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Reverse Momentum Theory results for Great Balls of Fire

WWE.com

When it comes to predicting the winners and losers of pay-per-view (PPV) matches, there is a common belief that Reverse Momentum Theory will often play a large role in determining which wrestlers get their hands raised in victory.

This theory essentially says that the wrestler who doesn’t have momentum heading into the PPV will probably end up winning the PPV match. Alternatively, the wrestler who does have momentum heading into the PPV will probably end up losing the PPV match.

With that in mind, it’s time to find out how strongly WWE adhered to Reverse Momentum Theory in determining the winners at Great Balls of Fire.

In order to do this, I am going to use the live blogs and results pages here at Cageside Seats to determine which wrestlers had the momentum coming out of the go-home episodes of Raw and 205 Live. For more complicated cases such as group matches, the theory will only be tested on the winner of the match rather than every single participant.

First, here is a list of the quick results for all 9 matches. Was Reverse Momentum Theory upheld? The answer to that question is in bold:

  1. Neville vs. Akira Tozawa - NO
  2. Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt - YES
  3. Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass - YES
  4. Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Hardy Boyz - YES
  5. Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks - NO
  6. The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose - NO
  7. Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman - YES
  8. Heath Slater vs. Curt Hawkins - N/A
  9. Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe - N/A

Now here are the full details on each match:

Match #1: Neville vs. Akira Tozawa

Go-home Raw result:

Mustafa Ali vs. Neville
Neville wins by submission with the Rings of Saturn neck crank.

Go-home 205 Live result:

Neville def. Lince Dorado via submission with Rings of Saturn (while glaring at O’Neil)

Tozawa did not wrestle on the go-home shows. Neville stood tall on both Raw and 205 Live, and he went on to win his PPV match. As a result, Reverse Momentum Theory failed to hold.

Match #2: Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt

Go-home show result:

Curt Hawkins vs. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins wins by pinfall with the ripcord knee strike.

Bray is still in the desert, but now he's talking...He's everywhere, he claims, he's the wrath that consumes you, that which cannot be touched but can be felt by all. And this Sunday, Seth Rollins will look into the eyes of a god but he will not go blind. For the first time he will see, but it will burn.

Wyatt’s momentum wasn’t clear because he just rambled on from a desert. Seth had momentum after defeating Hawkins, and then Seth went on to lose the PPV match. Therefore I’ll judge this one as Reverse Momentum Theory holding up.

Match #3: Enzo Amore vs. Big Cass

Go-home Raw result:

Big Cass is shown watching backstage when an interview rolls up. He says he's never heard someone talk for so long without saying anything. Enzo thinks he can talk the talk, but he won't be walking the walk because he won't be able to walk. Enzo thinks he's the star, but Cass is where the money is, and if he thinks he can run his mouth--

ENZO JUMPS CASS FROM BEHIND! FIVE-TIME NWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION ADAM PEARCE AND REFEREES JUMP IN TO BREAK THEM UP!

Enzo kicked off Raw with a very lengthy promo, and then later on he ambushed Big Cass backstage. It wasn’t much of an attack, but Enzo appeared to have a slight advantage during the ensuing melee. Therefore I’m giving the momentum to Enzo, who went on to lose the PPV match. Reverse Momentum Theory is upheld.

Match #4: Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Hardy Boyz

Go-home show result:

Cesaro vs. Finn Balor

The Hardyz come down, we got a brawl! Finn back body drops Cesaro outside... TOPE CON GIRO! He gets distracted beating on the Drifter and Cesaro flapjacks him into the apron! Twist of Fate on Samson, Brogue Kick on Matt, splash on Sheamus, Cesaro with an uppercut, Balor hits the shotgun dropkick on the outside...

Finn Balor wins by pinfall with Coup de Grace.

The Hardy Boyz got involved in Cesaro’s eventual loss on Raw. Cesaro and Sheamus then triumphed over the Hardyz on PPV, and so Reverse Momentum Theory was supported.

Match #5: Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks

Go-home show result:

Alexa Bliss & Nia Jax vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks

Bayley & Sasha Banks win by submission with the Bank Statement crossface from Banks on Alexa Bliss.

This is one of those matches where some folks might argue that the theory should be tested on who walks out of the PPV with the belt rather than the win. For now I am strictly basing decisions on winners and losers on the PPV rather than retaining the belt.

In this case, Alexa tapped out to Sasha on Raw and then went on to lose to Sasha by count out on the PPV. As a result, Reverse Momentum Theory failed.

Match #6: The Miz vs. Dean Ambrose

Go-home Raw result:

Heath Slater vs. the Miz (c) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Miz wins by pinfall with the Skull-Crushing Finale, retaining the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Dean leaves commentary and beats the Miztourage down but Miz escapes Dirty Deeds and Axel catches him with a northern lariat! Back suplex neckbreaker lays him out and they stand tall. Miz gets in the ring and gets in Ambrose's face, telling him the title will always be his before handing him a Skull-Crushing Finale of his own.

Miz won his match on Raw and also laid out Dean Ambrose in the aftermath. Miz went on to pin Dean Ambrose on the PPV. Reverse Momentum Theory failed.

Match #7: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Go-home show results:

Apollo Crews vs. Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman wins by pinfall with a powerslam.

ROMAN IS HERE! BIG RIGHT HAND, SHOVING BRAUN INTO THE SIDE OF THE AMBULANCE, PUNCHES, STROWMAN THROWS HIM INTO THE DOORS AND THEN THE BARRICADE! Throwing him over the stage but Reigns meets him with a big slicing right and throws him into the LED screens!

Strowman dazed, stumbling... SPEAR OFF THE STAGE!

Strowman may have won his match on Raw, but then he was immediately attacked by Roman Reigns and speared off the stage. Therefore I’m giving the momentum to Roman Reigns, who went on to lose at the PPV. Reverse Momentum Theory is upheld.

Match #8: Heath Slater vs. Curt Hawkins

Go-home show results:

Curt Hawkins vs. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins wins by pinfall with the ripcord knee strike.

Heath Slater vs. the Miz (c) (WWE Intercontinental Championship)

Miz wins by pinfall with the Skull-Crushing Finale, retaining the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

Both wrestlers lost on Raw, and so neither one had momentum. I did say I would deal with complicated cases by testing the theory on the winner of the match. If I followed that strategy, then Reverse Momentum Theory would be upheld because Slater lost on Raw and then won on PPV. However, the same result would have occurred if Hawkins won the PPV match. In other words, as long as there was a winner for this match, it could be argued that Reverse Momentum Theory was upheld for the winner and failed for the loser. That doesn’t seem like a good situation for testing the theory.

With that issue in mind, combined with the knowledge that these guys weren’t in a feud with each other leading in to the PPV match, I’m throwing this match out from consideration.

Match #9: Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe

Go-home show results:

Samoa takes his mic off and gets up and heads through the back to find him! Referees try to talk sense into him but he's not having it! Adam Pearce and Jamie Noble try to run interference but Joe is done talking!

Angle meets him with security and Samoa tells him to remember his place. Joe finds the door Brock is behind and opens it but security pulls him off! He wants to go but can't quite break free

It isn’t clear which wrestler had momentum in the aftermath of their Raw segment. Both wrestlers talked trash to each other and then teased an altercation. There didn’t seem to be a clear momentum edge for either guy, so Reverse Momentum Theory does not apply.

_________________________________________

The final scoreboard for Great Balls of Fire is that Reverse Momentum Theory was upheld four times, failed thrice, and was not tested on two matches.

Overall, Reverse Momentum Theory has been upheld 12 times out of the 20 matches it has been tested on, which is a success rate of 60.0%.

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