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, wwe.com 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 pwinsider.com 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.