The following results, courtesy of WWE’s official website are from a recent WWE pay-per-view event. WWE Over The Limit took place on May 20th, 2012 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina and aired live at 8pm Eastern on pay-per-view.
John Laurinaitis def. John Cena
John Laurinatis was done for. Beaten and battered by an intensely focused John Cena in a match where the megalomaniacal General Manager’s career was on the line, Mr. Laurinaitis was smashed with a steel chair, sprayed by a fire extinguisher and clobbered with the ring bell as he struggled to flee the challenge before him. The executive looked to be only a three-count away from finding himself on the unemployment line when something big happened. Shocking the WWE fans crammed into Raleigh’s PNC Arena, the mighty Big Show stormed into the ring and aided the man who fired him on Monday night in a way the WWE Universe never expected to see. Had The World’s Largest Athlete not changed the clear outcome of this bout, the landscape of WWE would look a lot different right now. Instead, Big Show paved the way to victory for Laurinaitis, who had ruthlessly targeted Cena several weeks before their WWE Over the Limit showdown. At Extreme Rules, the General Manager sicked the unpredictible Brock Lesnar on the Cenation leader, and the night after that historic and tortuous brawl, the executive recruited the dangerous Lord Tensai to aid him in a vicious attack on Cena. The ambush damaged Cena’s already injured left arm and emboldened a crazed Laurinaitis. It may have been the most baffling managerial decision since Mr. McMahon orchestrated the kidnapping of his own daughter during WWE’s “Attitude Era.” A suit-and-tie guy willingly stepping into the ring with a former 10-time WWE Champion? It was madness. Laurinaitis may have once been a respected grappler in the hardnosed world of Japanese professional wrestling, but that was more than a decade ago. Did the executive really think he could hold his own against a man who just stood toe to toe with Brock Lesnar and won?
As it turns out, he did. Well, he did until WWE’s Board of Directors stepped in. Decreeing that not only would John Laurinaitis be fired if he lost the match, but any contracted Superstar who interfered in the bout would also be terminated, the committee stacked the deck against the already in-over-his-head GM. Clearly lacking confidence after the Board rejected his last minute plea to reverse at least one of the stipulations, Laurinaitis sulked to the ring like a man headed down the green mile. If the self-proclaimed Mr. Excitement wasn’t such a conniving egomaniac, the WWE fans may have felt sorry for him. Instead, they cheered John Cena on as he picked apart Mr. Laurinaitis in a bout that resembled more of a televised mugging than a sports-entertainment showdown. Cena took slow pleasure in manhandling the General Manager as he dumped a garbage can over Big Johnny’s head and doused him with a fire extinguisher. The Cenation leader locked Laurinaitis in the STF for 10-second bursts of brutality while the passionate WWE Universe, at Cena’s urging, gleefully counted along. When Laurinaitis briefly mounted a comeback by grabbing a steel chair, he paid the price when Cena drove the hunk of metal right into his red face.
The General Manager’s night only got worse when the man he fired on Monday night — Big Show — suddenly appeared among the WWE fans in the PNC Arena and dragged a retreating Laurinaitis back to the squared circle by his neck. Surrounded on both sides by the Cenation leader and The World’s Largest Athlete, the executive was clearly done for. And then it happened. With Laurinaitis propped on Cena’s shoulders, only moments away from feeling the AA, Big Show drove his Thor’s hammer of a fist directly into Cena’s jaw. It was the last thing the WWE Universe expected to see from the giant who was humiliated by the GM, but there was no mistaking what had happened. The World’s Largest Athlete deliberately K.O.’d the Cenation leader and saved John Laurinaitis’ career. And since Show wasn’t a contracted Superstar, there was nothing WWE’s Board of Directors could do about it. Was the attack a gutsy move by Big Show, done deliberately to save his own career? Or was it part of a beautifully constructed plot, pieced together by Mr. Laurinaitis and his sharp advisers in David Otunga and Eve? Whatever it was, there will be hell to pay when John Cena arrives on Raw.
Ryback def. Camacho
Of all the Superstars who have made their debuts on both Raw and SmackDown over the last several months, none have made a thunderous impact quite like the authoritative Ryback. As soon as the WWE Universe hears his music, they know pure destruction is imminent. Luckily for Raleigh, N.C., natives, Ryback has moved on from facing off with local athletes, and has graduated to crushing regular members of the WWE roster. At WWE Over the Limit, Ryback was beyond impressive, manhandling Camacho, while his opponent’s ally, Hunico, looked on from ringside in awe. The pair from south of the border arrived on their bicycle making a bold statement that they would have better luck than others against their foe. Perhaps Hunico and Camacho believed they had a numbers advantage over Ryback, but arithmetic means little to the undefeated man from Sin City. Like a couple of hapless gamblers, the rough pair played their hand, but quickly folded under the pure might of the near 300-pounder. Ryback’s appetite shows no signs of being satiated as he continues to devour the competition. Tonight, he annihilated Camacho, sending both he and Hunico back on their paper route. Feed him more.
WWE Champion CM Punk def. Daniel Bryan
Far from their humble beginnings competing inside state armories and high school gymnasiums, WWE Champion CM Punk and No. 1 contender Daniel Bryan battled in an instant classic that left the WWE Universe absolutely breathless and Bryan incredulous. When the smoke cleared and the chants of “This is awesome” quieted, Punk was left holding the WWE Title, although the pinfall he used to achieve that end has already been called into question. From their many travels around the globe perfecting their craft, to their current statuses as two of the world’s premier talents, Punk and Bryan have been on parallel paths for most of their careers. At WWE Over the Limit, those paths intersected. With arguably WWE’s two most technically proficient grapplers clashing head-on, the match was projected from the outset to be a wrestling purist’s dream, and it more than lived up to those lofty expectations. Despite their obvious scientific wrestling prowess, neither the 6-foot-2 Punk nor the 5-foot-11 Bryan has ever been confused for anything resembling a WWE poster boy. Instead of boasting larger-than-life chiseled physiques, Punk and Bryan have established themselves as ring generals, and at WWE Over the Limit, vindication for their hard work – in the form of the ultimate symbol of excellence in sports-entertainment, the WWE Championship – was up for grabs. Although the title bout seemed forged by fate, it actually originated out of circumstance, when Bryan won a Beat the Clock Challenge on Raw SuperShow to claim his spot as the No. 1 contender. Since then, Bryan made every attempt to score an advantage on The Second City Saint. Bryan’s latest offense, an act of trickery that caused an irate Kane to brutalize Punk with a steel chair and two chokeslams following a match on SmackDown, appeared to have done the trick. At the very least, Bryan’s dastardly tactic irritated Punk, who moments before the opening bell told Josh Mathews that even though their match should be seen as a “triumph” for himself and Bryan, the “Yes!” man’s change of heart this past year has dampened the festivities. According to The Straight Edge Superstar, the bout would be much more than a five-star match – it’d be a “five-star beat down.” Punk’s words, it turned out, would prove prescient.
At the sound of the opening bell, Punk and Bryan began the contest with a feeling-out process in which they peppered each other with sharp kicks. The Second City Saint quickly went on the offensive, using submission holds – including an Indian Death Lock – against the self-proclaimed “submission specialist.” Throughout the bout, Punk would return again and again to Bryan’s left leg. After avoiding a Punk baseball slide, however, Bryan rammed the WWE Champion back-first into the ringside barrier, further weakening Punk’s ribs, which appeared to have not yet healed from Kane’s attack Friday. From there, Bryan attacked with pit bull-like veracity. He kneed Punk’s midsection and used a torso-wrenching abdominal stretch to great effect. Never one to be counted down, The Straight Edge Superstar would again turn the tables on his storied foe, reversing a Bryan kick into a dragon-screw leg whip before locking him into a seemingly inescapable figure-four – causing more damage to Bryan’s already smarting knee. “How many near falls have there been in this match, not to mention the submission predicaments?” Jerry “The King” Lawler wondered aloud, as Punk and Bryan warred on to the sounds of the WWE Universe’s dueling chants of “Daniel Bryan” and “CM Punk” (and, occasionally, “Yes!” and “No!”). Punk and Bryan’s intimate knowledge of each other’s move sets was obvious, as they reversed signature holds and tried valiantly to check kicks and block elbow strikes. As Punk built momentum, he nailed his trademark high running knee in the corner. Yet, when Punk tried for the second half of his patented combo, the running bulldog, his effort was blocked by Bryan and reversed into a “Yes!” Lock. Although the lock was clamped on for several moments, the WWE Champion nonetheless had the wherewithal to use Bryan’s momentum against him. As Bryan applied more pressure and leaned back on the hold, Punk turned the dangerous lock into a cradle for a stunning pinfall at the 24-minute mark. The win, however, was not without controversy, as almost simultaneous with the pinfall, Punk visibly tapped out. With Punk barely able to hold his championship overhead in an exhausted celebration, Bryan – who clearly believed he was wronged – jawed angrily with the referee. For once all the “Yes!” man could say was, “No! No! No!”
Christian def. Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes
After his shocking return and impressive victory in the “People Power” Battle Royal earlier in the night, Christian seemingly had his sights set on Santino Marella’s United States Championship. However, after catching Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes doing some good, old-fashioned trash talking backstage to Eve where the second generation Superstar said he would “embarrass” Christian if the two went head-to-head, Captain Charisma decided to throw a bit of a curveball and challenge Rhodes for his beloved title instead. Rhodes, who has held the title since his Extreme Rules victory over former WWE Superstar Big Show, was cocky right up to the moment the bell rang on his unexpected title defense. When his entrance music played, Rhodes made a final statement before taking on Christian, saying he is a better man than his opponent. Christian was unfazed, however, and his sights were set squarely on Rhodes and his Intercontinental Title. The younger Rhodes got off to a fast start against Christian, whose stamina was called into question after his long layoff and a hard-fought Battle Royal victory earlier in the night. Rhodes was relentless, slamming his opponent into the steel stairs at ringside and then hammering away at the former champion. But the wily veteran was able to mount a comeback and buy himself some recovery time by taking advantage of any opening Cody gave him. When Rhodes focused more on taunting his downed opponent than finishing him off, Christian was able to hit the Killswitch from out of nowhere and cover Rhodes for a shocking victory. The match capped off an incredible night for Captain Charisma, whose ring return culminated in Intercontinental Championship gold for the fourth time in his career.
Brodus Clay def. The Miz
The undefeated Brodus Clay continued his funky roll at WWE Over the Limit, defeating his polar opposite, former WWE Champion The Miz at Raleigh, N.C.’s PNC Arena. The bout was a rematch from earlier this month on Raw SuperShow, a contest which delivered The Funkasaurus his most arduous challenge to date. After falling to the mighty Clay that night, The Awesome One came to Raleigh looking for a fight. The brash loudmouth already had a busy evening, seeing action earlier as the runner-up in the “People Power” Battle Royal, and approached ringside delivering one of his signature, unbecoming soliloquies. The Miz surprised no one when he arrogantly proclaimed himself to be a better dancer than the aforementioned man from Planet Funk. Proceeding to flaunt what he believed were his best moves to the unimpressed North Carolina crowd, Miz’s claim was quickly put to rest by the fortunate sight of The Funkadactyls. The match itself was a back-and-forth affair, featuring the former WrestleMania main eventer’s sly quickness and the undoubted power of The Funkasaurus. The embattled “most must see WWE Champion in history” has struggled to regain his footing since losing the title more than one year ago. At Over the Limit, he was impressive, nailing his foe with a hard shot to the steel ring post and several boots to the face. But in the end, it was The Miz who needed to call his momma, succumbing to Clay’s strength and What the Funk splash. The Awesome One retreated to the locker room licking his wounds while Brodus, Naomi, Cameron and young members of the WWE Universe celebrated with grooves of their own. He had a reason to party. Match after match, The Funkasaurus continues to make his opponents extinct.
World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus won the Fatal 4-Way Match
In what was his greatest challenge as champion to date, Sheamus stood up to seemingly insurmountable odds in a brutal Fatal 4-Way Match on his way to retaining the World Heavyweight Title. It was certainly no easy feat, squaring off with three former multi-time World Champions – Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton – but The Celtic Warrior’s triumph cements his rightful place as one of WWE’s most dominant Superstars. The way in which The Great White picked up the victory was undoubtedly impressive – after all, he only had a one in four chance of leaving Raleigh, N.C., victorious. Fatal 4-Way Matches are especially treacherous for the defending champion as they can lose the title even if they don’t submit or succumb to pinfall. With that in mind, The Celtic Warrior’s victory leaves the WWE Universe wondering who could possibly dethrone the World Heavyweight Champion, and what the future holds for his challengers at WWE Over the Limit. Not in doubt, on the other hand, was the disappointment of the three challengers, particularly The Viper. In the bout’s waning moments, Orton ate a Brogue Kick from the champion only days after delivering a cautionary RKO to The Great White on SmackDown. Although Orton was not pinned following the strike, a post-match close-up of The Apex Predator’s furious countenance said it all. After a brief few moments of the four gladiators sizing each other up, an all-out brawl erupted. Sheamus and Orton focused their attacks on Del Rio and Jericho, quickly removing them from the squared circle. The WWE Universe inside the PNC Arena rose to their feet at The Viper and The Great White sized each other up, ready to strike. The crowd waited with baited breath as the two Superstars taunted each other, only to be stopped by a returning Jericho and Del Rio.
Taking the battle to the outside of the ring, WWE’s Apex Predator and the World Heavyweight Champion once again left their opponents reeling and immediately returned to the ring to face off with one another. The WWE Universe watched anxiously as both Superstars challenged each other and finally went on the offensive. Returning to the ring, Del Rio and Jericho formed an alliance to attack the venomous Viper and the World Champion. But as Fatal 4-Way Matches typically go, the cohesion between The Mexican Aristocrat and WWE’s first-ever Undisputed Champion was short-lived. As Del Rio and Jericho erupted, the true nature of the Fatal 4-Way was exposed, it was now every Superstar for himself. When the dust settled, Jerry Lawler summed up the match perfectly by saying, “There was never a time that anyone had a clear advantage.” Momentum is key inside the squared circle, but it was never clearly in anyone’s grasp. The elite Superstars vying for the World Title knew that the only way to come out on top was to seize moments and opportunities. Jericho, fueled by his anger toward an article on WWE.com questioning whether he should have returned, was the clear victor in terms of timing moments to take out his opponents with a Code Breaker or locking them in the devastating Walls of Jericho. There were many times when Jericho was half a count away from claiming the World Title. However, to Jericho’s disadvantage, there were too many variables in the ring, including the most explosive, WWE’s Apex Predator. An impressive double DDT delivered to Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez delighted the WWE Universe in Raleigh, but not nearly as much as the flurry of high-impact RKOs that temporarily shifted momentum into The Viper’s corner. As chaos erupted inside the squared circle, it would be a final opportunity seized by Sheamus that led to victory. With Del Rio reeling on the outside of the ring, The Celtic Warrior took out Orton with a Brogue Kick before delivering a crushing White Noise to Jericho to retain the World Title. Since winning the 2012 Royal Rumble Match and defeating Daniel Bryan in a history-making 18 seconds for the World Heavyweight Championship, Sheamus’ momentum has made him nearly unstoppable. The Great White continued to build on his legacy after overcoming the odds inside Raleigh’s PNC Arena. Will Del Rio, Orton or Jericho continue to claim their place as No. 1 contender to the World Heavyweight Champion, or will a new challenger prove bold enough to challenge The Celtic Warrior? Stay tuned to WWE Raw SuperShow on USA and Friday Night SmackDown on Syfy to find out!
WWE Divas Champion Layla def. Beth Phoenix
Former Divas Champion Beth Phoenix came to WWE Over the Limit looking to reestablish herself as the alpha female in WWE. Instead, she suffered a stinging defeat at the hands of the current titleholder, Layla. It has been a precipitous decline for Phoenix, who just over a month ago complained to WWE.com that there were no worthy challengers to her title before predicting she would be a dominant champion forever. How quickly things can change. Phoenix lost the butterfly-emblazoned belt to Nikki Bella on the April 23 edition of Raw SuperShow after suffering a severely sprained ankle. Unable to compete at Extreme Rules, The Glamazon was replaced by a shocking last-minute alternate – Layla – who returned to WWE after a yearlong absence to astonishingly win the title. With a fully healed ankle and a desire to regain her place at the summit of WWE’s Divas division, The Glamazon battled Layla at WWE Over the Limit for the title she once held for more than six months. However, The Fabulous Firebird’s bid for a second Divas Championship was foiled by Layla. Surviving Phoenix’s trademark aggression and powerhouse attacks, the British-born beauty was able to use her speed and agility to mount her own offense. The Glamazon focused her attacks on Layla’s injured right knee, but she was unable to keep the champion down. After narrowly avoiding a Glam Slam attempt, Layla nailed Phoenix with a Lay-out neckbreaker out of nowhere to get the pin for an impressive and emotional win. Although Phoenix performed admirably and nearly recaptured the title, it’s back to the drawing board for the former titleholder. Meanwhile, the tough and gutsy Layla has another successful title defense under her belt, and there’s no telling what’s next for the surging Divas Champion.
WWE Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & R-Truth def. Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth retained the WWE Tag Team Championships at WWE Over the Limit with a strong victory over an alliance that appears to be growing weaker – Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger. With “Little Jimmy” on their side, Kingston & Truth proved there’s a simple reason why they still hold the tag titles – teamwork. Joining together to outfight and outsmart The Show Off and The All-American American, the exciting duo continued to ride a wave of momentum with the WWE Universe cheering them on. Ziggler & Swagger came close to victory in the highly competitive bout, but they were constantly one-upped by the Tag Champs. Not long after Kingston hit a ring-shuddering Boom Drop on Ziggler, he landed a perfect Trouble in Paradise on The Show Off for the victory. While Ziggler & Swagger couldn’t get in sync at the close of the match, a distracted Vickie Guerrero could be partially to blame for their loss. Before the bout, she offered a hello to the WWE Board of Directors and presented herself as a possible candidate for John Laurinaitis’ General Manager job in the event that he was terminated. With her mind on other matters, Guerrero’s leadership may have failed her protégés. The Show Off and The All-American American have been on a steady decline lately, and with each loss, they seem to grow farther apart as a tag team. Tensions ran high after their WWE Over the Limit match, as the blonds staggered up the ramp with an irate Guerrero. While Ziggler & Swagger’s dissention escalated, WWE Tag Team Champions Kingston & Truth reveled in another victory.
Christian won 20-Man Battle Royal
Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes and United States Champion Santino Marella kept a close eye on The Great Khali, The Miz and David Otunga as they battled in the 20-Man Over-the-Top Rope “People Power” Battle Royal that kicked off WWE Over the Limit — and with good reason. The winner of the melee, which was announced by Executive Administrator Eve in an effort to end a running dispute between Rhodes and Santino about the prestige of their respective championships, would be granted a Title Match later in the night to challenge for his choice of either the Intercontinental or the U.S. Championship. If the announcement of the Battle Royal itself and the promise of an unexpected title match weren’t exciting enough, the sound of Christian’s entrance music sent shockwaves through the WWE Universe members in attendance.
Christian had not appeared in WWE since the March 16 episode of SmackDown, where he delivered a special edition of “The Peep Show.” Before that, Christian was taken out by WWE Champion CM Punk on Raw SuperShow just days before Captain Charisma was to take part in the six-man tag match as a member of Team Johnny at WrestleMania XXVIII. That match against Punk ended in a no contest and Christian re-aggravated a prior neck injury thanks to an overlong Anaconda Vise by the champion. Christian’s arrival sent the WWE Universe into a frenzy, and also left Rhodes and Santino clearly shaken as the two champions exchanged a worried glance at ringside when Captain Charisma made his entrance. When the bell rang, the ring was literally overflowing with Superstars as Drew McIntyre, Ezekiel Jackson, William Regal, The Usos and others all battled for a title opportunity. As always with over-the-top rope matches, alliances were formed and broken in record time. Titus O’Neil and Darren Young were able to tag team The Great Khali, dumping the giant over the ropes and bringing a sigh of relief to the lips of Rhodes. Competing in his first official match since Nov. 11, 2011, Christian demonstrated the absence of any “ring rust” as he tangled with and ultimately eliminated William Regal. When The Miz eliminated Alex Riley, it was left to The Awesome One, Tyson Kidd, Otunga and Christian to duke it out. Kidd was impressive but was dumped over the top by Otunga as he and Miz battled on the apron. Christian was then immediately double teamed by Miz and Otunga. Yet, despite months of inactivity, Captain Charisma fought his way out of trouble to eliminate Otunga. Miz and Christian were left to determine who would get a title chance later in the night, but it was the returning Christian who found an opening when The Awesome One spilled out onto the apron. A driving shoulder knocked Miz to ringside and catapulted Captain Charisma to victory. As he departed the ring, Christian gestured to Santino, perhaps eyeing the Milan Miracle’s U.S. Championship for later in the night.
Kane def. Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder had a perfect opportunity to find retribution for Kane’s devastating attack earlier this year after The Big Red Monster nearly ended Long Island Iced-Z’s career. However, on the WWE Over the Limit YouTube Pre-Show, Ryder failed to overcome the odds and was subsequently decimated at the hands of The Devil’s Favorite Demon. The bout wasn’t completely one sided, though. Broskis inside Raleigh’s PNC Arena fist pumped in support of the self-proclaimed Internet Champion as he tried to build momentum against The Big Red Monster. Early on, Ryder did his best to stay aggressive, but even with the WWE Universe and the YouTube faithful in his corner, Zack Ryder had one clear disadvantage against Kane– experience. A 15-year veteran inside a WWE ring, Kane has locked up with Legends and WWE Hall of Famers every bit as fast, agile and popular as Long Island Iced-Z. After numerous battles against everyone from Rey Mysterio to Mark Henry, Kane remains unfazed by just about every WWE Superstars he faces. The Big Red Monster came to Raleigh, N.C. with one goal in mind – ruin Ryder’s night. From the moment the opening bell sounded, this rivalry was reignited after months of Ryder’s recovery and subsequent battles to build his confidence to the point where he was ready for Kane. Long Island Iced-Z proved that he was back at full strength and ready for a battle. Throughout the contest, he managed to keep momentum shifts even, a daunting task for anyone challenging The Big Red Monster. However, with momentum seemingly in his corner, Ryder’s efforts were for naught as a powerful chokeslam served as a painful reminder of the torment he suffered at the hands of Kane earlier this year. Ever since that agonizing Monday night in February when Kane sent a wheelchair-bound Ryder off the entrance stage, Long Island Iced-Z has not been the same. Much of his trouble has stemmed from Eve, whose new position with Raw and SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis could only make his life worse. Although Kane claimed victory at WWE Over the Limit, Zack Ryder’s impressive effort against The Big Red Monster certainly proved that he is serious, bro.