WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Results: Highlights, Analysis, and Grades

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Credit: WWE.com

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
Neville (c) vs. Akira Tozawa

Result: Neville defeats Akira Tozawa via pinfall to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.

Rating: 3.0 out of 5 stars

It’s the first cruiserweight match of the post-Austin Aries era, who got released by the WWE on Friday. They have a top heel, Neville, but the babyface? Not quite.

Tozawa struggled early on, as he got motivated by the leader of Titus Worldwide, Titus O’Neil. This wasn’t a top-notch showing early on for his first PPV title match, but it got better as things progressed.

Tozawa had the crowd with him, though, getting behind him with the “Ah!” chants. They also somewhat supported his babyface comeback, which is a good sign. He probably wouldn’t get this if it came in the middle of Great Balls of Fire, after a match like Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman.

A win was inches away for Tozawa, who hit a senton from the top rope and a few impressive combinations. Neville rolled out of the ring, however, and took a cheap shot at his opponent and lost soon after.

Not a bad showing for Neville and Tozawa. A good appetizer for the three-hour PPV, which will see some big matches that have SummerSlam implications.

There’s no sign of Neville losing the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. Maybe Cedric Alexander wins the belt from him at a later date, but for now, there’s no one that can go head-to-head with the King of the Cruiserweights and be deemed believable.

Also, this was the PPV debut of Vic Joseph, who recently took over the 205 Live commentary duties from Tom Phillips. He’s a fresh voice, but sounds like your standard WWE announcer with the “Oh!” used to emphasize moves. Essentially, Joseph is a younger version of Michael Cole.