With WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 over and done with, that means it’s time for another 3-Count review and Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast!
As always, click the video at the bottom of this post to check out the podcast breakdown of everything on the show, but before we get into that, I want to focus on three things that standout from my mind in regards to Great Balls of Fire 2017.
It’s rare that I enjoy an event as much as I enjoyed this one, as there weren’t many negative things for me to pinpoint, and even then, they were outshined by positives in virtually every single segment. To ride that wave of positivity, I figured this edition would just highlight what I consider to be the top three best moments of the evening.
Back to You
For some reason, it’s as if the producers of WWE programming snapped out of a coma tonight and realized that there are better ways to run even the more mundane aspects of presenting these shows.
For what feels like a solid decade or longer, there’s been this unspoken rule (or perhaps even a written rule, similar to their idea of banning words like “briefcase”) where every single interview either has to end with someone being attacked or with the interviewer staring blankly off past the camera as we fade to a commercial or cut to something else.
They ask their question, the wrestler cuts a promo, leaves, and the interviewer just stands there either smiling or looking like they’re longing for them to return. Sometimes, they get so dead in the eyes that it seems like they’re robots and now that they’ve asked their question, they can power down and freeze.
It’s insane, but they do it all the time, and tonight, Charly Caruso finished her interview by saying “back to you” and properly transitioning to the panel, which felt so much more natural and took no extra effort whatsoever.
Then, later on after the Ambulance Match took place, they specifically booked an impromptu match between Heath Slater and Curt Hawkins as filler—but it was done so in the style of a distraction to the backstage commotion.
Because that was the true focal point, the cameras were focused there instead of on the match, and Heath Slater scored a victory off camera. Some people may be upset with that, but to me, that points to some realism.
It’s crazy to think that 99 out of 100 times someone gets attacked backstage, the cameras just happen to be focused on them walking around for absolutely no reason. They aren’t doing anything but walking down a hallway and yet, we cut to them and follow them for a few seconds before UH OH, here comes Badass McGee! I didn’t see that coming but it’s a good thing that cameraman was there!
If you want this to come off more realistic, then you do have to do things every once in a while like have AJ Styles win the United States Championship at a house show instead of on television, or have a match conclude during a commercial break, or something of those sorts.
Reality is messy, and things don’t happen perfectly. The one time you get a hole-in-one, you might have been playing golf alone that day and nobody saw it to believe you. The big fish you caught could have swam away before you got your camera out to take a picture for proof. And for God’s sake, every other reporter in the history of television shows, whether it’s the news or a sports anchor or anything, will always end their segment in a way to inform the producers to cut to someone else, not just stare blankly into nothingness.
This attention to detail was amazing tonight and makes you wonder why they can’t do this more often.
How to Lose Without Being a Loser
Roman Reigns lost his match to Braun Strowman. Alexa Bliss lost her match to Sasha Banks. Samoa Joe lost his match to Brock Lesnar. Dean Ambrose lost his match to The Miz. This is just how it goes, as for somebody to win, somebody has to lose.
Tonight, though, we only had one instance where someone was a sacrificial lamb in order to put the other person over, which was Enzo Amore being squashed by Big Cass—exactly the one and only match that required one person to look dominant over the other.
Reigns lost his match on a technicality as he speared empty air into the ambulance, allowing Strowman to shut the doors and be victorious, but the brawl continued right after.
Alexa retained her championship, yet Sasha looks to be in contention for a rematch. This feud can continue without having to trade the belt back and forth.
To a lesser extent, The Miz retained over Dean Ambrose by interference, meaning the babyface could have gotten the job done if it weren’t for outside influence ruining his odds.
The main event was two behemoths attacking each other like Godzilla vs. King Kong, where you know neither one can look like a wimp just to make the other seem tougher, so WWE managed to have a balance where Joe looked like a wrecking ball while not belittling The Beast.
I Am Iron Man
Iron Man matches can be awesome or just frustrating. The most famous one in WWE history is the epic Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart bout from WrestleMania XII, which famously ended in a draw that had to go down to sudden death.
Since then, it seems like every Iron Man match has a lingering of a chance to end in a draw, which absolutely doesn’t need to be done and realistically, shouldn’t happen almost ever.
I’m sure there was a temptation to do this again here, seeing as how Cesaro and Sheamus have gone back and forth with The Hardy Boyz in some relatively even spats over the course of their feud, but I’m so thankful this had an actual finish to it instead.
Granted, I would have preferred The Hardy Boyz taking the titles, but I loved how this started with a pinfall taking place in the first 30 seconds. That set the tone for the whole thing, which wasn’t overrun with too high of a score for either side, yet also didn’t fall victim to being a boring 0-0 that comes down to a 1-0 in the last 10 seconds sort of scenario.
Again, realism can sometimes go a long way with me, so I like it when a Beat the Clock Challenge doesn’t have the final competitor beat the time or when #1 doesn’t go the distance or the returning star at #30 doesn’t win the Royal Rumble. The score of 4-3 was such a perfectly adequate number for this tag team match.