WWE Over the Limit 2012 Predictions: Match-by-Match Breakdown
This Sunday's Over the Limit pay-per-view will be the company's third PPV in a seven-week span, meaning that wrestling fans are probably too burnt out and too broke to care about it.
Yet, there is actually a pretty solid card for the show far.
We've got a star-studded Fatal 4-Way for the World Heavyweight Championship, a very solid WWE Tag Team Championship match and an Internet fan's dream matchup featuring CM Punk taking on Daniel Bryan for the WWE title.
It's going to take a lot, and is probably impossible, for Over the Limit to top WrestleMania or Extreme Rules. But if the show is booked well, it could be surprisingly good.
That, of course, is easier said than done, but I guess we'll see on Sunday.
In the meantime, though, let's take a look at what may happen at Over the Limit with my match-by-match breakdown of the PPV.
Pre-Show Match: Zack Ryder vs. Kane
This match should have happened at WrestleMania 28 when the storyline was set up perfectly and wrestling fans would have actually cared about it.
Kane had spent months ruining Zack Ryder's career, so it would have been nice to get a huge payoff at Mania with Ryder going over The Big Red Monster.
But we all know that didn't happen, and now, neither Kane nor Ryder is exactly in a favorable position on the card.
Kane has basically turned into just another heel, while Ryder is nothing more than a glorified jobber at this point.
Thus, this match doesn't have the luster it should have and, like with Santino Marella vs. The Miz at Extreme Rules, it is sort of just randomly thrown together to give us a pre-show match on YouTube.
Kane vs. Ryder will likely be the first match that the live crowd sees, so to start the night off on the right note and get the crowd hot, you might think that Ryder will get the win.
Yet, Ryder has been booked so horribly as of late—yes, even worse than Kane—that I just don't see him triumphing over Kane.
He just jobbed to the Primetime Players on SmackDown and has jobbed to the likes of Alberto Del Rio and even Kane himself in recent months. I'm not sure there are plans for that to stop anytime soon, either.
Sorry, Ryder fans.
The Pick: Kane
Divas Championship: Layla vs. Beth Phoenix
Layla just won the Divas Championship at Extreme Rules, but especially after the tepid reactions she's received from the crowd, I don't expect her to be anything more than a transitional champion.
I don't foresee Layla holding the Divas title very long, but my only question is whether or not she'll immediately drop it back to Beth Phoenix at Over the Limit.
The WWE likely wants to do Beth vs. Kharma in the near future (probably at SummerSlam), so the thin Divas roster might force creative to extend this rivalry between Layla and Beth until Kharma's ready to return.
While it wouldn't surprise me if Layla lost the belt on Sunday, what's the point?
Like I mentioned earlier, she just returned and just won the title less than a month ago. Taking it off of her would ruin her return before it really even got started, while also making Beth's title loss to the Bellas completely pointless.
I assume that Beth is going to regain the title in the near future because she's the only heel Diva (does A.J. count?) who really matters these day.
I just don't think her day is here yet.
On a whim, I'll say that Beth loses after re-tweaking her ankle, thus making her still look strong in defeat and granting her another match down the road.
The Pick: Layla
WWE Tag Team Titles: R-Truth & Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger
Hey, here's a pleasant surprise: The WWE Tag Team Championship being defended on pay-per-view.
Even though we haven't, I feel like we've seen this match countless times before, which is probably because Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne faced Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler a bunch of times in 2011.
Obviously, the difference is that R-Truth is now Kofi's partner.
Anyway, this match appears to be the start of a tag team revival in the WWE (and is to some extent), but it also appears to be nothing more than a short-term solution and a way to get all four competitors involved a feud while they have nothing else to do.
I'm not sure why Ziggler and Swagger deserve this title match storyline-wise (Ziggler beat Kingston one-on-one, and that's about it), but the match itself should be good, assuming it gets a decent amount of time.
Like with the Divas title match, though, we've got brand new champions defending their titles here, which means that it's highly unlikely they'll lose.
Every time that Ziggler and Swagger have been plugged into the WWE Tag Team Championship chase, it's basically been filler for them to do have something to do while creative thinks of something else for them.
They've been thrown into tag team title matches a handful of times recently, and not once did they actually win them.
I don't see that changing now, especially because Truth and Kingston have only held the tiles for a few weeks.
The Pick: Truth and Kingston
Fatal 4-Way for World Heavyweight Title: Sheamus vs. Jericho vs. Orton vs. Del Rio
Fatal 4-Way matches are always hard to predict, but that's especially true in this case.
Why? Because we have to think that there was a reason why Chris Jericho and Randy Orton were suddenly added to this match.
That reason may be to give this World Heavyweight title match some more star power or to improve the quality of the match, but it also may be to get the title off of Sheamus without having him take the pin.
When this match was first made, I thought that there was no doubt that Sheamus would retain, but given what has transpired recently, I'm not sure that that's the case anymore.
While I don't think Alberto Del Rio has any chance of winning here, I do think that Jericho or Orton could—let me stress that "could" part—end up ending Sheamus' title reign just after started.
The most likely to do that? Jericho.
I've always felt like it makes for a much better story (for the most part) to see the baby face chase the heel for the title, and since I'm not crazy about that heel being ADR, I think it could be Y2J.
He's built up a lot of momentum recently, and he's the type of heel who could carry the SmackDown brand as its World champion. In fact, I think he will.
I'll assume that Sheamus won't get pinned at Over the Limit, but that he'll lose the title anyway, likely by getting pulled out of the ring by Jericho after hitting Del Rio with the Brogue Kick and seeing Y2J sneak in to get the pin.
This would put mega heat on Jericho, build up some sympathy for Sheamus and protect Orton by leaving him out of the finish altogether.
Sounds like a very logical situation to me.
The Pick: Jericho
John Laurinaitis vs. John Cena
I can't believe this is actually a pay-per-view match, but oh well, I gotta predict it anyway.
Up until last night's Raw, I thought that the obvious outcome of this bout would be John Laurinaitis beating John Cena after getting some help from Lord Tensai and Sakamato, essentially making it a three-on-one handicap match.
But after Laurinaitis fired Big Show last night, I think this is setting up for a different, yet still rather obvious finish on Sunday.
The letter that Cena read at the end of Raw said that any WWE superstar who interfered in this match would be immediately terminated, but given that he was just "fired," Big Show is technically no longer a WWE superstar.
That, in turn, sets the stage for Big Show to interfere in Laurinaitis vs. Cena at Over the Limit, help Laurinaitis get the win and then get re-hired the following night on Raw, which could perhaps lead to a much-needed heel turn for Show.
This setup is so ridiculously obvious that I'm not sure it'll actually happen because creative may try to swerve us as a result.
But given everything that's been going on between Big Show and Laurinaitis and the fact that I don't think Laurinaitis' time as the Raw and SmackDown GM is ending anytime soon, this is this finish that seems the most likely.
In fact, I would bank on Show "invading" Over the Limit and helping Laurinaitis beat Cena so that he can stop crying and get his job back.
The Pick: Laurinaitis
WWE Championship: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan
The buildup to CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan has been almost nonexistent, but I think that's largely because the WWE thinks the quality of this match will sell itself.
I'd obviously expect this to be one of the best matches of the year. Yet, given how this feud has been booked during its three-week existence, creative has basically suggested that Bryan has no chance on Sunday.
I thought that was the case, too, until Punk appeared in a backstage segment with A.J. on Raw in which A.J. wished him good luck against Bryan but found herself getting spurned by Punk.
AJ looked pretty upset after this, and I get the feeling that she now has beef with both Punk and Bryan, meaning that it's incredibility likely that she will interfere in their match at Over the Limit.
The only question is: Who will she screw out of the WWE Championship?
I think the angle is going to be that she tries to screw over Punk to win Bryan back, but instead, she inadvertently costs Bryan the match and helps Punk retain.
This would add to the story that A.J. keeps unintentionally costing Bryan, and it could lead to some insane heat for Bryan if he freaks out as a result.
While Bryan's incredibly hot right now and it wouldn't be totally surpassing if he won on Sunday, I get the sense that Punk's WWE title reign is going to approach the one-year mark, if not surpass it.
Obviously, that would then mean that Punk is going to retain at Over the Limit, which I think is going to happen, though it may not be totally clean and could perhaps extend this rivalry to No Way Out.
The Pick: Punk