by Frank Lucci
It’s happening. It’s actually happening. WWE has named a Pay Per View Great Balls of Fire.
Despite the terribly lame name, WWE has built themselves a heck of a card for this Raw exclusive show, with the main focus being the much hyped Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe match. Sure, there are some duds that look to be on the horizon, but WWE has actually made many of these feuds compelling, even if some of these matches we did not even want initially.
Furthermore, it has been a wild few weeks in the world of wrestling what with New Japan putting on their first US shows, Austin Aries being released, and AJ Styles winning the United States Championship at a Madison Square Garden house show, yet at the end of the day, deep in my heart of hearts, Brock vs Joe is all the comfort and joy I could possibly want. I’m Spaceman Frank and here are my predictions for (sigh) Great Balls of Fire.
Neville (C) vs. Akira Tozawa (With Titus O’Neil) (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)
The latest challenger in a long line of “Hey, what has this guy been doing on 205 Live?” to the King of the Cruiserweights sees Tozawa trying to make a splash.
I really love Tozawa and having him be part of the goofy Titus Brand is pretty fun, but he has the skill set to be a damn good vicious killer in the ring. I would love to see WWE treat this match with some importance, but I see it as the typical cruiserweight preshow match on the card. Neville wins this and every title defense ever until WWE throws all the cruiserweights in the ring and have a hodge podge flipathon where Ho Ho Lun sneaks in and wins because his name is a tasty treat and Vince McMahon loves that kind of branding!!
The Miz (C) (With Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Maryse) vs. Dean Ambrose (Intercontinental Championship Match)
When the biggest news from this feud coming from Lavar “The Sum Total of All of Our Instagram Sins” Bell, you can be sure that WWE is out of ideas to make this feud interesting.
Sure, these two had a pretty solid match before, but after a screwy finish that made little sense it is hard to get pumped for a straight up rematch. These guys used to be exciting, then they went to Raw (strike one), then Axel and Dallas got involved (all the rest of the strikes needed to finish a baseball game). When WWE thinks to add those two to the mix, you know you´re having some trouble. Even The Miz can´t help you. Miz wins because he has three people in his corner how do you screw up and lose?
Alexa Bliss (C) vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match)
What should be a dream match has fallen on deaf or apathetic ears as The Boss takes on Five Feet of Fury for the Women’s Championship.
Now, I think this match will be a killer encounter featuring two of the best females on the roster, so I will be hyped for this contest. I am not sure why it´s being treated like an afterthought, even though Banks won her right to challenge for the belt on the main event of an episode of Raw.
Perhaps it has been the way WWE has treated Bayley lately that has turned off people to the division, but until I see a stinker from these two I will be expecting magic. Or at least somebody to take a scary bump and leave me petrified.
I could make a argument that Banks takes the belt back here, but I think Bliss falls into the same category as Neville as the champ who is too good to randomly lose the belt. Perhaps we shall get some real storylines for the women and cruiserweights leading to SummerSlam, but for now, the champs are not going anywhere.
Cesaro and Sheamus (C) vs. The Hardy Boyz (30 Minute Iron Man Match for WWE Raw Tag Team Championship)
The feud that will not die goes to the next level when both teams face off in an Iron Man match because….reasons. With very little else to do besides milk their nostalgia, the Hardys seek to regain the championships they won at WrestleMania. I trust Cesaro and Sheamus to work for 30 minutes, but the Hardys? No thank you.
That being said, these four men have managed to put on fine matches with the occasionally clunky finish, so this will be fine. I think the champs will retain so they can finally move on. Because the length of this match, I expect some other matches to be severely cut for time (gee, I wonder which match will get the shaft…)
Enzo vs. Big Cass
Big Cass boot to Medium Enzo for a three count.
I don’t see this match lasting any sort of time, and honestly, I can see Cass interrupting Fun Sized Enzo’s regular promo for some heat and just wrecking him. While I think it’s pretty dumb that the tag team broke up with the lack of depth currently in the tag scene, both men have cut some great promos that helped get me invested in this feud. I don’t think it will see another PPV bout as this has SummerSlam preshow written all over it. At least we can get more fire promos from Regular Person Enzo before Vince throws him in 205 jail and goes back to messaging Big Cass’ leg muscles while making disturbing sounds.
Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt
Another match people seem to have dismissed because of the lack of build (besides Bray’s nonsense promos) sees two great in ring workers facing off in what should be a killer match.
Both dudes needs a barnburner to regain momentum with fans, and I think since they both know they are treading water, I believe they will go all out.
Is this a filler feud for both men? Yes. Are they pro enough to tell a great story and make you care about the match anyway? Yes. As for a winner, I think this could go either way but I am leaning towards Seth Rollins since he has a win against Samoa Joe in his back pocket and would be a good foil for the Miz down the road.
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Ambulance Match)
Confession Time: I’m actually excited for a Roman Reigns match.
Braun throwing The Big Dog around like a gassy beagle has provided me with Gif after Gif of gold, and knowing there will be more live has me salivating.
Besides the sin of booking Braun like a stupid person on the go home show (because we gotta make Reigns look strong by acting like there is a gas leak directly under his opponent) this has been an entertaining feud. Big moves, big men, Big Dog, and big beards. This feuds feels the most “pro wrestling” out of any so far this year, as how else can two rampaging monsters settle their beef besides comically dragging each other to a waiting ambulance? Vegas is banking hard on Strowman being the winner, and since they predicted Joe becoming number one contender, I am going to trust them.
Brock Lesnar (C) vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Universal Championship Match)
This match…oh boy, this match….(takes a cold shower).
Anyway, the Spaceman’s dream match is happening and I can’t wait to see these two square off like Godzilla and Voltron.
Joe looks like he is on par with The Beast, and he proved deserving of this shot when he put on must see segments that showed why WWE should give him a chance to be champion. He killed it on the mic, he kills it when brutalizing Brock, and he would be fantastic as the right hand of The Authority.
Brock to his credit has sold for Joe well when being physical, but his side by side interview on the go home show where he adopted a “too cool for school” attitude was a bad look (He choked out Heyman and you and you wanna act like you are trying to impress the head cheerleader by making fun of the fat kid? Shame).
This small gripe aside, I almost contemplated taking the day after off of work so I could stay up late and fully immerse myself in the experience of Brock vs. Joe, that’s how freaking excited I am.
The obvious winner seems to be Brock, and as much as I want to believe Joe could walk out as champ, I think Brock will move forward to SummerSlam as champ for a big headlining match. What that match is I don’t know, but in the meantime, I plan to spend Sunday chanting “FIGHT FOREVER” at everything and everyone.