WWE Over the Limit 2012: Preview and Predictions from B/R's Evolution
In mere hours, WWE presents its third annual Over the Limit pay-per-view live from the PNC Center in Raleigh, N.C. With only three weeks removed from Extreme Rules, WWE has done their best to hype this show as one that shouldn't be missed, and I believe they've succeeded in that sense.
On one hand, we'll witness a dream match finally come to fruition on WWE programming as Daniel Bryan contends for the WWE Championship against CM Punk. Although the build-up to this title bout has been horrendous, the match itself should prove to be awe-inspiring.
Moreover, the ongoing saga between John Cena and John Laurinaitis will reach a climax as they clash in a no count-out, no disqualification match tonight. If any Superstar interferes in the match, they will terminated on the spot, along with Laurinaitis should he lose.
Here, I am once again joined by the past, present and future of Bleacher Report to help me analyze tonight's electric pay-per-view with their intelligent insight on all things wrestling.
Without further ado, please allow me to introduce the recognizable talent of SiD, Daniel Massey, RiZE, and Nate Scaccia, otherwise known as the Evolution of Bleacher Report, for the most jam-packed prediction article ever conducted!
Zack Ryder vs. Kane
GSM: Here's the match that I would have loved to see on a pay-per-view months ago, but has now somehow made its way to the pre-show three months after the feud already ended. Regardless, it's a nice way to include notable names on the card while hopefully producing some enjoyable in-ring action.
Given the fact that Ryder hasn't won a meaningful match in ages while Kane just recently defeated both CM Punk and Big Show, I see the Big Red Monster going over here.
RiZE: It seems as if the WWE waited far too long to set up a match between these two. The storyline between John Cena and Kane is what ultimately led to Ryder’s fall from grace (and loss of the U.S. Championship). If anything, Ryder should’ve faced Kane at WrestleMania.
Honestly, I felt as if the WWE had given up on this until Ryder’s “spur of the moment” attack on Kane at Extreme Rules. There hasn’t been any build to this match since and I believe its pointless filler. Nonetheless, I believe Kane will win this match as WWE management isn’t particularly high on Ryder right now.
SiD: I'd like to say that this has been the worst built feud in 2012, by the WWE. Kane injures Zack Ryder in the early part of January, and when Ryder returns, all he does is wait for the right time; after Kane feuds with Cena and Orton? Does this even make sense?
Anyways, we're getting this match, and this will not be a technical classic. I'd like to think that Zack Ryder wins this match, and ends this so-called feud, once and for all, just because the WWE Universe doesn't seem to care about this feud, and nor do the "WWE Officials". Expect Zack Ryder to pick up the victory with the Rough Ryder, and then the feud ends for good.
Massey: This short feud revival is a really good match to whet our appetites for Over The Limit. Kane put Zack Ryder in a wheelchair a few months ago when he seemed to have regained his monstrous status within the WWE. He since feuded with John Cena and Randy Orton which has kept him busy throughout the Road To WrestleMania.
Since losing to both John Cena and Randy Orton in the culmination of the aforementioned feuds, he has completely lost any momentum WWE could have given him since re-igniting (pun intended) his psychotic nature. I have a horrible feeling Zack Ryder will be victorious so that people head into the PPV feeling good about the show. There is no way a heel will ever win these pre-show matches. Zack Ryder all the way, but he may get a little bit of help.
Scaccia: I’d like to see Ryder win here, but he won’t. For whatever reason, he has been pushed back down the ladder and is pretty much a jobber now. Kane has run out of steam and has not accomplished much in the WWE. It is a shame that these two are reduced to a thrown together pre-show match. Kane wins and nothing comes out of it.
Overall Consensus: Kane-3, Ryder-2
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth vs. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (WWE Tag Team Titles)
GSM: As much as I don't like Kofi Kingston and R-Truth as tag team champions, they're capable of putting on a decently good match, so pairing them with Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger could be a great opener. Ziggler and Swagger haven't been too successful as of late, so an inevitable split could be on the horizon. Add that to the fact Kingston and Truth just recently won the titles and it's blatantly obvious they'll retain here.
RiZE: This match has been given a small amount of steam heading into Over the Limit. I just question the WWE’s decision to randomly pair two singles stars instead of pushing legit tag teams. The WWE built this title match through matches but I’d much rather see a promo (by both teams) in the weeks leading up to the pay per view.
As far as the winner goes, I believe Kofi and Truth will retain since the creative team apparently doesn’t care for Ziggler and Swagger right now. In case aren’t aware, Swagger and Ziggler lost to the Usos on Superstars this week.
SiD: I've been liking the state of the tag team division lately, with some new up-and-coming teams coming up recently. The most entertaining team in the WWE right now, in my opinion, is none other than Titus O' Neil and Darren Young, but that's not the point here. Here we have: two teams who have a lot of chemistry between them will be facing each other, in what is supposed to be a three and a half star match.
As far as the winner goes, I think it's going to be Air Jimmy winning this match, and then losing the tag team championships to D. Young and O' Neil in the future. After this, I hope that Ziggler and Swagger feud for the United States championship, since that's where they can go in the future. A Ziggler world title reign is very probable at the end of 2012, though.
Massey: This is a tough one. WWE are currently treating the Tag Team Championships as a hot potato, possibly in an attempt to see which team if any can revive the flagging division. I think that keeping the tag-team championships on the same team has its benefits, such as consistency, yet I also think a change would be great for the division.
My reasoning purely rests on Vickie Guerrero’s shoulders. Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler make a formidable team and the fact they have a manager keeping them on the same page helps their situation out immensely.
I predict they will beat Truth and Kingston for the WWE Tag Team Championships with help from Vickie Guerrero and hopefully WWE will introduce a few more tag teams before things grow stale again.
Scaccia: Pretty simple here, Kofi and Truth will win. Ziggler is much better than the tag championships. The only reason he and Swagger are competing for the straps is because there are no other options in this current tag division.
Overall Consensus: Truth/Kingston-4, Ziggler/Swagger-1
Layla vs. Beth Phoenix (Divas Championship)
GSM: Given the fact that Layla and Beth Phoenix are two of the better women's wrestlers in division today, this match should be better than most Divas matches we're accustomed to today. Layla just won the title, so it would seem pointless for her to drop it back to Beth Phoenix this early in her reign. I'd love to see Kharma make an appearance, but sadly, the chances are slim.
RiZE: I’ll commend the WWE for giving this Divas title match a little build heading into the pay per view but not nearly as much as it would take to get me to care. Yes, Beth’s injury is what ultimately led to Layla winning her first championship in over a year.
Due to Beth never getting her rightful rematch, I understand why she was immediately inserted in as Layla’s next challenger. It just seems like the WWE “brushed this under the rug” like they do with every Divas program.
Anyway, I expect Layla to retain her championship as the WWE hasn’t given me any significant reason to believe otherwise. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kharma returned sometime during this match.
SiD: As I stated in an article here on WrestleEnigma.com, I actually have high expectations for this match, and I think that this match can exceed the expectations of the average viewer, and can possibly be the best divas match in 2012. On one side, we have Beth Phoenix, who is the dominant monster, facing Layla, who is the cheeky underdog, who has the momentum on her side.
I firmly expect Layla to grab the victory with a roll up, and then go on to have a long reign, which can end in September. Layla is playing the role of a connectable face, and this will continue after a win over the Glamazon.
Massey: I love Beth Phoenix—it is no secret. But she doesn’t stand a cat in hell's chance of winning on Sunday unfortunately. Layla, the returning Diva, captured the WWE Divas Championship from Nikki Bella when she came back in an explosive fashion. I say an explosive fashion...as explosive as a Divas match can be nowadays.
She will not lose the title that quickly and the WWE hate giving Beth Phoenix any sort of credibility for some reason and she always ends up appearing weak. Layla will win—probably with a roll up.
Scaccia: Layla keeps the belt here. Having Phoenix beat her here would really make her return devalued. Layla needs to win here to show that she can actually hold her own against the best the WWE has to offer.
Overall Consensus: Layla-5, Phoenix-0
Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. Chris Jericho vs. Alberto Del Rio (World Title)
GSM: Creative made an extremely smart move by evolving this from just a boring singles match to an electric Fatal-4 Way that has much more potential to steal the show. Alberto Del Rio was nowhere to be seen on this week's programming, but he got enough momentum last week that he's proved his placement in this match.
Same can be said for Chris Jericho, who doesn't seem to have a chance in hell of winning yet will still provide a quality performance as always.
Backstage officials have a lot of faith in Sheamus as the face of Friday nights, so I expect him to retain here. A feud between him and Randy Orton could very well be possible, but there's no reason to give the strap to Orton this early in the rivalry if that's the direction they're going in.
RiZE: What’s this brand extension you speak of? I apologize for my humor but I find it ironic that Jericho is challenging for the World Championship. It was just a few short weeks ago that Jericho was the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship.
Anyway, this match has been built around Orton vs. Sheamus with Del Rio and Jericho as supporting characters. I can’t say I have a problem with this as an Orton heel turn is seemingly in the works. However, I expect Sheamus to retain this championship and continue to this program with Orton solely.
SiD: Sheamus has been dubbed as the second "Super Cena" in the WWE; with his recent wins, and unclean losses. After defeating Daniel Bryan in what is the most electrifying match at Extreme Rules, Sheamus has had a wave of momentum with him, as he defeated Bryan in a 2 out of 3 falls match again.
Now, he faces a daunting task in the form of three challengers, who are more than capable of stealing the title from Sheamus. What should be the best move in this situation? Should it be Sheamus retaining his gold? My answer is no, as I feel that Sheamus should definitely lose to one of these men, and that will help Sheamus' career.
So, who in my opinion should win this match? Should it be, the best in the world at everything he does, the Viper, or the Mexican Aristocrat? The answer is simple, and it is Alberto Del Rio. ADR has never gotten a believable reign, and I feel that now's his chance to shine at the top, and be the world champion for the third time. Therefore, I think that ADR will steal the victory by possibly pinning Randy Orton with the help of Ricardo Rodriguez.
Massey: This Fatal 4-Way for the World Heavyweight Championship has the potential to be a great match. With two faces and two heels, it will have a solid start before things descend into chaos. It has been a very long time since the WWE presented us with a good Fatal 4-Way. I am probably more pumped for this match than CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan.
I see Sheamus retaining here despite him only having a 25 percent chance of keeping the gold around his waist. I believe he will get the win over Randy Orton so they can feud for the title into No Way Out. Then again, I would also like to see all four men staying involved for another Fatal 4-Way in a cage or something similar.
Scaccia: I really like this match, four great competitors going at it inside the ring. But really, there is only two possible options. Alberto Del Rio winning this match would be a complete shocker and I do not think it will happen. The same goes for Jericho. Either Orton will win or Sheamus will retain.
With those options, I think Sheamus will retain his championship. It is too soon in his reign to lose his belt. What I would like to see happen is Orton losing and turning heel. Orton is always better as a heel and I think he would really dominate as a heel. Regardless, Sheamus retains and we move farther into his reign.
Overall Consensus: Sheamus-4, Del Rio-1, Orton-0, Jericho-0
CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship)
GSM: It's disappointing that this match, of all the advertised bouts on tonight's card, has been hyped the least. Sure, we IWC members know that the contest could quite possibly be a match of the year candidate, but they never truly gave casual fans an incentive to care about this match.
There's a likely chance AJ will make an appearance here, but I'm not entirely sure in what manner. With little focus given to Daniel Bryan since the initiation of this feud, it would be strange if he were to win the WWE Championship here. CM Punk retains, but this highly anticipated rivalry is far from over.
RiZE: This match is easily an Internet fan's dream. I can’t say I share their anticipation as I’m disappointed in the manner in which the WWE has built this program. It seemed like the WWE was more focused on giving Lord Tensai momentum before this week’s Raw and SmackDown. Besides that, does anyone else find it a little strange that the General Manager is more important than the two men that entered WrestleMania as world champion?
Anyway, it seems as if these two have traded the “upper hand” but I think it’s rather obvious that CM Punk will retain the WWE Championship. The WWE has done a decent job of making Bryan look somewhat strong going into this match but his chances are slim to none. I also expect some involvement on AJ Lee’s part.
SiD: The thought of this match would make the Internet Wrestling Community's mouth water, but we are really getting this match, and we should thank WWE for this. As far as the match goes, there's no doubt that this can be a five-star match, with the right booking, if WWE is willing to utilize the talents of these two men, and I strongly believe that they will.
I think CM Punk and Daniel Bryan will NOT be the main event, but as far as the true main event goes, this match will be ahead of others by light years.
The million dollar question arises now: who wins? My answer might just be different from the rest, but I'm going to pick Daniel Bryan. CM Punk has been champion for a long time, and considering WWE's booking, he is bound to lose that gold soon, and he will lose it to his former best friend, and then they will have a long, detailed storyline, involving AJ, and probably also Kaitlyn. But for now, Bryan wins with the Yes Lock.
Massey: This should be one of the finest technical wrestling displays we have seen in recent history. WWE have done the right thing here for once and built up both superstars in their own company before pitting them against one another instead of relying on popularity from the Indy circuit. This way, they are reaching a much bigger audience as they are bringing in the WWE Universe as well as the hardcore wrestling fans.
Add the WWE title to the mix and this match puts Over The Limit on the map. What makes it better is the fact that no other storyline is bearing down on them. The only problem is that AJ is almost certain to interfere, but this would hurt both superstars and I have already predicted a plethora of interferences for the night. I think CM Punk will retain here, ready to face Bryan in a rematch in a cage at No Way Out so AJ can’t interfere.
Scaccia: The IWC’s match of their dreams. Punk and Bryan should put on one hell of a match. I really hope AJ has an impact on the outcome of the match as she has been developing her character over the past few weeks. It would be great to see Bryan win but I have a hard time going against Punk. If Punk loses, then where does he go from here? If Bryan won, he surely would drop the belt the next week or pay per view. I think Punk wins and the AJ storyline continues.
Overall Consensus: Punk-4, Bryan-1
John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis
GSM: Although this won't be a wrestling classic by any means, WWE has done a fair job building up to this match. Of course, the promo featuring John Cena and John Laurinaitis last Monday night was garbage, but the pure intensity of this feud has made me forget about that specific segment.
If Laurinaitis loses, he will be terminated, as well as anyone who attempts to interfere on his behalf. That being said, I have no doubt in my mind that either Big Show, Brock Lesnar or some other unemployed Superstar will make their presence felt to aid Laurinaitis in defeating Cena.
RiZE: Mr. Excitement taking on John Cena isn’t what I expected immediately after a program with Brock Lesnar but it hasn’t been a disastrous surprise. I do feel as if the WWE is “shoving Ace down our throats” instead of featuring him in small doses.
His promo segment with Cena was very subpar despite my interest being raised through it. Before the recently added stipulation, I thought Cena would destroy Laurinaitis only to have Lord Tensai interfere on Johnny’s behalf.
The stipulation passed down by the board of directions makes it obvious that the Big Show will be involved in some capacity. I believe Show will cost Cena the match in exchange for regaining his job. The WWE will continue the angle by having Show serve Laurinaitis like HBK served JBL during their program in early 2009. Cena will feud with a reluctant Show that’ll ultimately end in Ace’s termination.
SiD: All I can say is: John will win the match. Seriously, this match has been built in a matter of three weeks with John Laurinaitis getting the upper hand on Cena until the last week, where major stipulations were added by the Board in favor of the face of the WWE.
So, insert the WWE momentum reverse psychology, and poof, you have your winner, the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations and the General Manager of both Raw and Smackdown, Mr John Laurinaitis.
Laurinaitis' job is on the line, and I believe that he is doing a great job in what he is doing, and I would like to think that WWE would like to keep him on TV for more time, since he is attracting a lot of heat.
So, I think John Laurinaitis wins, but since no "superstar" can interfere, either Big Show or Brock Lesnar (they aren't superstars anymore) will interfere, and make Laurinaitis annihilate Cena.
Massey: Is anybody looking forward to this? I feel like I’m cheating with this prediction because I think it’s a given that Big Show will interfere on Laurinaitis’ behalf. This would enable Laurinaitis to pick up the victory, turn Big Show heel and keep the feuds with Laurinaitis alive!
Although, knowing the WWE, Laurinaitis will lose, never be seen again and WWE will return to normality, otherwise known as mediocrity.
John Laurinaitis has been reported to be in training for this match so we may see that the voice of the people has actually got some skills in the ring and he might even outwrestle Cena in places.
I think they have the ability to make it more entertaining than it looks on paper and with an interference to help the ending I don’t think this will be the car crash everyone is expecting. I think John Laurinaitis has to win in order for the WWE to make sense.
Scaccia: I really like what the WWE has done by making Laurinaitis an overpowering boss. The current stipulations of the match state that any superstar who interferes in the match will be fired. Luckily for Big Show, Laurinaitis fired him last week which means Big Show will interfere in the match. I think Show will help Big Johnny win as an attempt to get his job back.
Big Show has shown that he will do anything to keep his job. So helping Laurinaitis win is not a stretch for him. Some rumors are swirling around about a possible Batista return. Batista’s last match was against John Cena at Over the Limit 2010.
A Batista return seems like a plausible idea and it may happen. If he does return, he will attack Cena. Either way, Cena will lose this match because someone will interfere costing him the match.
Overall Consensus: Laurinaitis-5, Cena-0
Overall, Over the Limit could prove to be a solid show if booked correctly and executed properly. If most of the finishes don't end in questionable fashion, then the pure wrestling factor of this show could prove to be its strength.
In previous years, this pay-per-view event was easily one of the worst of their respective years due to predictable outcomes with nothing noteworthy occurring. While there is a high chance that no titles could change once again this year, that doesn't mean it won't exceed expectations unlike in years past.
With only five matches announced for the main card, I wouldn't be surprised if additional matches were added in at the last minute in order to kill time. It was also rumored over the weekend that Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes could take on United States Champion Santino Marella in a rematch from this week's edition of SmackDown, so be on the lookout for that.
I'd like to thank RiZE, SiD, Daniel Massey and Nate Scaccia for collectively participating in my Over the Limit preview, all of whom put in valuable time and thought into making their respective predictions. Drop a comment with your thoughts going into the Over the Limit and be sure to tune in tonight for the one night of the year that WWE goes over the limit.