|Over the Limit|
Promotional poster featuring Randy Orton
|Date||May 20, 2012|
|City||Raleigh, North Carolina|
|Over the Limit chronology|
Over the Limit was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by WWE. It took place at the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina on May 20, 2012. It was the third and final event under the Over the Limit chronology.
Ten professional wrestling matches took place at the event, nine of which were broadcast live on pay-per-view. In the main event, John Laurinaitis defeated John Cena. Also featured was CM Punk defeating Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship, and Sheamus defeating Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho to retain the World Heavyweight Championship.
The event garnered 167,000 buys, up from 140,000 the previous year's event received.
The professional wrestling matches at Over the Limit featured professional wrestlers performing as characters in scripted events pre-determined by the hosting promotion, WWE. Storylines between the characters played out on WWE's primary television programs, Raw and SmackDown.
The main event feud 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.
Another feud 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.
Another storyline led to World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus defending his title in a fatal four-way match against Alberto Del Rio, Randy Orton, and Chris Jericho. Sheamus faced a returning Del Rio in a non-title match on the April 6 edition of SmackDown, where Del Rio defeated Sheamus via disqualification to earn a future title shot. On the May 7 episode of Raw, Sheamus and Orton faced Jericho and Del Rio in a tag team match. Jericho pinned Sheamus to win the match after Sheamus accidentally Brogue Kicked Orton. After the match, Orton gave Sheamus an RKO. Del Rio, Jericho, and Orton then all went into John Laurinaitis' office and demanded title opportunities against Sheamus, leading to a brawl between the three and Sheamus, which was broken up by officials. Laurinaitis then informed Sheamus that he would defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Del Rio, Jericho, and Orton in a fatal-four way match at Over the Limit.
|English Commentators||Michael Cole|
|Spanish Commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|Backstage interviewer||Josh Mathews|
|Ring announcers||Lilian Garcia|
The event opened with a 20 man Battle Royal for a United States Championship or Intercontinental Championship match. The match came down to The Miz, Tyson Kidd, David Otunga and Christian. After Miz and Otunga worked together to eliminate Kidd, Christian eliminated Otunga. Christian eliminated Miz to win the match.
In the fourth match, Sheamus defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, and Alberto Del Rio in a Fatal 4-way match. Each man performed their signature moves but was unsuccessful in earning the victory. The match came to an end when Sheamus executed White Noise on Jericho to retain the title.
Then, CM Punk defended the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan. In the end, Bryan applied the Yes Lock on Punk but Punk managed to pin Bryan to retain the title despite submitting as the pinfall was counted.
In the main event, John Cena faced Raw and SmackDown General Manager John Laurinaitis in a No-Disqualification match with Laurinaitis' job on the line. Laurinaitis won as Big Show, who he had previously been fired for mocking his voice, interfered and turned heel by knocking Cena out with a WMD, allowing Laurinaitis to pin him and keep his job.
|1P||Kane defeated Zack Ryder||Singles match||6:55|
|2||Christian won by last eliminating The Miz||20-man Battle Royal with the winner getting a choice of a United States or Intercontinental Championship match.||12:24|
|3||Kofi Kingston and R-Truth (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger (with Vickie Guerrero)||Tag team match for the WWE Tag Team Championship||13:44|
|4||Layla (c) defeated Beth Phoenix||Singles match for the WWE Divas Championship||07:50|
|5||Sheamus (c) defeated Alberto Del Rio (with Ricardo Rodriguez), Chris Jericho and Randy Orton||Fatal 4-Way match for the World Heavyweight Championship||16:06|
|6||Brodus Clay (with Cameron and Naomi) defeated The Miz||Singles match||05:48|
|7||Christian defeated Cody Rhodes (c)||Singles match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship||08:35|
|8||CM Punk (c) defeated Daniel Bryan||Singles match for the WWE Championship||24:04|
|9||Ryback defeated Camacho (with Hunico)||Singles match||00:54|
|10||John Laurinaitis defeated John Cena||No Disqualification match
Had Cena won, Laurinaitis would have been fired, and anyone who interfered would have been fired.
|1||Heath Slater||The Great Khali||01:27|
|2||Michael McGillicutty||The Great Khali||01:40|
|4||Yoshi Tatsu||Drew McIntyre||02:18|
|5||Ezekiel Jackson||Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks||02:30|
|6||Jey Uso||Darren Young||03:07|
|7||Drew McIntyre||Curt Hawkins & Tyler Reks||03:40|
|8||Curt Hawkins||The Great Khali||03:56|
|9||Tyler Reks||The Great Khali||03:57|
|10||Jinder Mahal||The Great Khali||04:08|
|11||The Great Khali||Darren Young, The Miz & Titus O'Neil||05:21|
|12||Titus O'Neil||Jimmy Uso||06:03|
|13||Jimmy Uso||Darren Young||06:40|
|15||Darren Young||Alex Riley||07:48|
|16||Alex Riley||The Miz||08:30|
|17||Tyson Kidd||David Otunga||09:32|