WWE Over the Limit 2012 Results: Winners, Twitter Reaction and Highlights

Josh Martin@@JoshMartinNBANBA Lead WriterMay 21, 2012

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Christian during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

The sixth edition of WWE Over the Limit didn't quite live up to its lofty name, though it did give fans of professional wrestling some solid action and several surprises to spice up more than a few storylines.

Christian was arguably the most significant show-stopper of the night in North Carolina. He came out of nowhere to win the People Power Battle Royal, chose to challenge Santino Marella for the United States Championship and then, in yet another twist, opted to drag Cody Rhodes into the ring for a shot at the Intercontinental title.

Which Christian promptly used to capture said title for the fourth time in his career.

The headliner between John Cena and John Laurinaitis, the general manager of both Raw and Smackdown, was something of a dud as far as the fighting was concerned, though a somewhat unexpected appearance by The Big Show allowed Laurinaitis to survive and retain his job over an unconscious Cena.


Pre-Show Singles Match: Kane over Zack Ryder

Kane continued his run of dominance against Zack Ryder prior to the official start of festivities at Over the Limit. The giant WWE legend was in a spot of trouble against the Long Island Iced Z, who put Kane down with a Broski Boot in the corner.

But Kane was quick to turn the tables on Ryder, foiling his attempt at a Rough Ryder to finish off the match. The Big Red Monster returned the favor by grabbing Ryder by the throat and slamming him down to the mat on the way to a pinfall victory.

The result keeps Kane on pace for a bigger feud, albeit against someone he isn't likely to upend, and inexplicably sends Ryder, once a rising star in the sport, further down the pecking order.

People Power Battle Royal: Christian over the Field 

Christian was a surprise, last-minute entrant into the Battle Royal, but came out on top anyway. He managed to outlast 20 other competitors, amidst a decidedly chaotic scene, to secure a shot at the United States Championship against Santino Marella.

Until Christian opted to take on Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental Championship.

Christian's competitors dropped like flies at the outset, until most of the dead weight was dropped out of the ring and onto the floor.

The proceedings started heating up shortly thereafter, when Darren Young and Titus O'Neill teamed up to take out the Great Khali. O'Neill was the next one out, on account of the Usos, who were themselves thrown out by Young.

Alex Riley and Tyson Kidd used a bit of teamwork to beat down (but not dispatch) David Otunga while Christian did away with William Regal, a surprise performer who drew a favorable reaction from the crowd.

Riley then took Young out of the running before The Miz put him out of his misery. A back-and-forth battle on the apron between Miz and Kidd ended with Kidd on the outside looking in, and a trio of Miz, Otunga and Christian left to duke it out for the title shot.

Otunga and Miz banded together but proved no match for Christian. He ousted Otunga after blocking a scoop attempt by Otunga, thereby making way for a back-and-forth battle between Christian and Miz. Christian landed a series of kicks to Miz's head before spearing him on the apron and eliminating him entirely.

Christian chose to go toe-to-toe with Marella immediately thereafter, but, in yet another surprise move, opted instead to go after Rhodes later in the show. 

WWE Tag Team Championship: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth over Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger

Kofi Kingston and R-Truth retained their Tag Team title and dealt a blow to Vickie Guerrero's bid to succeed John Laurinaitis with a gritty victory over Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. Guerrero came out to announce her candidacy before introducing Ziggler and Swagger as the team to beat.

The challengers were strong throughout but couldn't quite hang with the stamina and athleticism of the incumbents in the end. After some close calls and missed moves by his partner, Truth fought back from being knocked out of the ring to take down Swagger after breaking Ziggler's pin on Kingston. That allowed Kofi to counter Ziggler's run back at him with a Trouble in Paradise to end the match and retain the Tag Team Championship for himself and Truth.  

WWE Divas Championship: Layla over Beth Phoenix

The Divas title match turned out to be a powerful affair, one that Layla won as much by surprise as by circumstance.

She was in the right place at the right time against Beth Phoenix, who came after Layla's injured knee early and often, albeit without breaking her challenger's spirit.

Layla got her big break when she countered Beth's attempt to drop her from above with a DDT of her own on the way down. A back-and-forth between the two left Beth with the opportunity to talk smack to Layla, though Layla would have none of it. She turned a Glam Slam attempt by Beth into some pin potential of her own.

And when Phoenix came after her knee again, Layla returned the favor with a shocking neckbreaker from out of left field to end Beth's reign as the diva of all divas.

Fatal 4-Way for the World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus over Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton

Sheamus strengthened his claim to the World Heavyweight Championship by outlasting a trio of worthy competitors in a Fatal 4-Way.

The action was furious throughout, with Orton, Del Rio and Jericho taking their respective shots at Sheamus, not to mention each other. An RKO on Del Rio and a Brogue Kick on Orton gave Sheamus a slim opening through which to retain his title before Jericho came after him again

This was shortly after Orton had essentially freed Sheamus from an attempt at the Walls of Jericho by (who else?) Jericho.

Jericho appeared to be in position to wrench the belt from Sheamus' waist, but the gigantic ginger came back with White Noise to seal the deal and keep his place atop the WWE. 

Singles Match: Brodus Clay over The Miz

What was at first shaping up to be a ridiculous dance-off between The Miz and Brodus Clay turned into a solid win for the latter over a hip-shaking heel. Each man got in his fair share of shots along the way, but Miz proved no match for the bigger, stronger Brodus in the end.

Miz turned a trip out of the ring into an opportunity to land some big blows against Brodus, including a shoulder slam into the post before bringing the fight back between the ropes and taking over from there. A clothesline, followed by another big shot, left Miz in position to finish off Clay.

But Brodus returned the favor with a clothesline and a headbutt of his own before weakening Miz with an overhead throw and finishing him off with a big splash. 

Intercontinental Championship: Christian over Cody Rhodes

For the fourth time in his career, Christian stands as the WWE's Intercontinental Champion.

Though it almost didn't happen. Christian was originally slated to challenge Santino Marella for the US title after surviving Battle Royal but opted to face Cody Rhodes instead on a bit of a whim.

The resentful Rhodes ended up entangled with Christian for much of the time, ultimately succumbing to a Killswitch from Christian that left Cody without a belt.

And, on the flip side, announced Christian's return to championship prominence in professional wrestling. 

WWE Championship: CM Punk over Daniel Bryan

CM Punk rarely retains his title with any ease, and Sunday night's bout with Daniel Bryan was no different. The Straight-Edge Superstar managed to roll out of a Yes Lock and pin Bryan's shoulder for a win, but only after Punk appeared to tap out while reversing Bryan's hold on him.

It was an interesting turn of events in Punk's favor, to say the least, and a good showing for Bryan nonetheless. Rarely, if ever, had Bryan been put in such a big spot, but he managed to give Punk a tough bout anyway.

The win extended Punk's reign as the champ to seven months, the longest hold anyone's had on the belt since Triple H last relinquished it in 2008.

Singles Match: Ryback over Camacho

It didn't take long for Ryback to do away with Camacho in what proved to be more of a time-filler than anything. Ryback managed to fight off Camacho and Hunico without too much difficulty, finishing off Camacho after a takedown and a powerbomb.

Main Event: John Laurinaitis over John Cena

In the surprise of all surprises, John Laurinaitis survived to beat John Cena and retain his title as the general manager of WWE, though admittedly not without some help from a...errr...friend.

Cena pulverized Laurinaitis through a grueling match that was, at times, painful to watch but mostly just boring. Cena sent the old man limping out of the arena, all covered in fire extinguisher spray.

That is, until The Big Show came out of nowhere, dressed in pants and a yellow polo shirt. He grabbed Laurinaitis—the man who'd fired him earlier this week—by the scruff of the neck and dragged him back into the ring and looked ready to dole out some additional damage to him with Cena's help.

But, in a jaw-dropping twist, Big Show knocked out Cena and left Laurinaitis to keep his job and, in turn, People Power's place in the WWE lineup.

Tweets of the Night

WWE Creative offered The Big Show a nice backhanded compliment for his role in keeping John Laurinaitis in his seat under Vince McMahon:

Congratulations to The Big Show on his 200th heel turn. #DUIPPV

— WWE Creative (@WWE_Creative) May 21, 2012

ESPN boxing guru Dan Rafael seemed more excited about the outcome than most, though it's difficult to say what compelled him to venture into WWE territory on this particular evening:

Thanks to Big Show interference & KO of Cena, Laurinaitis wins via pin after beingdestroyed at #OverTheLimit @WWE PPV!!!! #notboxing

— Dan Rafael (@danrafaelespn) May 21, 2012

I'm not entirely sure what the Iron Sheik is trying to say here, but from what I can tell, he's not particularly interested in making CM Punk humble:

The cm punk is the real too

— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) May 21, 2012


Big Show to the Rescue

Cena vs. Laurinaitis was something of a bore, salvaged only by the general distaste for the GM and Big Show's entry into the proceedings to knock Cena out and save Laurinaitis' job.

This, despite Laurinaitis having only recently shown Big Show the door. A secret alliance, perhaps?

Punk Retains His Title Amidst Controversy

Daniel Bryan can argue with the referees all he wants about CM Punk's apparent tapout attempt, but it won't change the fact that he doesn't have a title belt around his waist.

For now, at least. Punk still deserves some credit for turning Bryan's Yes Lock into a shoulder pin for the win.

Christian Kills Two Birds With One Stone

Christian stole the show on more than one occasion.

First, by showing up at all. Second, by outlasting the rest of a 21-man field in the Battle Royal. Third, by switching his title challenge from Santino Marella (US Champion) to Cody Rhodes (Intercontinental Champion).

And, finally, by reclaiming a place atop the WWE at Rhodes' expense.

Layla Lands a Neckbreaker

The wrestling gods favored Layla on this night, as she landed a neckbreaker on Beth Phoenix that, in itself, was about as stunning a development as any at an event loaded with twists and turns.

What's Next?

Over the Limit left WWE fans with about as many questions as answers when all was said and done.

Are John Cena and The Big Show destined to renew their rivalry? And, if so, will the outcome be as predictable as it's been to this point?

What sort of alliance is brewing between Big Show and John Laurinaitis anyway? Was the latter's firing of the former nothing but a stunt to throw people off the scent?

Will Daniel Bryan make his case for a rematch with CM Punk, especially in light of the controversy that dogged their fight?

Is Christian on the way to a dramatic comeback, or will the Intercontinental Championship to continue to change hands as frequently as it always has?

And why does the WWE seem to hate Zack Ryder?

Expect plenty more excitement to unfold amidst these emerging storylines this week.