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Great Balls of Fire 2017 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by WWE. It took place on July 9, 2017 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. It was the first event under the Great Balls of Fire chronology.

Background

Great Balls of Fire was featured professional wrestling matches that involved different wrestlers from pre-existing feuds, plots, and storylines that played out on WWE's primary television programs. Wrestlers portrayed villains or heroes as they followed a series of events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches.

At WrestleMania 33, Brock Lesnar defeated Goldberg to win the Universal Championship. The following night on Raw, Lesnar's advocate Paul Heyman teased a match between Lesnar and Roman Reigns, since Lesnar and Reigns were the only two people to have defeated The Undertaker at WrestleMania. Lesnar then went absent from Raw for several weeks due to his status as a part-timer wrestler. During this time, Reigns, Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, Finn Bálor, Bray Wyatt, and Samoa Joe each indicated their desire to challenge Lesnar for the Universal Championship. Due to Strowman being sidelined from an arm injury, General Manager Kurt Angle scheduled an extreme rules fatal five-way match at Extreme Rules between the other five, with the winner earning a title match at Great Balls of Fire. Joe won the match and confronted Lesnar's advocate Paul Heyman the following night on Raw, stating that he did not fear Lesnar and wanted to face him. Joe then applied the Coquina Clutch on Heyman to send a message to Lesnar, who returned the following week and got into a brawl with Joe, which was broken up by the Raw locker room. In sit-down interviews on the June 19 episode, both Lesnar and Joe expressed their confidence that they could beat the other. The following week, as Lesnar was making his entrance, Joe ambushed Lesnar from behind and applied the Coquina Clutch on him three times, nearly causing Lesnar to pass out. Joe stopped the third hold only after some other wrestlers pulled him off of Lesnar. On the final Raw before Great Balls of Fire, the two had a live split-screen interview. They taunted each other and Joe left to find where Lesnar was. He eventually found him, but was held back by security.

On the April 3 episode of Raw, Braun Strowman, who had been feuding with Roman Reigns since the Royal Rumble, interrupted Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and indicated his desire to face him for the title, but left before a fight could occur. Strowman then continued his feud with Reigns, defeated him at Payback, and assaulted him after the match and again on Raw Talk, when Reigns was about to be taken to a medical facility. However, Reigns retaliated by slamming an ambulance door against Strowman's arm multiple times. The next night on Raw, General Manager Kurt Angle informed the audience that both men were injured. The following week, Strowman, wearing his arm in a sling, indicated that he would target the Universal Champion after finishing off Reigns. Later that night, Reigns attacked Strowman during the latter's match, targeting his arm with a steel chair. Strowman required surgery and was expected to be inactive for up to six months. On the June 19 episode of Raw, Reigns challenged whoever would be the Universal Champion at SummerSlam. Later that night, Strowman returned in an ambulance, costing Reigns his match against Samoa Joe. Strowman attacked Reigns and challenged him to an ambulance match at Great Balls of Fire. The following week, Reigns accepted the challenge and an ambulance appeared at the stage; Reigns went to investigate, but Strowman attacked and put him into the ambulance. On the final Raw before Great Balls of Fire, Strowman attempted to put Apollo Crews, who he had just defeated, in an ambulance, but as he opened the door, Reigns was in the ambulance and attacked Strowman. The two brawled that ended with Reigns spearing Strowman off the stage and both crashed through a table and boxes.

At Extreme Rules, Alexa Bliss retained the Raw Women's Championship against Bayley. The following night on Raw, General Manager Kurt Angle scheduled Bliss to defend the title against Nia Jax, as Bliss had said that she would give Jax a shot after she was through with Bayley. Bliss won the match by disqualification after getting Mickie James and Dana Brooke, who were at ringside, to attack her. On the June 12 episode, Sasha Banks, Brooke, and James defeated Bliss, Jax, and the returning Emma after Bliss abandoned her partners. The following week, during a match between Jax and Banks, Emma again confronted Bliss, and a brawl broke out also involving Brooke, James, and Bayley, who came out to help Banks. Angle then scheduled a six-woman gauntlet match for the June 26 episode where the winner would face Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship at Great Balls of Fire. Jax dominated the match – eliminating Bayley, James, Brooke, and Emma – before being eliminated by Banks, who made her submit. Bliss then came out to confront her, but Banks attacked her and posed with the title belt. The following week, Banks and Bayley teamed up to face Bliss and Jax and won after Banks made Bliss submit to the Bank Statement.

On the May 15 episode of Raw, Seth Rollins was scheduled to face Bray Wyatt as part of the build up to their extreme rules fatal five-way match at Extreme Rules. Wyatt did not believe that Rollins would win the Extreme Rules match, nonetheless, defeat Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Rollins responded, called Wyatt gutless, and won their match by disqualification after Samoa Joe interfered. On the June 5 episode of Raw, Rollins wrestled Joe. During the match, Wyatt's music played and distracted Rollins, allowing Joe to win. The following week, Rollins confronted Wyatt, called him a coward, and wondered if the reason Wyatt cost him his match was due to Rollins previously calling him gutless. Wyatt, claiming himself to be a god, said that although Rollins slayed a king, he cannot slay a god. The next week, as Rollins introduced himself as the cover star of the WWE 2K18 video game, he was interrupted by Wyatt. Wyatt accused Rollins of contradicting the video game's tagline "Be Like No One" by having conformed to the expectations of the audience. Rollins then attacked Wyatt. On the June 26 episode, Wyatt challenged Rollins to a match at Great Balls of Fire, which Rollins accepted. The following week, Rollins said that he would show the world that Wyatt was not a god and merely a coward. Wyatt, in a barren desert, also cut a promo and said that everything that had been happening on Raw since he moved to the brand was because of him.

On the June 6 episode of 205 Live, Titus O'Neil attempted to get Akira Tozawa to join his stable of wrestlers, "The Titus Brand" (later called "Titus Worldwide"). On the June 12 episode of Raw, Titus advertised to Tozawa the benefits of associating with him by having him witness Apollo Crews, another Titus Brand wrestler and the one who recommended Tozawa, defeat Kalisto. Titus continued to try and recruit Tozawa the following night on 205 Live and the following week on Raw, after Tozawa defeated TJP. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Neville then complained about being disrespected by Tozawa. Titus responded that Tozawa could beat Neville and, with his help, would become Cruiserweight Champion. On the June 26 episode of Raw, Titus informed both Neville and Tozawa that he had negotiated a title match between the two at Great Balls of Fire. The following week on 205 Live, Titus hyped the Cruiserweight Championship match. Neville interrupted and said that Titus was only concerned with making money, and not the safety of his own clients, as demonstrated by the beat down Crews received from Braun Strowman on the previous night's episode of Raw. The Cruiserweight Championship match was moved to the pre-show.

On the May 22 episode of Raw, Enzo Amore was found unconscious backstage after being attacked from behind by an unknown assailant, and again the following week, where The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) became suspects. Raw commentator Corey Graves said that maybe Big Cass was behind the attack, but Cass said that he would never hurt Enzo. The following week, Cass was found backstage knocked out. Due to this, Enzo had to find another partner for a match against Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Big Show teamed with Enzo and the two were victorious. Later backstage, Cass confronted Show. The following week, Cass was again found unconscious, but still competed with Enzo against Gallows and Anderson in a losing effort. Gallows and Anderson tried to attack Enzo, but Show made the save and hugged Enzo while Cass watched. Enzo confronted Show, asking him if he had anything to do with Cass' attack, which Show took offense and walked away. On the June 19 episode of Raw, General Manager Kurt Angle held a meeting about the attacks on Enzo and Cass. Big Show was asked if he had any part of the attacks. He took offense and said that he would not compete on Raw again and left. Angle said that after talking to backstage officials, The Revival was cleared. Graves then showed video surveillance of Cass staging his own attack from the previous week. Cass admitted that he was indeed behind the attacks on Enzo. Cass said that he was tired of Enzo and that it was because of him that they had never won a tag team championship. Cass said that they were done before kicking Enzo in the head. The following week, Enzo wanted Cass to come to the ring to talk things over. After a heartfelt speech of their friendship, Cass said that he was ashamed of himself for what he did. The two embraced in the ring, but on the stage, Cass attacked Enzo. On the July 3 episode, Enzo said that he would fight back and the two brawled until Angle separated them and made a match between them at Great Balls of Fire.

At Extreme Rules, The Miz defeated Dean Ambrose to win his seventh Intercontinental Championship. The following night on Raw, Ambrose wanted a rematch, but Miz denied him. Later, Maryse threw Miz a celebration party which consisted of champagne, a bear mascot, and a huge red gift. Miz attacked the mascot because he thought it was Ambrose. Miz also thought that Ambrose was hiding in the gift and he knocked it over and proceeded to destroy it. Maryse said that it was a grandfather clock that he had always wanted, which caused Maryse to run to the back upset. Miz apologized to Maryse for destroying the clock and for accidentally knocking her off the apron the previous week. Maryse accepted the apology, but after Ambrose interrupted, the clock was accidentally broken again by Miz, and Maryse left the ring in tears. Following this, Ambrose was attacked by two men dressed in bear costumes who were revealed to be Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, who Miz had earlier invited to be part of his entourage. The following week on Raw, Ambrose teamed with Heath Slater and Rhyno in a losing effort against the Miz-tourage. The following week, Miz retained his title in a match against Slater. Ambrose was then granted his rematch for the Intercontinental Championship at Great Balls of Fire.

At Extreme Rules, Cesaro & Sheamus defeated The Hardy Boyz (Jeff and Matt Hardy) in a steel cage match to win the Raw Tag Team Championship. The Hardy Boyz invoked their championship rematch for the June 12 episode of Raw in a 2-out-of-3 falls match, which ended in a no contest after the deciding fall ended in a double-countout. The following week, The Hardy Boyz teamed with Finn Bálor and defeated the team of Cesaro, Sheamus, and Elias Samson. On the July 3 episode, General Manager Kurt Angle announced that The Hardy Boyz would face Cesaro and Sheamus in one final match for the titles in a 30-Minute Iron Man match at Great Balls of Fire. Also that episode, The Hardy Boyz joined on commentary for Bálor's match against Cesaro. Samson came out and tripped Bálor while Sheamus distracted the referee. The Hardys then came down to ringside to help and a brawl broke out between all six that ended with Bálor getting the win over Cesaro.

Match Preview

Neville vs. Akira TozawaPreview
Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa JoePreview
Roman Reigns vs. Braun StrowmanPreview
Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha BanksPreview
Seth Rollins vs. Bray WyattPreview
Enzo Amore vs. Big CassPreview
The Miz vs. Dean AmbrosePreview
Cesaro & Sheamus vs. The Hardy BoyzPreview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Ring announcer
Interviewers
Pre-show panel
Referees

Also See

DVD release

  • Amazon [ Great Balls of Fire 2017 on DVD]

External links

Great Balls of Fire 2017 previews

Brock Lesnar v Samoa JoeRoman Reigns v Braun StrowmanNeville v Akira TozawaAlexa Bliss v Sasha BanksSeth Rollins v Bray WyattEnzo Amore v Big CassThe Miz v Dean AmbroseCesaro & Sheamus v The Hardy Boyz

WWE Great Balls of Fire
2017
2017 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

NXT TakeOver: San AntonioRoyal RumbleElimination ChamberFastlaneNXT TakeOver: OrlandoWrestleManiaPaybackNXT TakeOver: ChicagoBacklashExtreme RulesMoney in the BankGreat Balls of FireBattlegroundNXT TakeOver: Brooklyn IIISummerSlamNo MercyHell in a CellTLC: Tables, Ladders, & ChairsNXT TakeOver: HoustonSurvivor SeriesRoadblock