Let me begin this review with a slow clap. I mean, seriously, Great Balls of Fire may have been my favorite RAW brand PPV this year. WWE absolutely brought it. Match after match was spectacular. Even the matches I didn’t care for didn’t seem so bad.
Even with no belts changing waists and with little progression of rivalries, the show was a great one.
Neville (C) def. Akira Tozawa
The Great Balls of Fire Pre-show match was the sole Cruiserweight division match on the Great Balls of Fire card and it was a solid one. There weren’t couple times where I expected Tozawa to win (and hoped he would), but ultimately The King of the Cruiserweights was able to secure his crown.
Neville has dominated the 205-division since joining and it’s easy to see why WWE wants him to hold onto the belt. I mean, it changed waists 78 times in a week — okay, it was like four times in four months but still. Neville has a royal-like grasp on the belt and he’s still controlling the division and treating the rest of the competitors like jesters.
Bray Wyatt def. Seth Rollins
I didn’t expect much from this match and that’s pretty much what I got. Wyatt got himself a solid, albeit dirty, victory over Rollins which will call for a rematch and Seth will almost certainly win. However, the two put on a good match, but it wasn’t anything special.
Big Cass def. Enzo Amore
Enzo had a good promo before the match, but it lasted a bit longer than I’d have liked as he repeated himself a couple times. Big Cass came in, new theme and all, and clobbered Enzo like a fly. It’ll be interesting to see how Amore fairs as a singles competitor. He’s not much of a wrestler when Big Cass isn’t man-handling him and using him as a weapon.
The match was eh, but that was to be expected. Cass got the crowd reactions he needed to get and hopefully WWE can throw him into a good follow-up rivalry. I could see Cass taking on Apollo Crews or Titus O’Neil.
Cesaro and Sheamus (C) def. The Hardy Boyz
This is where the PPV began turning into something special for me. I will admit, I think the Iron Man match was unnecessary, but the last 10 minutes were gold.
They put on a hell of a show and with Cesaro earning the last pin with time on the clock, rather than right before the final clock ticked down, it allowed for a typical heel ending. Cesaro ended up getting planted with a Twist of Fate, but there wasn’t enough time on the clock for the Hardys to get a three-count. This feud has been ongoing since Wrestle Mania so I think it’s time for a new tag team to fill the void, but others are expecting a Broken Hardy run. I’d probably be fine with that, but I’d also be alright with Rhyno and Heath Slater getting some more air time since they haven’t done much of anything since they arrived on RAW.
Sasha Banks def. Alexa Bliss (C) (via count-out)
Banks and Bliss were the only women’s match if the night, but they more than held their own. While Bliss retained her belt due to champion’s advantage, Banks made a statement as she was able to earn the win. Her promo after the PPV was also top-notch as well.
Bliss pulled the usual stunts as she used he double-jointed elbow to hit Banks with a cheap-shot and ultimately was counted out on purpose as Banks narrowly missed forcing Bliss to tap out to her Banks Statement.
The Miz (C) def. Dean Ambrose
In what felt like the 100th match between the two, The Miz was able to pull out a victory using a merry-go-round of interfering accomplices. This feud is one WWE needs to run away from and never look back at again.
Ambrose still gets decent face reactions and his popping up here and there to get a cheap applause have been worked in well, but he hasn’t had any in-ring performances that really make him push-worthy.
Miz on the other hand is trying his hardest to make Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas relevant and so far it’s working. The two have a chance to find themselves again as a part of the Miz-tourage.
Braun Strowman def. Roman Reigns
Match of the night. Hands down.
Maybe that’s only my opinion, but Strowman and Reigns owned the night with their Ambulance match.
While the two weren’t breaking each other, they were breaking neon lights, LCD monitors and plenty else. This match, aside from the main event, had the greatest build up with Reigns putting Strowman out of commission for a while with an elbow injury and with Strowman returning in an ambulance.
This had all the action one could ever ask for and it was perfect booking from beginning to end. Reigns lost, bit looked strong as hell. He also looked like an absolute psychopath from a Quentin Tarantino film as he rammed the back of the ambulance, with Strowman inside, into a wall.
9 out of 10 EMTs would not recommend.
Heath Slater def. Curt Hawkins
Brock Lesnar (C) def. Samoa Joe
Why, WWE? Why? I don’t get it. Unless Lesnar is going to be on television for a few weeks in a row, I don’t like this.
I understand that the next RAW PPV is the joint SummerSlam and they’re going to have Reigns beat Lesnar, but still I’m upset. I will say this was the most entertaining Lesnar match I’ve seen since Rollins cashed in his Money in the bank briefcase at Mania. But, I think Samoa Joe did everything right heading into Great Balls of Fire and deserved to get the title. A title, like I stated in my previous article, is not anywhere near as over as it should be. It’s the flagship belt on the flagship show of WWE and its been held by two part-times and was held for one day by its first winner. Seriously, bring some legitimacy to this belt. Joe could have done just that.
I hope they’re able to work this a way that boosts the belt, but I don’t see how.
Overall, the Great Balls of Fire PPV was tremendous and I won’t let one little gripe stand in the way of an otherwise great show.
My grade: 8.5/10
All of these matches have been released as Topps Now WWE trading cards, available for only 24 hours. See the images below and use any of the links on this page to purchase your copies. Print runs are limited to the number ordered.