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[2011-05-22-WWE-Over The Limit] Randy Orton vs Christian

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World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton vs Christian - WWE Over The Limit 2011

One of the last WWE Classics I have never seen before. This was right at the nadir of my interesting pro wrestling before CM Punk's Pipebomb promo gave my passion for pro wrestling an adrenaline shot. I had stopped watching Smackdown all together so I only vague recollection of this feud from when it was going on, but I due remember this being one of the most praised matches of the year besides Cena vs. Punk. 

This was a fantastic singles match that did not rely on any gimmicks or crutches. It is one of those matches where you dont see what the big deal is until about 5 minutes left and you are like damn they got me. The story here is Christian finally won the big one in a hellaciously boring ladder match against Alberto Del Rio earlier in the month after his best friend, Edge retired. The twist is that five nights later on Smackdown he lost the belt to Randy Orton, which was a great troll of the smart marks and also just a great storytelling device. Career journeyman underdog finally wins the World Title just to cough it up later in the week. 

I liked the opening a lot. Lots of movements. Lots of energy generated off criss crosses. They were punctuated with great spots. Christian loved his dropkicks and Orton was hitting power moves like tackles and back elbows. Shout out to Orton for the Cheerleader Toe Touch on his Leap Frog. I dug Orton a lot in this match. I thought he sold well for Christian and worked quite snug. Christian took a lot of this match cutting Orton off with some wicked slaps to the face. First big highspot was Orton hitting his Superplex at about the five minute mark. They were working a good pace. Orton sold the impact of the Superplex well and how it prevented him from making a solid cover. I liked Chistian cutting off Orton with a spinebuster during what felt like a routine Orton comeback and then hit his inverted DDT. It felt like Christian came to play and that Orton would have to earn this victory. Another thing this match did well is incorporating scouting into the match. Orton had the slap on the outside scouted, but Christian had the Hangman DDT scouted.  Another one is how Christian got Orton to bite on a feigned crossbody and Orton revealed he was going for an RKO. Christian bided his time and got a Sunset Flip for 2 instead. Great stuff there.  The crowd heat was pretty intense for the midcard World Title match it shows that good work does get over. I did pop for Orton busting out the inverted Boston Crab which I have seen only a couple times and they way he got into it was very organic. I dug that a lot. It was around this spot that I realized I was watching something special and got more invested in the match. 

They hit the finish and they did a great job with escalation. Orton gets the Hangman DDT off a counter to a usual Christian spot. Goes for the RKO but Christian throws him off. Christian wants the Spear as a tribute to Edge. ORTON POWERSLAM! That was great! Babyface Orton has second thoughts about punting Christian's skull and SPEAR by Christian, great nearfall for two. Christian wants his finish, The Unprettier. Orton reverses and BANG! RKO! Christian sells it like a million bucks. 

I thought this was a real fun babyface vs babyface match. Orton played bit more of the face fighting from underneath, but this was wrestled very straight. I enjoyed the counter-heavy approach and it built to a great crescendo. Lives up to the hype. ****1/4

 

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