Thursday, May 24, 2012

WWE: Over the Limit Review


After a year long hiatus, The Machine is back.

And for me a lot has changed. I live in New York City, eat asparagus, go to the gym, am allowed in Mexico again, and am back into WRESTLING. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “How could they let you back into Mexico after what you did?” I don’t know either quite frankly, but I ain’t asking questions.

No, the real question is wrestling? Before last April, I hadn’t watched a wrestling match in over ten years plus. I looked down on it and everyone who watched it (including you my 9 year old cousin!) and I never gave it the time of day. But last year when MANIA rolled around, I couldn’t help but feel the pull and get wrapped up in the pre-Mania hype. Then Wrestlemania 27 came.

That night I fell in love all over again.

One year later and here we are! Wrestlemania 28 has come and gone, marking my one year anniversary of renewed fandom and we are now two pay per views into uncharted territory for me.

Coming off the post-Wrestlemania momentum, Extreme Rules paid off in a big way. With the return of Brock Lesnar, the psycho in all of us was treated to a fantasy match of an "attitude era" gone by. And not only that, we were finally given the match between Daniel Bryan and Sheamus two years in the making! (Before my time of course but I read a LOT of internet)

With the WWE burning on all cylinders and a dream title match schedule between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, Over the Limit (an otherwise, throw away ppv) was given all the right pieces to be solid pay per view.

Now, I watched the show at a “wrestling” bar that packs their stools with sweaty, 25-45 year olds who haven’t see the female anatomy since the womb, on Sundays by buying each pay per view. I had a few drinks and I couldn’t help but get swept up in the crowd’s cheers and chants. That being said, take my review of with a grain of salt. And a shot of tequila.

Like I said before, Over the Limit had all the pieces and the momentum to keep up the high quality that the shows the WWE has been putting on as of late. But instead, it we got two great matches on a card that should have been chock full of fun.

The two matches I am referring to are the Fatal Four Way (aka Spot Fest 2012) with Sheamus, Jericho, Randy Orton, and Alberto Del Rio and the WWE Title Match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. The Fatal Four Way was exciting and became a finisher showcase at the end like we knew it would with Sheamus retaining the World Heavy Weight title. Though it was predictable, having four of the best wrestlers in the game right now in the same ring together was pure wood inducing fun. But the real meat of the card was the WWE Championship match. A few months ago these two had a series of fights, though neither could truly win because they both had belts at that point. Still, the matches were a clinic on what good wrestling means (though it probably went over the heads of the millions of 6 year old Cena fans). Its something we don’t get to see very often with Undertaker gone and all the injuries Randy Orton, Del Rio, and even Wade Barrett have sustained over the last year. And with the match ending somewhat “dusty” I’m sure we will see these two in the ring together in the very near future.

With the good out of the way, inevitably here comes the bad. The GM versus superstar is a stale idea and one the quite frankly never worked. It didn’t work back with Stone Cold and it doesn’t work now. It was completely predictable albeit very funny for a time but in the end, it was a complete throwaway match between Cena and Laurinaitis that frankly could have been cut to give more time to Punk and DB.

And there in lies the problem that the WWE seems to struggle with since the departure of The Rock and Stone Cold. They have no idea how to use their biggest names half the time. Wrestlemania even factors into the equation when we see Daniel Bryan losing in 18 seconds. One of the hardest working and best superstar heels we’ve seen in years gets his “thank you” for a year of extremely hard work as a size turt-teen boot to the face. But the reason it’s so disheartening is because of the Mania and Extreme Rules had paid off (for the most part) in such a big way that it seemed like Vince and his cronies had finally figured out how to use the incredible talent on their roster (Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Orton, Punk, Miz, Swagger, and least of all Ziggler – MY DOOOD)!

To personify my point, I’ll use the Miz. Poor guy, must have really pissed someone off in the back or the writers have traded in their pens for Crayolas. Two years ago, the Miz head lined Wrestlemania against Cena and won, but now he is doing the dance to Thriller before a match with Brodus Clay just to make an appearance on a PPV. You could almost see it in his body language and hear it in his voice. One of the most talented superstars and probably a key piece of the WWE’s future has been downgraded to squash matches with the Funkasaurus. It’s depressing. He and we deserve better.

I just worrythat the WWE is going to go back to what they are comfortable with in this PG era and do things because they are safe, not because they are good. I know for a fact that the WWE had regained a lot of its lost pre-Cena era fandom in the past year and they could now be going down a road that would lose them again. You would think in a scripted sport, it would ALWAYS be entertainment. Alas, it is not the case.

I’ll be going to No Way Out next month and I am in the final draft of my letter to the WWE pleading to make it a good show. They seem to have lost my last couple.

Until then.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent blog, Kevin. Agreed on all points. Glad you're back into wrestling, and that The Machine is back. Being a wrestling fan is equal parts awful and glorious.

    Long live The Machine!

    ReplyDelete