By Mike Gordon
Trying to unravel the mind of Vince McMahon is like trying to chase the wind. For my case and point look no further than the newest WWE Pay-Per-View; The Great Balls of Fire, set to take place on July the 9th 2017 in Dallas Texas, and before you ask, this is a real event that will happen. Anyone with a modicum of decency would find this event name juvenile and immature. Thankfully, I am that juvenile, immature, Jabroni. Goodness gracious, I thought this was an ill-timed April fool’s joke, and spoiler alert: it’s not.
WWE was originally scheduled to call this Pay-Per-view, “Bad Blood” – which I have never liked either, but can learn to live with. At least “Bad Blood” is combat-related. With that said, I can understand how a program could culminate in a pay per view titled Bad Blood. How is any program going to result in two wrestlers needing to duke it out at the storied scene of: The Great Balls of Fire?
I can’t frame any of the storytelling without laughing wholeheartedly. This pay per view is scheduled to be Brock Lesner’s first Universal Title defense since claiming Raw’s top belt at WrestleMania 33, when he defeated Bill Goldberg. WWE’s Universal Title is a new, debuting on July 25th 2016, and with a little over a year since the Universal Championships’ inception, it will now be defended at The Great Balls of Fire.
When you consider the branding strategy of WWE, you have a recipe for a hilarious stretch of time to be a wrestling fan this summer. You’re going to get smacked with “WWE Great Balls of Fire”, every time there is WWE TV on your screens. What the hell is the hashtag going to be that night? #WWEBalls, #WWEGreatBalls, or #WWEBallsofFire? If you’re going to name the pay per view The Great Balls of Fire, you might as well go for the gold with hashtag number two. You literally need The Great Balls of Fire to let this idea slip out of your mind and off your tongue, let alone multiple production meetings. I want you to picture this, somewhere in an uncomfortably air-conditioned corporate office in Stamford Connecticut, there has been, and will be, multiple meetings to discuss The Great Balls of Fire.
How is the woman’s division going to frame this? Is any of the women really going to say, “You know what? At the next pay per view I am going to show you who really has The Great Balls of Fire”! To push this joke further into the stratosphere, the Jerry Lee Lewis’ song bearing the same name, with no doubt NOT be the official theme song for this event. Personally, I am pushing for Tay Zonday’s. “Chocolate Rain”, because, why the hell not?
I am one of those wrestling fans who like to buy the event T-shirts. Every WWE event I go to, I get one of their event shirts. I am using this soapbox to loudly ask anyone in Dallas Texas to pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top, get me a Great Balls of Fire shirt on July 9th! You can love it, or hate it, but this is what they’re going with. We might as well sit back and enjoy the ride, and appreciate this before these jokes become inevitably old. So you can understand why I can’t resist giving away names to WWE for future Pay Per View events:
The Big Nuts of Justice
The Girth of the Earth
The Tally Tussle
The Knickerbocker Fisticuffs
And my personal favorite -The Ballman Cometh.
Which is why I think this is a brilliant idea. While people are laughing and sports-entertaining with the idea of how WWE is going to pull this off, this has people talking, and thusly, it puts eyes on the product – even if it is one of the dumbest ideas WWE has tried to pull off in recent memory. I should point out, this is the company that gave us the Mark Henry, Mae Young hand-birth segment.
If you were at an indie show inside of a VFW hall and the event was called The Great Balls of Fire, you wouldn’t bat an eyelash. You would understand that wrestling is sometimes outrageous and doesn’t have to be serious. Which poses the problem that – WWE isn’t trying to portray any major part of their product as stupid or outrageous. I do think WWE’s marketing department is working us all into a shoot with this name. They have done their jobs’ brilliantly, and with Great Balls of Fire.
On July the 9th we will all find out in the ring, who truly has The Great Balls of Fire. right now, there is no doubt that someone is WWE. This is a bold move for a company on the upswing for the most part. This newly named event has even garnered some organic coverage from the mainstream media, and I guarantee that some people who normally don’t watch the product, will. This is a bold (and hilarious) move, let’s see if it pays off.
Mike Gordon is the author of The Secret Shitter web series. and the book, The Secret Shitter’s Guide to Boston Vol. 1. When he tweets, he can be found @wontonraider.