mercahndise to tally up that many championships in such little time. Cena has beaten two opponents at Wrestlemania that I thought were jokes...HHH and HBK cmon do you really think Cena could beat either of them?

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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