For such a strong card, the predictability of Great Balls of Fire outweighed the overall greatness of the PPV. Still, GBoF is the RAW brand’s strongest PPV effort since the brand split. And while the results may have been predictable, it seems like for the first time creative is paying attention to the long-term story lines. And I am amp’d about a lot of things coming out of GBoF:
- It’s nice to see Sasha doing “Sasha–things” again.
- The Lesnar/Joe match was GAS. Joe should have went over. I said it before the match and he proved it.
- I thought a 30-minute tag team ironman match was going to be boring as hell (boy was I wrong).
- Bray Wyatt got a W at a PPV (at Rollins expense though).
- The Cass squash was just what the feud needs.
- Everything about the ambulance match was MAJ.
The three biggest takeaways of the night are:
- Strap a rocket on Joe and push him to the moon.
- Stop wasting talent (looking at Rollins, Wyatt, where the fuck was Finn?, Miz, etc.).
- Its time for WWE to move away from “Dean Ambrose”.
The third point is not a mistake or typo, WWE needs to do something drastic with Ambrose. I am not advocating for him to be “future endeavored” but if they don’t seriously put him in a meaningful program, he will languish mid-card until he eventually becomes irrelevant. Let’s go back a few months to the shakeup.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but moving Miz and Ambrose to RAW was a huge mistake. Then being lazy and recycling their story line from SDLive was an even bigger mistake. What we are left with is a stale feud that is making a great title, that should be being used to elevate mid-card talent, more obsolete. I know I am not the only one who almost fell asleep during the Miz/Ambrose match. On a super-packed card that met exceedingly high expectations, this match stuck out like a middle school erection.
My biggest question is, where does Ambrose go now? His character is severely flawed: not nearly “lunatic” enough and not “edgy” enough. He is pretty much Austin adjace, and where Austin has frequently noted his character was himself just turned up to 11, it seems like Dean is working at a volume 3 or 4. The one aspect of last night’s match which I thought was poignant was when Dean went for his middle-rope-bounce-back-move and Bo and Curtis Axel, grabbed him. Seemingly it said to the entire universe, “this is a dumb move.”
All is not lost. I think there is a way to put Dean in a believable feud, downplay the “lunatic” aspect and let Dean get back to doing what he does best: work. Remember his matches in 2013 & 2014 with Bray Wyatt and Rollins? Those were good matches. I feel like the ones with Rollins were particularly exceptional because the Shield breakup was still RAW and the “lunatic” gimmick played.
I will be the first to admit that I have never been sold on Ambrose. I think his moveset is weak for what he is capable of; I think the nuances of his mic work are shoddy; and I think the gimmick doesn’t really work in the PG era. Great Balls of Fire last night proved that all of this is true, which is why WWE needs to move away from this current incarnation of Dean Ambrose.