Brock Lesnar defends the Universal Championship for the first time since WrestleMania against Samoa Joe, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman do battle in an Ambulance Match, and so much more. Goodness, gracious….
Kickoff Match: Neville (c) vs. Akira Tozawa (w/ Titus O’Neil)
Fantastic match. Neville controlled the offense in the beginning but Tozawa did a wonderful job making a comeback. I loved Tozawa’s rapid fire attack ending with the snap side suplex. There was a great false finish after Tozawa landed his senton dive from the top. Neville dumped Tozawa on the top rope leaving him straddling the rope in pain. Neville kicks the top rope for added insult. Tozawa, in obvious pain, tried getting to his feet but gets dropped after a quick spin kick from Neville. The Champion goes for a cover and gets a three count. Like I said it was a great match I’m just confused by the ending and how it ends with a spin kick.
WWE Great Balls of Fire
Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins
Really interesting to see Bray control the majority of this match from an offensive standpoint. Seth still got off most of his usual offensive maneuvers even hitting a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Wyatt begins to mock Rollins which ticks Seth off and begins wailing away on Wyatt. Bray kicks the surgically repaired knee of Rollins and goes to the outside. Seth continues to wail away as the referee tries to pull him off. Bray throws a haymaker that kind of catches Rollins in the eye and temporarily blinds him. Bray slides in and hits Sister Abigail for the win. Another odd finish to an otherwise decent match. Hey, at least Bray gets a PPV win. I expect a rematch tomorrow on Raw.
Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass
This match went pretty much exactly how everyone thought it was going to go. Enzo tried but was no match for the power of Big Cass who won the match with a Big Boot.
Sheamus and Cesaro (c) vs. Hardyz – 30 Minute Ironman Match for the Raw Tag Team Championship
As soon as the bell rang the Champions get a pin thanks to a distraction from Cesaro allowing Sheamus to hit a Brogue Kick. Jeff came in and got the crap beat out of him for ten minutes leading to a second fall from the Champs after an assisted White Noise. Jeff finally gets a tag to Matt when Sheamus went crashing into the ring post. Matt comes in hot allowing he and his brother to hit a Poetry in Motion, Side Effect, to Twist of Fate combo. This gives the Hardyz a pin so at the halfway point we have Sheamus and Cesaro up two falls to one. Sheamus and Cesaro score a pin via count-out at about the 13-minute mark after sending Matt crashing into the post on the outside. Sheamus and Cesaro are one well-oiled cohesive team it’s pretty remarkable to see. Sheamus and Cesaro continue to work until around the seven-minute mark Matt gets a blind tag to Jeff, backslides Cesaro, then Jeff traps the legs with a split for a pin. Lots of false finishes now, keeping the crowd hot. Matt scores a pin for his team at the three-minute mark with a Twist of Fate from the top, we are tied up! Cesaro broke up a pin after a double dive from the Hardyz. At the thirty-five second mark, Jeff hits a Swanton but Cesaro pins Jeff off the rebound! Cesaro, the genius that he is, books it around the ring draining time off the clock. Jeff hits a Twist of Fate at the six-second mark but by the time he gets the cover it’s too late. The buzzard sounds, Sheamus and Cesaro retain. The final 90 seconds of the match was great stuff. Amazing to see how well Sheamus and Cesaro work together. Let them hold the belts forever!
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks – Raw Women’s Championship
Alexa did the rubber arm double jointed thing and completely freaked Michael Cole out. The ladies were really laying their shots in hard. Alexa does a fantastic job working on the back of Sasha. Banks showed that she may be the best female striker in the game. The stiffness of these shots makes me think there may be some bad blood between these two. Bliss hits a wicked Code Red out of the corner for a two count. Bliss gets separation allowing her to go up for her twisting splash maneuver. Hard to tell if Sasha blocked it but off the rebound she locks in the Banks Statement. Bliss is able to get to the ropes much to the chagrin of Banks. The action spills outside and even though Banks makes it back in before the end of a ten count, it looks like Bliss is taking the cowardly way out. Sasha Banks wins via count out. However, the title does not change hands on a count-out so still Raw Women’s Champion is Alexa Bliss. The Champion walks off gloating and doesn’t see Sasha hot on her trail. Both women brawl to the announcer’s desk where Sasha hits Bliss with double knees coming off the table. Great match, again a screwy finish. I hope this leads to a Ladder Match or in a Steel Cage.
The Miz (c) (w/ Maryse and The Miztourage) vs. Dean Ambrose
Despite attacking The Miztourage early on they still acted as a distraction, in the beginning, allowing Miz to take control. The offense was pretty back and forth for the middle part of the match but Miz comes out with the upper hand targeting Ambrose’s knee. Figure Four from Miz for added injury even with Ambrose getting to the ropes. Miz gets too cocky with the “It Kicks” leaving a window open for Ambrose to take over. Maryse distracts the referee while The Miztourage tries to attack Ambrose. He fights them off but his knee is in bad shape. He counters a Skull Crushing Finale into a Dirty Deeds but Maryse puts Miz’s foot on the bottom rope when the referee wasn’t looking. Chaos ensues and Axel tries getting involved but gets dumped for his troubles. From the apron, Bo Dallas clocks Ambrose from behind when the referee again wasn’t looking. Miz hits Ambrose with a Skull Crushing Finale for the win.
Braun Strowman vs. Roman Reigns – Ambulance Match
Roman comes into the match with bad ribs which Braun takes full advantage of. This one gets ugly quick as Braun beats the hell out of Roman. Even when Roman gets some momentum for some offense Strowman just snuffs it out. Strowman is the first to attempt to get his opponent to the ambulance but Roman escapes and heads back into the ring. Somehow Roman is able to hit Braun with a Samoan Drop. From there Roman attacks the surgically repaired Elbow of Strowman with a chair. Reigns swing twice and Strowman just eats the chair shots before going back to beating Roman up this time up the ramp. Strowman takes apart the announcer’s desk and tried Powerbombing Reigns but Roman fights out. Both men strike back and forth till Strowman sends Roman into the side of the ambulance. Both men fight at the back of the ambulance. Roman tries to stuff Strowman into the ambulance but Braun fights off then attacks Roman with a backboard. Braun grabs Roman by the straps of his vest and heaves him onto the stage. Braun tries power slamming Roman but he falls off Braun’s shoulders and throws Braun into the stage screen. We are back to the floor area behind the ambulance where Roman clocks Braun with a light fixture. Roman goes for broke and tries to Spear Braun into the ambulance. Strowman ducks and Roman goes flying into the back. Strowman closes the door and wins the match!
Before Strowman could even celebrate Roman emerges from the back of the ambulance and spears Braun. Roman throws the door into Braun’s Skull about twenty times before dumping him into the back. Roman gets on the driver’s side and takes the ambulance backstage. Roman floors the gas pedal in reverse sending the ambulance crashing into the back of a truck. Roman exits to officials trying to get Braun out of the ambulance. In comes the fire department with the jaws of life to rescue Braun. They finally get the doors open and try to get a bloodied Braun Strowman on a stretcher but the freak monster that he is stumbles and walks off on his own power. Incredible stuff. Wow.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Samoa Joe – Universal Championship
The match hadn’t even begun when Joe pounced on Lesnar, throwing him to the outside, and tossing him into an announcer’s desk. Lesnar gets back in the ring and agrees to continue. The brawl is on. This is a fight. The crowd is hot. From here both men trade offense, Brock with suplexes and Joe continuing to try and lock on the Coquina Clutch. Just when Joe had Brock fading with a Coquina Clutch Brock reverses it into an F-5 and gets the win. This was ten minutes or so of two men just throwing fists and fighting like beasts.
Overall this was a decent show. None of the matches blew me away but a lot of the matches I thought might underdeliver turned out to be pretty entertaining. I’m interested in seeing what is next for Sasha/Alexa, Roman/Braun, and of course Brock Lesnar. What did you guys think of Great Balls of Fire?