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Thread: WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

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    Great Balls of Fire WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

    Great Balls of Fire
    July 9, 2017



    Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt
    Going off of just what the commentators said, this is a match built around the fact that Rollins refuses to call Wyatt a God and Wyatt is unhappy with that. Either this is one incredibly stupid explanation for a feud or the commentators need to do a much better job at explaining programs. This match nicely sums up how I feel about the typical modern WWE matches. It’s technically fine, but there isn’t any substance to make me care. Both guys are putting in the effort, but since it’s so back and forth, a story isn’t developing and it’s not building up to anything. The only semblance of a story we’re given is at the very end when Wyatt goads Rollins into losing his cool to easily allow Wyatt to poke Rollins in the eye while the referee was trying to pull Rollins back. Wyatt followed that up with Sister Abigal to gain the semi-clean victory. ** ½

    Big Cass vs Enzo Amore
    The WWE devoted two lousy PPV matches for this feud while Neville can’t get on PPV? On paper, this should be a simple match. Cass just destroys Enzo and wins after a few power based moves. If you want to get cute, Enzo can try and show some heart. Instead, Cass toys with Enzo and although Cass does control the match, he doesn’t bother to hit any monster-like moves. Enzo tries to show heart by hanging in there and although he does sell pretty well, his storytelling is wasted since he’s selling Cass’ dull moves. Cass wins with a Big Boot. Meh. * ¾

    The Bar © vs The Hardyz - 30 Minute Iron Man Match - WWE Raw Tag Titles
    Perhaps it’s because I find the very concept of an iron man match to be beyond stupid, so I was dreading this match, but I ended up loving this. For me, the story of this match was all about how the Bar are the leaders of the tag division and the Hardyz are nothing more than old, decrepit hasbeens that flat out aren’t in the Bar’s league. Not only did Cesaro and Sheamus dominate the match, but time after time, they would embarass the Hardyz. All four falls by the Bar made them look great. At the very start of the match, the champs went up 1-0 when Cesaro jumped into the ring solely to distract Matt to allow Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick. During a lengthy Jeff face-in-peril sequence, Matt gets kicked off of the ring apron to allow the champs to take their time hitting a double team version of Sheamus’s Celtic Cross on Jeff. Some time later, Matt and Cesaro are fighting on the outside and Matt gets sent face first into the ring post, allowing Matt to be counted out. Finally, at the very end of the match, Jeff seemingly has the match won with a Swanton Bomb on Sheamus, but he’s unaware that Cesaro had secretly blind tagged himself in, which saw Cesaro surprise Jeff by dragging him off of Sheamus and getting the pinfall himself on Jeff. On the surface, the Hardyz falls are similar since they’re all tied around smart little moments. The first saw Cesaro get pinned following the old nostalgia combo of Poetry in Motion, Side Effect, and a Twist of Fate by Jeff. The second was just some wacky dual roll-up by both Hardyz on Cesaro. The third being Sheamus eating a top rope Twist of Fate from Matt. However, the difference to me is that while the Bar always dominated and frequently scored falls to break up an attempt at rallying back by the Hardyz, the Hardyz falls were sorta fluke actions. They weren’t dominating before and they weren’t afterwards. For some brief moments in time, the Hardyz were able to get lucky. The Hardyz looked their age and the former high flyers struggled to hit their high spots to get the best of the champions. That’s not to say I thought the Hardyz looked bad in the match per say. The Hardyz looking old greatly helped the story. Bless these two crazy SOB’s, they’re trying, they really are, but they just can’t compete with the youth of their opponents. The Hardyz attempt at rallying in the end got the crowd’s support and who could blame the crowd? It’s like watching your old dog try and jump on the bed and the poor doggo doesn’t have the strength to jump that high anymore. It’s heartbreaking. On this night, The Bar obliterated the Hardyz and those evil fuckers seemed to love every minute of it. The iron man match is still a stupid concept though. ****

    Alexa Bliss © vs Sasha Banks - WWE Raw Women’s Title
    Bliss is really good, maybe even to the point where she’s far too good especially since she didn’t really do much in NXT. She has a great mean streak and now seeing her ability to easy make her arms appear broken only makes her even better. I’ve seen fake injury spots so many times over the years, but this was easily the best because when you take one look at the arm, it legitimately looks messed up. Although Sasha did okay, this match was all about Bliss dominating and showing off her aggressive side. The random count-out finish was abrupt and rather disappointing. In theory, I’m cool with the champion purposely getting counted out, but it didn’t feel as if we were anywhere near the finish of the match. Still, Bliss continues to impress me. ** ½

    The Miz © w/Maryse and The Miztourage vs Dean Ambrose - WWE IC Title
    I had originally read that Axel and Dallas were paired with The Miz because the WWE didn’t want the Miz to work the same gimmick as Smackdown newcomer, Mike Kanalias. However, isn’t this basically the same gimmick that Smackdown’s champion, Jinder Mahal has? One heel champion with a couple of geeks. As a wrestler, Ambrose frustrates me a lot. When he wants to, he’s an amazing seller as evident by his inability to even stand up due to the work The Miz had been doing on Ambrose’s knee. The problem is that Ambrose only sells when it’s time to sell and once it’s time for him to do something, he’s back to running around as if he’s just okay. There’s one comical moment in particular where Ambrose is hobbling, barely able to walk, but once he saw either Axel or Dallas on the ring apron, he ran to the ropes to knock them off. Stop running! The story of Miz relying on his wife and his geeks along with the knee work was there, but none of which drew me in too much, partly because of Ambrose’s half assing of the selling. Miz won after an Ambrose distraction allowed Miz to nail Skull Crushing Finale. ** ¾

    Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman - Ambulance Match
    Due to being such a fan of the four-way at Summerslam, I had high expectations going into this match since Braun is apparently awesome. Perhaps that’s why I came away from this being a little disappointed. Braun as the unstoppable monster is fantastic, but when he wasn’t doing his best Universal Monster impression, it just felt like a normal match to me. The big spot of the match saw Roman send Braun through the LED lighting display, but the spot fell flat for me. The lighting looked flimsy as hell to the point where if Neville leaned against it, the lighting display could break. As a result, the drama of Braun being the monster rising from the depths of hell out of the lighting display was a cheesy moment. On the plus side, Braun did go over, even if it wasn’t an impressive victory since he literally just moved out of the way of a Reigns spear causing Roman to fly into the ambulance himself. It’s not a bad match, I just wanted a bigger showcase of Braun being an unstoppable beast. Moments like Braun noselling the chair shots and tossing Reigns around as if he was a Cruiserweight should have been the entire match. ***

    After the match, we’re shown a WrestleCrap moment as Reigns bursts out of the ambulance and being the sole loser that he is, attacks Braun. Braun gets sent into the back of the ambulance and Reigns drives it to the back where he drives backs into a WWE production truck. Roman Reigns, WWE’s top babyface, is a sore loser and an attempted murderer.

    Heath Slater vs Curt Hawkins
    Apparently we need a standby match, even though the previous match lasted the expected length. While some WWE crew tries to free Braun from the smashes up ambulance, Slater and Hawkins tries to work an exhibition sort of match. They’re interrupted by the arrival of the local area’s fire crew. While we cut to the back to see the fire crew use the jaws of life to force open the ambulance door (Even though there’s absolutely zero shown damage to the door), Slater apparently wins the match. The commentators can’t be bothered to tell us how he did. Normally I wouldn’t bother to rate such a short match and one that didn’t even show the finish, but this has to be the single most pointless match in WWE PPV history. The entire thing lasted maybe three minutes. If I was Slater or Hawkins, I would be furious at the lack of respect shown by the WWE. ¼ *

    Eventually, the ambulance door is forced open and Braun is able to escape. Strowman refuses help and stumbles off out of camera view while everyone looks on mystified. I hated this.

    Brock Lesnar © w/Paul Heyman vs Samoa Joe - WWE Universal Title
    I have to say, I like the story of the last year with Brock being manhandled and bested more frequently than his previous years since his 2012 return. It’s as if everyone has studied Brock’s matches and they know exactly what to expect. The result is Brock having to deal with everyone having new strategies in how to best the former Next Big Thing. For Joe, it was all about attacking Lesnar before the match and attempting to finish Lesnar off as quickly as possible. Joe doesn’t want the match to last long because the longer it goes on, the more opportunities Lesnar will get to make a comeback. The fun thing about this story is that it feels exactly like something out of Samoa Joe’s ROH World Title reign. This feels as if it could have happened in the fall of 2004, near the end of Joe’s reign. He’s hurting and all of the contenders are coming closer and closer to finding the key to beating Lesnar. Brock, being the bad ass that he is, is able to absorb all of this punishment and waits for his chance to outsmart Joe with a series of suplexes and then finishes Joe off with the F5. Joe looked great in this quick loss. Pretty good for a six minute match. Wished Joe had won though. ***

    Overall
    Well, I watched this show solely because Shock requested it in my Jim Reviews Archive thread, thinking I would enjoy it. Well, I loved the Iron Man Tag Match. As someone who finds the concept of the match to be pretty stupid, the story was so well told that I was okay with it. Braun being a monster is fun. As is the very story based match between Joe and Lesnar. The rest of the show is pretty forgettable. There’s a couple of lame finishes especially with Alexa/Sasha and Cass/Enzo. The Reigns/Strowman match didn’t meet my (Potentially unrealistically) high expectations. I’m frustrated that Neville’s Cruiserweight Title match against Akira Tozawa was thrown on the pre-show rather than receive some actual PPV time. I can understand why the match was on the pre-show for Summerslam, but it really should have been on this show. Then there’s the WrestleCrap of Slater vs Hawkins and the ambulance BS. The whole thing came across like a big joke and I’m left scratching my head as to why the WWE felt the need to even bother to put on a standby match. Go out of your way to watch the tag team match.

  2. #2
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    Re: WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

    Great review even if I disagree with some of it. I think the Ambulance match is the best use of the stipulation ever and I enjoyed the wrestlecrap from it because it served to make Strowmann look even more unstoppable. But yes, Reigns is a sore loser - however as we've seen from Hogan and Cena, that seems to be a staple for a top babyface in WWE. Slater vs Hawkins was bizarre, but I enjoyed it because it made sense. WWE was in a panic because someone might have died, so they just put anything out to appease the crowd.

    I never made the comparison to Joe's 2004 reign but that certainly does make sense.

    I loved the ironman match too, loads of fun. Sheamus and Cesaro are an incredible tag team and I'd say the best thing in either man's WWE career to date.

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    Re: WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

    Joe/Brock is one of the greatest short matches I've ever seen. Totally captivated by it. The only thing I wasn't crazy on was Joe falling to one finisher because I feared that was the end of Joe's big push.

    I think I had the tag team title match as the best match of the night, but like Shock I have the ambulance match rated quite a bit higher. I do prefer the Payback match between them though, and that might be more up your street for some Braun/Roman goodness without the sports entertainment stipulation. I say this without hyperbole - Braun has been their wrestler of the year.

    Shock's now got me thinking about whether this is the best thing about Cesaro and Sheamus' WWE career. Definitely for Cesaro on a week to week basis it's been the best thing.

    I actually had no problems at all with Cass Vs Enzo. Given the time devoted to it on Raw, you couldn't really just sling that grudge match out on Raw and I think it achieved everything it needed to. Enzo cut one of his best promos, and Cass won practically a squash match in convincing fashion. At this point I was still being generous to them, but everything after this night is utter shit. I know what you're saying about Neville Vs Tozawa not being on the PPV, but if the point of a pre-show is to gain some last minute subscriptions to the WWE Network, Neville/Tozawa would gain more interest than Cass/Enzo have a squash match.

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    Re: WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Shock View Post
    Great review even if I disagree with some of it. I think the Ambulance match is the best use of the stipulation ever and I enjoyed the wrestlecrap from it because it served to make Strowmann look even more unstoppable. But yes, Reigns is a sore loser - however as we've seen from Hogan and Cena, that seems to be a staple for a top babyface in WWE. Slater vs Hawkins was bizarre, but I enjoyed it because it made sense. WWE was in a panic because someone might have died, so they just put anything out to appease the crowd.
    While I'm sure it is the best ambulance match in wrestling history, that's also not saying anything.

    I disagree about the angle making Braun look like an unstoppable monster. It was just a laughable mess with the ambulance.

    Again, I disagree about the bonus match making sense. WWE are afraid someone may have died so to appease the crowd they put on a couple of geeks to work a quick match? Yeah, because that will make people care.

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    Re: WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    While I'm sure it is the best ambulance match in wrestling history, that's also not saying anything.

    I disagree about the angle making Braun look like an unstoppable monster. It was just a laughable mess with the ambulance.

    Again, I disagree about the bonus match making sense. WWE are afraid someone may have died so to appease the crowd they put on a couple of geeks to work a quick match? Yeah, because that will make people care.
    I disagree with you about the ambulance match and Braun not looking unstoppable but I agree with the bonus match not making any sense because why would you have a match to take our minds off what is going on when you're not even going to show us the finish and instead show us the angle you're trying to distract us from? It was completely stupid and whatever sense could have been made from it was quickly unredeemed.

    Curt Hawkins going on Twitter and saying that the finish was Slater giving him a top rope Canadian Destroyer was fucking hilarious though and worth everything
    -------
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!

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    Re: WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Darling Nicky View Post
    I disagree with you about the ambulance match and Braun not looking unstoppable but I agree with the bonus match not making any sense because why would you have a match to take our minds off what is going on when you're not even going to show us the finish and instead show us the angle you're trying to distract us from? It was completely stupid and whatever sense could have been made from it was quickly unredeemed.
    Unless I missed it, they didn't even bother showing a replay to show the finish. It still would have been shitty had they ran the match and not shown the finish until the replay, but at least we would have seen an actual damn finish.

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