-Live, from St. Louis, MI. Our hosts are Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, and Matt Striker.
Drew McIntyre © vs. Kofi Kingston
Hot start to pop the crowd by Kofi. Drew injures Kofi’s back and takes advantage. Kofi finds an opening with a hip toss, but Drew kicks the midsection and proceeds to target it. Drew goes top rope and is countered. Kofi goes on the offense and speeds things up. Kofi botches a landing on the ropes but delivers a flying cross body. Big gut buster by Drew. Kingston nails the boom drop on Drew, who is propped on the ropes. Drew blocks Trouble in Paradise but eats the S.O.S. Kofi wins at 6:23! This was basically an abbreviated version of the WWE midcard formula match, **.
Winner and new Intercontinental Champion: Kofi Kingston
-Drew grabs a mic and stops the show until Teddy Long reverses the decision. Instead, Matt Hardy answers the call and takes McIntyre out with a Twist of Fate! Bad night for Drew.
-CM Punk admires his hair in a mirror, as Luke Gallows and Serena fawn over him. The segment turns into a rather creepy cuddlefest.
-Recap of Ted Dibiase attempting to recruit R-Truth as his own Virgil. Truth busted out his inner diva and slapped Dibiase across the face.
R-Truth vs. Ted Dibiase (with Virgil)
I’ll never understand why Truth’s rapping is so over, but I digress. They exchange arm work. The match gets really technical with some slapping. Truth sends Dibiase crashing to ringside. Truth confronts Virgil and fights off a sneaky Dibiase. Distraction by Virgil allows a neck breaker by Dibiase, giving him firm control of the match. Truth counters a double axe handle for an opening. Dibiase blocks a superplex but Truth shakes him off the turnbuckle. Truth misses an axe kick and Dibiase hits an electric chair. “Suplex stunner” by Truth, which just looks like a botched stunner. Lie Detector by Truth finishes it at 7:44. That was alright, **.
-Smackdown GM Teddy Long is gushing over the Raw main event on the phone Drew McIntyre storms in. Drew demands his title back and that Matt Hardy be fired. Long refuses, so Drew pulls a Randy Orton and trashes the room. Drew is about to destroy Long’s portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. but Long pleads with him to reconsider. McIntyre leaves the portrait and says he’s more like MLK than Long will ever be. Well, that was dark.
CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio
If Rey loses, then he must join the S.E.S. If Punk loses, he gets his head shaved. Punk sets the tone with a cheap shot. Punk drops Rey to ringside but misses a dive. Rey slides into a hurricanrana. Punk blocks 619 and throws Rey into a barber’s chair at ringside! Punk was busted open along the way and time is taken to clean up the blood. The “OMG PG WWE SUX” trolls actually have a valid complaint here. Once he’s cleared, Punk doesn’t waste any time aggressively dishing out punishment to Rey. Mysterio finds an opening after countering a sunset flip with a power bomb. Springboard cross body by Rey! Seated senton by Rey but he can’t get the pin. Backbreaker by Punk! Rey blocks the Go To Sleep, but gets power bombed into a turnbuckle for his troubles. Top rope bulldog by Punk! Rey springboards into GTS position by counters with an arm drag into 619! Rey’s splash misses! Punk grins, but Rey rolls him up for the victory at 13:43. The match stoppage really hurt the intensity of the bout, but the home stretch was great, ***½.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
-The masked S.E.S. member jumps Rey from behind. Serena and Gallows arrive to try and prevent the head shaving. They are going to handcuff Rey when KANE makes the save. Kane choke slams Punk and dispatches Gallows. Rey then handcuffs Punk to the ropes and hit’s the 619! The crowd is loving this, by the way. Rey proceeds to shave Punk’s head. This is pretty much a PG version of the time in Ring of Honor when Tommy Dreamer and Raven tied Punk up and forced him to drink beer. I mean that as a compliment. The camera is careful to shoot the back of Punk’s head, since he’s bleeding from the forehead again. Now that’s lame. Serena consoles Punk (slash, wipe the blood off his head) but Rey chases her away and forces Punk to see himself in a mirror. All griping aside, this match and angle was extremely well done.
-Big Show is hanging out backstage when Chris Jericho pays him a visit. Jericho tells Show he was the dead weight in their former tag team. The Miz sneaks up behind Show but Show. Show knows Miz is there and threatens to knock him out. Great writing in this segment.
Unified Tag Team Championship:
The Hart Dynasty © (with Natalya) vs. Chris Jericho and The Miz
Tyson Kidd starts against The Miz. Kidd punishes Miz with some stiff kicks and tags in David Hart Smith for some double team work. Jericho and Miz are sent to the floor and Hart tosses Kidd onto them. Jericho tags in to a big face pop. Jericho hits Smith with a missile drop kick to establish isolation. Side slam on Jericho by Smith, but a fresh Miz prevents a tag. Hot tag by Kidd! Jericho counters with the Walls! Kidd springboards into a Codebreaker! Smith tags in and cleans house. Natalya trips Jericho, allowing Smith to hit a running power slam. Blind tag by Miz, who picks up a series of near falls on Smith. Smith counters a clothesline and Kidd assists in the Hart Attack on Miz for the win at 10:40. Spirited formula tag match. Jericho has awesome chemistry with the Hart Dynasty as well, so this was quite entertaining, ***¼.
Winners and still Unified Tag Team Champions: The Hart Dynasty
Edge vs. Randy Orton
Orton and Edge are feuding over who is most injury prone. Well, not really, but they should. Slow start, they seem to be pacing themselves for a long match. Orton takes control with his methodical offense. Edge counters on the floor and drops Orton gut-first on the rail to take the lead. Big “RKO” chant as Orton fights out of a leg scissor. Edge refocuses on Orton’s midsection. Superplex by Orton! Orton wins a slugfest. Big boot by Edge, but Orton responds with the rope-assisted DDT. Edge hands Orton on the ropes but Orton counters the spear. Orton signals the RKO but injures his arm in the process! That injury ranks up there with Kevin Nash tearing his quad while walking across the ring.. Edge stalls at ringside and attacks Orton. Edge misses a spear and hits the rail as both men are counted out at 12:46. Orton’s injury ruined the match, as we are left with the slow build but no hot finish. While the match has no official winner, at least we know who is more injury prone, *¾.
World Heavyweight Championship:
Jack Swagger © vs. Big Show
Swagger is unsuccessful in his attempts to take Show down. Belly to back throw by Show. Swagger retreats while Show mocks his push-ups. Show methodically dismantles Swagger. Show lifts Swagger by his hair but gets hung up on the ropes. Swagger tackles Show’s leg to take control. The champion nails a pair of Vader bombs. Show makes a comeback, prompting a desperate Swagger to get himself disqualified with a belt shot. Show wins at 5:02. You know, after the lousy (though unplanned) non-finish to the previous match, they should have changed plans for this bout, *.
Winner by DQ: Big Show
-Swagger isn’t done and attacks with a chair. Show shakes it off and puts Swagger down with a choke slam and chair shots of his own. Swagger eats another choke slam (onto the chair) and a knock out punch. Bad night for Swagger.
-Josh Matthews interviews Batista backstage. Batista already made Cena say “I quit” on Raw and he’ll do it again tonight.
Eve Torres © vs. Maryse
Maryse catches Eve off guard in the early going to take control. Eve fights out of something resembling a chinlock but Maryse remains in charge. Maryse misses a kick and nails the ring post. Eve takes advantage of the opening. Standing moonsault by Eve! Maryse tells the ref to do his “friggin’ job” and eats a face plant. Maryse blocks a somersault senton. Eve counters with some goofy plant move and wins at 5:01. This was sloppy, even by divas standards, but Eve throws a nice drop kick so huzzah, ¾*.
Winner and still Divas Champion: Eve Torres
WWE Championship “I Quit” match:
John Cena © vs. Batista
Batista takes the mic and gives Cena a chance to quit right away. Cena teases a forfeit but instead hits Batista with the microphone. Chair shot by Cena misses and shifts the momentum to Batista‘s favor. Cena rebounds and dishes out his usual offense. Batista uses the ref as a shield and spears Cena to regain control. Cena counters with the STF. Batista apparently passes out so Cena revives him with a water bottle. Spinebuster by Batista and the sit-out power bomb! Cena counters a power bomb on the announce tables but Batista counters back with a power slam! Batista pulls Cena into the crowd and up a level. Batista essentially tries to murder Cena by power bombing him over a railing but Cena sends him crashing onto a pack of security. They brawl to the stage (where there are a couple of parked cars). Batista gets into a car and tries to back over Cena. Dammit, who left the keys in the ignition? They better fire someone over this. Also, how is it okay for Batista to try and murder Cena but Daniel Bryan got fired for choking with a tie? I digress, as the match (if you can still call it that) continues. Cena pulls Batista from the car and delivers the Attitude Adjustment onto the hood. Batista won’t quit, so a gleeful Cena sets Batista up for another Attitude Adjustment on top of the car! Batista quits at 20:29, but Cena hits the move anyway! Batista crashes through the stage and Cena stands victorious. That was a cool finish to a decent brawl. A few goofy moments bring this down a little bit, but overall a nice effort, ***.
Winner and still WWE Champion: John Cena
-Cena poses with his belt but is blindsided by a thrust kick from Sheamus! Show’s over, folks.
Final Thoughts: Just like Extreme Rules, there was nothing must-see and there was a lot of crap. I can give them a pass on the Orton injury (which is more amusing than anything else) but the booking for Swagger/Show was unacceptable given the circumstances. The best matches here are likely to wind up on other DVD sets so feel free to skip Over the Limit.
Thumbs in the middle, leaning down.