Braun Strowman beat Roman Reigns in their ambulance match at Great Balls of Fire in Dallas Sunday night, but it was what happened after the match that got the wrestling world buzzing.
The match itself was fairly brutal, complete with chair shots and a trip through the LED board at the top of the ramp. As the two battled around the ambulance, Reigns tried to spear Strowman into the open ambulance, but Strowman darted out of the way, and slammed the doors behind Reigns as he flew in to win the match.
As Strowman celebrated, Reigns would re-emerge. He'd spear Strowman, and beat him around the area before tossing Strowman into the ambulance. Reigns would then climb into the front seat and drive backstage.
He drove into the parking lot, where he took a long look into the side mirror (a great visual) before throwing the ambulance in reverse and slamming the back of the ambulance into a parked truck, crushing the back. Reigns would walk off as a dismayed Kurt Angle arrived. After calling in EMTs to use the jaws of life to open up the ambulance, a bloodied and battered Strowman emerged. He refused medical attention, walking off under his own power.
There are several questions that stem from this. The first is simply where they go with these two for Summerslam. Reigns had proclaimed himself as the new No. 1 contender several weeks ago. He had very little justification for that at the time, other than he beat The Undertaker at Wrestlemania. He now has even less justification.
Since Wrestlemania, he has lost to Strowman twice on pay-per-views, and also lost the Fatal Fiveway at Extreme Rules. Clearly Strowman has a claim over him, but so does pretty much everyone else who hasn't been losing constantly in big matches. If he does get the match at Summerslam, they are going to have to do some major explaining on why he would get the match.
The second, and bigger, question is where does this leave Reigns as a character? Let's face it, he just attempted murder. He threw a fit over losing a match and tried to kill his opponent. Now, you can argue that this was simply retaliation for Strowman tipping over the ambulance back in April, and there's a point to be made for that.
But the way it was done was not in the way you would expect, even in retaliation. Add to the fact that Strowman somewhat heroically walked away at the end, refusing medical attention, and many people are wondering if this was a double-turn.
Many fans have wondered for years if Reigns would ever turn heel. He's already one of the most hated wrestlers, and yet WWE seemed insistent on keeping him as the top face. However, there have been cracks in that this year.
He's started to turn on the crowd, a major no-no as a face. As opposed to before where Reigns took their ire in stride, he's started to make comments towards the fans, taunting them, as they rained their boos down. He's openly bragged about sending one of the most beloved wrestlers ever, The Undertaker, into retirement. These are not things a face does.
And after Sunday night, those cracks in the face armour may have become a chasm. Then you have Strowman. Even back in the winter, while he was a monster he was also not doing much overly heelish. He was facing and beating bigger guys like The Big Show cleanly. He was simply a heel because he was big and scary looking. But he generally wasn't using heel tactics, especially not in-match.
There are many who have said that through his whole Strowman/Reigns feud, that Strowman has been the face. After Sunday night, they may be right.
The rest of Great Balls of Fire:
**To the surprise of few, Brock Lesnar retained his title against Samoa Joe on Sunday night. Joe looked good though. He attacked early, and even slammed Lesnar through an announce table. He had the Coquina Clutch locked on several times in the match, and at the end it seemed like he might even have it as Lesnar fell to a knee while in the Clutch. He was able to power out though, lifting Joe into the F5 and hitting it for the win.
**Sasha Banks beat Alexa Bliss, but it was via count out as Bliss took an opportunity as the two were fighting on the outside to end the match. After the match, Banks attacked Bliss as the latter was celebrating. They fought up the ramp, and over the to the announce table. Eventually Banks would toss Bliss off the table to the floor, and followed it up with the knees off the top This feud clearly isn't done.
**Sheamus and Cesaro retained the tag titles in the Iron Man match against the Hardys. Sheamus and Cesaro got an early lead, but that was chipped away by the Hardys throughout the match. The Hardys would eventually tie it up with 3 minutes left. However, with less than a minute left, Jeff Hardy would hit a Swanton Bomb on Sheamus. Unfortunately Cesaro was the legal man, and he was able to rollup Hardy for a pin, despite it looking like Jeff got his shoulders up on several occasions during the pin. So Sheamus and Cesaro won 4-3. This feud clearly isn't over.
**The Miz beat Dean Ambrose to retain the IC title after heavy interference from Maryse and the rest of the Miztourage.
**Big Cass beat Enzo in pretty decisive fashion after Enzo cut a great promo before the match.
**Bray Wyatt beat Seth Rollins after thumbing him in the eye and hitting the Sister Abigail.
**Neville beat Akira Tozawa on the preshow, but Tozawa was on offense for a good chunk of the match, and it was a good showcase for him.
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