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The first ever Great Balls of Fire pay per view comes to you live from the American Airlines Centre in Dallas, Texas. A arena that I attended back in April 2016 for the Hall of Fame and the Raw after WrestleMania.
Why’s this show called Great Balls of Fire? Because Vince thinks it sounds hilarious. That’s actually a true story by the way.
Raw has been awful to watch since after WrestleMania. However, the build for this show has been pretty solid. The card looks stacked, especially the main event between Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar. I have high hopes for this show. Don’t fuck it up, Raw.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville © vs. Akira Tozawa
WWE has made plenty of mistakes when it comes to their reigning champions and how they are booked, but Neville is one they have gotten absolutely right. Being the self-proclaimed “king” of the cruiserweights could be played for laughs, but Neville has demolished any and all competition and is backing up his egotism. This feels like a good match that will be hurt by a dead crowd that may care about Tozawa’s shrieking, but not much else. Look for Neville to win here and move on to some new rival at SummerSlam. Cedric Alexander perhaps? That’s who I would pick.
Winner and STILL WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Neville
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
30 Minute Iron Man match
Sheamus & Cesaro ©vs. The Hardy Boyz
The first ever tag team Ironman match in WWE and they absolutely could not have drawn less attention to the stipulation. This should’ve been announced weeks ago with a lot of buildup being such an attraction match, but instead it was just thrown out there in a throwaway backstage segment that I bet a lot of people forget Sheamus and Cesaro were even in. The Hardys are clearly going to win this match because of the fact that they are the only babyface team going and that Sheamus is leaving to film a movie. The real question is what do they do with Cesaro in the meantime? He and Sheamus have made a good team and I would hate to see them force a breakup now.
Winners and NEW WWE Raw Tag Team Champions: The Hardy Boyz
WWE Intercontinental Championship
The Miz © vs. Dean Ambrose
I got really afraid on Monday that Kurt Angle was going to make this match a Triple Threat match with Heath Slater just so he could take the fall and they could stretch Miz and Dean into SummerSlam. There has been some really entertaining moments in this storyline, Maryse in particular has been fantastic, but it needs to end immediately. Actually, I reckon that this will be the final match of their feud. I like both guys, but I think they have been hurt a bit because of how long this rivalry has lasted. I’m going with a Miz win thanks to help from Maryse, Curtis Axel and/or Bo Dallas. Miz can move on with the title for a feud with Rollins, Balor or Reigns, but this feud with Ambrose should be over.
Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass
The big break up angle between these two was handled pretty well, despite the fact that I personally feel that these two had more to accomplish as a tag team and further down the line as allies. I get the decision to have Cass turn and become a 7 Foot monster heel, but I personally feel like Enzo has been and continues to be the single most important commodity to Big Cass. Yes he can wrestle and move well for a guy his size, and yes his promo work is fine most of the time. With that said it’s always been Enzo’s mouth, characterisation and ability to stand out, that drew attention to Big Cass, in my opinion. I don’t expect this to be a long match or a good match. The crowd may be into it because they are strong characters, but once the bell rings their weaknesses come out. If Big Cass loses it would be damaging to his new heel persona. If Enzo loses it’s no big deal because people think of him as a loser anyway. Cass wins, beats on Enzo after the match and Big Show makes the save leading to Cass beating Show at SummerSlam.
Winner: Big Cass
Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt
I don’t think creative thought about this very much. Bray has been doing the same “I’m a God” promos for like four years and Seth fired back saying “no you’re not” so now they have a feud. There hasn’t been much in the way of physical interaction either. There’s not much to get excited about here. I’m picking a lot of heels on this show, so I’ll go with the face Rollins for the win in what could be just a one month rivalry for them. There’s no reason for it to continue. Don’t care too much about this match. I tried to. Simply don’t. Incredibly over Bray Wyatt in his current incarnation and despite Seth Rollins’ ability as performer in the ring, he’s not nearly enough of a draw to make me give a damn about this silly, ultimately meaningless match.
Winner: Seth Rollins
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa Bliss © vs. Sasha Banks
Raw has really found its footing with dominant heel champs, and Alexa Bliss is another example. Alexa didn’t seem like as big of a capture for Raw as she was, but with the head-scratching way creative has dropped the ball with Bayley it’s ever more evident how important the Bliss/Charlotte swap was. Remember when it was understood that it was a matter of time before Banks took this belt? The booking of this division has been nearly criminal. Banks will bring out the best of Bliss and the crowd should be into most of it. I feel like Bliss keeping the title makes the most sense, but it’s possible it could be a disqualification or countout or maybe a cheap ending with Nia Jax costing Banks to set a triple threat at SummerSlam.
Winner and STILL WWE Raw Women’s Champion: Alexa Bliss
Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns
Ambulance matches are fairly rare, so I like the use of the stipulation to make this feel different. Both men have been booked very evenly going into this, with Strowman having already tossed Reigns (rather easily) into the vehicle previously. That also adds to the dynamic of this as a big deal kind of match as opposed to a one-off. What’s both tough and obvious is that this thing has way less to do with either gentleman as it does with the Universal Title picture moving forward.
An Ambulance Match basically means anything goes with the match ending when you put somebody in the ambulance. That could mean somebody costs Reigns the match, but I’m not sure who that would be. It’s just an idea to throw out there to do a cheap finish. I’m going with the Strowman win in what should be a very physical match that could be very good too.
Winner: Braun Strowman
WWE Universal Championship
Brock Lesnar © vs. Samoa Joe
This has been a star turn for Samoa Joe and he’s been absolutely incredible. He’s showing that he should have been in this spot for years and has captured that thing that only Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar have. They come across as legit dangerous bad asses. The way Joe has taken the fight to Lesnar and attacked this entire rivalry has sold this PPV and this match. He’s been the star. He’s grabbed the brass ring if ever there was one to grab. His performances have been building blocks on a road to bigger and better things going forward, and I truly hope that the powers that be have taken notice.
I hope they have a competitive match with Joe getting a lot of offense, Lesnar selling for him (Lesnar is good at selling when he does it) and the crowd buying into the possibility that Joe might win. Make them believe, boys. That’s the best way to tell a story. I’m hopeful that they go 15 minutes, that Joe gets a few moments in the match where it looks like he’s going to win and I expect Lesnar to get the victory. If they go 6-8 minutes, Lesnar dominates and wins easily then that’s disappointing. I want Joe to put up a fight and for Lesnar to keep fighting back to get the job done. This could be a classic. I sure hope it is.
Winner and STILL WWE Universal Champion: Brock Lesnar
Feel free to post your predictions in the comment section below and I’ll be back on Monday with my Random thoughts on Great Balls of Fire.