Brock Lesnar defends his WWE Universal Championship for the first time since defeating Goldberg to win it at Wrestlemania 33. This time, he faces a man who has had the better of him in the weeks leading up to their fight: Samoa Joe.
(Winner via pinfall: Bray Wyatt)
(Winner via pinfall: Big Cass)
Cesaro & Sheamus (C)
Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy (“The Hardy Boyz”)
30 Minute Iron Man Match for the WWE RAW Tag Team Championship
(Winners: Cesaro & Sheamus)
Alexa Bliss (C)
WWE RAW Women’s Championship
(Winner via count out: Sasha Banks)
The Miz (C) (with Maryse, Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas)
WWE Intercontinental Championship
(Winner via pinfall: The Miz)
(Winner: Braun Strowman)
Brock Lesnar (C) (with Paul Heyman)
WWE Universal Championship
(Winner via pinfall: Brock Lesnar)
Whilst this show has received a lot of praise from many people on social media, my initial feeling upon its completion was that it had teased a lot, but delivered very little. On paper, the card was stacked, but the ring quality was not great across the night, and the only real redeeming quality of Great Balls of Fire was the work it did in advancing storylines. It could be argued, for that reason, that this was a very typical old school WWE show, but in 2017 I’m looking for a little more action in the ring too.
There certainly was at least one good match on the show though, and that was the Hardy’s versus current champions Cesaro and Sheamus. As is usually the case in an Iron Man match, it all came down to the last few seconds. Pleasant surprise to see the heels take the win here, and hopefully Cesaro and Sheamus can now move on to another feud, although I struggle to think of who those new opponents could be.
The Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman match felt lacklustre, with the two men seemingly now too familiar with each other to be able to give us something fun and interesting to watch. Perhaps this is the kind of feud that should’ve been over after one or two matches to keep it special, but the truth is that this feud has now been running on and off for six or seven months now, and needs to end. The final angle, where Reigns destroyed the ambulance with Strowman inside it, was a fun finale though and the segments that followed were perhaps the best part of the whole show. Kurt Angle stole these scenes, and there was some nice camera work that felt a little different to what WWE normally do. I’m glad Braun was covered in blood, as it really added some legitimacy to the attack.
The main event was decent, if not spectacular. It was Brock Lesnar’s most competitive match in over a year, and for once he really felt engaged with his opponent and the feud. This rivalry has been intense, and Samoa Joe has been booked perfectly throughout, so there was a little part of me that thought they may go for a surprise Joe win, but I’m glad they didn’t. I do wish it had taken more to put Joe away, but the match itself felt like two proper heavyweights duking it out, and it was nice that we didn’t see finishers get spammed.
Match of the Night
Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy