Raw Recap: July 3, 2017
S2017 episode 1258 Aired on July 3, 2017

Don’t let the tall odds (seven feet, to be exact) facing Enzo Amore this Sunday fool you: Smacktalker Skywalker still has enough force left in him to take his mic-saber to Big Cass in advance of their previously unimaginable confrontation at the first-ever WWE Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view. 

Muscles Marinara opened Raw with a passionate address to the fans who fuel him and words of warning for the partner who betrayed him — and then he went and backed that warning up. In fact, Enzo repaid the seven-footer’s sneak attacks with one of his own during Cass’ backstage interview, mauling his old partner and taking him down to the ground before WWE officials broke up the fight.

Samoa Joe has never been one for talking, so it was only a matter of time before a split-screen interview with Brock Lesnar led to The Samoan Submission Machine hunting the Universal Champion throughout the arena. The Beast Incarnate riled Joe up to the point of a frothing rage by laughing off the bona fides of his No. 1 contender, and it took a small army of WWE security to restrain Joe when he finally found Brock.

Of course, this Sunday at the first-ever WWE Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view event, there’ll be no such barricade to stop him, and The Beast Incarnate might not be laughing for long.

It’s not unusual for Braun Strowman to demand “competition” (Read: Human sacrifice) when he’s on a roll. And with Roman Reigns apparently absent from Raw due to a beating by The Monster Among Men last week, Strowman was certainly on a roll. What is unusual, however, is for a Superstar to volunteer his own protégé as Strowman’s foil.

Sensing opportunity, Titus O’Neil convinced Apollo Crews to step into the proverbial meat grinder against The Monster Among Men to set an example for his daughter. Despite a career performance, Crews was defeated by Strowman, who picked up even more steam ahead of his Ambulance Match against Reigns on Sunday at the first-ever WWE Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view event.

O’Neil himself was also pulverized after attempting to protect Crews, but when Strowman tried to send Crews out of the arena in an ambulance, Reigns emerged from the driver’s seat and brawled with his nemesis, eventually sending The Gift of Destruction plummeting off the stage with an earth-shaking Spear — an image that was rivaled only by the sight of Strowman rising from the ashes.

Reigns can count tonight’s battle as a hard-earned victory, but clearly, it’ll take much more to win the war.

In other action … Sasha Banks & Bayley def. Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax … Cedric Alexander def. Noam Dar … Intercontinental Champion The Miz def. Heath Slater … R-Truth attacked Goldust … Seth Rollins def. Curt Hawkins … WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville def. Mustafa Ali  … and Finn Bálor def. Raw Tag Team Champion Cesaro.

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