WWE rolls into Dallas, Texas tonight for the first ever Great Balls Of Fire pay-per-view as the Raw roster look ready to end feuds, begin wars and settle differences.
The big fight of the night sees the highly anticipated clash of former NXT Champion Samoa Joe and current Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. All other Raw based Championships are also on the line as Alexa Bliss defends against Sasha Banks for the first time, former Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose challenges The Miz. Whilst The Hardyz take on Cesaro and Sheamus in a 30-minute Iron Man Match for the Raw Tag Team Championships and Neville puts his Cruiserweight Championship on the line against the newest Titus Brand member Akira Tozawa.
There are also three matches that will see winners gain bragging rights as The Kingslayer takes on The Self-Proclaimed God of WWE Bray Wyatt whilst former tag team partners collide with Enzo Amore and Big Cass going one-on-one for the very first time, and Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns will head into what could be a feud ending Ambulance match.
As ever The Brass Ring’s team are here to share all of their predictions ahead of the show, this week’s panel includes Chris Rossington, Victoria Hopwood, Emellio Savvas, Andy Arthurs, Steven Dimelow, Jake Waring, Phillipa Hopwood and Joe Steerment.
KickOff Match – Neville Vs. Akira Tozawa – WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Andy, Jake, Vickie – Neville
Thoughts by Vickie – Akira Tozawa has been impressive ever since he made his debut in WWE last year, but signing with the Titus Brand seems to have been one of the best decisions he made since he now has his first shot at the Cruiserweight Championship that Neville has held and successfully defended ever since The Royal Rumble back in January. With Austin Aries recent release, it seems that Neville could have a new challenger stepping up if he does get past Akira tonight. With all the challenges that Neville has faced and brushed aside in the past six months, I can easily see him passing Tozawa here.
Phillipa, Andy, Jake, Vickie, Chris – Big Cass
Emellio – Enzo Amore
Thoughts by Phillipa – This feud was one that was rumoured for months when fans figured out that it was Big Cass that was attacking Enzo before Corey Graves actually revealed it. Enzo Amore’s acting so far has been incredible, but how can the poor guys step into the ring with someone like Cass who is twice his size. Let’s be honest, Enzo is no Rey Mysterio and I can’t think of a single member of the WWE Universe who is backing him. Maybe a good idea would be for a backstage attack that could then lead to a longer build up and a rematch at SummerSlam could work since this feud does definitely feel slightly rushed. Either way, if this match happens, it’s hard to see past a Cass win.
Phillipa, Jake, Vickie, Chris – Bray Wyatt
Emellio – Seth Rollins
Thought by Jake – I’ll level with you; this match is a bit of a cooler for me. You know something is wrong when Phillipa gives away her beloved CrossFit Jesus. I’m a fan of both these men, and I think the problem has been the consistent weak booking of Bray. You can’t be a God when you hardly ever win a PPV. I expect good wrestling with mild enthusiasm from the crowd. Surely it’s time to build Bray into a believable bad guy, and Seth can afford to take a loss. Bray to win
Steven – Sasha Banks
Emellio, Phillipa, Andy, Jake, Vickie, Chris – Alexa Bliss
Thoughts by Emellio – Okay, so this match has me a little stumped. We all know Sasha Banks has what it takes to be a good Raw Women’s Champion, but is she really worth dethroning the “first ever Goddess of WWE?” Would it not have been Nia Jax who would have gained the spot of Number One Contender if she hadn’t of entered the gauntlet match first? Sasha only won because four other competitors had worn Nia down, leaving her with no chance against Sasha. I hope that Alexa wins this match, keep her the Goddess of WWE a little while longer, while Nia takes on Alexa for the Championship (which I feel she deserves)at SummerSlam. However, if Sasha happens to gain the win over Alexa, it would allow Nia to try for the title leaving Sasha hopeless; while Nia and Alexa still have their partnership intact, leaving it open for a long-awaited Women’s Tag Team match with Alexa and Nia versus Sasha and her best friend Bayley.
Phillipa, Jake, Vickie – Cesaro And Sheamus
Andy, Chris, Emellio – The Hardyz
Thoughts by Phillipa – The Hardyz have been on a fantastic run in WWE ever since they made their return back at WrestleMania 33 when they won the Tag Team Championships from The Club, but ever since then it has been all about Cesaro and Sheamus going up against Team Extreme. Cesaro and Sheamus have been impressive over the past few months and they have managed to win the titles as a team for the second time, but it seems that The Hardyz are still not ready to give up despite already being subjected to a two out of three falls match. Anything can happen in an Ironman Match, but hopefully, WWE doesn’t hot potato these Championships like the Women’s title last year and allow Cesaro and Sheamus to win so that The Hardys can “break” up and we can finally have Broken Matt Hardy in WWE.
Phillipa, Joe, Vickie, Jake, Chris, Emellio – Braun Strowman
Andy – Roman Reigns
Thoughts by Joe – My pick for this win is Braun Strowman. As for why? Two reasons. one being the line up of Brock Lesnar versus Strowman was delayed and because Vince McMahon can’t resist saving Reigns for WrestleMania next year to bore the hell out of the fans by botching another main event and also because I don’t want to root for Roman Reigns anymore for three simple reasons. I’m predicting Strowman overpowering Reigns up until the point Reigns builds up to his cliche “Superman” like comeback only to be squashed by an unclean win, possibly outside interference advancing Strowman one step closer to a pure power fight against Brock Lesnar for the Universal title.
Phillipa, Andy, Vickie, Jake, Chris, Emellio – The Miz
Thoughts by Vickie – Once again Dean Ambrose and The Miz will clash for the Intercontinental Championship in a rematch from Extreme Rules back in June. Heading into a match that the WWE Universe has now already seen an unacceptable amount of time, The Miz has a great deal of momentum, picking up a win against Heath Slater on the go-home episode of Raw and leaving Ambrose in a heap after a beat down from the MizEntourage to close the show with the MizEntourage and Maryse in his corner. You have to give The Miz the upperhand in this bout, but after his display on R, w it leaves the mind wondering if Slater and Rhyno will make an appearance at the first ever Great Balls of Fire event to even the odds for Ambrose. Personally, given recent rumours of Ambrose’s place in the company coming to an untimely end, my bets have to be on The Miz picking up another victory against the Lunatic Fringe and hopefully ending the feud.
Brock Lesnar Vs Samoa Joe – Universal Championship
Andy, Jake – Samoa Joe
Thoughts by Andy – Imagine seeing this as a marquee match in WWE in 2017. Samoa Joe versus Brock Lesnar is, and was the fans dream match for a large chunk of last year, putting The Beast versus The Samoan Submission Machine was unheard of. Unimaginable. Only possible on a video game. Expect this to be nothing more than an absolute slogfest. Hard-hitting action that really, everyone is split by. End of it all. When the dust is settled and everyone gets their breath back, I feel we are due a surprise and with Joe looking like a monster up against The Beast all through June? I feel we are having a new Universal Champion. Big Joe is walking out with a Beast’s head to add to his collection.