The go-home show for RAW’s Great Balls of Fire sent fans home satisfied tonight. The action got nuts and the build for the big matches came off well planned. I have to say, for a PPV with a ridiculous name and not one of the “Big Four” events, Great Balls of Fire is shaping up to be a good show.
We kick off with Enzo Amore in the ring and on the mic. Out of all the feuds going into the PPV, this one has the most heart. Breaking up a team of brothers who were adored by fans and the break-up was soul-crushing. It carried overbackstage, when Big Cass was on interview, and Enzo attacked him from behind. I can’t believe we are getting this at GBoF.
Sasha Banks and Bayley defeat Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss
I hope this isn’t turing Jax into a bona-fide bodyguard. While Bliss is using the strategy to keep Jax away from the title, one has to wonder how long this shtick will last. Every time Jax gets close to a championship, its taken away. Banks gets the win in a decent match.
Cedric Alexander defeats Noam Dar w/Alicia Fox
Cruiserweights get a lot of love tonight, Dar and Alexander have a good match, and the finish was nuts. Love the Lumbar Check. Alexander has to move beyond this messed up feud. It’s over.
The MizTV segment made my night. Fantastic mic work from Miz, calling Ambrose a failed Roddy Piper. Ambrose eventually comes out, and so does… Heath Slater. Both Ambrose and Slater advocate for an Intercontinental Championship match. Kurt Angle comes out, booking Miz in an impromptu match against Slater, and then Ambrose gets the winner at GBoF. Miz defeats Slater in an awesome match. Kudos, big kudos to Slater for putting on one hell of a match, including tossing Miz with a top-rope powerslam.
Goldust’s Shattered Truth Video
Meh. Unfortunately, I really don’t see the value in this feud. R-Truth mocks by chowing popcorn to instigate the fight.
Seth Rollins defeats Curt Hawkins
Poor guy, continues his service as fodder. Rollins cuts a promo on Bray Wyatt. Nice. But nothing earth-shattering.
The “live-debate” between Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe was all sorts of weird. Appeared pre-taped, and in different parts of the arena. Brock sounds like a dumbass while Joe sounds like a wild animal who can verbalize the primal impulse to devour live steed. Inevitably breaks down, fight fight fight.
Once again, Cruiserweights get more air-time, Neville defeating Mustafa Ali was an incredible match. Ali hits a bizarrely awesome spinning headscissor-shoulder-flip-impaler-DDT. Neville wins with the rings, but if this is a sign for Ali to get a future PPV spot, this was it.
Throughout the night, Braun Strowman wants a match, despite being told Roman Reigns is not here. Sure. Titus O’Neal encourages Apolo Crews to step up.
Shown is Bray Wyatt in a desert, cutting an odd promo on Rollins. I don’t get it though. Whenever Wyatt’s promos go all-out and far-reaching, it turns to disappointment. His feud with Orton had some great stuff, but ultimately in a losing effort. I don’t see Wyatt winning this at all.
Match of the month right here, Finn Balor defeats Cesaro, despite involvement from The Hardyz, Sheamus, and Elias Sampson. I think it is hysterical Sampson is involved and he gets a feud with Balor. This match was non-stop, and the chains of some insane moves kept the live crowd and I imagine the home audience on their feet. The finish was well served. These are the matches RAW should close with.
Instead, it closes with Apolo Crews nearly dying at the hands of Braun Strowman. I am not making this up. Attempting the backflip splash, Strowman double-boots Crews mid-flip, sending him across the ring and landing very badly on his head. Following the match, Roman Reigns shows up, spears Strowman off the stage, however Strowman gets up first. This time, Strowman stays strong while Reigns looks intimidated.
Solid go-home show, definitely looking forward to GBoF.