The WWE gets its balls busted a lot these days for a variety of things.Â The product is pussy-whipped, thanks in no small part to Linda McMahon’s delusional campaign for the United States Senate.Â That’s going over so well that despite her opponent getting caught dead to rights lying about serving in Vietnam (which, mind you, is a federal offense under the Stolen Valor Act) she is trailing him by twelve points as of the latest polling. Come on, twenty points against a guy who lied about his military service record?Â That should clue her in that it’s not going to happen and that she should save her money.Â And it’s not just a little money.Â As of this writing, Lindaâ€™s campaign is 4th on the list of the most expensive Senate campaigns in United States history.Â The McMahons haven’t spent this much money on certain failure since the XFL.
Now wrestlers can’t bleed, or if they do bleed the match has to be stopped so that medics can stitch the wrestler back up and none of that icky red stuff that is seen on every other television show in prime time is seen on their family-targeted wrestling show that airs from 9:00PM to 11:05PM on cable on a school night.Â Genius.
So some fans bailed on company, and the WWE responded the way it always does: with gimmicks.Â In the 90s, it was gimmicks for wrestlers.Â You had wrestling dentists, wrestling plumbers, wrestling whatever the fuck Mantaur was supposed to be, etc.Â But it’s 2010 now, and fans are WAY too smart to fall for that crap again.Â Thus, instead of having gimmicked characters, they have gimmicked pay-per-views.Â So now with entire shows themed around Elimination Chamber matches, Money in the Bank matches, etc, why on earth would the WWE call the one non-gimmicked PPV “Over the Limit” and place it in May?Â It sounds an awful like “Over the Edge,” which is of course infamous for its 1999 installment that featured the disastrous Union vs. Corporate Ministry match.
Maybe it had to do with Linda’s senate campaign.Â Maybe “Judgment Day” would offend those over-zealous right-wing Bible beaters who feel that the actual Judgment Day is near, especially now that the President is, gasp, a black guy.Â Oh, and a secret Muslim.Â Who was really born in Indonesia.Â Or Kenya.Â Or Hawaii shouldn’t count because it’s a fringe state, unlike Alaska.Â Something like that.
Yes, renaming the May pay-per-view “Over the Limit” was stupid, but it’s not really any more retarded than the stuff the WWE pulls daily.Â Every match is interrupted by instant replays, they put a girl who smokes and drinks in a faction that doesn’t smoke and drink, then fired her for smoking and drinking, MVP is still employed with the company, they give Ted DiBiase microphone time, they fired a different girl because she had done nude photos (something the WWE would never, ever, ever, ever, ever condone)… do I even need to continue?
May 23, 2010 from… Jesus, it’s even exactly eleven years after Owen Hart died?Â Why not just name the show “Hey FUCK YOU Martha Hart!”Â Has a ring to it.Â “And now… WWE Fuck You Martha Hart, presented by Skittles.Â Fruity, delicious, fruity fruity fruity fucking Skittles!”
May 23, 2010 from Detroit, MI. A town with one of the highest unemployment rates in the United States, thanks to the collapse of the car industry.Â That’s sensitivity to the voting public, Linda.Â “We’ll have a show in Detroit and cheer up the working class that wrestling in general caters to.”Â “Um Linda, actually most people in Detroit are struggling to even buy food, let alone tickets to any wrestling shows.”Â “How am I supposed to know that?Â I’m a female candidate on the Republican ticket for a major political position.Â Of course I’m out of touch with everything.Â Now fetch me some caviar, Virgil.”
Match #1: Intercontinental Championship
(c) Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston
What a fucking stupid angle this was.Â Drew McIntyre gets into a tiff with Matt Hardy, and as a result Kofi Kingston gets the IC title, only he doesn’t because Drew wasn’t really fired, and now we get a title match here where Kofi gets the belt anyway.Â Sorry for the spoiler.Â Equally stupid is the WWE shooting off pyro in an arena as poorly ventilated as the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.Â As a result, the hard cameras make this match look like it’s taking place on the set of the movie The Mist.Â Poor planning or a vague tribute to the clichÃ©d “smoky arenas” of a long gone era?Â You decide.
Lockup to start and Kofi throws some punches.Â He knots up Drew’s leg, dropkicks him, and dumps him to the floor with a clothesline.Â Drew kicks a cameraman over in frustration, but this leads to Kofi hitting a topÃ©.Â Drew seemed to want to block it but couldnâ€™t.Â Instead, he gets up and brawls Kofi down with some clubbing blows, then returns to the ring.Â Kofi fights back in the ring with a clothesline, so Drew bails.Â On the apron, Drew counters something and tosses Kingston into the post.Â On the floor, Drew rams him into the apron, then tosses him back in the ring.
McIntyre brawls Kofi down in the corner, then hits a gutbuster for two.Â Half-nelson chinlock thingy by Drew follows, but Kofi hiptosses out of it.Â Kofi brawls him around and goes for a springboard but McIntyre kicks him coming down for two.Â Stomp to the back of the head, then he climbs for a double stop off the ropes, but Kofi gets his feet up.Â Drew bumps pretty well off of it, and we have a double-knockout.Â They both get to their feet and slug it out, leading to Kofi getting a dropkick.Â In the corner, Kofi springs up and gets a ten-punch, but Drew blocks a follow-up move.Â Kofi charges and gets flung into the corner, but he sticks the landing, kind of, and hits a crossbody for two.Â Drew hoists up Kofi and hits an exploding gutbuster for two.Â Love that move.
Kofi posts McIntyre and then kicks him in the gut.Â Drew is laying across the bottom rope, so Kofi does the boomdrop on him from that position for two.Â He goes for the tornado kick, misses, and Drew hooks in the double-arm DDT.Â Kofi turns this into that scary ass looking SOS which will result in someone breaking their neck at some point in the future, mark my words.Â Shockingly (to me at least), that is the finish and Kofi gets the Intercontinental Championship back.
*** Acceptable, if unremarkable opener.
BUT WAIT~!! because Drew grabs the stick to bitch about the outcome.Â He says the rest of the pay-per-view is off unless Teddy Long comes out and declares him to still be the IC champ.Â Instead, Matt Hardy comes out and gives him a twist of fate.Â Has Drew won a single televised match since this?Â Don’t get me wrong, if the WWE is right to give up on anyone, it’s Mr. Personality McIntyre.
-Meanwhile, Luke Gallows and Serena chant for CM Punk as he talks about how awesome he is, and then they all hug.Â That was scary.Â And creepy.Â And fucking awesome.Â Naturally the WWE would fire Serena as soon as she debuted as a wrestler in August.
What really boggles the mind is professional wrestling has always encouraged drinking among the workers.Â If you don’t drink, you’re not one of the boys.Â Read any 80s era biography.Â To be one of the boys, you had to be a heavy partier.Â There were exceptions.Â By all accounts Owen Hart wasn’t a heavy party animal, but he came from a respected wrestling family and his brother was a top star so he likely got off easy.Â On the other hand, Ric Flair tells a story of his time as a rookie when guys would pass him a bottle of whiskey in the back of a car while they were driving the road, then watch him in the mirror to make sure he actually drank it.Â That is disturbing shit.
For all the blame the WWE and the McMahons get, it’s really the culture in the locker room that has contributed more to all these deaths than anything the office has done.Â The veterans tell glowing tales of breaking in the rookies in the ways of partying like a wrestler.Â Guys like Harley Race, who gloats about how he would make guys drink until they got sick.Â How many of those guys went from being fresh-faced, functional adults to full blown alcoholics in part because of the pressure guys like Race put on them to party hard and be one of the boys?Â Harley Race apologized recently for creating the flying headbutt.Â What he really should apologize for is all the lives he likely ruined when he turned people into addicts.Â The same goes for guys like Ric Flair.
Those guys who didn’t drink, they weren’t “one of the boys” and they would get buried by the office, usually by popular demand in the dressing room.Â Those wrestlers would also be targeted with practical jokes that most rational people would consider felony assault.Â The wrestlers themselves are never called to task when one of their colleagues drops dead before they hit 50.Â And most of them are guilty, even the ones that seem nice.Â In his second book, Mick Foley, in a nonchalant kind of way, admitted that sometimes when he’s out traveling with his family, he takes pain pills because they mellow him out and make it so that he doesn’t snap at people who bug him for autographs.Â Now I have no doubt that Foley likely experiences pain on a daily basis, but notice how he admitted that it wasn’t for pain, it was for pleasure.Â Mick Foley, one of the most respected wrestlers among fans and his younger peers, by making that statement in his book, basically endorsed using narcotics to be able to function outside of wrestling.Â That book came out in 2001.Â With the body count that has since piled up, I wonder if he would take that statement back.
Of course, Serena wasn’t fired for drugs.Â She was fired for drinking.Â Drinking is perfectly legally.Â And among wrestlers, it’s encouraged.Â Anyone who says otherwise is full of shit.Â I’m willing to bet that close to the entire current roster in the WWE drinks, and more than half use tobacco in some form.Â That’s ignoring drugs, prescribed or otherwise.Â Just the legal stuff that any of-age person can get in this country.Â She’s not the first person to get in trouble for the legal stuff.Â Jack Swagger got in trouble for smoking in front of fans.Â Of course, he’s a newbie and held to a different standard than, say, Randy Orton, of whom there are videos on Youtube bumming cigarettes from fans.
Serena smokes.Â Big whoop.Â She’s hardly the only girl on the roster that did.Â Layla does.Â Maryse does, as well as Alicia Fox.Â Before them there was Trish, Lita, and Sable.Â That’s in addition to guys like Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy, the Undertaker, Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Ric Flair, and on and on.Â All either smoke, dipped, or both.Â Tobacco use in wrestling has been almost as certain as death.
So the burning question is: why pick a girl who smokes and drinks to be part of a group whose gimmick is that they don’t?Â Surely there were other choices out there.Â Granted, Serena had the look, talent, and charisma to pull off the gimmick.Â The WWE wants to have it both ways: they want people to understand that wrestling is entertainment and nothing more, but now they expect their wrestlers to behave like their characters outside the ring.Â Serena is the first person to be fired for breach of kayfabe since 1987 when Jim Duggan and the Iron Sheik were arrested while riding in the same car.Â A lot of people think there has to be something else going on, whether she became a diva or was unmanageable or whatever, but no, it really does seem to be the kayfabe stuff that got her.
It makes me wonder when the WWE is going to enforce this on their other talent?Â Undertaker, for example, should have been fired for marrying Michelle McCool.Â Every sane person knows that undead MMA cowboy zombies prefer red-heads, not cheeky blonds who wear glasses and steal finishers from A.J. Styles.Â Such an instance of ignoring kayfabe (not to mention decades of well established zombie culture) cannot be tolerated.
R-Truth vs. Ted DiBiase
DiBiase walks out with fucking Virgil, and the Million Dollar Belt.Â Hopefully, one day when he’s old enough, he’ll be able to grow facial hair and completely steal his father’s gimmick.Â Lockup and Teddy wrings Truth’s arm, then Truth does the same.Â DiBiase whiffs on a slow-motion punch in the corner, then cowers in fear when Truth rears back for one of his own.Â They circle and Teddy grabs a waistlock, then tries for a headlock, then grabs an arm, but his indecision gets him and Truth tosses him down by the arm.Â Bitch-slap by DiBiase only pisses Truth off and he brawls Teddy to the corner.Â Shoot to the corner is reversed by DiBiase, but Truth springs over him, does the splits, dropkicks Teddy, then dumps him to the floor with a clothesline.
On the outside, Truth decides it’s time to attack black and goes after Virgil, but then he catches DiBiase before he jumps him and beats him down, then tosses him in the ring.Â Back inside, Virgil draws Truth’s attention, this time leading to DiBiase getting a neckbreaker on him.Â Mounted punches, and then DiBiase tosses Truth to the floor.Â On the outside he rams Truth into the guardrail and then tosses him back in the ring, where he cuts off a comeback and flapjacks Truth for two.Â Kicks in the corner, but Truth fights back. DiBiase gets a clothesline for two.Â Now to a chinlock, which he really works pretty good.Â I’m proud of him.
DiBiase works the chinlock with gusto.Â Killings fights back before it gets dull, but DiBiase stays on the offense with a back suplex for two.Â Teddy climbs and tries to drop a sledge from the second rope, but Truth catches him coming down… or should I say once he’s down and actually hit the move.Â Horrible timing there, and it’s all downhill from here.Â Truth preps DiBiase in the corner and goes for a superplex, but DiBiase blocks and tosses him off.Â DiBiase preps for some kind of flying move, but Truth crotches him down.Â Clotheslines and a flowing hiptoss, then a flatliner for two.Â Truth goes for a scissors kick but misses and DiBiase hits an electric chair for two.Â Lame move to do there and he didn’t hit it all that cleanly.Â Truth gets a double-leg takedown but DiBiase ends up in the ropes for the break.Â Truth loads up a suplex, and then turns it into a three-quarters jawbreaker.Â This also might have been a botch.Â It sure looked crappy and the fans don’t react at all to it.Â It gets two.Â Corkscrew forearm gets the pin for him.Â Really?
* Match started solid, but everything from the middle-rope sledge spot onward was sloppy in execution.Â Something had to have gone wrong somewhere because the finishing sequence was brutally one-sided in favor of the babyface.Â Pretty sad because everything up to the chinlock was a really basic, well wrestled match.Â Not exactly pay-per-view caliber, but not embarrassing either.Â And then it all went to hell.
-Speaking of things going to hell, Mr. Personality is backstage making trouble with Teddy Long.Â He demands to be handed the IC title back.Â When Teddy says no, he trashes his office.Â Drew stops short of breaking a picture of Martin Luther King Jr.Â Drew tells Long that he’s more like King than Long is, a line I’m sure was fed to him by Michael Hayes.Â Of course, the WWE couldn’t actually have McIntyre rip to pieces a picture of MLK, because that would have turned him babyface in places like Alabama or Mississippi, and that’s not in the cards.Â Then again, Linda McMahon’s company publicly destroying pictures of a prominent black leader would be just the kind of thing she needs to do to fire up the Republican base before the elections.
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
Special Stipulation: If CM Punk loses, he shaves his head.Â If Rey Mysterio loses, he joins the Straight Edge Society.
Specialer Stipulation: All seconds are banned from ringside.
I guess the buzz on this match is that at some point there is a significant pause while blood gets cleaned up.Â I’m pretty curious to see if it’s censored here.
Weird opening sees Punk do the SES pledge, then Mysterio does it too and gets kicked down.Â It wasn’t even in a mocking fashion.Â Punk stomps Mysterio into the corner, then gets pulled off by the referee.Â Mysterio fights back and takes Punk to the opposite corner.Â Ten-punch by Mysterio but Punk cuts him off and brawls him down again.Â Punk pushes Mysterio into the ropes and then lowers his head into a kick, but catches Rey charging and backdrops him to the floor.Â Timing is all over the place early on as Punk whiffs on a plancha attempt.Â Mysterio hits a rana that sends Punk into the barricade.Â Punk gets kicked in front of the barberâ€™s chair and beat down.
Back in Rey preps Punk for the 619, but Punk sees it coming and hits a knee to the gut.Â Both guys are just awful on their timing here.Â Punk then shuffle-boards Punk out of the ring and into the barberâ€™s chair.Â Punk is busted open but I’m not sure from what, even after watching the match multiple times.Â It’s a hard-way bleeding, for sure, but I can’t figure out from what.Â So cue the long shot with referee Charles Robinson working to fix the bleeding.Â Fucking TV-PG era.Â This would have been a mighty blood job.Â There is no black-and-white filter here, but the fans are hate hooing.Â Mysterio is selling the chair spot with gusto as the fans are just pissed as hell about this whole thing, but he manages to get them back into it.Â The wound seems to have been from getting cut by Mysterio’s boot.Â Either way, when the match restarts, Punk comes out like a house of fire to make up for the shit.
Punk explodes out with a dropkick to send Rey to the floor.Â Stomps there and a toss into the rail, then another hard toss into a different rail, and then he finishes the full-steam-ahead sequence with a sickening snap suplex on the floor.Â Well that got the fans back into it.Â Big props for this.Â Back in the ring, Punk hits a slingshot splash for two, then ties up Rey in a triangle choke.Â Meanwhile, Matt Striker and Jerry Lawler reach new lows on commentary.Â It’s amazing how fast Striker went from internet darling to Vinnie Mac sock puppet.Â The only way smart fans could possibly turn on someone worse is if they marry a McMahon.
Naturally, the brainless fucks who produce the WWE these days wait until the very end of the hold to show an instant replay of the shuffle-boarding into the barber’s chair spot and thus we miss Mysterio’s comeback.Â Their ability to calculate when the exact right time is to fuck up a perfectly good thing is uncanny.Â When we get back, Mysterio is knotting up Punk’s leg and hitting a roll up for two.Â Clothesline by Punk gets two.Â SES Pledge forearm drops get two, which I guess is his new “People’s Elbow”-like signature spot.Â Mysterio blocks a charge in the corner and hits sunset-flip into a powerbomb (looked similar to Trevor Murdoch’s cattle-driver), which gets two.Â Brawl follows, ending with Mysterio getting a crossbody for two.Â The horrible red lights they use to drown out the crowd makes this look like a fricken video game.Â The WWE’s production values top to bottom are so embarrassing these days.Â To all those marks who are pissy because Triple H is officially an executive in the company now, I say “shut up.”Â He HATES the production as much as we do and I’m sure when he gets Vince’s job there will be changes for the better.
Punk looks ready to panic as Mysterio kicks him in the head.Â To the corner where Mysterio hits the seated senton, then ducks a roundhouse kick, flips around Punk and gets a cover for two.Â Punk flings Mysterio into the turnbuckle, giving him some more control.Â It looked good the first time, so naturally instead of showing CM Punk’s next two moves they decide to show us the turnbuckle spot from a different, crappier angle that exposes the fakery of the move.Â Outstanding, chaps.Â For those wondering why I dropped the instant replay challenge, it’s because why bother?Â They would have lost all the money on this match alone.Â So anyway, Punk does some moves that weren’t important enough to air on the show and thus I won’t bother recapping them.Â He ends up hitting a double-arm suplex into a backbreaker on Mysterio for two.Â He loads up the GTS but Mysterio almost counters into a rana.Â Punk blocks that and powerbombs him in the corner.
Punk climbs and bulldogs Mysterio off the second rope for two.Â A series of skull kicks get two for Punk.Â For someone straight edge he sure has yellow teeth.Â Does total abstinence from drugs extend to using toothpaste as well?Â Mysterio elbows Punk and goes for a diving moonsault, but Punk catches him and loads up the GTS.Â Mysterio counters with an armdrag and the 619, but he misses the splash.Â Punk smiles and casually goes to pin Rey, but gets trapped in a rollup for the pin, and it’s haircut time.
BUT WAIT~!! because the mystery guy wearing a hoody shows up to punch Mysterio down.Â Luke Gallows and Serena show up as well, with handcuffs.Â Oddly enough, Gallows is the one who wants to do the cuffing, even though I’m willing to bet that Serena has more experience using them.Â BUT WAIT~!! because Kane shows up to clear the house.Â Punk gets handcuffed to the ropes, Rey grabs the clippers… and they don’t work.Â He gets about half the skull, but in typical WWE fashion the fans paid to see someone lose all their hair or lose their mask and they delivered neither.Â Fans are chanting “shave his chest” but that would require actual working clippers.Â Mysterio splits after about half the job is done, then returns to show Punk his reflection.Â Fucking ridiculous that in 2010 we have Titantrons the size of aircraft hangers, high definition cameras, and no working clippers when they advertise someone losing all their hair during a $50 pay per view.Â It’s no wonder Linda McMahon has decided to enter politics, because like her husband she talks a big talk about delivering on promises that she has no intention of fulfilling.Â Maybe Vince should have run instead.
****1/4 Really good match.Â The pause when CM Punk got split open was stupid.Â I know the WWE’s policy now is blood doesn’t exist… makes me wonder if Serena was really fired for having a period… but it’s not like they even closed the wound fully.Â Given the amount that trickled out even after they stitched him up, it makes me think we got deprived of seeing a four-alarm gusher akin to Eddie Guerrero at Judgment Day 2004.Â Regardless of stupidity, they cut a great pace and my only real complaint is the transition from the body of the match to the finishing sequence was not really that seamless, and it felt a little jarring.Â These guys really have great chemistry together and although we got fucked out a decent match at Wrestlemania due to unreasonable time constraints, from a quality standpoint this is 2010’s feud of the year thus far.
Oh, and at no point did the black-and-white filter turn on.Â Goody.
-Meanwhile, Chris Jericho bumps in to Big Show and gloats about how he’s in the tag title match later.Â Which is pretty awesome as far as insane promos go because Big Show is in the World Heavyweight Championship match.Â Show threatens to turn around and punch out Miz, then punch out Jericho, then revive Jericho and punch him out again.Â Good stuff.
Match #4: Tag Team Championship
(c) The Hart Dynasty vs. ChrisMiz
Michael Cole plants a few seeds towards his heel turn by bitching about the fact that Bret Hart needed 20 members of the Hart family to beat the Miz for the US Championship.Â An odd way to do it, I might add.Â I mean, he’s right.Â If I see an old guy on the street summon five people to help him beat up someone and take their wallet, I don’t cheer that guy for doing it.Â Wrestling logic, I guess.
Miz and Kidd start, with Miz taking him down and stomping him.Â Snapmare by Kidd and some kicks, then a tag to Smith who does a delayed suplex.Â He holds it forever but it only gets one.Â Fans aren’t loving the Harts here.Â Miz gets dumped to the floor, then Jericho charges and gets backdropped.Â Kidd tags in and Smith presses him into the heels… or the babyfaces in this case, as the fans are chanting for Chris Jericho.Â Back in, Kidd puts a front-facelock on Miz, who drives him to the corner and tags in Jericho.Â Fans love him as he smacks down Kidd and backdrops him, only Kidd sticks the landing and gives him a spinning heel kick.Â Tag to Smith and they double up on Chris with a drop-toehold and a legdrop for two.Â Jericho fights back and dropkicks Smith off the second rope, then baseball slides him out of the ring.
Back in, Jericho does a backdrop suplex for two.Â Now a chinlock, which Smith starts to fight out of, so Jericho releases and bounces off the ropes to charge.Â Smith catches him and hits a side suplex for a double-KO.Â Tag to Miz who cuts off DH and smacks him around.Â And for the second time in five minutes, Michael Cole and myself seem to be on the same wave length, as he verbally notes how much more aggressive (read: better at brawling) Miz is now than he was early in his career, not a second after I thought the same thing.Â This is kind of scary.Â Will I start to look at chain-link fences and think “Gee I hope I don’t get a finger caught in there!” next?Â Miz bounces off the ropes and kicks Smith in the face for two.Â Now to a chinlock, but Hart-Smith stands up on it and gives Miz an electric chair.Â Note to R-Truth and Ted DiBiase: that is an effective time to use an electric chair.
Hot tag to Kidd, although the crowd could have been fooled by that, and a tag to Jericho.Â An elbow and a trio of dropkicks by Kidd, who then baseball slides Miz off the apron.Â Crazy sunset-flip variant by Kidd gets no reaction despite its coolness. It gets two.Â Kidd goes for a rana and gets trapped in the Walls, much to the delight of the crowd.Â Fans boo Kidd when he makes the ropes.Â Kick to the head by Kidd, who then goes for a springboard-crossbody.Â Jericho catches him coming down with the Codebreaker, but is slow to cover and gets two.Â Oh come on, it wasn’t that slow a cover.Â And that Codebreaker almost becomes the worst move ever, but avoids it and the sarcastic all-caps that come with it because he only kicks Jericho once in the head and tags in DH Smith.
Punches for all.Â Clotheslines for all, including one that dumps the Miz out of the ring.Â Greco-Roman throw by Smith and a powerslam for two.Â Jericho uses the referee as a shield and then rolls up Smith for two.Â Fans bought that as the finish.Â Heels bitch and complain, distracting the referee and letting Natalya trip up Jericho.Â Running powerslam by Smith… gets two.Â Clean kickout too.Â Weird.Â Blind tag by Jericho to Miz, who hits his back-and-neckbreaker for two.Â Miz goes for a sharpshooter but Smith rolls him up for two.Â Miz goes for the SCF, but Smith pushes him off and into Jericho, knocking him off the apron.Â Rollup by Smith is countered by Miz for two.Â Miz is frustrated and charges in the corner for his diving clothesline, but Hart-Smith catches him and Kidd tags in for the Hart Attack and the pin.
***3/4 Standard tag match is given a huge boost by its peppy ending.Â The false finishes here all worked.Â The fans weren’t super into it for whatever reason.Â But this was a good match that felt like it was pay-per-view quality and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Randy Orton vs. Edge
The Mega Injury Prone Explode, brotha!Â Oh man, have I been anxious to see this, though not for the reasons they hoped before this was filmed.Â We get a long stall before the match.Â It would have gone longer but Edge yawned and tore his pecs doing it.Â Lockup and Orton shoots off Edge and shoulderblocks him.Â Edge Hogan feebly walks around, and the WWE should really give him a walking stick.Â Slow lockup and some really pitiful forearms by Edgeworth.Â Slow shoot-off and a weak forearm by Orton to make Edge gingerly bump down.Â Stomps to Edge who tears his scrotum open trying to sell them.Â Slow clubs on the ropes by Orton and good lord can we just stick a fork in Edge already?Â His career should be over if this is the best he can move.
Orton preps for a slingshot into the bottom rope and hits it.Â Fans are as dead as Edge’s mobility.Â Kick to the midsection and even Lawler sounds comatose on commentary.Â Striker could very well be snoring too and I’m sure some smarks will say he’s brilliant.Â Edge finally fights back and suplexes Orton stomach-first on the barricade.Â Edge tosses him into the ring and covers for two.Â Orton is selling his arm, and it could be slightly separated at this point.Â Edge stomps Orton in the corner and celebrates.Â Randy fights back but charges into a kitchen-sink kneelift, then Edge slaps on the body-scissors.Â Oh come on, he tore his Achilles tendon and the vulnerable spot is RIGHT FUCKING THERE, RANDAL!Â Hell, knowing Edge you could yank out one of his leg hairs and he would bleed to death.
Shockingly, Randy goes to the foot, so Edge adds a chinlock to it.Â Randy escapes and goes to the foot again, but apparently it’s just to pull the legs off and not to focus on the obvious injury.Â He then opts to elbow out of the move.Â Hotshot-suplex by Edge on the ropes and he climbs.Â Orton catches him climbing but fails to knock him off.Â So Orton crotches him and superplexes him off the ropes for a double-KO.Â Slug-off follows, with the fans actually doing the “yea-boo” thing according to actual heel-face affiliations, a rarity these days.Â Edge looks to win out but Orton hits a pair of clotheslines and a powerslam for two.Â Shoot off is reversed and Edge hits a big boot for another double-KO.Â Orton rolls to the apron and catches Edge charging.Â He loads up the rope DDT and hits it for two.Â Edge rolls to the floor and then hangs up Orton, giving him the space he needs to prep for the spear.Â Cue the fun…
Orton kicks Edge in the face on the charge and then coils over for the RKO.Â While banging his arms on the mat, he legitimately dislocates his shoulder, instantly landing him the #3 spot in the list of all time hilarious ways wrestlers injured themselves.Â The #1 and #2 spots still belong to Vince McMahon, who blew his knee out at Armageddon 2000 by jumping off a truck to earn the second spot, and then topped that in 2005 by blowing out both is knees simultaneously while sliding into the ring.Â If Randy had missed significant time for this, I think he might have gotten all the way to #1.
Anyway, Orton looks like he’s about to cry as he lightly kicks Edge to the floor to buy some time.Â I feel for him because, man, he looks like he’s in serious pain here.Â The show must go on, but Orton is in no position to make this look halfway decent, unlike Triple H against Chris Jericho in 2001.Â Orton goes for the spear on the floor and hits the wall, but both guys get counted out.Â Apparently that WAS the planned finish, but the means of getting there was supposed to be much more spectacular.Â Fans are pissed at first but then I think they kind of realize that Orton is legitimately fucked up here.Â He would make it back to pay-per-view the following month though.
* Slow and plodding with no real rhyme or reason.Â This was a disaster before Orton injured himself.Â Clearly Edge should not have come back when he did, but the truth about the type of injury he had is that four out of five people who have it never regain a full sense of balance, which is pretty important in wrestling.Â I enjoyed Edge’s career up to this point, but really it might be time to hang it up, because the good days sure look well past him.Â Prove me wrong, Edge.
Match #6: World Heavyweight Championship
(c) Jack Swagger vs. Big Show
I try to avoid the feedback these shows get, but this one has gotten some serious universal hatred.Â I got several e-mails warning me how much I would hate this.Â No shit?Â Because this sounds SO good on paper.Â To build to this, Swagger was made to look like a complete and total bitch.Â You can tell Big Show is a babyface now because he smiles non-stop, including in his Titantron video.Â Which also has a picture of a bear in it for some fucking reason.Â I guess he’s… um… bear-like or something.
Both guys shadow box to start.Â Better watch out, Jackie.Â If you’re within 5 feet of the Big Show’s punch it technically counts as him hitting his finisher on you.Â Swagger goes for a single-leg takedown but Show tosses him away.Â He goes for another and this time Show smashes his knee into Jack’s face.Â Swagger goes for a waistlock but Show counters with one of his own, taking Swagger down to the mat.Â Jackie rolls out of the ring all miffed that Show actually learned a new move after fifteen years in the business.Â Maybe in another fifteen years he’ll learn how to not have a shitty match.
Show does some push-ups and mocks Swagger, who charges into the ring and into a kick.Â Skillet chops in the corner, with Show whispering to the fans to be quiet for them.Â That shouldn’t be too hard to pull off.Â Show walks over Swagger, then shoots him off and loads up the chokeslam.Â Swagger escapes it and rolls out of the ring, then hangs up Show, then hits an awesome shoulderblock that Show sells with pretty good gusto.Â Another one gets two.Â Pretty much the most awesome sell job of Show’s career.Â Swagger hits the pump splash in the corner twice for two.Â Show power-kicks out and sends Swagger though the ropes and to the floor.Â Swagger gets in the ring and hooks in a front facelock, but Show tosses him down and clotheslines him a few times.Â Butt splash in the corner and a shoulderblock.Â He calls for a chokeslam, but Swagger blocks it with some kicks, so Show pie-faces him out of the ring.Â Swagger has enough, grabs the belt, and draws the DQ by hitting Show with it.Â A second shot with the belt takes Show down.Â Swagger grabs a chair and starts to crack it over Show, who Hulks up and chokeslams him anyway.Â Show hits Swagger with the chair so hard it bends.Â He feels bad for it and straightens it back up by chokeslamming him on it.Â He finishes the burial by hitting the knockout punch.
*1/4 Don’t see what all the hate was about.Â Sure, this match was crap that totally buried Jack Swagger, but at least they managed to tell a coherent story and pace things about as well as they could.Â I figured this would be a worst match of the year contender, and instead it just sucked.
Match #7: Divas Championship
(c) Eve vs. Maryse
Maryse is in the opposite of Serena.Â She smokes and drinks, but she’s French so that’s to be expected.Â Hell, maybe she would be fired if she didn’t.Â Side notes: she still looks like transvestite and the WWE is losing out on the obvious gimmick of having her not shave her pits.
They get face to face to start.Â Eve seems to wince at Maryse’s breath: a combination of Oka cheese, Marlboro Lights, and testosterone pills.Â This proves to be an effective distraction and Maryse posts Eve.Â Maryse kicks her in squint-o-vision while we see a replay of the only move of the match thus far.Â She stomps Eve and feather-dusts her, then slaps on a camel clutch so she can catch a breather from all this action.Â She smacks Eve around a bit more, then hits a running kneelift to knock her out of the ring.Â On the floor, Maryse misses a roundhouse kick and hits the post instead.Â Eve tosses her back into the ring.
Back in, Eve ducks a clothesline and hits a couple dropkicks for two.Â Those dropkicks were pretty sweet looking actually.Â Hair-whip and a standing moonsault for two.Â Sunset flip for one.Â Mule kick by Maryse on the floor gets two.Â Damn yo, that was slightly cool.Â Forearms by Eve and some clubbing blows on the ropes.Â The referee pulls her off and Maryse charges into a flatliner… for two.Â Everyone bought that as the finish.Â Eve goes for a rolling thunder, but Maryse gets her knees up.Â And then she laughs like an evil bitch, and I’m digging the gimmick even if she kind of sucks as a wrestler.Â Maryse loads up something, but Eve counters, locks her upper legs around Maryse’s neck, and drops down in a move I’m officially dubbing Vagina Falls for the pin.
*1/2 Maryse is god-awful at almost everything she does in the ring, and Eve is far from acceptable, so this is about as good as it could get between these two.
Match #8: WWE Championship, “I Quit” Match
(c) John Cena vs. Batista
Special Stipulation: Loser must go bat-shit crazy and leave the WWE to try and make it as a “real fighter.”
Batista grabs a mic and tells Cena to say I quit or he’ll, quote, “put your ass in a world of pain.”Â Shocking thing #1: the word “ass” returns to WWE.Â Shocking thing #2: John Cena seems open to the possibility of taking it up the poop chute here.Â The referee asks Cena if he wants to quit.Â I suddenly have an uncontrollable fit of laughter just thinking “What if?”Â Seriously.Â Just picture him saying “You know what?Â Fuck it, I do quit.Â I think the Red Sox are on anyway.”Â Without telling anybody first.Â Do the fans pop because they hate him, boo because they got screwed out of the match, or sit there dumbstruck?
Sadly, he doesn’t quit and instead smacks Batista with the mic.Â To the outside where Cena grabs a chair and swings for the kill, but Batista ducks and John pings the post.Â Back in the ring, clothesline by Batista and a whip to the corner.Â Batista elbows his throat, then snap-mares him over and goes for a cover, but then remembers that it’s “I Quit” and the referee asks.Â It’s a no, so to the corner where Batista does nothing.Â To another corner where Batista brawls him.Â Fans have dueling “Cena Sucks” “Let’s Go Cena” chants.Â Johnny fights back and hits a back-elbow.Â Squint-o-Vision for Batista to post him, but Cena won’t quit.Â Batista knees him off the apron and to the floor, where Batista slams him into the guardrail.
Back in, Batista loads up a suplex and hits it.Â Cena won’t quit, so Batista whips him to the corner but misses a charge in exposing fashion, causing him to WIGGER UP~!!Â Shoulderblock, shoulderblock, protoplex, you can’t see me, and the five knuckle shuffle.Â He goes for the FU but Batista uses the referee as a human shield, then spears Cena down.Â Batista slaps on the Rings of Saturn of all moves, and sadly he doesn’t roll his head around doing it.Â If he had, I would swear that the mystery of Perry Saturn’s disappearance had been solved: that he shaved his mustache, bulked up 100 pounds, grew a couple more inches, changed his tattoos around, and got his eye fixed.Â But without the head rolling around during the Rings of Saturn, that situation becomes a little bit far-fetched.
Cena hiptosses out of the Rings and slaps on the STFU.Â Batista crawls for the ropes and makes it, but there are no rope breaks.Â The only time they seem to enforce that is when it factors into the finish, so I expect a ropey ending to this.Â Batista can’t answer whether he quits or not because he passes out.Â Well I’m sure Steve Austin will be gratified to hear that his match with Bret Hart from Wrestlemania 13 is still going on.Â And now’s the time to strike, Steve.Â Cena pours some water or Gatorade or urine on Batista, which not only brings him back to life, but gives him the energy to spear Cena.Â So does that make the STFU the WORST MOVE EVER~!! or does that make the beverage the BEST WAKE UP JUICE EVER~!!??Â Â I’ll let you, the readers, decide.
Loaded-powerbomb hits but Cena is not going to quit.Â So Batista bails out of the ring to prep both announce tables for impact.Â I always thought it was funny that they move the pointy-sharp monitors out of the way.Â If the idea is to injure the other guy, wouldnâ€™t you rather those be poking out?Â He loads up the powerbomb on the table, Cena nearly counters into the FU, but Batista counters that and hits a running powerslam from one table through the other.Â Fans loved it.Â Looked great for sure.Â The referee asks if he wants to quit, but Cena won’t quit.Â Batista catches his breath and then tosses Cena over the guardrail and into the seating area.Â Oh god no.
Batista drags him to the cheap seats, and somehow Johnny couldn’t come back during this whole sequence.Â He tells Cena to quit or he’ll toss him over the guardrail and down a whole six feet.Â No, not six feet down.Â Anything but that.Â He loads up the powerbomb but Cena fights back and slowly brawls him off this platform, causing Batista to fall approximately five inches onto some fans.Â Not sure how that hurt at all, since there were like a dozen guys there to break his fall.Â Batista won’t quit so we head down the stairs, with Batista nearly losing his footing and killing himself.Â Match was really good until this crowd brawling started.Â Now it’s pretty shitty.Â Makes me long for the days when Steve Austin would at least remember to punch a guy every few seconds.
They make their way to the stage, where Batista beats the snot out of Johnny with a chair, but Cena won’t quit.Â Batista whacks him once more and then decides to try to run over Cena with a car.Â It takes him forever to get it started, but when he does he backs the car up, destroying part of the light fixture around the entry way.Â He apparently missed Cena, who drags him out of the car.Â Of course, earlier Batista was knocked out cold but that didn’t count as an end to the match, so one wonders how Batista planned to win if he had successfully completed this very TV-PG case of vehicular manslaughter.Â So to be clear, murder is okay as long as there’s no blood. Cena FU’s Batista onto the hood of the car, but Batista won’t quit.Â So Cena hoists him up on top of the car with the FU.Â Batista quits and Cena wins the match, then celebrates by FUing him anyway, sending him through the floor.
***1/4 This wasn’t that bad and I would have gone four stars but the crowd-brawling section took so much momentum away while giving zero back in terms of cool spots.Â That was a total brain fart decision that might be attributed to the lack of security to keep the fans from closing in like the fucking retards that they are.Â Anyone who watched ESPN on November 19, 2004 or at any time in the five weeks after should know that the fuckwits of Detroit have boundary issues relating to sporting events and thus actually going into the crowd might not be the best idea.Â What was looking to be a pretty good match turned out just okay as a result.Â Ending was predictable, but also a satisfying conclusion to the feud.
-And after the match Sheamus shows up to hit a bicycle kick on Cena.Â And that’s that.Â End of the Pay Per View, but we do have one more match on the special features.
Match #9: United States Championship, No Disqualifications
(c) The Miz vs. Bret Hart
You know, as much as I truly, truly hate Bret Hart, I never pictured him to be one of those guys who wouldn’t know when to walk away.Â Since coming back, he’s had two pay-per-view matches despite the fact that he barely has use of his left arm and can’t take a bump.Â I do feel sorry that the guy had a stroke and never got the closure he likely deserved for his storied career, but you can’t always get what you want Bret, and no matter how hard you try you won’t get what you need.
Miz cuts an epic promo promising to make Bret tap to the sharpshooter.Â First time I’ve seen this match, as I no longer have cable and thus haven’t seen Raw in about, oh, five months or so.Â I came to realize that (1) cable/dish companies have nothing but limitless contempt for their customers and (2) I was paying upwards of $100 a month for a service I barely even used.Â Screw it.Â I get the broadcast networks for free and any cable TV shows I miss I can buy on DVD for cheaper at some point.Â Raw is the only show I’m really missing, but I’m not really missing it, if you catch my italics.
Miz bails after the bell and says he doesn’t trust Bret and thus he has paid for a couple people (Vladimir Cockslob and William Regal) to take care of the Hart Dynasty when they inevitably arrive.Â So the Harts show up right away and give us more action on the ramp than we’re bound to get in the actual match.Â Then Chris Jericho arrives for a big stare down with Bret, likely thinking “how cool would this have been… like ten years ago.”Â Nattie Neidhart shows up and bitchslaps him.Â Lost on everyone is how pathetic it is that old man Bret has to have what I think is a girl stand up for him.Â Miz goes to smack her but Bret cuts off the punch and smacks him.Â Low-blow by Jericho, but David Hart-Smith makes the save and dumps Jericho.Â Miz dumps Smith and then tries to hook the sharpshooter in, but Kidd comes off the ropes with a dropkick.Â Hart Attack to Miz, then Bret slaps on the sharpshooter for the submission and the title.Â Bret can’t even climb the ropes to show off the belt.Â This is disgraceful.
No Rating for this title change angle, but this is truly a new low for pandering in the WWE.
Also included in the special features is a hilarious surveillance video of CM Punk and the SES moping over the loss of Punk’s hair.Â Luke Gallows can’t even shut the door properly.Â The Straight Edgers all hang their heads in collective shame, but Punk still asks for and receives a hug.Â Whole thing runs about a minute.Â You also get four commercial parodies from Raw.
One names Santino Marella the most irritating man in the world (WRONG, that would be Jake Ziegler).
One is a parody of the Master Card “Priceless” commercials that focuses mostly on Ted DiBiase but really is a promo for R-Truth.Â Yipes.
The Geico parody asks if Goldust makes a bad blind date.Â Not funny.
A second Geico parody asks if the Great Khali hates rental cars, showing him all scrunched up in a compact, while Hornswaggle drives off in a hummer.Â Wow, those were brutally bad.
BOTTOM LINE: Holy crap, I finished a Way Too Long Review!Â So the critics have universally agreed that Over the Limit is the worst thing to happen to wrestling since Michael Cole.Â I don’t really agree with them.Â Of the eight PPV matches, four of them scored in the acceptable three-star or better range and one of them ****1/4, bullshit timeout included.Â So really, it’s not that bad, and in fact there have been way worse over the last twelve months.Â That said, there’s really only one match here that is truly worth the price of admission and thus I’m going with a mild thumbs down on making at $15 purchase here, but Over the Limit makes a worthy rental from Netflix if nothing else.