Brian Richey sent this one in:
I went to the Over The Limit PPV tonight in Raleigh at the newly renamed PNC Arena. As usual, there were many, many families there, but plenty of adult groups too. We got in pretty quickly and I noticed the usual fare at the merchandise booth: Triple H, John Cena, Zack Ryder, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler’s new pink shirt, etc. They had something they didn’t have at Extreme Rules though – masks for Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara. Frankly, I’m surprised they don’t sell those at every event, regardless if the two men themselves are present. I also brought along my commentary radio from Extreme Rules, but couldn’t get a signal all night. Didn’t notice them at the merch booths, but I did notice a few other people with them, so who knows if they were really broadcasting that signal.
Managed to get a good deal on front row seats – my first time sitting there. However, they were off to the side of the ring announcers, and all night crew members would line up to either rush in and change the ring apron, or take the discarded ring gear backstage (I spent way too much time looking at Jericho’s jacket being whisked away.) Still, a great view of all the action from the corner, and the announcers were feet away.
After the standard Wrestlemania video, Tony Chimel announced the beginning of the pre-show, and more than a couple people were rattled by Kane’s fire suddenly exploding. Crowd was behind Ryder and he put up more of a fight than I expected, but he suffered the expected loss. The battle royal was a nice surprise and the biggest reactions went to Great Khali, Alex Riley, and William Regal. Lots of “Let’s Go Regal” chants and disappointment when he was eliminated. Wasn’t sure which side Christian was on, but he got a very positive reaction, both when entering and after winning. I guess it became obvious once he was left with Miz and Otunga.
Lots of boos for Vickie as usual, though nothing too deafening. Good reactions for Kofi and R-Truth as they entered. Match was pretty good for keeping the crowd warm, particularly since Truth is from around here. Layla and Beth didn’t get much of a reaction for their match, besides some “We Want Kharma” chants from the usual suspects. Though Layla’s continued counters started to get the crowd behind her.
If Del Rio’s car was honking, we sure didn’t hear it in the arena. Big reactions for all four men in the World Title bout, though I was a bit surprised to hear Sheamus and Orton get about an equal amount. Crowd loved the match and all the action. Kudos to all four men. Every time it seemed Orton was the favorite, Sheamus would come in and win the crowd’s affection again. A feud between these two could be another Punk/Bryan.
There was a bit of a technical error as Miz’s music kept playing while Brodus and the girls were being introduced. Pretty standard stuff with the kids getting to dance in the ring post-match. As for the IC Title match, Christian did what he needed to do and got the crowd firmly behind him. Kinda funny that Rhodes claimed he could never attend the shows in NC since he was billed from here for a while.
If I haven’t mentioned it yet, the YES chants were in full swing tonight. I know Flair’s been gone for a while, but there were many, many more YES chants throughout the show than there were Woooo chants, and that’s kind of a big deal considering it’s NC. CM Punk got the loudest pop of the night up until that point, and he was the clear favorite, despite all the YES. Now, Raleigh has never really been a very vocal crowd whenever I’ve attended, but there were dueling “CM Punk” and “Daniel Bryan” chants all throughout the match that were ringing in the entire arena. I really hope it came off well on the PPV. However, for every “Daniel Bryan” coming from the floor, a much louder “CM Punk” would echo throughout the upper deck. As for the match itself, it was top notch. Lots of YES for Bryan’s moves and lots of general cheers for Punk’s. I thought maybe they messed up the ending but I guess they wouldn’t have slowed it down if that were the case.
Most of the people around me called Ryback as Camacho’s opponent. I used the match to use the restroom and it was quite timely in that respect. “Goldberg” chants still present.
It’s hard to say for sure if Cena got a louder pop than Punk, but it was big, as you’d expect. Compared to the title match, this one was a stinker. Don’t get me wrong, the crowd was rolling with all of Cena’s antics, but when it became clear what was about to happen, it really deflated. Lots of people around me calling Show’s turn. I think even some of the kids were saying it. A bitter end to what was otherwise a pretty stellar show.
Post-show, Cena got up after being helped by trainers and shook the cobwebs out, before just leaving the arena in a daze while his music very briefly played and the crowd applauded. Half-expected him to make a speech as he usually does, but he didn’t. Justin Roberts thanked us for coming and reminded us that RAW would return on December 30th for their Holiday Tour house show. After getting our chairs, I glanced back at the merch stand and noticed that only a few items seemed to be really selling out (mostly Cena and Ryder merch.)
We ended up going down to the loading area to watch some of the talent leave, though we were on an opposite side near the cars and away from the large crowd that had gathered to see them exit the building. Lots of YES chants meant Daniel Bryan was coming out and various other people, from Sheamus to Michael McGillicutty to Great Khali (who was stuffing himself in the backseat of a longer car.) Matt Striker started his car and walked around a bit, waving to us.
It was about this time that a guy with curly hair, a Jive Soul Bro t-shirt, Zubaz-esque pants, a Miller High Life tallboy in one hand, and autographed photos of himself in the other hand, came up to the caution tape and tried to get the attention of the arena staff to let him past. I wasn’t quite sure if it was him until he yelled out to Matt Striker who he was – Johnny Fairplay. Apparently he was trying to get in to see someone named Rico, but walked off to some other part of the parking lot when he failed. Crazy.
Anyhow, Striker was nice enough to come over and sign autographs and take pictures for the kids waiting around. So did Brodus Clay after his name was called. Soon after the staff shooed us away, claiming the talent was all gone. There were still cars, so I doubted that, but we turned ’round and headed for home.
All in all a very good show to see live and probably the liveliest crowd I’ve heard at the RBC/PNC. Over The Limit was starting to get that Great American Bash reputation as the lame duck PPV, but I think this was one to see. Looking forward to the next match between Bryan and Punk, that’s for sure.
Jonathan Carbo sent this one in:
What a crazy night. The entire lower bowl and floor were sold out except behind the set. The club level was also full. The entire upper deck was tarped off, though. I’ve gone to shows in Raleigh for 20-plus years now and it’s usually a pretty dead crowd, but this one was a little better than usual, especially in my section. Though it was not anywhere close to what it was in Miami for WrestleMania 28 and the night after.
John Cena, C.M. Punk, and Randy Orton got the biggest pops of the night. Mr. Excitement (John Laurinaitis) and Vickie Guerrero got the most heat. Oh, there was a first for me at a live show. I was chanting for Bryan and this 7-10 year old kid was chanting for Punk across the aisle from me. The mother said I was ‘messing’ with her son and threatened to kill me. Seriously.
After Ace won, I kept screaming about how much Cena sucked to most everyone’s disdain in the arena and in the parking lot. An unforgettable night to say the least.