WWE Great Balls of Fire Kickoff
Original Air Date: July 9, 2017
Event Date: July 9, 2017 (aired live)
Panel: Renee Young, Peter Rosenberg, David Otunga
Social Media Lounge: Charly Caruso
Commentary: Vic Joseph, Corey Graves
Ring Announcer: Jojo
Theme Song: “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis
Renee Young introduces the panel and Charly Caruso in the Social Media Lounge. Paul Heyman will be in the Lounge later, but for now Renee starts by discussing some of the matches featured tonight.
The history of the feud between Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns.
Renee Young is stressed out about the ambulance match. Rosenberg is looking forward to this, the rubber match. Rosenberg picks Reigns, Strowman picks Strowman.
Mike Rome welcomes Seth Rollins. Rollins gives Bray Wyatt credit for being clear about his idea that he is a god. Rollins doesn’t buy it though. Rollins also won’t be swayed by Wyatt’s mind games.
Rosenberg thinks Wyatt is very persuasive, and Otunga thinks that makes Wyatt dangerous.
Bray Wyatt says the time for talking is over. Tonight, Rollins will burn.
Otunga thinks Wyatt’s mind games give him an edge. Rosenberg wants no part of Wyatt. Both men pick Bray Wyatt to win.
The panel then move on to discuss the tag title match. Otunga thinks the stamina and training of Cesaro and Sheamus will give them an edge. Rosenberg points out that the Hardy Boyz are very comfortable with big matches. Otunga picks Cesaro and Sheamus, Rosenberg picks the Hardy Boyz.
Buildup for the RAW Women’s Title match.
Dana Brooke joins the panel to talk about the women’s match. Brooke says that Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss have hated each other since their time in NXT. Emma walks up and interrupts the panel. She wants to talk to Brooke. Right now. Brooke says she has to finish her time on the panel, so Emma walks away.
After Brooke excuses herself from the panel, they start to discuss the IC Title match. Rosenberg likes the “Miz-tourage,” but Otunga wonders if Ambrose has been deviously trying to drive a wedge between Miz and Maryse. Both Otunga and Rosenberg pick The Miz to retain the title.
Chronicling the breakup of Enzo Amore and Big Cass.
Otunga says you can’t fault Cass for wanting a singles career, but Rosenberg compares their breakup to the breakup of The Rockers. Both Rosenberg and Otunga pick Big Cass to win.
Social Media Lounge
Charly Caruso welcomes Paul Heyman to the lounge. Heyman refuses to sit because he doesn’t want to be taken by surprise by Samoa Joe and his sneak attacks. Heyman answers some questions from social media. He thinks the first question is a joke, just like Samoa Joe. But he does think Samoa Joe is Brock Lesnar’s most dangerous opponent.
Cruiserweight Title Match
Neville (Cruiserweight Champ) vs Akira Tozawa w/ Titus O’Neil
(referee: Darrick Moore)
Result: Neville wins via pinfall after crotching Tozawa on the top rope, kicking the rope, and hitting Tozawa with a low spin kick
Very good match and a great opener. Tozawa and Neville worked very well together and had me buying the possibility that Tozawa might actually win. The final segments and finish were well done. I was totally buying it, and the frustrating finish builds good interest in an inevitable rematch. I think this match helped elevate Tozawa.
Buildup for Samoa Joe vs Brock Lesnar.
This was a better than usual kickoff show. The match was very good, and there were a few backstage segments. It made the show worth watching rather than just having it on in the background while you wait for the real show to start.