The Sound Of Sirens: McNEILL Previews WWE Great Balls of Fire (w/Wrestling History Lesson!)

WWE Raw hits and misses analysis
Braun Strowman (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist

Wake the pets & call the neighbors, it’s time for our exclusive WWE Network pseudo-pay-per-view projections!


DISCLAIMER: Projections are based on what the columnist would do if he were booking this event, instead of Paul “NXT Fanservice” Levesque, Runjin Singh, Ed Koskey and wacky WWE President For Life Vincent Kennedy Trump McMahon. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything’s made up and the points don’t matter. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s porch since noon today. Some of our departing contestants will receive a year’s supply of Starburst fruit chews. Available in five different varieties. Furnished by M&M Mars. For a transcript of today’s projections, please send $8 and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to McNeill’s Take, c/o Pro Wrestling Torch, P.O. Box 211654, St. Paul, MN 55121. Pat McNeill’s wardrobe provided by John Karl of Flo Toronto Limited. Remember, this is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. These predictions are based on what the columnist would do if he had creative control over WWE. Although to be honest, he has no complaints about the Brock Lesnar-Samoa Joe storyline.

Nerves shaken? Check. Brains rattled? Check. “Great Balls of Fire” is the sort of pay-per-view name you’d expect Verne Gagne to come up with, but the two main matches should have more than enough heat to break your will and give you a thrill. So here we are.

Before we preview tonight’s show, let’s get to this month’s edition of the Wrestling History Lesson, because that’s why many of you clicked here in the first place.

Twenty years ago, on June 7th, 1997, the World Wrestling Federation taped the July 12th episode of “Shotgun Saturday Night” in Edmonton, Alberta. That show had Owen Hart defending the WWF Intercontinental Title against Flash Funk. For some reason, you won’t find this one on WWE Network. Jim Ross and Jim Cornette had the call.

What was happening in World Wrestling Entertainment fifteen years ago? I’m glad you asked! On July 1, 2002, the World Wrestling Federation taped the July 7th episode of WWE Heat in Manchester, New Hampshire. Your opening match? Trish Stratus against the debuting Victoria Varon, with Jacqueline Moore as special referee. Jonathan Coachman & D’Lo Brown had the call.

Did you catch this week’s episode of WWE’s “205 Live”? No? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Here’s the last few minutes of thematch between Jack Gallagher and Tony Neese. Vic Joseph & Corey Graves have the call.

Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T. Huffman will be announcing the show, with several other announcers on standby. Renee Young, David Otunga & Slammin’ Sam Roberts will be doing the preshow, with Charly Caruso chilling in the Social Media Lounge. On with the program!

Adrian Neville vs. Akira Tozawa (w/ Titus Worldwide) – WWE Purple Ropes Cruiserweight Title: Titus O’Neil is a lot more valuable on “205 Live” than he is on WWE Raw. I’m waiting for Kurt Angle to make him the GM for 205 Live in time for WWE to write off the whole division. Projection? Neville wins with the Rings of Saturn after Titus’s attempt to interfere in the match backfires.

Mike Mizanin (w/ Maryse & The Miztourage) vs. Dean Ambrose (WWE Intercontinental Title): It didn’t seem likely, but Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel have added something to Miz’s act. Maybe Mr. McMahon is starting to rethink his opposition to factions. That could prove handy later on. Projection? Ambrose has the match won until Axel interferes, and the One Man Lunatic Fringe has the fight off the three heels by himself. Miz gets disqualified, but keeps the title.

Enzo Amore vs. Colin “Big Cass” Cassady: Enzo Amore has cut some fine promos over the past few weeks. Cass cut one strong promo, but has tapered off single then. Maybe the big New Yawker needs to be mad to show some fire. Projection? I’d love to tell you that Enzo perseveres, but that ain’t happening. Cass wins with the running big boot. Enzo refuses to be stretchered out and leaves the ring on his power.

Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt: Look, either get someone in creative to write better promos for Bray Wyatt, or see if you can’t find room for him in the Miztourage. His current material isn’t working. Projection? Rollins wins clean with the Oathbreaker (a much better name for the Rainmaker than whatever WWE came up with.)

The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. Matt Hardy & Jeff Hardy – (WWE World Tag Team Titles – Iron Man Match): This match is going to be good. It also ensures we won’t have any other long matches on the undercard. Projection? The match ends with both teams winning two falls each. Tie goes to the champions, meaning the feud MUST continue.

Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks (WWE Women’s Title): Nia Jax is closing on Alexa Bliss and the women’s title. Sasha Banks emerged from the gauntlet match as the top female fan favorite on the brand. But you’ve probably noticed something’s missing from our little show so far. Projection? Bliss dominates the match, but Banks catches her in the Bank Statement for the submission victory and the title. I have a feeling WWE would rather do Banks vs. Bliss than Bliss vs. Jax at the biggest party of the summer. Plus, we were low on babyfaces going over strong. And they can always let Alexa win the title back on Raw.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Ambulance Match): Roman got to be the avenging hero Monday night on Raw, and that worked out well. However, the crowd at Madison Sqaure Garden still booed the crap out of him. Projection? A lengthy walk and brawl and smash. Reigns gets the advantage and goes to open the ambulance door, where he finds several guys dressed as the Undertaker’s druids. The druids pull Reigns into the ambulance and shut the door. Braun Strowman is in the main event of SummerSlam, and the fans are happy.

Yes, we will eventually see the ambulance start rolling away. Yes, the rear door will open and Reigns will emerge, having beaten up a bunch of druids. Too little, too late. It also brings up the question of who set up Roman Reigns.

Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Comcast Universal Title): Who’s the good guy? Who’s the bad guy? Who cares? I think Brock is still technically the bayface, but a wrestling promotion booked by an insane septuagenarian so0metimes loses the pulse of its fiftysomething audience. Projection? After these two throw bombs at each other for several minutes, Lesnar hits the F5 for a hard-fought victory.

Aftermath: Lesnar vs. Strowman, Jinder vs. Cena and The Shield vs. The Miztourage are your featured bouts for SummerSlam. (No, I’m not kidding about that last one. Several weeks of “Can The Shield members trust each other?” sounds better than whatever else we’d get with a Roman Reigns match.) See you then.

Pat McNeill of Greenville, South Carolina has been a PWTorch Columnist since 2001. He’d take the Cleveland Indians to beat the Detroit Tigers in tonight’s big baseball game. You know, if gambling were legal.

1 Comment on The Sound Of Sirens: McNEILL Previews WWE Great Balls of Fire (w/Wrestling History Lesson!)

  1. Amazingly almost nobody sees Cena going to Summerslam to save America and get #17 [good on you Pat]. But it’s such an obvious Hulk Hogan style booking that even Vince can’t screw it up… or can he? Please make sure Vince never sees the CNN meme or we’re gonna have some idiot in a red CNN box wrestling somebody at Summerslam.

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