Thursday, March 23, 2023

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Great Balls of Fire in Review: The Boss lights the Fire!

For weeks, we have laughed and poked fun at the WWE’s newest PPV title, but last night’s inaugural ‘Great Balls of Fire’ was a surprise shocker. Our gutsy Sasha Banks has stepped up to the plate to take on our cunning RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. So, what happened and where are we left now?

Ahead of the night’s showdown, we’re treated to a pre-match build up promo that showcases Sasha’s rise through the tumultuous RAW women’s division to certify herself at the #1 contender. Alexa is showcased as the sneaky and manipulative unexpected Champion, while Sasha is seen to be a fighter that wants to reclaim her position at the top of the division.

On the pre-show, Dana Brooke has joined the panel to discuss her thoughts on the women’s match. She talks about how Banks and Bliss have hated each other since their NXT days – one goes one way and one goes the other way. She calls it a problem of jealousy and competition… but is interrupted by Emma? She whispers over and tells her that they need to talk after her interview.

Alexa and Sasha have never really got to go one-on-one since Alexa’s makeover into a mega draw for the company, and the crowd is warm as they head into this match. It starts off with both competitors sizing each other up – Sasha trying to stay on the defence to watch for any of Alexa’s tricks, while Alexa tries to stop Sasha getting out the firing blocks with her usual speedy offence.

The first literal twist of the match is when Sasha twists Alexa’s arm and send her down to the mat. Alexa then reveals her disjointed arm that looks like it’s completely mangled… gross. Yes, I know we’ve seen this trick before, but the crowd still aww and gasp as Alexa screams in pain. However, this provides Alexa with her prime opportunity as Sasha’s guard comes down as she shows her concern for her opponent’s arm. Alexa hits her with a massive forearm and now “The Goddess” of WWE is in control.

After a bit of offence, Sasha now finds a chance to turn the match around when she manages to hit a Backstabber on Alexa, but she isn’t able to lock in the crossface submission which allows Alexa to roll out the ring. Alexa then tries to run for it, but again the wiley Alexa turns it into an opportunity to throw Sasha’s game out the window, because she is knocked off the apron and takes a tough fall to the outside, bumping off the apron on her way down.

So now, Miss Bliss is back in control of the match and her target is Sasha’s back. The ‘insult to injury’, backbreakers, a couple back submissions and stomps – all aimed at slowing down Sasha! When Alexa tries to cause more damage with a suplex, Sasha manages to reverse it and throw Alexa into the buckles feet first. So now, the plucky Boss has time to recover – she hits a run of offence, including a back body drop and running knee that gives her a near fall.

Alexa then stops Sasha’s run in its tracks by hitting a sunset powerbomb in the corner for another near fall. Alexa throws a little tantrum, but she’s ready to put her opponent away as she climbs to the top rope. She sets off for her Twisted Bliss, but is met by Sasha’s knees! Sasha takes advantage and locks in the Banks Statement! The crowd are super hyped as this could be the moment that Miss Bliss is finally stopped… but it’s not to be, as she manages to grab the bottom rope to break the hold!

Alexa slips outside the ring and tries to recuperate. Sasha tries to get her back in, but gets her face smashed into the apron and also ends up outside the ring. Alexa attempts to throw Sasha into the barricade, but Sasha counters it and it’s Alexa who ends up taking the damage. Sasha throws Alexa back into the ring, but Alexa slips right out the other side. Once again, Sasha tries to bring Alexa back into the ring, but is met with one final slap. The referee continues the count and reaches 10. The winner of the match via count-out is Sasha Banks, but the Champion remains Alexa Bliss!

Oh no, we’re not done yet! Sasha looks close to tears, but the tears turn to anger as she snatches Alexa as she tries to walk up the ramp. Sasha then throws her into the stage and the crowd at on their feet! However, Alexa manages to turn things around by smacking Sasha’s head into the announcers’ table. She then removes the board and sets Sasha up for what looks like a her signature DDT. Before she can do it, Sasha works her way out and knocks Alexa off the table and onto the floor below. Sasha then makes her final move, by launching herself off the table and flooring Alexa with her Meteora double knees!

She may not be walking out as the Champion, but the Banks VS Bliss feud is far from over!

Following the event, Sasha appeared on RAW Talk and she’s angry! She had Alexa beat, she’s proven once again that Alexa’s she’s a coward and still wants to show that she’s better. When asked about their problems, Sasha targets Alexa’s fakeness – claiming that she just claimed to love wrestling to get a ticket to Hollywood. She states that while not everyone needs to come from the Indies, everyone needs to respect the business, which Alexa doesn’t do. She demands a rematch and hopes that she’ll get an answer on RAW.

Thoughts: Damn, anyone got a mop because Sasha dropped that teapot on RAW Talk. Before I even get to that, let me just start by saying that Great Balls of Fire was a really nice surprise and has finally been a spark in the right direction for the RAW division… if they do it right.

So first things first is the match. I feel that fans across the world are split between Alexa’s ring abilities, but last night was a very good solid showing. She works well with Sasha, it makes for believable power offence, they have good agility sequences together and it was just fun to see the dynamic of Sasha trying to outsmart Alexa and Alexa trying to outsmart Sasha. It’s definitely a match-up that I would love to see again.

Now, whether we believe there’s legitimate beef between the two or not, we know that they needed to tap into something to get a storyline going. Sure we have had this “Indy VS Diva” feud happen in many programs across the years, but having this as an internal NXT feud that has been escalated to the main roster gives it a new feel – and it’s a feud that can extend across the roster. Homegrown NXT VS NXT Superstar, the people who have to work from scratch at NXT VS the ones who should have had it given to them on a plate. It’s a nice play on things and can finally light some fire under a good legitimate storyline (much better than Bayley falling in love).

Plus, I can’t be the only one that finds it exciting when two rumoured Superstars have to work a program together. 80% of the time, it brings out the best in each other’s work because the intensity reaches a whole new level. Can you imagine the promos that we could get? Tonight also showed that there’s a strong level of intensity between the two in this match, which only makes things more interested.

My thoughts overall is that I’m happy that this feud is continuing. I was quite pleased with the quality of the match and I know that these two can do more. I definitely thought that this was going to be a 2 week filler, but that post-match action shows that this isn’t done. Hopefully, they don’t just job out the rest of the division – no pun intended, but they have ignited the fire for this feud and we can see some really good stuff moving forward. Here’s to hoping they don’t make Sasha do a ‘This Is Your Life segment for Alexa.

Did you enjoy last night’s match? What are your thoughts on Sasha’s comments on RAW Talk? What are Emma and Dana up to? Comment below guys and girls!

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