CM Punk prepares to defend his WWE title against Daniel Bryan.
Fine match between Kane and Zack Ryder during the pre-show. Obviously, this match came three months too late, so the crowd wasn't all that in to it. I'm glad we didn't get a total squash here, but the consistent burying of Ryder has me disappointed.
Decent battle royal that featured the right amount of top names to keep viewers intrigued. A number of guys were able to shine here, especially Tyson Kidd. I throughly enjoyed the final moments of the contest between Christian and The Miz and hope to see more from them in the near future. The shocking return of Christian was an awesome surprise, and having him emerge victorious in this battle royal was great booking.
Fun match with WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston and R-Truth successfully defending their titles against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. The heels had an impressive showing that established them as threats to the titles, but the formulaic hot tag from the faces could be seen coming from am mile away and was nicely executed. Ziggler and Swagger have run their course as a team and really need to split in hopes of better success in singles competition.
Quality Divas match between Layla and Beth Phoenix. It's no secret that Layla and Phoenix are two of the better workers in the division, and they produced a fairly good match. They told a great story during the course of the bout that saw Layla emerge victorious still the Divas Champion. With the Glamazon seemingly no longer a threat to Layla, fingers crossed the returning Kharma will be next in line for a shot.
Strong Fatal-4 Way with World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus successfully defending against Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, and Alberto Del Rio. All four participants worked extremely well together and pulled out some suspenseful spot all throughout the match. The crowd bought into a lot of the near falls and made for a great atmosphere every time the bout came close to ending. Sheamus going over here makes sense and was the best route to go in making him out to be a credible champion. Since Chris Jericho was the one who got pinned, I'm interested to see how he takes the loss and where he goes from here.
Christian emerges victorious as the new Intercontinental Champion.
Brief match between Brodus Clay and The Miz that once again didn't accomplish anything. Sure, Clay picked up a victory over a former WWE Champion, but the commentators failed to acknowledge that and make it feel special. Miz hasn't meant anything in nearly a year, so it was doubtful we'd see him end Clay's winning ways here regardless. Clay really needs to move on from these pointless matches or otherwise see his character grow stale quickly because of it.
Good match between Christian and Cody Rhodes that saw Captain Charisma capture the Intercontinental Championship. I would have loved to see this bout built up to in a more meaningful way over the course of a few weeks, but that didn't take away from the electricity in the arena once Christian get the three count on Rhodes. These two have great chemistry and provided tons of awe-inspiring spots, but the dead was still recovering at this point. Nonetheless, it's still great to see Christian finally used correctly even if it was at the expense of Cody's three week title reign.
Phenomenal match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to say the least. They received the perfect amount of time at around 25 minutes and there never seemed to be a dull moment throughout. I was afraid going into this show that my expectations were too high and that it'd result in a disappointment, but this was certainly far from it. Classic wrestling and submission maneuver exchanges that had this viewer on the edge of his seat the entire time. The questionable finish with Punk tapping out after he scored the three count allows this feud to rightfully continue, which is something I'm of course anticipating even the magic these two can create in the squared circle. The only confusing factor regarding this title contest was the lack of AJ, but they'll hopefully incorporate her as the feud begins to build down the line.
Typical squash match with Ryback dominating Camacho. It's a nice step forward to get Ryback squashing actual members of the roster, but he needs to evolve soon or otherwise be the victim of the dreaded "Goldberg" chants for the foreseeable future.
Predictable match between John Cena and John Laurinaitis that ended in the exact way that we all thought it would. Of course, the entire bout was pure comedy on Cena's behalf, which got boring after the first five minutes. Once Big Show entered the arena, you could see him "turning" on Cena from a mile away. However, it was logical booking and I can't complain. WWE could have easily swerved us and made it ten times worse. The only thing I'm anticipating is another series of matches between Cena and Show, which we've all seen before numerous times in past years.
Overall, a great pay-per-view that exceeded my standards by featuring solid action, logical story-line progression, and an enjoyable pace. With the previous two Over the Limit events being complete train wrecks, this show set the bar for the rest of 2012 and kept me entertained the whole night through.
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