On the May 14 episode of Raw SuperShow, the WWE Board of Directors handed down a surprising series of mandates to the permanent General Manager of Raw and SmackDown, John Laurinaitis: His match against John Cena at WWE Over the Limit would be one-on-one, if anyone helped him, they would be terminated and if "Big Johnny" lost, he would also be terminated!
As a result, the WWE Universe got to see a whole different side of the GM at the start of Friday night's SmackDown. A humbled “Mr. Excitement” claimed that, because of the Board's ruling, his looming battle against the 10-time WWE Champion was like “leading a lamb to slaughter.” He went on to ask the WWE Universe to pray for him in his “lopsided” match.
CM Punk interrupted Laurinaitis’ prayer with a smile on his face, informing the despondent head honcho that the WWE Universe will be “partying in the streets” after he loses Sunday and that he'd personally wish the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations “best of luck in his future endeavors!”
Reminding The Second City Saint that he's still in charge, Laurinaitis scheduled a match between Punk and the monstrous Kane for later in the show. Then, in a shocking display of fury, the GM blamed the WWE Universe for the actions of Superstars like Punk and Cena, insisting that they all "go to hell!"
Kofi Kingston & R-Truth would be strongly tested in their final battle before WWE Over the Limit, as the electric pair faced off against the up-and-coming team of Titus O’Neil & Darren Young.
O’Neil and Young made a strong statement from the opening bell, mounting an impressive showing against the reigning champs. However, in the end, the high-flying Kingston and his high-octane partner would rise above. After Kofi took out Titus, Truth planted Young with the Flatliner for the victory.
In two days, the WWE Tag Team Champions will look to carry their momentum into their Over the Limit title match against two former World Heavyweight Champions, Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger.
After refusing to compete in his debut match two weeks ago, Damien Sandow once again journeyed to SmackDown to continue his plight to usher in a new era of enlightenment to the WWE Universe. But, the match was not meant to be. Scheduled to take on Yoshi Tatsu one-on-one, the self-professed “Intellectual Savior of the Masses” once again deemed his foe unworthy, stating that he would not "demean himself" by engaging his would-be opponent in battle.
As Sandow began to make his exit, Tatsu called him a "chicken." This incited the "Enlightened One’s" anger, prompting him to tear off his trademark blue-robe and assault the Japanese Superstar while his back was turned.
Though the bell may not have rung to make the contest official, Sandow proved to be dangerous nonetheless.
In a special free pre-show Over the Limit event this Sunday – streaming live on YouTube.com/WWE, Facebook and WWE.com, beginning at 7:30 ET/4:30 PT – Zack Ryder will go head-to-head with The Big Red Monster Kane. But first, he would have to take on Daniel Bryan on SmackDown.
When Long Island Iced-Z missed the critical Broski Boot, he opened the door for the submission specialist to snap in his devastating "Yes!" Lock. Seconds later, Bryan stood triumphant, just two days before the former World Heavyweight Champion will battle WWE Champion CM Punk for the most coveted title in the squared circle. But, can he make The Second City Saint tap out on Sunday night and reclaim World Champion status?
In a match ordered by General Manager John Laurinaitis at the opening of SmackDown, CM Punk took on the ruthless Devil's Favorite Demon Kane – with Daniel Bryan joining the SmackDown announce team to scout out his WWE Over the Limit adversary.
In a completely brutal back-and-forth onslaught that saw The Big Red Monster punish Punk's ribs throughout, the resilient Straight Edge Superstar fought back with unyielding determination – using his "educated feet" to strike at the heart of his horrific foe.
When the action spilled outside the ring, however, the "observing" Bryan picked up a steel chair. But instead of striking the champion, the crafty Superstar smashed Kane across the back, assuring that Punk would lose by disqualification before hightailing it up the ramp.
Recovering in time to see Punk holding the chair in question, Kane used the weapon to unleash an onslaught of absolute mayhem on The Second City Saint, capped off by two earth-shattering chokeslams.
Will the beating Punk endured give Bryan the advantage heading into his WWE Title Match this Sunday?
A weeklong Twitter battle between US Champion Santino Marella and Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes – over which of their titles holds more meaning – led to a Champion vs. Champion Match on SmackDown.
After his first attempt was thwarted by Rhodes, Santino hit the Cobra from out of nowhere, leading to a stunning triumph against the Intercontinental Champion. The win earned the United States Champion some bragging rights as trombones at ringside quickly became the order of the night.
A tweet by John Laurinaitis’ Executive Administrator Eve on Monday called for a SmackDown showdown between World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and Randy Orton – just two days before The Great White and The Viper will face Chris Jericho and Alberto Del Rio in a Fatal 4-Way World Title Match.
In the fierce contest that followed, The Viper punished The Great White's already injured shoulder, mounting a strategy that mirrored Alberto Del Rio's plan of action during his match against Orton last week on SmackDown. Sheamus fought his way through the pain, as both intense grapplers kicked out of several pin attempts – leaving the WWE Universe to wonder just what it would take for either competitor to achieve victory, both in Friday's main event and this Sunday.
In the end, when WWE's Apex Predator attempted the RKO, The Celtic Warrior countered, wrapping up Orton for the quick win.
Then, displaying a "you got me" attitude after the bell and shaking his opponent's hand, the cunning Viper struck without warning, hitting a post-match RKO on the World Heavyweight Champion. With his eyes — and his hands — on Sheamus’ title, Orton sent a strong signal that the WWE Over the Limit World Title Match may indeed prove to be a different story.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Dark Match: Dean Ambrose defeated Jeff Lucas
- Dark Match: John Cena, Randy Orton & Sheamus defeated Dolph Ziggler, Kane & Lord Tensai
- Kofi Kingston & R-Truth defeated Darren Young & Titus O'Neil (3:00)
- Damien Sandow vs. Yoshi Tatsu ended in a no contest
- Daniel Bryan defeated Zack Ryder (2:28)
- Kane defeated CM Punk by DQ (11:40)
- Santino Marella defeated Cody Rhodes (2:00)
- Sheamus defeated Randy Orton (23:31)
- Dark Match: Sheamus defeated Daniel Bryan
Other on-screen talent