This Sunday, WWE will present its newest Pay-Per-View, Over the Limit.
This is a brand new PPV, but at the same time it’s not. There’s no gimmick to this show like there has been with all of the other new PPVs over the past few months, so basically it’s just a name change from the previous May event, Judgment Day.
In any case, WWE is hoping that the new name entices you enough to pay $45 to see it. I got a feeling that won’t play out the way they’re hoping for; and that next year we’ll see another new name (and possibly gimmick) in its place.
Anyway, here’s the lineup:
WWE Championship: “I Quit” Match
John Cena (C) vs. Batista
This marks the 3rd time in as many PPVs that these guys have fought over the WWE Title (4th if you count their Elimination Chamber “match”). I loved their match at WrestleMania, and thought it was the longest-overdue guaranteed moneymaker in quite some time. Last month at Extreme Rules they had a Last Man Standing match. Again, it was a very good match, though I wasn’t crazy about the silly duct-tape finish. This should be their final encounter to end the feud once and for all. There have been a lot of rumors circulating that this will be Batista’s last match for the foreseeable future. I really hope that’s not the case. Since turning heel last Fall, Batista has been doing the best work of his career. I’d love to see him continue his heel character and move into a new feud. But, that probably won’t happen. Instead, I can see this being a fairly even, back-and-forth match in the beginning, then Batista will somehow get the upper hand. He’ll give Cena one of his trademark barbaric beatings. Cena will give his standard survivalist performance. Eventually, after dishing out everything he’s got without getting Cena to utter the two words, Batista will simply quit out of frustration, both the match and the company.
My Pick: Still Champion – John Cena
World Heavyweight Championship
Jack Swagger (C) vs. The Big Show
I don't like this match. I liked Swagger when he debuted, and I liked that he won Money In The Bank at WrestleMania. But ever since he won the World Title, he’s switched to this super-serious character that just isn’t working for me. His recent promos about all of his accolades have been more boring than interesting. I don’t know if it’s the lines he’s being fed, or his delivery, or both, but I don’t like it and I really hope that they bring back his original character. I also haven’t enjoyed his run as champion yet because they haven’t made him look credible in any way. He’s lost a string of non-title matches, cleanly, and he just hasn’t made any lasting impression. The other half of this match is The Big Show. I’ve never been a fan of babyface Big Show, and seeing him as the top good-guy contender on Smackdown! screams second-rate to me. I keep having flashbacks to Smackdown! in 2004 when Show was feuding with Kurt Angle. Those weren’t good times for the blue brand, and neither are these. Big Show is simply a filler opponent for Swagger. They just had the draft so they’re still in the process of building new babyfaces on Smackdown! As soon as this match is over, their feud will be too, I hope at least.
My Pick: Still Champion – Jack Swagger
Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Kofi Kingston
I like what I’ve seen from McIntyre so far. He seems capable enough in the ring and he really does own his prickish character. The whole angle with him being fired by Teddy Long, then reinstated by Mr. McMahon was really well done and did a great job of giving the people another reason to hate him. That angle was made even better by the performance of Kofi Kingston. After “winning” the IC Title in a great match with Christian, Kofi was forced to give the belt back to drew. Kofi sold the emotion and disappointment brilliantly, reaffirming my belief that he needs to be the top face on the brand right now. WWE completely dropped the ball with him after his feud with Orton. I hope his move to Smackdown! builds him back up. Still, I think Drew will retain this time around, possibly leading into a rematch at the next PPV.
My Pick: Still Champion – Drew McIntyre
S.E.S. Pledge vs. Hair Match
Rey Mysterio vs. CM Punk
This is a combination of the stipulations from their last two PPV fights. This has been a great feud with some excellent matches. I think the only logical step here is to have Punk lose his hair. It would be great to see Rey stuck in the Straight Edge Society for a bit, but I feel that if they did that it would stretch the feud a month past its shelf life. I expect plenty of outside interference from the S.E.S. but ultimately Rey will get the win, and the fans will see a shaving.
My Pick: Rey Mysterio – CM Punk gets shaved bald.
Randy Orton vs. Edge
This is probably the match people are most excited for. Orton is insanely over right now as a face. It’s a very Austin-like character in that he’s doing nothing that’s necessarily good, he’s just so great at being bad. Add Edge to that mix, one of the most consistently good workers in the business, and you’ve got an incredible match. I think this will be the show stealer. The heat for this match will be off the charts. I’m hoping they have Edge sneak out a tainted win here, leaving the door open for a continuation of the feud.
My Pick: Edge
Unified Tag Team Championship Match
The Hart Dynasty (C) vs. Chris Jericho and The Miz
I’m actually kind of fearful for this match. I love the fact that the Hart Dynasty were finally given the belts. It’s awesome to see an actual tag team get that type of love from the company. I really hope that their reign doesn’t end this quickly. But, I don’t see how WWE will allow them to retain. Management clearly loves Jericho and The Miz and loves having them on every show, and rightfully so. Those guys are two of the most entertaining and over heels in the business today. They have the potential to be an incredible tag team. I just don’t want to see it. They’ve both spent the bulk of the last year as tag team champions (both with Big Show). I want to see them move onto new, singles feuds to elevate their status within the company, particularly Miz. Still, I can’t help but feel that they’re going to win this match and then move on to Smackdown! to feud with The Big Show. I really hope that’s not the case. They both deserve singles pushes and The Hart Dynasty deserve a longer run with the belts.
My Pick: New Champions – Chris Jericho and The Miz
Eve (C) vs. Maryse
I honestly do not care one iota about this match or either of the participants in it. Maryse?
My Pick: New Champion – Maryse
Ted DiBiase vs. R-Truth
This match intrigues me only for the fact that it’s such a low-card feud, yet it’s still getting a match on PPV. This is Teddy’s first PPV singles match, so I imagine he’ll pull out all the stops to make it memorable. R-Truth is good in this position, of helping to build new heels. Coming out on the bottom of this feud won’t hurt his status at all. The Virgil aspect of it is fun too, simply for nostalgic reasons. They’re clearly trying to build DiBiase into a bigger star, this is his first real test.
My Pick: Ted DiBiase
I’ll come back after the show is over and run down the results, providing my thoughts on the show. Though, I’ll be honest, my critique will be coming second-hand from other reports. I’m not going to watch Over The Limit. Sunday night is the finale of LOST. I can’t think of anything more important than that.