WWE delivered a good pay-per-view last night in Over the Limit. I was impressed with and satisfied by the vast majority of the matches—even John Cena vs. John Laurinaitis. As Big Johnny hasn't been an active in-ring competitor in over a decade, all Cena could do was give us a comedy show, and hey, at least Johnny sold.
While aftermath and fallout articles may abound here on Bleacher Report, this one speculates the next steps everyone could take—even the losers—over the course of the next few weeks as we approach No Way Out.
In my Over the Limit predictions post, I made the mistake of believing that Zack Ryder still had a snowball's chance in hell of becoming relevant again and that this match could be a launching pad (however small) toward that ever-elusive brass ring.
Well, it doesn't look like that's happening.
There's not much to say here. I honestly believe Kane's days with the company could be numbered; at 45 years old, he's had a long successful career and there's not really much left for him to accomplish in WWE. He will likely be kept around until another younger monster heel can be established, and then hopefully, he'll be given the send-off he deserves.
As for Ryder, it's not looking good for him. I wouldn't go so far as to say he should be worried about spring cleaning, but it doesn't seem like relevancy is in his near future.
I just realized that Christian last eliminated The Miz in the Battle Royal, who was then later squashed by Brodus Clay. But more on that later.
I'm ecstatic that Christian is the new Intercontinental Champion. I'm still rather shocked that he returned as a face, but he plays both roles equally well—and honestly, I was starting to get bored with Cody Rhodes as the champion.
Speaking of Cody, there's no doubt he'll get a rematch against Christian, whether it be at No Way Out or otherwise. However, unlike his feud with the Big Show, I don't think he'll be regaining the strap. An angle with Christian would be the perfect opportunity for Cody to prove that he's ready to enter the main event and become a contender for World Title gold.
As for Christian, he and his fans deserve another good run with the IC Title. If anyone can help to continue boost the belt's credibility, he can.
The result of last night's tag title match was exactly what needed to happen for everyone involved.
The only way for the tag titles to gain credibility is to keep them on any given team for an extended amount of time and, more importantly, make them visible.
Kofi and Truth are good champions, and they need to be given more good competitors in the near future. It seems that WWE could be building up Darren Young and Titus O'Neil for a title shot soon, and with the appearance of Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins Sunday night, I'm still holding out hope for the revival of tag team wrestling.
Dolph and Swagger put on a good match last night, but they are not a tag team. I can't think of any real reason why WWE hasn't pulled the trigger on putting Ziggler into World Title contention yet. That's where he needs and deserves to be.
However, after his tweet last night, I'm worried that AW may try to form an alliance with Vickie, Swagger and Dolph. I don't care if he takes on Vickie and Swagger, but Dolph needs to break away, and soon. He's too good of a talent to not be in the main event.
I don't care who you are—Layla and Beth Phoenix put on a great Divas match, and you can't say otherwise.
As for what's coming next for these two? That's a bit more difficult to say.
I will say this: I don't want to continue to see Beth in the title picture month after month after month. I love her, but there ARE other good Divas on the roster. The four that immediately come to mind are Natalya, Eve, AJ and Kharma.
Eve is out of contention for the time being. She's busy with her duties as executive administrator, and she was too recently involved in the title picture to be put back in.
Natalya has been virtually absent for some time now, stuck with that horrible farting gimmick. A series between her and Layla would have a lot of potential, not to mention it would give the WWE Universe a fresh Divas feud.
A Kharma/Layla feud could certainly be interesting, but obviously, Kharma would have to return first, and who knows when that's happening.
As for AJ...more on her later.
All that being said, I really think Beth should lay low until Kharma returns and gains the Divas Championship. She's been involved so much lately that it's really starting to become stale, and that's the last thing the Divas division needs.
Neither of these matches were announced prior to the pay-per-view, and there's no surprise why. I suppose I'll start with the winners.
Ryback is being slowly built up as a wrecking machine, point blank. Personally, I think his futuristic gimmick is needless and his mannerisms are awkward, but the higher-ups obviously see something in him, as he is an impressive worker. How long it will take for him to graduate from simply devouring people for show, however, is anyone's guess.
The Funkasaurus, on the other hand—well, Sunday night he certainly did more in a match than he ever has before. But the jury still seems to be out on whether or not he will ever be treated as more than just entertainment.
Now for Camacho and The Miz. There's not much to say about the former. He's a jobber, and there are zero signs that he will ever be anything but a jobber.
Miz's fall from grace, however, runs like a Greek tragedy. At last year's Over the Limit PPV, he was in the main event, a WWE Championship match against John Cena. Fast-forward to last night, and he lost not once, but twice.
It's as if the WWE is dangling the brass ring right in front of his face and snatching it away just before he can reach it.
To be honest, I wouldn't notice if the Miz disappeared; that's how irrelevant he's become. At this point, I pretty much consider him in the same boat as Zack Ryder.
Sheamus retained the World Heavyweight Title last night, as he should have. It's far too soon for him to drop the strap just yet; the real question is, who will he be facing next?
Of the other three fatal four-way competitors, Jericho is the least likely. After losing at both Extreme Rules and last night, it seems like he's going to disappear for the time being and go back to Fozzy. Unfortunate, as he performed great last night and I certainly wouldn't mind a feud between him and Sheamus—but only if Jericho would come out on top in the end.
Del Rio is next, in my opinion. He just hasn't been around, and his "destiny" keeps failing to be fulfilled. Just thinking about an angle between him and Sheamus disinterests me.
Randy Orton, surprise surprise, is most likely to continue on against Sheamus. WWE has built up the "tension" between the Viper and the World Heavyweight Champion more than any of the other contenders, and it has been a little bit since Orton held the title.
However, No Way Out could very likely see a triple-threat match between Sheamus, Del Rio and Orton, since Sheamus does seem to enjoy taking on more than one competitor.
Until then, though, Sheamus is going to reign over the Blue Brand.
Like I said in the opening slide, we got all we could out of this match. Furthermore, if you didn't see from a mile away that Big Show was going to interfere on Big Johnny's behalf, you need to get your glasses checked.
That being said, it also seems pretty obvious that a match between Big Show and John Cena is looming for No Way Out. There will likely be some crazy stipulation involved, but Cena and Show have worked well together before, so chances are, it won't be a total bust.
At this point, though, there are too many factors to even guess what might happen outside of the match itself. What will Johnny's role be? Will the drama with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar contribute at all?
All that is anyone's guess, but Big Show vs. John Cena is certainly imminent.
Hands down, this was the match of the night, as well as the least predictable.
Many people wondered if AJ would interfere on behalf of either men. But she didn't, and the result was an absolutely enthralling and technical match—and thanks to the outcome, we're going to be treated to more.
Bryan applied the Yes Lock, which Punk reversed, pinning Bryan's shoulders in the process. The referee counted the pinfall, and just after three, Punk tapped.
Of course, Bryan is going to complain, and of course, there's going to be a rematch at No Way Out. But the question still remains, how will AJ factor in?
Last night, she effectively weirded out CM Punk and everyone else by turning up during his pre-match interview with Josh Mathews. She didn't do a thing except proclaim that the match would be exciting to watch, but that's more than enough to speculate about her continued involvement.
And as far as that goes, a thought occurred to me last night. It may be a bit out of left field, but it's a thought nonetheless.
A lot of fans are of the opinion that the recent "revolution" video on WWE.com pertains to the debut of Dean Ambrose.
Well, let's say that it does. What if AJ is working alongside him?
Think about it. They're both crazy, they both have vendettas, they're both up-and-coming within the WWE. The dirt sheets have suggested that higher-ups have been impressed with Ambrose. Impressed enough, perhaps, to insert him into the title picture right away? It certainly wouldn't be the first time that's happened.
AJ would align herself with Ambrose as a way to get back at Bryan, and if CM Punk remains in the picture, Bryan wouldn't have to turn face. At the same time, AJ could insert herself into the Divas title picture and a new crazy power couple would be born.
Sounds pretty appealing to me.
Katie Gregerson is a pro wrestling trainee turned pro wrestling journalist and blogger. You can read her posts for theScore's Aftermath blog, subscribe to her blog Ring the Bell! and follow her on Twitter @katiegregerson