In two weeks, either Roman Reigns or Braun Strowman is leaving the first-ever WWE Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view in the back of an ambulance. For Reigns, it may be a case of history repeating itself.
Moments after The Big Dog formally accepted Strowman’s challenge for an Ambulance Match, an actual ambulance pulled in next to the ramp, and the former WWE Champion immediately checked the back of the vehicle, clearly expecting The Monster Among Men to burst out and attack. He was on the right track: Strowman charged from behind, threw Reigns into the side of the ambulance, hurled him inside and closed the doors. And even though Michael Cole revealed that Reigns eventually escaped the ambulance, on this night, at least, locking him inside it was all too easy.
Paul Heyman claimed a couple weeks back that Samoa Joe wasn’t “man enough” to lock in his dreaded Coquina Clutch on Brock Lesnar in their Universal Title Match, but he might be changing his tune after what happened on Raw: The Beast and his advocate arrived to call out the No.1 contender, and Joe responded by attacking Brock from behind on the ramp and trapping The Conqueror in his near-ironclad hold.
Brock tried, unsuccessfully, to escape, and while referees and a small cadre of Superstars separated the two before Joe could put the Universal Champion to sleep, The Samoan Submission Machine did his damage: What goes down on July 9 at the first-ever WWE Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view is still anyone’s guess, but it’s fair to say that Joe's “victimization” is much less of a foregone conclusion than Heyman would like everyone to believe.
For weeks, the ladies of the Raw Women’s division have been fighting among themselves to get an opportunity at Alexa Bliss. And, in a historic Women’s Gauntlet Match to determine who will contend for the Raw Women’s Title at the WWE Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view, one woman finally rose above the pack to get such an opportunity: Sasha Banks.
The Boss had to go through the toughest possible opponent: No. 2 entrant Nia Jax, who started the bout by snuffing out Bayley’s (No. 1) attempt to get back in the Raw Women’s Title picture and followed up by dispatching Mickie James, Dana Brooke and Emma at Nos. 3, 4 and 5, respectively, before The Boss finally made her entrance at No. 6.
Despite a veritable onslaught by the powerful Jax, Banks slowly chipped away at her foe by simply refusing to stay down, finally finding daylight with a Shining Wizard and muscling Nia down with a modified Bank Statement that earned the submission victory. After Raw General Manager Kurt Angle arrived to congratulate Banks, Bliss hit the scene to mean-mug her, but The Boss got the last word by dropkicking the champ and snatching the Raw Women’s Title for a demoralizing game of keep-away.
Of course, complacency is not an option. One big fight is over, but another is two weeks away.
In other action … Finn Bálor & The Hardy Boyz def. Elias Samson & Raw Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Sheamus … Goldust attacked R-Truth … Intercontinental Champion The Miz & The Miztourage def. Dean Ambrose, Heath Slater & Rhyno … Big Cass attacked Enzo Amore again … Seth Rollins def. Curt Hawkins … and WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville def. Lince Dorado.