Damien Barling: Strowman And Joe Shine On WWE PPV

Great Balls Of Fire Review (It’s like WWE said to themselves, “Ya know, our fans don’t take enough crap from people for supporting our company. Let’s name a PPV Great Ball of Fire).

Dallas crowds are always really good, tonight is no exception.

SETH ROLLINS VS BRAY WYATT
Really good opener with the right outcome. With Reigns, Strowman, and Joe all hovering in the title picture, there doesn’t seem to be a marquee spot available for either of these two right now. Rollins and Wyatt can tell a fantastic story and while this match lacked some of the high spots you’d expect from the two if they were in a more prominent position on the card, this match was great with Bray Wyatt winning after a poke to the eye and Sister Abigail.

ENZO VS BIG CASS
This started with long mic work from Enzo. He’s great. Vocally, he can spare with anyone. Sadly, as Bruce Prichard always says, then the bell rings. This was as bad as most people would’ve expected. The match shouldn’t have happened yet. The build was too short. The match itself had no build. Cass beat up Enzo. Cass kicked Enzo. Cass pinned Enzo. The announcers made it seem like this was the end of their story, which is probably a good thing.

SHEAMUS AND CASERO VS THE HARDY BOYZ (30 MINUTE IRON MAN MATCH FOR THE RAW TAG TEAM TITLES)
Sheamus hits the big boot 30 seconds in and gets the first fall. From there, falls were coming every few minutes. With just under 3 minutes The Hardyz scored a pinfall making it 3-3. I never understand why in Iron Man matches, they do so many falls. 7 falls in a 30 minute period is 1 every 4.2 minutes. These two teams wouldn’t have a 4 minute PPV match so why would they have 7? Matt Hardy was bleeding pretty badly from a big cut above his eye. The finish saw Jeff hit a Swanton Bomb on Sheamus, who wasn’t the legal man, then Cesaro comes in to pin Jeff. Pretty creative. New tag champs.

ALEXA BLISS VS SASHA BANKS (RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP)
Really good match with a cheap finish. Alexa got intentionally counted out to keep the title. Sasha chased Alexa up the ramp with a high spot that saw Sasha jump from the announce table down to the floor on to Alexa. It was clear, this program is not over. I have to imagine a cage match or a falls count anywhere match is likely.

DEAN AMBROSE VS THE MIZ (INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Another really good match that saw a lot of interference from Maryse and The Miztourage. It was essentially 4 on 1 so the result shouldn’t be surprising. Mix retains title.

I imagine the goofy finishes are now over…

ROMAN REIGNS VS BRAUN STROWMAN (AMBULANCE MATCH)
This was a fight that made Braun Strowman look tough as hell. The ambulance concept is always a bit clunky but it was a good way to get these guys in a match where neither one of them has to be pinned. With the brawl continuing near the ambulance Roman through Braun through one of the LED walls. The finish came when Roman attempted to spear Strowman and Braun stepped aside and tossed Reigns into the ambulance for the win. The crowd popped big for the win but it was short lived as Reigns left the ambulance, speared Strowman, threw him in the back of the ambulance and drove out of the arena. With Strowman in the back, Reigns drove the ambulance, in reverse, into a trailer. This brought another hug pop from the Dallas crowd. The match made Strowman look like a badass. The post match made Reigns look sadistic. Both wins!

For reasons, I assume to further the Strowman Reigns angle, Heath Slater and Curt Hawkins were sent to the ring to wrestle in front of a crowd that absolutely did not want to see them.

By the time the ambulance door was Jaws of Lifed, Braun crawls out, bloody as hell, refusing EMTs and, again, looking like a certified bad ass. Everything the WWE has done with the booking of Braun Strowman has been absolutely perfect. This felt like a double turn. I don’t know for sure that it is, but I know Braun is a babyface. He’s a HUGE babyface.

SOMOA JOE VS BROCK LESNER (WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP)
Joe jumped on Brock as Paul Heyman was doing the introduction. This match was fantastic. These two absolutely beat the crap out of each other. Brock wins with an F-5 and Joe doesn’t lose a thing. Even in a lose, this match got Joe over even bigger. I’d love to see him walk out on Monday and destroy The Miz for the IC title.

Joe, Brock, Reigns, and Strowman delivered huge on what was a really enjoyable WWE PPV.

More from Damien Barling
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