For all of smirks and remarks made upon the announcement of this PPV, the Great Balls of Fire event has been built as a worthy stop up on the road to SummerSlam. This Sunday’s event will mark the first time that the Universal title will be defended since WrestleMania. While one or two of these feuds are getting to be a bit long, the matches themselves have intriguing stories behind them. Wrestling News Pro has some thoughts and predictions on the upcoming show and you can read them right here.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Neville (c) vs. Akira Tozawa
I have been saying for months now that Neville is on another level as opposed to these other cruiserweight wrestlers. You can read my thoughts on Neville by clicking here. The champion has been so dominant since his title win at the Royal Rumble that you would have to imagine that his eventual title loss will be something special against someone that WWE plans to propel as the next big cruiserweight. I’m not getting that sense when watching Tozawa. I’m more intrigued by what is next for Neville rather than this match itself. Based on my thoughts here it should come as no great shock that I’m picking Neville to retain, again.
Tag Team Championship
30-Minute Iron Man Match
Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The Hardy Boyz
Lots of credit should be given to both teams in this feud. The fear for some following the epic return of the Hardy Boyz was that they would fade into tag-team obscurity much like the Dudley Boys. It is now July and they are still more than relevant. Their popularity could be on an even bigger uptick as it has been suggested that the broken gimmick may finally be coming to the WWE. While the internet wrestling community continues to cross their fingers on that broken gimmick, it appears as if Sheamus is going to be filming a movie soon so that will likely signal the end of his and Cesaro’s tag title run.
The Revival is waiting in the wings and this writer has predicted that a SummerSlam encounter with the Hardy Boyz is in the cards. All of this makes perfect sense so I’m going to roll with the Hardy Boyz winning the tag titles. It isn’t every day that there is an iron man tag team match but if anyone can handle it, Cesaro can! Lord help if they just bury Cesaro while Sheamus heads off to Hollywood. Do Not Waste This Talent WWE!
Winners: The Hardy Boyz
Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt
The curious yet predictable case of Bray Wyatt continues to roll on into Dallas this weekend as the eater of worlds takes on Seth Rollins. For this writer, this is a disappointing match on a couple of fronts. The first issue being the booking of Bray Wyatt. He talks a tough and cryptic game but fails to deliver in the biggest of moments. The other disappointment is Seth Rollins as far.
Some wrestlers can easily play both sides between hero and villain. Seth is a far better heel and his character has suffered for it as of late. This build-up to this match has been bland at best so the match itself will surprise folks. I have little to no faith in the writing team allowing Wyatt to get on a roll so I will pick Rollins in this one.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Little Miss Bliss will take her five feet of fury deep into the heart of Texas as she prepares to take on Sasha Banks. These two have had documented heat in the past so it will be interesting to see just how aggressive this match is. In their few encounters since Bliss came over to RAW, Banks has always looked to get in some hard shots. This match will be high quality and will yet again be a great test for Bliss as she continues to stack herself up against the best that the Women’s division has to offer.
This match serves as a pleasant surprise for Banks fans who might have gotten a tad nervous when she was hanging out with the cruiserweights on 205Live. If you read our ‘7 potential SummerSlam matches’, you’d notice that I pegged the RAW Women’s Championship to be on the line in a triple threat match between Bayley, Sasha, and Alexa Bliss.
Much like WrestleMania season, Nia Jax will be in or around the mix headed into SummerSlam but as far as GBOF is concerned, I think Alexa Bliss will retain here. She has been playing the sneaky heel role rather well so I will not be surprised to see her cheat her way to victory. Bliss is the real deal and has been holding her own on the flagship show.
Winner: Alexa Bliss
The Miz (c) vs. Dean Ambrose
Finally, the Miz has an entourage! Many have speculated if his new recruits could signify Maryse being written off of television. However that eventually turns out, Maryse will be in Dallas by her man’s side as he defends the Intercontinental title. Let me know if I’m off base here but I was under the impression that the superstar shake-up in April was to help get some new feuds going. The Miz and Ambrose may have changed brands but never changed their routine.
If I’m hoping anything here it is that this match will mark the end of their feud. With the Miz-tourage forming over the last few weeks, I would be surprised if they didn’t play a hand in a Miz victory. Ambrose, a lot like Seth Rollins, could really use a heel turn. It is long overdue.
Winner: The Miz
Big Cass vs. Enzo
Here comes one of the more lopsided matches you’ll see without a jobber. It was hard to not like Enzo’s passion during his promo on RAW but he has a serious uphill battle as far as staying relevant without his former partner in crime. Vince McMahon sees dollar signs when he sees athletes the size of Big Cass. For as good as Enzo’s promo was, Cass has been no slouch over the last couple of weeks. McMahon will not have a potential cash cow in cash drop his first single since splitting. The End.
Winner: Big Cass
Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
Fans may not have ever been as excited to hear an ambulance as they were when Strowman made his triumphant return to RAW. He wasted no time in letting Reigns know that he wasn’t finished with him. For as long as this feud has been it really hasn’t lost its luster, yet. As I said in my Summer Slam piece on the Universal title, this feud may need some rejuvenating soon. All signs point to the Universal title and I think that is where this feud is headed.
These two have basically had matches like this but minus the ambulance. They work well enough together though that fans are still excited to see it. Roman has already stamped his ticket to the main event of SummerSlam. All Braun needs to do to get involved is win this Sunday. The prediction here is that Braun wins at GBOF and proceeds to insert his name in the mix for the Universal title. SummerSlam is already heating up!
Winner: Braun Strowman
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Samoa Joe
Folks can mock Brock all the like about being a part-timer, myself included, but the Universal champion will most definitely be earning his pay this weekend. He is embarking on a severely physical match and not one of those two-minute matches that end with a jackhammer. Samoa Joe may not have been the opponent we thought would be opposing Brock but good lord has this build up has been fun! Win, lose, or draw here, Samoa Joe has shown his worth. I don’t think that is something that WWE officials are going to forget.
Unfortunately for Joe though I think he isn’t a part of the grand plan for SummerSlam. I would be less shocked if he wins here than I was when he won the six pack challenge. Brock Lesnar will hang on to win this one though in what will be the most physical Universal Championship match we have ever seen. The belt has only been in existence for a little under a year so I can get away with saying that. Sit back and enjoy this one folks, it is going to be a wild ride!
Winner: Brock Lesnar