2017 pay-per-view is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday night and it appears as though the card has been finalized outside of any last-minute additions, which means it’s time for another look at the superstars on the Raw roster who have been skipped over.
For whatever reason, these men and women from the red brand weren’t deemed important enough to find a spot for at the event—at least as far as it’s currently being advertised. Some of those omissions might be justified, while others below are a bit more questionable. Let’s take a look at who will be sitting this show out.
Goldust / R-Truth
The card is pretty stacked at the moment with the announcement of the 30-minute Iron Man match for the Raw Tag Team Championship, but it’s kind of astounding how WWE hasn’t factored Goldust vs. R-Truth into the equation.
These two have been feuding for what feels like three months or so and all that has come out of it was one awful beat down and a follow-up momentary ambush.
If we’re supposed to get invested in it, they’re going to have to do so much more to convince the WWE Universe that this will be worth being interested in seeing continue. Right now, the lack of attention given to it for the pay-per-view makes it a “TV only feud” that fans will skip past as being not important enough to justify putting on Great Balls of Fire. Once the audience realizes the creative team doesn’t value the feud, they’ll have no reason to do so, either.
Finn Balor / Elias Samson
It’s odd how little WWE has wanted to get behind Finn Balor since his return from injury. Sure, we all can tell they want him to be a big star, but he’s not yet had a single feud that has really been more than a sideline project.
Right now, he’s somewhat feuding with Elias Samson, yet they’re part of the crew who are being ignored for this event. Unless they’re added to the pre-show or something happens where they become a buffer match between two more important ones, this appears to also be a TV-only feud similar to Goldust and R-Truth, which does no favors to either man.
From the Women’s Division
It’s strange to think that Paige has shown up for more non-WWE wrestling shows since her suspension and injury than she has for WWE programming. We’ve seen her ringside at Slammiversary, yet the last time she was on Raw was over a year ago.
It’s been a long time since Summer Rae popped up, too, despite being cleared to return to in-ring competition. Nobody seems to have a clue what’s going on with that, either. Meanwhile, Alicia Fox has been doing her Facetime phone call gimmick with Noam Dar, supposedly recovering from a neck injury, before returning this week on Raw.
Judging by her performance during the gauntlet match, Dana Brooke’s absence is no shocker. With Bayley, Emma and Mickie James, though, they were much more in the running to be considered for this event.
By far, though, Nia Jax is the one that seems to be overlooked at the moment, but this may not be a bad thing. Rumors suggest she’ll be getting her shot at Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam, so skipping Great Balls of Fire to get a title opportunity at the bigger event is a nice trade-off.
From the Tag Team Division
Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews may make an appearance ringside in support of Akira Tozawa, but they aren’t currently scheduled for an official spot on the card as far as a match is concerned.
The same goes for The Miztourage of Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, who are even more likely to be in their ally’s corner as they help The Miz retain his title against Dean Ambrose. There’s a slight chance Heath Slater and Rhyno also come out during the Intercontinental Championship match to offset Dallas and Axel, as they’ve been intertwined with this feud for the past few weeks.
Completely absent from every portion of the build to Great Balls of Fire have been The Revival and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Both of those tag teams are clearly in the void of “creative has nothing for you right now.” Here’s hoping one of them is able to get a title match at SummerSlam against The Hardy Boyz if new tag team champions are crowned.
From the Cruiserweight Division
It’s standard operating procedure for there to only be one cruiserweight division match on any given Raw pay-per-view unless the roster is running thin on feuds for the pre-show wherein another gets thrown into the kickoff spot.
Of course, since Neville will be defending the Cruiserweight Championship against Akira Tozawa, that leaves the following people out of the running for that coveted single spot: Ariya Daivari, Austin Aries, Brian Kendrick, Cedric Alexander, Drew Gulak, Gran Metalik, Gentleman Jack Gallagher, Lince Dorado, Mustafa Ali, Noam Dar, Rich Swann, TJP and Tony Nese.
New feuds are formulating right now on 205 Live, so who knows which two (or more) of these men will be paired up to get on the card for SummerSlam? My money is on Cedric Alexander getting a shot against Neville, but time will tell.
On top of the names above, there are still four other singles wrestlers on the roster who are doing absolutely nothing at the moment.
Mark Henry has been absent for so long and for such long stretches of time that he may not even be considered a part-timer anymore, whereas Big Show has popped up a handful of times lately, despite not having a feud of his own at the moment.
There’s nothing for Kalisto to sink his teeth in, either, now that the story between he and Apollo Crews appears to be finished or such a low priority that it doesn’t get air time.
Then there’s Darren Young, who seems ready to compete, but may not fully be cleared to return to in-ring action. If he is, WWE clearly has nothing for him to do right now, which means either they’re waiting on a future plan to come into effect or they still need to brainstorm how to bring him back on television.
Do you think these men and women or any others not on this list should have been booked on the card in some fashion? How would you have utilized them if given the opportunity? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!