We publish a whole lot of content here at Cageside Seats. We’re also [looks around and whispers so the bosses can’t hear] not the only place producing wrestling content on the internet. So, as a service to you on the weekdays, we’ll be producing a wrestling newsletter, "Rude Awakening." Well, it will be a newsletter eventually: for now, it’ll just be part of your experience here at Cageside, collecting the news, recaps, and social moments from the greater wrestling universe daily so you won’t fall behind, with a newsletter format to come.
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Roman Reigns tried to murder Braun Strowman after their match at Great Balls of Fire. There isn’t really another way to describe what happened. Roman Reigns lost the Ambulance Match to Braun “I Watch Wrestling” Strowman when he dove right past him into the ambulance he was trying to avoid being thrown into. Reigns, still having plenty of hit points left because of the way he deked himself out en route to this L, hopped back out of the ambulance after and let his fists explain how furious he was with Braun.
Roman then loaded Braun up into the vehicle, got in the driver’s seat, sped off, and took a long, hard look in the mirror before deciding that yes, he was okay with making an attempt on Braun’s life to make this feud stop. Strowman has tried to seriously injure Roman outside of the ring on multiple occasions, but it was Reigns who upped the ante to this ridiculous degree. Roman tried to murder Braun Strowman via car crash, and because he’s Braun Strowman, it didn’t work.
Reigns has to be the heel now. Yes, Strowman has done plenty of terrible things to Roman before, but the idea was to make sure he wasn’t 100 percent for their next match-up. Roman lost to Braun, again, and rather than ask for yet another showdown, he took sore loser to an extreme where he was comfortable destroying Braun’s life.
That’s not to say Roman shouldn’t have done those things: this moment was incredible, and somehow managed to top all or almost all these two have done together in 2017. But Reigns is the heel now, and that idea got its exclamation point when Strowman emerged from the wreckage like a Stone Cold who had just been in a car crash instead of forced to pass out while bleeding by Bret Hart. This was a double turn, and RAW should move to emphasize that much on Monday’s episode.
Fans cheer Braun Strowman anyway, as he’s powerful, talented, and arguably the most aware that he’s on a wrestling show where certain rules and tropes apply. Reigns is most of those things, too, but he’s also been slowly descending from face to heel over the months. Reigns is a badass who does what he wants, and sometimes that makes him a face — other times, like, say, after he tries to murder a dude with an ambulance by driving it as fast as he can into a tractor trailer, it makes him a heel.
The only real question is whether WWE will further push this angle, or attempt to justify Roman’s actions somehow in a way that keeps him face. The latter would be a mistake, and that’s coming from someone who enjoyed Roman Reigns plenty before this ambulance thing.
- If you’re looking for full recaps of Great Balls of Fire, you’ve got your choice of Geno Mrosko’s or my own that published at SB Nation. Why choose, though, when you can read both?
- Brock Lesnar pinned Samoa Joe after the two destroyed each other as fast as they could — Lesnar’s F-5 that won the match was his last gasp, and it just happened to end Joe’s own last attempt at victory.
- Whether Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks actually dislike each other doesn’t matter, because the match they put on made it feel real, and that’s what counts.
- The Hardy Menz lost the Iron Man match against Sheamus and Cesaro, which likely signals both teams are moving on to something new.
- Big Cass ended Enzo in a hurry, and probably could have done so even faster. Will there be a next stage to this feud, or are the former best buds going to separate even further now?
- The Miz won thanks to interference from Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, and Maryse. Dean Ambrose is a little too easily distracted to be able to overcome this foursome, which is what happens when you are a wacky cartoon character.
- Here are all the highlights from Great Balls of Fire, including post-match fallout that wasn’t part of the live event itself.
- WWE 2K18 is coming to Nintendo Switch as well, so if you don’t own a PS4 or Xbox One or you just want to be able to play while someone else is using your television, you’re being catered to.
- Here’s the first of this week’s Social Slam columns, Great Balls of Fire edition.
- Bray Wyatt... won? Well, he cheated, and this feud looks like it’ll keep going.
- Neville retained his Cruiserweight Championship against Akira Tozawa with help from a shot to the beans.
- A boxer entered his match to the Undertaker’s theme, but things didn’t end up working out so well for him.
- There’s more to this week in wrestling than just #GreatBalls, as the Weekly Wrestling Viewing Guide can attest.
- Here’s Paste discussing Netflix’s GLOW with four wrestling fans.
- Squared Circle Sirens has info on another possible name entering the Mae Young Classic.
- We didn’t forget about Monday’s Rumor Roundup, which includes some pretty believable Austin Aries’ rumors.