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Years since last time Capitals reached Stanley Cup Finals

Heel Turns: Fire didn’t sizzle

Posted by Achilles Heel On July 16

Achilles HeelWWE’s “Great Balls of Fire” didn’t reach the heights that the Greek God of Wrestling had hoped it would, but it was still a very good show.

The highlight of the show was the ambulance match between Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns. This match was terrific. Fans were chanting “This is awesome!” during this extremely physical match. What everyone will remember, though, is the aftermath.

After losing the match, Reigns put Strowman in the back of the ambulance, drove into the garage area and then put the ambulance in reverse, slamming into one of those giant trailers used for transporting things from city to city. The reaction of Raw general manager Kurt Angle and agent Jamie Noble, the arrival of the paramedics and Strowman’s bloody, stumbling emergence from the truck added to the drama. Having Curt Hawkins and Heath Slater “rush” to the ring for a supposedly unplanned match while the Strowman situation unfolded backstage was a nice touch to add realism to the events

There was plenty of drama in the main event as well, but the match didn’t last very long. Samoa Joe attacked WWE Universal champion Brock Lesnar before the bell, putting him through a table. The fans were at a fever pitch, but the match didn’t even last 10 minutes. Lesnar won with an F-5 after escaping the Kokina clutch. The match was intense and hard-hitting, but it should have lasted a little longer.

The Raw tag team title match lasted 30 minutes because it was an ironman match. Sheamus and Cesaro barely edged Matt and Jeff Hardy to retain the titles in an entertaining match. Sasha Banks and Alex Bliss put together an excellent match, but having Banks win when Bliss intentionally was counted out detracted from the match – even with Banks’ attack afterward.

The Miz retained the Intercontinental Championship against Dean Ambrose, with plenty of help from Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel, in a fun match. Big Cass crushed Enzo Amore. The opening match between Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt was symbolic of Great Balls of Fire. There was nothing wrong with the match, but it felt as if it should have been better. Neville defeated Akira Tozawa to retain the Cruiserweight Championship during the preshow.

*****

PHILLY IS A BATTLEGROUND: WWE bring Battleground to Wells Fargo Center next Sunday (July 23). The main event features Jinder Mahal defending the WWE Championship against Randy Orton in a Punjabi Prison match. Previous Punjabi prison matches haven’t been so great, but that might be because I’m remembering a match involving the Great Khali. Orton and Mahal may have the athleticism to make this an interesting match.

In a “can’t miss” match, A.J. Styles defends the United States championship against former champion Kevin Owens. Jimmy and Jey Uso defend the Smackdown Tag Team Championship against The New Day. Other announced matches include John Cena vs. Rusev in a flag match; Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin; and a five-way elimination match to determine the No. 1 contender for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at SummerSlam. The participants in the five-way match are Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Natalya, Tamina and Lana.

Achilles Heel will have a full Battleground preview in the next edition of Heel Turns. By the way, seats are still available for Battleground, particularly in the more expensive price ranges. An added incentive is that Royal Rumble tickets might go on sale at the arena box office during Battleground.

*****

ALBERTO IN TROUBLE: It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the Greek God of Wrestling’s predictions for 2017 have turned out to be incredibly accurate. But there is one prediction I wish I got wrong: the one that said Alberto Del Rio (Alberto El Patron) would be involved in an altercation away from the ring.

The reason Achilles Heel wishes he were wrong is that Alberto, a favorite of mine in the ring, was detained by police in relation to a domestic violence incident at the Orlando airport. The female reportedly involved is Paige, his fiancé. The question here isn’t whether police charge Alberto with domestic battery after completing an investigation. The issue is Paige’s health.

Two of Paige’s brothers posted their concern for her on social media, talking about Alberto being controlling. We know Alberto has a history of violence, although usually it involves other men. He was arrested at the start of this year in connection to a bar fight in Austria. More recent, after a tasteless reference to Paige’s relationship with Xavier Woods during a verbal exchange between the New Day and the Usos on Smackdown, Alberto challenged Triple H and the New Day to meet him at his restaurant for a fight. And that’s just this year.

Fans will remember Alberto Del Rio wrestling with bruises on his face during SummerSlam in 2013 during an incident at a bar that also involved Drew McIntyre. That doesn’t mean that Alberto was at fault in all of these incidents, but it does demonstrate that he has a violent side.

Regardless of the results of the domestic battery investigation, I hope that Alberto gets professional help and that Paige is not victimized by any physical or emotional abuse.

*****

ALBERTO SUSPENDED: The Greek God of Wrestling intentionally separated the human side of the incident involving Alberto El Patron from the business side. Alberto defeated Bobby Lashley at Slammiversary in a title unification bout, making him the Global Force and Impact Wrestling champion.

Global Force Wrestling suspended Alberto, but it’s not clear whether he is being paid during the suspension. The suspension also comes after weeks of taping for Impact Wrestling was completed, so the suspension does not affect the on-air product. If Alberto is charged in the incident, GFW will have to make a more difficult decision than a suspension that has, if you’ll pardon the expression, little impact.

*****

NO SPOILERS: As many of you know, the Greek God of Wrestling detests spoilers, so don’t look here for the results of the Mae Young Classic, which will debut on WWE Network on Aug. 28.

*****

STRICKLAND WINS TITLE: Congratulations to Shane Strickland, who won the Combat Zone Wrestling Heavyweight Championship in a four-way match with Lio Rush, Joe Gacy and defending champion Davey Richards at Evilution on July 8. Hopefully, Strickland can lend some stability to the title, which has been held by seven different wrestlers during the past year, including Gacy, Rush and Richards. By the way, Rush is apparently headed for WWE or NXT.

*****

WWE IN REGION: If you can’t get to Battleground on Sunday night, perhaps you can catch WWE on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ) at the Wildwood Convention Center. There also will be a Smackdown house show on Mon., July 24 at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. Earlier (11 a.m.-1 p.m.) on July 24, Dolph Ziggler will be at the Xfinity Store by Comcast in King of Prussia to sign autographs and pose for photos.

*****

CHIKARA POWER: CHIKARA presents an “Hour of Power” show on Sun., July 23 at 4 p.m. You can go to The Wrestle Factory before Battleground and make it a wrestling doubleheader. Hour of Power will be followed on Aug. 5 by Chikarasaurus Rex: Flesh and Stone. The only announced match is Johnny Kidd Invitational winner Rory Gulak against CHIKARA grand champion Juan Francisco de Coronado.

*****

ANGLE’S ANGLE: It will be interesting to see where WWE goes with the Kurt Angle storyline Monday on Raw. Angle and broadcaster Corey Graves have been receiving texts. Angle promised to address the situation Monday on Raw, ending his last conversation with an expression of love.

*****

POLICE MISCONDUCT: The Greek God of Wrestling likes Tyler Breeze and Fandango, but the Fashion Police segments on Smackdown are bad.

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