Great Balls of Fire was a really great pay-per-view, and Alasdair and Kyle are here to discuss it. We’re mostly focusing on the fire that is the (hopefully continuing) Brock and Joe feud, which we’re very ready to have include Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman as well. Could SummerSlam give us the beefiest fatal four-way of all time with those competitors? Please, tell us it’s possible. We also consider the latest iteration of Reigns’s ever curious characterization, and talk up the 30-minute iron man match between the Hardyz and Sheamus and Cesaro. Then Alasdair toasts his last week at the A.V. Club (but don’t worry, he’s not going anywhere as far as the podcast is concerned) by talking about how incredible AJ Styles is. You know, the way he always does.
We offer our preview of Sunday’s big pay-per-view Great Balls of Fire, which we’re just stupidly excited about. Damn near every match on the card looks super fun, as long as you don’t ask us to say much about Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt. (We still do, because we’re gluttons for punishment.) But mostly we look at the beefiest of all main events, as Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe look to pay off their white-hot build with a seriously badass match, while Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns run it back one more time in an Ambulance Match. Also, we realize there’s literally nobody left for Sheamus and Cesaro to feud with, unless you’re really into Heath Slater and Rhyno. Which we are, but still. Also, Alasdair marks for Emma, as he is wont to do.
Not going to lie: Money in the Bank was so brutal we just needed to take last week off. (Also, there was some wedding-related scheduling issues. But mostly that PPV was not very good, main event excepted.) Anyway, we get right back into the swing of things with a lot of Raw talk ahead of Great Balls of Fire, with some praise for Enzo, Samoa Joe, and the actual, honest-to-goodness meta-booking brilliance of Roman and Braun’s feud. Also, we try not to talk about the women’s Money in the Bank brouhaha, but then we totally talk about it for like 10 minutes. All that and a look at a brilliantly hard-hitting NXT episode, featuring a historic main event between Asuka and Nikki Cross and the return of your friend and mine Mauro Ranallo to the broadcast booth!
We look ahead to Money in the Bank and try to figure out what holding the briefcase means when Jinder Mahal is champion. These times remain exquisitely weird. A listener managed to leave us a comment through the WordPress site where we host these podcasts, which we didn’t even realize was possible, and Alasdair wastes some amazingly British turns of phrase by reading it in his coarse American accent. Plus we take some Twitter questions on what to do with Rusev, how to deal with so much wrestling content out there, and what new kinds of stories WWE could be looking to tell.
We look back on Extreme Rules and its dynamite main event, which mostly turns into a lengthy homage to the greatness of Samoa Joe. Also, it turns out most of the stories we’re most interested in on Raw weren’t even on the pay-per-view. What’s the future of the Titus Brand? Who is beating up Enzo, and why is it probably that dastardly faker Big Cass? Is the main event of WrestleMania big enough to contain R-Truth and Goldust? All that plus Alasdair and Kyle run down the longest-reigning IC champs of all time, for some reason!
Alasdair and Kyle check in with an Extreme Rules preview after a generally strong go-home show for Monday Night Raw. They consider why the two matches between the five competitors showcased all at their best, then turn their attention to the rest of the card. Sure, that business with Bayley and Alexa Bliss was pretty terrible, but most other things are ticking along nicely. Alasdair wonders whether Dean Ambrose and the Miz’s match can aspire to the same heights of “title changes on a DQ” nonsense as Randy Orton and Christian at Money in the Bank 2011, while Kyle recognizes the simple fun of Rich Swann and Sasha Banks hanging out. Plus we look at Tomasso Ciampa’s brutal heel promo on NXT, and Alasdair answers a reader question by putting together a super card of dream matches featuring all active (and retired but not permanently injured) wrestlers across all promotions!
Much to Kyle’s delight, we completely skip Raw this week and focus our attentions on NXT Takeover: Chicago, which was great, and Backlash, which was… hey, did you all see NXT Takeover: Chicago? We jump straight in with huge praise for all things UK Championship, with Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne putting on a damn match of the year candidate. We consider what kind of match would best showcase Shinsuke Nakamura, then look at the improving state of the tag division in this beautiful Breezango-driven world. But then we have to mourn the end of DIY, and a week later we’re still not really ready to face it. Oh, and Jinder Mahal is champion. Um. Yeah. So, you see NXT Takeover: Chicago?