WWE Great Balls of Fire Predictions (w/some Smackdown Live Thoughts)
I’m not doing a whole Raw/Smackdown Live reflection this week as I can tie Raw‘s “go home show” with my predictions and state a few quick notes on Smackdown Live before I go into what I think will happen this Sunday at Great Balls of Fire.
I liked the Gable vs. Styles match and wonder why it happened instead of American Alpha being a unit on TV. As soon as Styles won, you knew he was winning the battle royal at the end of the night, especially being announced last and selling the injuries from the match earlier in the night.
The rap battle was saved by The Usos. I almost spit my beverage out when I heard their X-rated jab at Xavier Woods. The New Day’s insults were juvenile and you could tell the Usos had the fans behind them. I am just so sick of The New Day.
How do you get the WWE crowd to not boo Cena? Give him pro-USA rhetoric and a foreigner heel, of course! I should have seen this all coming. Why is Cena even a “free-agent?” Why is WWE now doing the same story line with Mahal/Rusev and Orton/Cena? You know – the USA vs. anyone that is a foreigner angle? Boring! I bet we see these guys in a tag match soon. I’m already dreading the matches at Battleground featuring all four men.
Great Balls of Fire
This PPV actually looks pretty good on paper for the most part and the amount of matches they’re advertising makes me applaud the company for stacking the event. Hell, I was a critic about how much dead time was showcased at the Money in the Bank event.
Kickoff Show -Neville (Champ) vs. Akira Tozowa – Cruiserweight Championship
I’m admitting it again: WWE has lost me with 205 Live. They should cancel the show and have these guys just appear on Raw and promote them as the same Superstars the other members of the roster are.
That being said, Neville is awesome and I respect the hell out of him. I don’t know much about Tozowa still and a title change won’t help that. Until WWE does meaningful storytelling with the 205 Live roster, title changes won’t make or break anyone. Same goes with this match being placed on the Kick Off show. WWE is saying it’s not important enough.
Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass
I’m one of those people that was a tad surprised by the heel turn of Big Cass. What I mean by that is I didn’t believe they’d pull the trigger on ending this team because they haven’t won gold, their merch looks like it sells well, and there aren’t many tag teams on Raw getting the rub right now. WWE did it and now we’ll see how it plays out before the inevitable reunion in a couple of years.
Enzo’s promo on Monday, while long, was pretty damn good. He has many people in his back pocket now routing for him to get revenge. The unfortunate thing is Big Cass is a Vince McMahon dream – he’s a big man and Vince like pushing those kinds of athletes. I’ll be surprised if we see Enzo get a lot of offense in this match. The reason for this split is to build Big Cass as a monster heel and they need to do it Braun Strowman style – by having Big Cass destroy the opposition.
Winner: Big Cass
Cesaro & Sheamus (Champs) vs. The Hardy Boyz – 30-Minute WWE Iron Man Match
for the WWE Tag Team Championships
Holy hell…we’re seeing yet another match from these two teams?! Talk about building new talent going down the hole. While it would have been nice to see WWE build this feud up to culminate in a ladder or cage match, WWE already blew those options earlier in the year. So we get an “iron man” match where the team most falls in 30 minutes win.
You know how these work: one team will get a fast first fall then the other team will try and even the score, leading us towards the end of the 30 minutes where the suspense is all about what team will score the final pin.
I can see this match being played out where Cesaro & Sheamus get the first pin and the Hardys doing their damnest until near the end to get the tie. From there, I think we’ll see this match become a draw. I don’t see a title change happening here and it’s probably the best option to keep both teams looking their strongest. That just begs the question of who is next in line for a title shot?
Winners: Cesaro & Sheamus
Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt
I guess I can ask if it really matters who wins here. There’s nothing on the line and for the life of me, I still have no idea why they’re feuding. Wyatt never wins a big match and I just have no faith in him getting a win anymore. As mentioned, there’s nothing on the line here and WWE can just do a rematch the next night on Raw for Seth to get his win. Let’s give it to Wyatt just out extending this program so they both have something to do on TV.
Winner: Bray Wyatt
The Miz (Champ) vs. Dean Ambrose – Intercontinental Championship Match
Holy hell…we’re seeing another match from these two (see what I did there?) I have no idea how they’re going to make this match feel like it’s a must see after all the previous encounters. At least we know both men will be entertaining and hopefully Ambrose will sell a bit more. I wonder if The Miz’s entourage will play a role and if Heath Slater and Rhyno will have Abrose’s back. I just don’t see Ambrose winning here either and both of them need new feuds.
Winner: The Miz
Alexa Bliss (Champ) vs. Sasha Banks -Raw Women’s Championship Match
Banks has been floating in obscurity for months and Bayley has been decimated by WWE Creative. Rising above all of the shambles the women’s division is in right now is Alexa Bliss, someone barely anyone would have put their money on a few years ago to be in the position she is now (myself included).
That being said, I’m hoping that WWE learns from their mistakes with Bayley and lets Banks chase the title for a bit with a huge win at Summerslam – if they even decide it’s worth taking the belt from the red-hot Bliss at that point. I see Bliss cheating to win happening in this match or an angry Nia Jax coming down to interfere to set up at Triple Threat between all three by Summerslam.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman – Ambulance Match
The match planned for a few months ago is finally coming to fruition. The live audience is loving Braun Stroman but is it because they want to see him destroy everyone on the roster and be elevated, or is it just because he’s beating up the loathed Roman Reigns?
I think this match will be very physical but I pray that this is not another one of the regular Roman Reigns/John Cena/Hulk Hogan style matches where one is beaten up all match and then comes back at the end to win. I hate those matches! While my heart wants Braun Strowman to win to see where they could go next with him (winner of the Samoa Joe/Lesnar match?), I just know WWE won’t have their next golden boy lose this match and that sucks.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe – Universal Championship Match
If I’m ever going to hope for a WWE miracle, this match would be the one I’d wish it on. A win in this match could put Samoa Joe into the stratosphere in WWE. While Lesnar did get manhandled by Goldberg, Goldberg’s two moves and sweating and being out of breath just by walking to the ring I just couldn’t buy into. I CAN buy into Samoa Joe being a legit bad ass that could actually hurt Brock Lesnar and win the championship.
I don’t think this will be a squash match for either man as WWE has to make Lesnar actually work for his money. I think having a part time champ failed before and I don’t like it now. If Lesnar wants the belt to go with his millions, he should have to work for it.
Personal feelings aside, I am looking forward to this match the most on the card and I think the majority of WWE fans feel the same way. I know there are already people thinking that Paul Heyman may turn on Lesnar here but there is no point. Joe doesn’t need a spokesperson or anyone by his side. This is the only match where I’m having a difficult time picking a winner.
While I know it’s the most f’n predictable thing for WWE to have Lesnar vs. Reigns headline Summerslam, there are so many other and better choices. Then again, WWE will get nuclear heat with Reigns, the man who “retired” The Undertaker, pinning the man that ended the Deadman’s streak. That would be some good story telling – if Lesnar shows up for work.
Once again, my heart wants the unpredictability and the underdog to win this one, but I just can’t see Vince McMahon doing it.
Winner: Brock Lesnar (and I hope I’m wrong)