WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Results: Braun Strowman, Biggest Winners and Losers
WWE Great Balls of Fire may have been one of the weirdest, most gimmicky pay-per-view names in company history, but there was nothing strange or nutty about the show the Raw brand produced Sunday night in Dallas.
An oftentimes violent, wild, chaotic and unforgettable show featured an Iron Man match, double-jointed champions, blood, attempted vehicular homicide and the establishment of wrestling’s baddest man.
Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman, two Superstars who overcame established heel roles, earned the adoration of the WWE Universe thanks to extraordinary performances that heightened their stars and enhanced their standing on the Raw roster.
Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks delivered an intensely competitive Women’s Championship match that ensured a rematch will be necessary, and thankfully so.
Even Bray Wyatt scored a rare pinfall victory, halting a monumental slide that began in April at WrestleMania.
The Miz and Dean Ambrose were not quite as lucky as those Superstars, though. Neither saw his star grow or legacy confirmed. Left for dead, their latest in a never-ending string of matches was sent to the ring after a red-hot title bout and greeted with apathy.
They were the night’s only losers.
Why did each Superstar earn the status they did? How might they shape WWE programming going forward?
Take a look for yourself.
(Hesitant) Winner: Bray Wyatt
There is no winner from Sunday’s pay-per-view more hesitantly labeled as such than Bray Wyatt.
Kicking off the show against Seth Rollins, Wyatt scored a rare and much-needed victory. The Reaper of Souls largely dominated the match, seemingly having an answer for everything The Kingslayer threw his way. It was an impressive victory, the likes of which the third-generation star is rarely afforded.
Perhaps that is why his “winner” status is as shaky as it is.
Booking trends over the course of his career suggest his heat will be extinguished on Raw or at SummerSlam, where he will lose a rematch, thus negating everything he accomplished Sunday night. If that happens, Wyatt is back where he left off. He is most certainly not a winner in that case.
For now, one can hope WWE Creative has recognized the error of its ways and understands the best way to rebuild Wyatt’s reputation is through convincing wins over name talent.
Booked on a par with Rollins, looking every bit his equal rather than a heel going through the motions ahead of the babyface comeback, he thrived and looked like a legitimate threat to any Superstar WWE could program him against.
It is time for management to allow Wyatt to generate the momentum that will benefit him exponentially.
But history tells us that is unlikely.
Winners: Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks
The Raw Women’s Championship match benefited from what felt very much like genuine dislike between No. 1 contender Sasha Banks and titleholder Alexa Bliss.
Every strike had a little more behind it, every move was executed with a little more gusto than it otherwise might have been. At points, the pain looked real and the disdain evident.
While both Banks and Dana Brooke would allude to the tension between the women in the locker room at different points in the night, the feelings of the competitors were secondary to the in-ring product, which was downright fantastic.
The psychology and the spot placement were spectacular, and while the finish may not have been the most satisfying—especially in the minds of those who believe decisive finishes…