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Over the Limit is a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), which took place on May 20, 2012 at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. It was the third and final Over The Limit event. Nine official matches were announced for the event's card.
Over the Limit featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines which were played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.
One of the prominent feuds from the Raw brand was between John Cena and the General Manager of Raw and SmackDown, John Laurinaitis. On the night after losing to The Rock in the main event of WrestleMania XXVIII in early April, Cena's promo was interrupted by a returning Brock Lesnar, who immediately attacked him with an F-5. It was revealed the next week on Raw that Laurinaitis hired Lesnar to replace Cena as "the face of the WWE" by taking him out at Extreme Rules. A battered Cena barely managed to defeat Lesnar, and in a post-match promo, emphasized his injuries and announced he would be "taking a vacation." The next night on Raw, Lesnar attacked WWE COO Triple H (while he was arguing with Laurinaitis about the validity of Lesnar's contract), breaking his arm. With Lesnar's WWE job now in jeopardy, and after advice from his Executive Administrator Eve Torres, Laurinaitis decided on Cena's next opponent, for Over the Limit. Later that night, while Cena was in the ring, Laurinaitis appeared on the entrance stage to announce that opponent, and introduced Lord Tensai. Laurinaitis and Tensai then attacked Cena, and Laurinaitis revealed that he (Laurinaitis) would be Cena's opponent. The WWE Board of Directors stipulated the only way to win would be by pinfall or submission, anybody interfering in the match would be immediately fired and, if Laurinaitis lost the match, he would be fired.
The main event feud from Raw heading into Over the Limit was between WWE Champion CM Punk and challenger Daniel Bryan. Following the Extreme Rules pay-per-view (where Punk successfully defended his title against Chris Jericho in a Chicago Street Fight and Bryan failed to regain the World Heavyweight Championship from Sheamus in a 2 out of 3 falls match), Eve Torres announced Punk's next challenger would be decided by a series of Beat the Clock matches on the April 30 edition of Raw. In the final match of the evening, Bryan defeated Jerry Lawler in the fastest time to become the #1 contender.
The main storyline from the SmackDown brand led to World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus defending his title in a Fatal 4-Way match against Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho. After defeating Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds at WrestleMania XXVIII to win the title, Sheamus faced a returning Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match on the April 6 edition of SmackDown. Del Rio defeated Sheamus via disqualification to earn a future title shot. Sheamus again defeated Bryan at Extreme Rules to retain his title and end their rivalry, opening the way for Del Rio's title opportunity at Over the Limit. On the May 7 episode of Raw, Sheamus and Orton faced Jericho and Del Rio in a tag team match. Jericho pinned Sheamus after a Codebreaker, after Sheamus accidentally kicked Orton in the face. They argued, in John Laurinaitis' office, about who should be next in line for the title. Laurinaitis announced a Fatal 4-Way match for the World Heavyweight Championship at Over the Limit, instead of the originally advertised singles match between Sheamus and Del Rio.
The Divas feud heading into Over the Limit was between Layla and Beth Phoenix over the WWE Divas Championship. At Extreme Rules, Layla returned from a legit injury and replaced an (kayfabe) injured Phoenix as Nikki Bella's opponent for the Divas Championship. Layla went on to defeat Nikki to capture the Divas Championship, and Phoenix would receive her rematch at Over The Limit.
The first match of the night was a 20 man Battle Royal for a United States championship or Intercontinental championship match. It was ultimately won by Christian.
The next match was Kofi Kingston and R Truth defending the WWE Tag Team Championships against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. The two teams took turns controlling the match. It was Truth and Kingston who got the win and retained the tag titles
The fourth match of the night was Sheamus defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, and Alberto Del Rio in a Fatal 4 way match. They hit each other with their Finshers but kept kicking out. The match came to an end when Sheamus nailed Jericho with The White Noise.
Then CM Punk defended the WWE championship against Daniel Bryan. Both Punk and Bryan took over each other, in the end when Bryan had Punk in the Yes Lock, Punk pinned Bryan to retain the title despite tapping out immediately thereafter.
The main event was John Cena taking on Raw and SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis. John Cena took control of the match and threw trash on him. Laurninaitis ran away from the ring but was caught by Big Show. Big show threw Laurinaitis back in the ring when Cena was going to hit a AA on Laurninaitis but Big Show hit Cena with a WMD. Laurinaitis pinned Cena and won the match.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Pre-Show: Kane defeated Zack Ryder (6:52)
- Christian won a 20 Man "People Power" Battle Royal where the winner gets his choice of a United States or Intercontinental Championship match later in the show. (13:12)
- Kofi Kingston & R-Truth (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (12:12)
- Layla (c) defeated Beth Phoenix to retain the WWE Divas Championship (7:08)
- Sheamus (c) defeated Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho & Randy Orton in Fatal 4-Way Match to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (15:52)
- Brodus Clay (w/ Cameron and Naomi) defeated The Miz (4:08)
- Christian defeated Cody Rhodes (c) to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship (7:18)
- CM Punk (c) defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship (24:04)
- Ryback defeated Camacho (1:48)
- John Laurinaitis defeated John Cena (17:04)
- If John Cena wins, John Laurinaitis will be terminated. Any superstar who interferes will be terminated.
Other on-screen talent
- Official Over the Limit 2012 website
- Over the Limit 2012 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Over the Limit 2012 at Online World of Wrestling
|2012 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views|
|Royal Rumble • Elimination Chamber • WrestleMania • Extreme Rules • Over the Limit • No Way Out • Money in the Bank • SummerSlam • Night of Champions • Hell in a Cell • Survivor Series • TLC:Tables, Ladders & Chairs|
|WWE Over the Limit|
|2010 • 2011 • 2012|