Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 5/19/12

If it seems like Extreme Rules was just a few short weeks ago, that’s because it was.

Over the Limit comes just three weeks after Extreme Rules, which has resulted in some short builds to the current feuds.

Even with this short build-up, there are still some very intriguing matches with title and employment implications.

Pre-Show: Zack Ryder vs Kane

Zack Ryder has not been seen or heard from much since his feud with Kane at the beginning of the year. He was on Team Teddy at Wrestlemania 28 and has teamed with Santino, but it is much more common to see Ryder lose quickly than to ever score a win. The best way to see Ryder is to watch an episode of “Z! True Long Island Story”.

Kane has been in two major feuds since the beginning of 2012, with the first being against John Cena. Kane constantly abused Zack Ryder, who Cena was friends with, which led to a match at Elimination Chamber. Cena defeated Kane in an ambulance match that ended their feud in order for Cena to focus on The Rock.

Kane then had a feud with Randy Orton that saw matches at both Wrestlemania 28 and Extreme Rules. Kane took the first match, but Orton defeated Kane in a falls count anywhere match, which ended their feud.

The booking of this match is a little puzzling, but it could lead to a competitive feud between the two. The only problem is that it is a few months overdue.

A win by Ryder could spark a run of competitive matches between the two, but this match may end up being nothing but filler for a forced pre-show.

  • Prediction: Kane defeats Zack Ryder
Divas Championship Match: Layla vs Beth Phoenix

Layla made her return at Extreme Rules in April, which was the same pay-per-view in which she tore both her ACL and MCL a year prior. She defeated the recently fired Nikki Bella to win the title.

She filled the vacant spot left by Beth Phoenix, who was not cleared to compete after suffering an injury on Raw, which let Nikki Bella win the title in the first place.

Beth Phoenix held the title for over 200 days and is one of the few Divas in the WWE with the true wrestling ability to be capable of being champion. The fact that she held the title for so long makes it seem like Layla will be able to defend it at Over the Limit, especially since their feud can actually gain some steam if Phoenix does in fact lose.

Whatever the result may be, one of these women will certainly face Kharma upon her return.

  • Prediction: Layla defeats Beth Phoenix
Tag Team Championship Match: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth vs Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger

The Tag Team division in the WWE has finally begun to matter once again.

The titles were not even defended at Extreme Rules, and they were on the pre-show at Wrestlemania 28. Epico and Primo were the champions during this time, but they dropped the belts to the current champions, Kingston and Truth, the day after Extreme Rules.

This matchup is a little confusing, considering the fact that Ziggler and Swagger do not have a legitimate feud with the champs. The match itself could lead to something, but I think that it is very possible to see Epico and Primo interfere. They are now under the management of A.W. (the stable is run by Abraham Washington and stands for “All World”), who has told them in backstage segments that they will become prominent under his management.

A.W. recently signed strongman Mason Ryan, which has not been a major storyline up until this point. It would be a major jump start for the stable if they interfered in the match, and possibly pulled out a rematch clause for Epico and Primo.

Back to the match itself, it seems like a clear outcome that Kingston and Truth will successfully defend their titles. Them retaining the titles could set up the previously mentioned feud against Epico and Primo, or even one against Smackdown newcomers Darren Young and Titus O’Neil.

  • Prediction: Kofi Kingston and R-Truth defeat Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Sheamus vs Randy Orton vs Chris Jericho vs Alberto Del Rio

This match came together after the four were involved in a tag team match. Sheamus and Randy Orton took on Jericho and Del Rio. At the end of the match Sheamus looked to put away Jericho with a brogue kick, but he ducked it and it connected to the face of Randy Orton. Once Orton got up he seemed to tell Sheamus that he was fine, before surprising him with an RKO.

The three men, besides Sheamus, all had a claim to a match at Over the Limit, which is what led to the fatal four-way match.

The odds are extremely stacked against Sheamus, and him losing the title seems very likely. The only question is who will be the one to win the title.

Del Rio was not even on Raw or Smackdown this week, and his lack of exposure may lead to a very negative fan reaction if he were to win. Jericho is reportedly leaving the WWE soon to go on tour with his band, so him winning looks less and less likely.

The right choice, if Sheamus is to lose, would be to have Orton win. He is beginning to turn heel, and a win could set up a long-lasting feud with Sheamus that lasts throughout the summer.

  • Prediction: Randy Orton defeats Sheamus, Jericho, and Del Rio
WWE Championship Match: CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan

This match was thrown together very quickly, after a beat-the-clock challenge was put in place to determine the challenger to Punk’s title.

Daniel Bryan won the challenge after he defeated Jerry “The King” Lawler, (Really, Jerry Lawler? There must have been someone better for Bryan to beat), well under the time limit.

There has been little build-up to this match, which is disappointing considering the history between these two wrestlers. There is more on-air respect between the two than there is feuding, but the lack of filler will certainly be made up for with a great display of wrestling.

Having Punk retain the title could set up a situation where the two actually have time to get a feud started. Having AJ come into the picture on Punk’s side could add some intrigue to the situation, even after Punk told AJ that he wanted nothing to do with her.

It would be a surprise to me if Punk were to lose after such a rushed matchup, which is why I see him retaining his title.

  • Prediction: CM Punk defeats Daniel Bryan
John Cena vs John Laurinaitis

Laurinaitis put himself into this match when he, with the help of Lord Tensai, assaulted Cena one night after Lesnar drove Cena to the point of near defeat at Extreme Rules. They attacked the “injured” arm of Cena, which looked like it would have a major effect on this match. However, Cena’s arm seems to completely healed after the beating, which bodes well for him in this match.

An announcement was handed down on Raw on Monday that if any superstar were to interfere in this match they would be fired. Also, if Laurinaitis were to lose he would be fired. This sets up two possible scenarios.

The first scenario would be for Cena to win. This could set up a situation where Teddy Long is reinstated, and he embarrasses Big Johnny and Eve. David Otunga could even make a turn to Teddy’s side, which could get him back in action, as opposed to being a lawyer figure.

The other, seemingly more likely, scenario would be for Laurinaitis to defeat Cena with some outside interference. No active superstar could interfere in the match, but this would not prevent the recently fired Big Show, or even Brock Lesnar who just quit, from interfering in the match.

Big Show would make perfect sense, as he would do anything to get back in the WWE. However if this were to happen, Laurinaitis’ happiness would be short-lived. As he was gloating on Raw this Monday night, it would be anything but surprising if Triple H came out and told him that he cheated and is in fact fired.

This is all purely speculation, but these two scenarios seem the most likely to happen tonight in the Cena-Laurinaitis match.

  • Prediction: Laurinaitis defeats Cena
Other Notes

With only five matches on the card, it is likely that there will be three more matches added on. One will surely include Brodus Clay, who could take on the Miz. Ryback could even get on the card, but will be booed if he takes on another local jobber.

An interesting possibility could be another title match being added to the card, with that being Santino’s US title, or Cody Rhodes’ Intercontinental title. An even more interesting possibility: a title unification match.

The two squared off on Smackdown, with Santino winning the match, which makes this matchup more and more likely. It would also give Santino a legitimate feud after not having one for a significant period of time, and would help Rhodes move past his feud with Big Show.

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