Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Over: Above and Beyond

Sunday night's WWE Pay-Per-View, Over the Limit, was actually really good.

Not Wrestlemania-good, or 90s Summerslam-good, but a full card of largely interesting and well-performed matches.

Spoilers ahead. Is if that's actually required for a wrestling show that was free on Sky Sports two days ago. Satellite TV subscription-permitting, of course.

I'm liking that WWE are now putting their pre-show 'dark' matches - that are usually not seen by anyone outside the venue before the TV show begins - on Youtube and Facebook. The Tag Team triple threat match before Wrestlemania 28 was a good example of this, and they've continued it with the Kane vs Zack Ryder demolition (I'd struggle to call it a match, really, despite it being longer than 5 minutes).

As much as I love Zack Ryder, he was never going to win this. Somewhere along the line his social media shooting star that took him to the lofty heights of United States Champion has fallen back to earth with a fairly massive bump. Not a job he should be having to do, although they have tried to build up Kane as a monster again.

Doing all the entrances for the 20-man People Power Battle Royal during this pre-show was a very good idea. It saved no end of time for the actual PPV and, if you were still wondering whether to buy it or not, knowing the likes of William Regal or, at the last moment, a returning Christian could have a chance of capturing the US or Intercontinental titles later in the evening could push you over the edge (not the limit, of course) to actually paying your money.

It was lovely to see the veteran Regal giving as good as he got, getting a real ovation that only Christian matched, if at all. Tyson Kidd also had a great showing, and The Miz is still getting dumped on from a great height.

The Kofi Kingston/R-Truth tag match vs Ziggler and Swagger was excellent. Dolph Ziggler never puts on a bad match these days, I think the only reason why he's not in the main event picture is because he knows how to sell so well, making everyone else's finishing moves look amazingly powerful.

Even the Divas Championship match between Layla and Beth Phoenix was great quality, with 10 minutes to play with they told a real story, and the action was better than we've seen in months.

Sheamus/Del Rio/Orton/Jericho added yet more spice to proceedings, with a great back-and-forth match that showed off all four men's abilities. The Miz got crushed in a comedy fashion, as he's probably become used to over the last few months (really?), but quite what he, Ryder and Ziggler are being held back for, I have no idea.

Christian and Cody Rhodes' match was short, but sweet, and the pop Christian got at the finish was one of the loudest of the night.

CM Punk and Daniel Bryan put on a half hour wrestling clinic for the all the world to see, as we all expected them to. It has been strange for the WWE title to not be contested as the main event for the last few PPVs - thanks to Cena/Rock, Cena/Lesnar and Cena/Laurinaitis - but this was a great match.

Half man, half biscuit Ryback bounced Camacho off the floor a few times, which was impressive to watch for all of two minutes as a cooldown for the main event, the WWE's top attraction versus some guy who used to be a bit of a wrestler 25 years ago, but not as good as his brother.

It looked like WWE was trying to recreate the wonders of Austin Vs McMahon, where finally the hero would get to make the boss taste his own medicine, and get handed a beating. Unfortunately, John Cena splits any wrestling crowd into boos and cheers, while John Laurinaitis simply isn't coming across as a character with anything like the venom and ruthlessness of Mr McMahon. So we had ourselves five minutes of laughs (well, chuckles maybe), of waiting for something to really happen.

And - spoilers aside - that was it? That was the main event? That was the finish to a PPV?

Oh, come on. Really?

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