We are winding down the road to Great Balls Of Fire and the name of the pay-per-view is still hilarious. Raw is in Los Angeles and the last time they played LA for the weekly Monday Night Wrestling Showcase The Rock called CM Punk from the middle of the ring after the show was off the air. So who knows what could happen when Raw’s in LA?
There are rumors Stone Cold Steve Austin might pop in and say some stuff on the microphone. He is a Los Angeles guy now after all. Since The Rock must be busy Stone Cold might have to do.
There’s a first-ever women’s gauntlet match scheduled to determine the #1 contender for the Raw Women’s Title, so that’s exciting too. They’re going to run out of “first-evers” eventually though. What’s next? The first-ever women’s casket match? Actually, I would watch that.
Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe are both in the building so there are sure to be fireworks in that confrontation. The Staples Center was packed and fans were ready to get into the action on the way to Great Balls Of Fire. It’s still a funny name.
Roman Reign’s music hit and all the women went wild. The Big Dog walked to his yard with a slow pace and the Money Night Raw set looked even larger than usual in the massive arena. As JoJo announced his name he just nodded his head as if to say, “yeah that’s me.”
Roman took the microphone and waited for a second while a “we want Strowman” chants started. “I’mma call it like it is,” he said “if you give me a minute you might like this” and the people booed even harder.
He said last week Samoa Joe put the Coquina Clutch on him and he went to sleep. The crowd cheered and he said, “I told you that you might like that.”
Roman started to hype the ambulance match and accepts his challenge even though it’s pretty much been a sure thing since last week. Roman said he was going to throw Braun in the ambulance, lock it, and drive it straight to Hell.
Just as Roman kept talking about how this is his yard an ambulance siren started to blare out and started to back into the back of the arena. Reigns went to investigate just like a Hardy Boy… the literary ones, not Matt and Jeff.
When Roman got to the ambulance he just stood there and looked at the door waiting for someone to be inside. He opened the door and it was empty. Suddenly Braun Stowman came in out of nowhere and ambushed him like a true heel. Strowman tossed WWE’s biggest babyface across the stage and kept up the assault.
Roman rent for a Superman Punch but Strowman caught him and threw off the stage against the side of the ambulance. Reigns hit the pavement hard and that looked like a sick bump. It was even better than when Rey Mysterio got treated like a lawn dart into an ambulance on WCW all those years ago.
Braun scooped Reigns up and tossed him inside the ambulance. Strowman closed the door behind him and as the ambulance pulled off with its Samoan cargo Braun Strowman stood victoriously and posed on the stage. It was odd they didn’t play Braun’s music, but it was still pretty awesome.
That was a nice ten-minute opening segment.
Elias Samson, Sheamus, and Cesaro vs Finn Balor and The Hardy Boyz
Cesaro, Sheamus, and Elias Samson were all introduced together sitting in the middle of the ring with a spotlight on them. Elias said he’s usually a solo act but he decided to form a trio and give LA the song they deserved.
Elias strummed the guitar for a few bars and the Hardy Boyz’ entrance interrupted them. We didn’t even get to hear Sheamus and Cesaro sing which was kind of a bummer.
Finn Balor came out in all of his Fonzie Balor glory and the LA crowd ate it up. The Hardy Boyz enjoyed it too.
This is a neat little way to cram two storylines together. Matt and Sheamus hit each other hard and Jeff tagged in to hit the Poetry In Motion. Cesaro came in to take a double suplex from the Hardys. Elias Samson thought about jumping in but he decided to retreat instead.
The heels were eventually able to take advantage of Jeff Hardy as Michael Cole introduced the guy from Transformers who was with him at the announce desk and he missed Jeff getting the upper hand.
Jeff tagged Matt and they took out their foe. The guy from Transformers actually started calling the match while the announce team kept asking him questions about his upcoming WWE Studios movie. Finn Balor was in the ring getting his ass beat this whole time but nobody called a bit of the action.
Elias Samson looks really good by the way. He has a look like he belongs in WWE among the top of the roster. Balor took a slam from Sheamus for a two count. Corey Graves asked the Transformers guy about his new USA show and didn’t call the babyfaces getting the advantage once again.
Michael Cole did try to call the inverted atomic drop and a two count on Sheamus. Jeff climbed up for a Swanton Bomb, but Cesaro pulled Sheamus out of the ring so Hardy just jumped on both of them on the outside.
Once they got inside Sheamus knocked Jeff Hardy out with a knee to the face but Jeff still kicked out at two. Once Elias Samson got the tag, The Drifter started laying the offense hard on the Charismatic Enigma.
Sheamus hit Jeff with a stiff looking backbreaker and tagged off to his tag team partner. Cesaro continued where The Celtic Hero left off as the crowd rallied for Jeff Hardy to make a tag.
Jeff started to crawl to the corner but Sheamus jumped in to stop him. Jeff hit a Twist Of Fate as a counter move and made the tag to Matt. “Delete” chants started to roll as he took the pain to Elias Samson to make him obsolete. Matt hit a Side Effect but the pin was broken up and Cesaro sent Matt into a steel ring post.
Cesaro and Sheamus hit Matt with their double-team move but Finn Balor broke up the pin. While the Transformers guy said he didn’t that that was legal, Booker T said it was “you got five seconds” he said. If anyone would know about the rules of tag team wrestling it’s Booker T.
Finn Balor eventually got the tag and hit a sick aerial move on Sheamus and Samson while he returned to the ring to hit Cesaro with a Sling Blade and a sick dropkick to the corner. As Matt hit a Twist Of Fate on Sheamus on the outside and Jeff took out Samson, Finn hit the Coup De Gras on Cesaro to win the match for the babyfaces.
Shattered Dreams Segment
Hey! It’s Goldust and he said “it’s showtime” but he was just quoting Beetlejuice. He said there’s someone magical and asked if we could feel it. He asked if we were on the edge of our seats and the anticipation makes him tingle. He hyped the Shattered Truth for later on in the show. It really is nice how they decided to do this Hollywood-esk with Goldy segment in LA.
Goldust vs R-Truth
It’s time for these two former tag team partners to finally do battle. Goldy came to the ring with his own private cameraman who was dressed in gold. What a gig.
R-Truth came to the ring and did rap his usual theme song. He looked intense and just walked right to the ring.
R-Truth and Goldy squared off and while R-Truth tried to get the golden cameraman out of the way, Goldust just jumped him. Goldust beat R-Truth down and the match didn’t even start. The ref ran off as Goldy just beat him down in the corner.
Goldust pulled R-Truth against the ring post supposedly hurting his ribs I guess. Goldust’s music hit and that was the end of that.
Paul Heyman was interviewed about Brock Lesnar. He said Brock will be in the building, he will walk to the ring, he will call out Samoa Joe and beat him down… suddenly you ask and you shall receive — Samoa Joe jumped in out of nowhere and wrapped his arms around Paul’s neck again.
But he didn’t latch on the Coquina Clutch, Joe let go and issued a threat to Brock Lesnar.
Kurt Angle was shown backstage spinning a bingo lotto ball thing and Bayley was there to draw her number for the Women’s Gauntlet Match that will headline the show.
Miz made his entrance alongside his wife but Maryse didn’t look too happy to be there. Miz said him and Maryse are happy now that he’s dealt with Dean Ambrose, she didn’t say anything so that’s probably a good sign.
Then Miz introduced LaVar and LaMelo Ball. These two guys ran down to the ring and acted happy to be there. Then he introduced Lonzo Ball and the Staples Center was happy to greet their new LA Laker.
Everyone sat in their directors’ chairs and Lonzo said he was happy to be in the Staple Center as a Laker for the first time. The crowd was happy about him being a Laker too. The LA Lakers play a game called basketball in the Staples Center. I’ve been told that’s the sport where people bounce the ball and toss it through a hoop instead of the one where they hit the ball with a stick and run around a diamond shape in the middle of a field.
Miz upset the Balls with some of his remarks and he said they’re in the ring with the Michael Jordan of WWE. LaVar was especially angry at Miz and it sounded like someone dropped the N-Bomb at one point. Miz took off his entrance robe and LeVar took off his shirt looking ready for a fight. It was awkward but thankfully put to a stop rather quickly as Dean Ambrose came out to interrupt them.
Dean told LaVar to keep doing his thing and he’s going into Great Balls Of Fire PPV and nobody’s got bigger balls than he does. Yup, someone finally went there and of course, it had to be Dean Ambrose.
Dean Ambrose, Heath Slater and Rhyno vs Miz and the Miztourage
This is our second six-man tag match of the night. If you count the fact the main event is also a multi-woman gauntlet match then to say this episode of Raw is heavy in tag matches is an understatement. It’s like they brought in Teddy Long as a guest writer this week.
Dean and Bo started it out but Miz soon got a tag but begged off when Ambrose went for him. Axel got the tag and Dean took control of Mr. Perfect’s son as he tagged in Heath Slater.
Rhyno got the tag in a fluid motion of tag exchanging and after a double-team move he applied some punishment to Axel for a bit. The Miztourage wasn’t effective, to say the least.
Miz got the tag and had to handle things himself as he took out The Manbeast. Bo got the tag once Rhyno had som damage given to him and started delivering some punishment. Then Curtis jumped in to join on the mudhole stomping fun.
Rhyno finally exploded out of the corner on Axel and crawled toward the corner to make the tag. Dean Ambrose jumped in and started taking Curtis Axel out. He bulldogged Axel while clotheslining Miz which was a neat move.
Ambrose tossed Bo out of the ring to join the rest of his buddies as the Miztourage were all taken down on the outside of the ring.
Curtis kept Heath Slater down the best he could. All of the Social Outcasts are in this match (except for Adam Rose), that’s kind of neat. Also, a former member of 3MB is now WWE Champion over on SmackDown.
It’s matches like this that make me wish I was watching SmackDown though. Speaking of SmackDown, Miz started doing some of his Daniel Bryan kicks that he calls his “Miz Kicks” now. Daniel Bryan might need those kicks back when he comes back to the ring.
Bo got the tag and kept beating down Heath Slater. WV’s Favorite Son draped himself over the bottom rope as Bo Dallas stood above him and kept hammering away at him. Axel got the tag to continue the assault on his former stable mate.
Dean Ambrose tried to rally the crowd as Slater hit a neckbreaker and started to crawl toward the ropes. Miz got the tag and leaped in to stop Slater from making the tag. Miz took Ambrose off the apron but Slater still got to Rhyno.
The Manbeast started taking out Bo Dallas and nearly got a three-count but it was broken up by Miz. Dean started to chase Miz around the ring and distracted the ref as Curtis Axel leaned in and caught Rhyno with a forearm to the face. Bo Dallas rolled up Rhyno for the win.
Big Cass And Enzo Segment
They played a video featuring the breakup of Enzo and Big Cass. How you doin’? Not so well if you’re Enzo Amore. But it could be worse, at least he didn’t get thrown through a Barber Shop window.
Enzo was shown backstage walking just fine. Michael Cole said Enzo was there live and he’s up next.
Enzo’s music hit and only one guy came out. As Enzo jumped out on the entrance ramp looking quite chipper all things considered we wondered what Big Cass’ new music is gonna sound like. He said he’s the realest guy in the room, how you doin’? He was still super over with the crowd.
He said he’s not doing too good, but he was gonna keep it real. He said it wasn’t about just him, it’s about the Realest Guys In The Room. He said he’s called Cass all week, texted, DMed and even got in touch with his mother but it’s been radio silence from the big man.
Enzo said him and Cass have to talk man-to-man right now and everyone just waited as Big Cass came out to the stage wearing just a black shirt while his old music played.
Big Cass and Enzo stood toe-to-toe and Cass was already getting some considerable heat. Enzo asked him Cass heard that reaction which encouraged people to boo louder. Enzo said he knows the boos hurt Cass because he knows him better than anyone else.
Enzo said they’re just words but they cut deep and he’s already bled out. Enzo said Cass said a lot of things and he was right about a lot of those things. Enzo admitted he’s not the biggest guy in the world but he might have the biggest mouth in the world. But it was okay because he had Cass.
Enzo said Big Cass was his brother and last week he nearly broke his heart and his face but he’s still his brother and that’s a bond he refused to let him break. Enzo said to forget WWE, he’s his brother in life.
Enzo said he was very proud when Big Cass hit the gas and Enzo was riding shotgun and that journey isn’t nearly over. It sounded like Enzo was trying to keep his meal ticket together.
The crowd started to cheer Enzo as he said Cass was his family and he refused to see him break that up before they become WWE Tag Team Champions. Big Cass took Enzo’s mic from him and said: “Enzo you just never know when to shut up man.”
Big Cass said he has never been so ashamed in his life after what he did last week. Big Cass said they’re brothers “so in front of the world I wanna say to my brother, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for everything I said I’m sorry for everything I did. I’m sorry for the past five weeks, please accept my apology.” Big Cass stretched out his hand as the crowd chanted “no.”
Enzo said “don’t break this bond bro” and hesitated. Then they shook hands and hugged. The hugged like true bros and Cass patted him on the back. They hugged some more and Big Cass said “if you thought that all of this was going to break up apart then there’s only one word to describe you! S-A-W-F-T!”
Then Big Cass and Enzo hugged again and celebrated as the crowd was so happy for them. They walked up the ramp and proclaimed their brotherhood once more and it was stronger than ever.
Suddenly Big Cass took Enzo’s head off with a clothesline and he started taunting the crowd. Big Cass press slammed Enzo and he bounced down the ramp the ringside. Then Cass walked away as WWE officials flocked to Enzo’s aide.
Big Cass walked up to Corey Graves while the announce team was hyping the next segment and told him he didn’t care what kind of dirt he had on Kurt Angle but he needed to stay out of his business. Apparently, Angle told Cass he couldn’t touch Graves and Big Cass wants a piece of the Savior Of Misbehavior.
Seth Rollins vs Curt Hawkins
Curt Hawkins asked the crowd who thought he was about to lose the match and everyone cheered, then he asked who thought he was going to win and nobody cheered. “Well, I guess we’re going to have to find out, huh?” then he put the mic down. That was an odd promo.
Hawkins started off quickly by taking Rollins down for a couple of pinfall attempts. He applied some pretty heavy pressure to The Architect and didn’t let up.
Rollins took Hawkins out of the ring and hit him with a suicide dive. Rollins his a Sling Blade and jumped off the middle rope for a blockbuster and then jumped back out of the ring and hit a springboard cross body on the Star Machine.
Seth kicked Hawkins in the jaw and then sized up his foe. He hit Hawkins with a knee to the face and got the quick win.
But it was still enough to get Bray Wyatt’s attention as the Eater Of Worlds appeared on the screen. Bray said just because mankind has forgiven Seth for his transgressions doesn’t mean he’s clean. He said he carried around a corporate flag and tells everyone to be like no one. Wyatt seemed to be undercutting WWE’s promotional campaign for the new video game — edgy.
Bray laughed as he delivered a nice promo about how Seth should feel honored because he’s about to be cleansed by the flame of a true god. “Be careful what you wish for” Bray said. Wyatt said he’s everywhere and on July 9th it will be the day when Seth needs to give in to his true self or he will burn.
Dana Brooke and Mickie James were backstage picking their numbers for the gauntlet match later on tonight. Neat!
Paul Heyman was shown waiting in a parking lot and suddenly a car pulls up and Brock Lesnar got out. The two started walking in the direction of the ring. It looked like the third hour of Raw was going to start with Brock and Joe.
Kurt Angle was shown with Sasha Banks later where he told her “three numbers left” and Sasha looked happy with her choice.
Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe
Paul Heyman was introduced while already in the ring. He talked up Brock Lesnar in the usual superb way and hyped his match against Samoa Joe at Great Balls Of Fire.
He said Samoa Joe doesn’t fear Brock Lesnar. Paul mentioned how Joe his Brock with a cheap shot and admitted he would start a fight in the same way although he would never do that because he’s just an advocate.
But the fact Samoa Joe hit Brock with a cheap shot just proved he was a “Samoan dumbass.” And “now’s the time to start fearing Brock Lesnar.”
Then Paul Heyman introduced Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate graced LA with his presence and even remembered to bring his Universal Title with him. Suddenly Samoa Joe jumped him from behind and immediately locked in the Coquina Clutch.
Brock drove Joe against the entrance set two times and nearly broke it apart but Joe kept his submission hold locked in. Lesnar’s face became purple and finally, The Revival and other members of the Raw locker room had to jump in and they did another pull-apart angle.
Lesnar laid on the entrance ramp and looked dazed. He not only looked dazed, but he looked might beatable. Things were getting very interesting in the story of The Beast Incarnate vs The Samoan Submission Machine.
Lince Dorado vs Neville
Akira Tozawa was at ringside in the “Titus Worldwide VIP Section” while sporting a suit and tie. Tozawa was also sporting sunglasses and a smug look on his face. He wanted a closer look at Neville.
Lince tried to get things going for himself, but Neville immediately started a ruthless assault on the masked superstar.
Akira looked on with a purple velvet rope in front of him, of course, it’s a purple rope. Neville took Dorado down to the mat and applied a firm headlock. Lince got back to his feet and caused some separation. He hit Neville with a loud chop but Neville returned with a stiff kick to the abdomen. Neville jumped out of the ring and Lince hit a dive to the outside.
Neville tried to grab Lince Dorado’s mask and used this distraction to his advantage. The Golden Lynx was soon in Neville’s Rings Of Saturn submission hold and the match was over.
Akira got in the ring to confront Neville when Titus’ music came on. O’Neil asked them why they were about to fight for free when he just booked a match for the Cruiserweight Championship at Great Balls Of Fire.
Titus said we’re about to find out very soon if the Neville Level has anything compared to the Power Of Tozawa.
Paul Heyman was backstage complaining about Samoa Joe and how he always takes cheap shots. He said Brock has his back up against the wall because Joe would jump him from behind otherwise.
Paul promised a brutal finish and Brock Lesnar will finally hit an F5 on Samoa Joe and retain his Universal Championship.
Nia Jax was walking backstage when Alexa Bliss jumped up and asked her what number she drew. Alexa said they’re a lot alike. Bliss seemed sheepish and sincere. She said he’s always been an outsider too, and even her mother thought she was going to fail.
Bliss told Jax it’s not easy being us, being judged. Alexa said, “you don’t need it, but good luck” then Nia said she doesn’t need it because she’s coming after Bliss’ title at Great Balls Of Fire.
Bayley vs Mickie James vs Emma vs Nia Jax vs Sasha Banks (Gauntlet Match For #1 Contendership of Raw Women’s Title)
Bayley came out first so it looked like she drew the unlucky number one in this match. That didn’t look good for The Hugger but could always mean she could stick around until the end. Then Nia Jax was introduced next and everyone lost hope in Bayley.
The bell rang on this main event of the evening and Nia slowly approached Bayley. The Hugger stomped on Nia’s foot and shot herself off the ropes and hit a clothesline on her, but Nia didn’t move.
Jax soon scooped Bayley up and planted her off the turnbuckle, hit a shoulder tackle, and then kicked her for good measure. Bayley was already hurt but Nia just started to pick her apart.
Nia stretched Bayley around the ropes and didn’t let up on Bayley. Jax kept working slow as she hit Bayley with some shoulder tackles in the turnbuckle.
Bayley tried to counter her and ended up jumping off the top rope and hit an elbow drop to the back of Nia’s head for a two count. Bayley showed some serious aggression as she mounted Nia and hit her with a few punches.
All of a sudden Nia Jax punted Bayley into the corner. Bayley countered with a kick to Nia’s legs and climbed to the top rope again. But Nia Jax knocked her off the top turnbuckle and Nia hit a Samoan Drop for the three count.
Well, that was easy and a very quick way to take out someone who was once thought as the “Female John Cena.”
Mickie James came down next to play with Nia Jax.
James tried, but she was no match for Nia’s power. Jax just latched on a bear hug and squeezed away at the ring veteran. Mickie tried to roll Nia up with a sunset flip pin, but Nia didn’t budge. Instead, she just pulled Mickie James up by the hair and didn’t seem amused.
Mickie hit Nia with a dropkick and started to try and wear her down. Mickie tried to toss Nia across the ring, but Jax didn’t go for it. Mickie hit Nia with a top rope pinning move but it only got a two count.
James hit a Mick Kick, but Nia stood standing. Jax picked up James and tossed her across the ring and then mowed her down. 1-2-3 and Mickie James as been eliminated.
Dana Brooke came down next and looked like she had this one figured out. Dana tried to hit a cartwheel splash on Nia, but Jax just pushed her off and sent her to the mat. Nia hit a splash and pinned Dana. Well, that was quick.
It was Emma’s turn to see what she could do with Nia Jax. Emma walked to the ring and as he peeled off her sunglasses it looked like she had a plan. Emma grabbed Nia before she entered the ring and jumped off the apron, then Emma hit a drop kick to Nia Jax. But it didn’t work. Nia grabbed Emma and hit a fallaway slam for the pinfall.
Sasha Banks… yup. It’s Sasha vs Nia again.
Sasha slapped Nia and asked her to bring it. Nia went running for Sasha but The Boss moved and Nia went out of the ring. Sasha hit a dive but Nia grabbed her. Sasha countered that and sent Nia into the ring post.
Banks leaped up to the ring apron and hit a double knee drop on Nia to the outside. At least she had more momentum than anyone else against Jax in this match so far.
Once they got back in the ring Nia tossed Banks out of the ring and she barely made it back in before the ref’s ten count. Banks hit the double knees again and shot herself off the ropes but met a clothesline from Nia Jax instead. That was impactful, to say the least. 1-2-kick out!
Nia tossed Banks out of the ring again and told the ref to start counting because that’s how babyfaces are supposed to win. Well, Nia isn’t a babyface now but she would be if she faced Alexa Bliss. Wrestling can be confusing.
Banks got back int he ring and Nia Jax kept picking her apart. She kicked Banks around and then picked her up to deliver a brutal slam followed by an elbow. “Million dollar smile on a wrecking ball” Corey Graves commented referring to the grin on Nia’s face.
Jax tossed Sasha back out of the ring and she landed hard after doing a somersault in midair. Sasha didn’t let go though and got back in the ring. Nia tackled her and stalked her prey some more.
Nia wrapped Sasha around the bottom rope and stretched on her while the ref counted to four. Nia got another two count which only pissed her off even more. Banks was hurt but not quitting. Nia hit a devastating move on Sasha’s injured leg and pulled her up by the hair.
Nia tossed Sasha out of the ring again and let the ref try for another ten-count. Banks got back in the ring and Nia immediately locked in a bear hug. Banks tried to counter with a headlock but Nia turned it into a suplex and hit it with a lot of strength. 1-2-kick out!
Sasha was in a world of pain but she wouldn’t give up. Nia tried for another suplex but Sasha tried to block her. She rolled around the suplex and tried to roll her up for a pin but it didn’t work although she did bring the big woman down. Sasha hit a sliding knee strike to Jax’s face and the two were down at the same time.
Sasha locked in a standing Banks Statement but Nia powered out of it. Then Jax his a powerful Samoan Drop on Sasha but Banks rolled to the apron to avoid a pin.
Jax grabbed Sasha by the hair and shook her like a ragdoll. Jax put Sasha back up for another Samoan Drop but Sasha held on and tried for another Banks Statement. Sasha kept handing on and locked in the move. Nia Jax started to safe as Sasha pulled on her. The ref checked on Nia and she suddenly tapped out. Well, that’s one way to make someone look like a dominate monster and then at the last minute go: “yeah, nevermind.”
Kurt Angle’s music hit and The Olympic Hero walked out to a chorus of people chanting “you suck” to his music.
Sasha Banks was in the middle of the ring and he held up her hand in victory to close out the show but not before Alexa Bliss came down to the ring.
Little Miss Bliss stood toe-to-toe with Sasha Banks and was immediately put down by The Boss. Sasha held up the Raw Women’s Championship as Bliss looked hurt and offended at ringside.