Folks we are only 6 days away from one of the most anticipated events of the year. We have been riding this road and we are here- Goodness Gracious folks. It’s Great Balls of Fire. Let’s see how this Raw plays out less than a week away.
We begin by retelling the break up story of Enzo & Cass. Then we get Enzo who seems to have a tear tattoo where his much talked about tear happened as Cass broke his heart. OK. He says he’s one of the toughest guys to step through these ropes in a long time. OK. He gives a great line with “Casshole” but then starts to compare himself to Tupac so that’s kind of weird. Backstage afterwards, Cass is being interviewed by Charly “Chuck” Caruso and Enzo attacks! It must be noted that Cass is no longer showing off just one nipple with his shirts and I think that really cements his heel turn.
Sasha Banks & Bayley vs Nia Jax & Alexa Bliss
Bayley is taken out of this match right from the get go making it a 2 on 1 handicap match. Sasha takes a good deal of punishment from both Nia and Alexa who seem to be on the same page for a majority of the match. In the end though Sasha hits a pretty good looking knee into Alexa and then a swift kick to Nia’s knee to kick her out of the ring before she can help. She gets Alexa locked in the Banks Statement and picks up a big win over the champ. Oh no, she’s gonna lose again on the big stage.
Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley (but really just Sasha)
Kurt Angle is backstage having a seriously shady conversation. He is then interrupted by BRAUN who demands he get an opponent tonight. He also says Roman won’t make it to Great Balls of Fire and isn’t here tonight. Kurt says Roman will be there Sunday but concurs he isn’t here tonight. He also says he has nobody for BRAUN to fight, but he wants someone.
Cedric Alexander vs Noam Dar
This whole thing is a joke. It has to do with Alicia Fox again who comes out in her neck brace. She tries to distract Cedric Alexander and it backfired and Noam Dar lost. Afterwards Alicia ripped her neck brace off. I’m tired of this angle. I feel bad for all involved.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Miz is out with Maryse and his Miztourage, Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, on the Miz TV set but they don’t have a guest. They act like last week’s terrible segment was something worth while before they’re interrupted by Dean Ambrose for probably the 17th week. I love both of these guys and all the side players so it probably bothers me less than most, but it is very tedious. Dean says he wants his rematch tonight, but he’s interrupted by Heath Slater who says he deserves a title shot because he’s got kids, and he’s owed one. Miz says nobody is getting one, but he’s interrupted by Kurt Angle who sets up Dean Ambrose vs Miz at Great Balls of Fire! In addition Miz is going to fight Heath Slater right now, in his expensive suit. What a shame.
Intercontinental Title Match: The Miz (c) vs Heath Slater
Miz indeed does wrestle in his suit and predictably splits his pants so that’s pretty funny. Ambrose does commentary on this match and refers to Bo Dallas as “One Man Gang going to a cocktail party”. He certainly does look interesting. I love Bo though so WHO CARES. This is a pretty good match, and it’s really entertaining. Everyone loves Heath Slater because he’s an ultimate underdog. Nobody actually believes he has a chance to win, but with every near fall – we hope! I love how much Rhyno supports him. Dean also takes an opportunity on commentary to say that “Miztourage is a stupid name – almost as stupid as “Great Balls of Fire” who came up with that?” It was great. Heath almost pulls off a victory after a powerslam from the top rope, but Axel distracts the ref and when Rhyno comes over to get rid of him he and Bo take Rhyno out distracting Slater. That gives Miz a chance to hit the Skull Crushing Finale and get the win. Darn.
Winner: The Miz
Backstage Apollo Crews is met by Titus O’Neil who thinks HE should accept the challenge from BRAUN tonight. Apollo says he has a daughter to think about, look what BRAUN has been doing to people! Titus tells him he has to teach his little girl that he can fight monsters! Apollo agrees so I guess that is happening.
Goldust is in the ring talking about a film he is going to show tonight and saying how R Truth helped him because R Truth was so selfish. He must not know people don’t really use projectionists anymore because he tells him to roll it. The movie he shows is just a recap of when he beat up R Truth before they could have their match. It paints Goldust as the hero and R Truth as the villain with music. It’s ridiculous. When the film ends R Truth is standing behind Goldust eating popcorn and he attacks him right after. It’s a fine beat down, but this story line doesn’t seem to be building this crowd up.
Backstage Kurt Angle has Sheamus and Cesaro meet him and he says he’s making their match with the Hardyz at the show Sunday an Iron Man Match. They’re fine with it but they want a match tonight – or rather Cesaro wants one. He wants to fight Finn Balor and Angle gives him the match before he has to take another shady phone call.
Seth Rollins vs Curt Hawkins
Curt tries to cut a pre match promo but Seth gets him to shut up and immediately hits his knee finisher to get the win. After the match Seth cuts a promo on Bray Wyatt again saying that Bray is not a god. He says that Bray keeps talking about his vanity, but he should be worried about his wrath.
Winner: Seth Rollins
There’s a sit down with Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe where they’re both in the same arena but separated so we get a split screen. They both jaw at each other for a couple of minutes, and Brock keeps up pretty well. Joe wants to know why they’re talking and not fighting and before long he’s out of his seat searching the building for Brock Lesnar. He gets found by Kurt Angle first, but even he and Jamie Noble can’t stop him from figuring out which room Brock is in. They’re separated by security and referees though and Brock doesn’t seem to want to fight anyway. Instead he chooses to laugh.
This was a good segment that sold both guys looking strong I think. Neither seemed scared or wanted to back down. This could be a good show.
Neville vs Mustafa Ali
This is a great match that has two brutal spots. One when Mustafa Ali hits a wicked DDT on Neville and then soon after when Ali hits the barrier outside the ring. Both of these guys are so exciting to watch, and I think Neville is consistently one of my very favorite parts of watching this show. Ali puts up a great fight and really makes me want to see him as a main player one of these days, but Neville is just a sneaky evil king and manages to get a win with the Rings of Saturn. I’m looking forward to his match with Tozawa, but I am not looking forward to it being on the pre show. Give these cruisers a chance WWE.
Bray Wyatt is in the desert for some reason discussing giving fire to man. He also says that since he came to Raw less than a 100 days ago he has lost his friends and also lost a lot…I think. But he says whatever has happened is because of his own design. Then I’m sure he says something about he’ll beat Seth Rollins Sunday but it is hard to follow and hard to listen to if I’m being honest.
Finn Balor vs Cesaro
This is a super fun match made less fun only by The Hardy Boyz being on commentary. I don’t know who thought that was a good idea. Finn and Cesaro are both awesome wrestlers and I hope down the line they have an actual feud and we get to see more work out of them. Eventually the Drifter shows up so the Hardyz come down to even the score, and we wind up with Finn as a winner. He really is so over with the crowd too, it’s great.
Winner: Finn Balor
Braun Strowman vs Apollo Crews
BRAUN is in the ring waiting for his opponent, but before he came out an ambulance backed into the arena. He didn’t enter from it so I gotta assume we’ve got Roman in there. Titus enters and brings out Apollo and yes this is really happening. Apollo does manage to get a few good licks in, but when he goes for a standing moonsault BRAUN just KICKS him away. Yikes. He has control after that and fake pins Apollo a couple of times before dishing out more punishment. He finally gets the win, and then takes out Titus O’Neil for good measure. He puts Apollo into the ambulance and tries to get it to take him away, but when he goes to check on the driver he gets attacked by…that’s right – Roman Reigns. BRAUN gets some control, but Reigns isn’t done yet as they both knock each other into the screens at the top of the ramp. Roman takes control back though…kind of as he spears Strowman off the ramp to a conveniently placed table. Before the show ends though both men are up. BECAUSE BRAUN IS A MONSTER AMONG MEN.
Final Thoughts: I actually thought this was kind of a boring Raw. There were three solid matches throughout though so I appreciate that. Actually, maybe even 4 because I thought the women’s match in the beginning was pretty good too. It just didn’t feel like an eventful show building to Great Balls of Fire. I think Raw has been good recently though, and it wasn’t the worst so. I’d say just watch the good matches and back off. Maybe a hulu cut.
WATCH THIS MATCH: Finn Balor vs Cesaro: You should watch Heath vs Miz and Neville vs Ali too and the ladies match, but Finn vs Cesaro was definitely the highlight of the evening.
SKIP THIS MATCH: Noam Dar vs Cedric Alexander: Because we’ve all seen it before.
You can always find me at Hm_Pufnstuf. Happy 4th!