WRESTLING REPORT

AEW comes out swinging while WWE stumbles

AEW PROMO IMAGES

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

All Elite Wrestling debuted last Wednesday and we are now in a new era. The Cody Rhodes led new wrestling promotion kicked off with a barn burner of a match between Cody Rhodes and Sammy Guevara. Seeing the return of wrestling to TNT has a lot of meaning to it, as WCW ended it's run Ted Turner had allegedly said there would never be wrestling on TNT again. Fast forward eighteen years later and Cody Rhodes has brought wrestling back to the Turner channel. A young roster filled with potential and great Indy wrestlers who are media savvy and willing to try big moves and land huge spots, AEW is going to push WWE in many ways.

WWE responded with an extended version of NXT, now two hours to rival AEW, kicking off with a match between Adam Cole and Matt Riddle for the title. It's an interesting move to see Finn Balor come on to NXT, this might be the way to fairly distribute the roster between USA and Fox but the most important take away from NXT is after comparing it to AEW it's just not as technically impressive. Overall as a show it isn't enough to directly compete against what AEW did the same night, although I did like the bit with running over their time like in the old days.

Smackdown kicked off well with The Rock and The Man embarrassing a King. The Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon ladder match being on Smackdown is a great decision with a pay per view event coming up the weekend after this show, hopefully it isn't one they regret. The match was obviously great, and Kevin winning was the obvious outcome but it was fantastic and what a great moment from Kevin Owens firing and stunning Shane. A squash match between Brock Lesnar and Kofi Kingston is so disrespectful and wrong to do to Kofi, who has been a great champ for WWE over the last year. It looks like the Fox era has begun.

Coming out of a disastrous Hell in a Cell where Seth cheated to end a match against The Fiend, resulting in the audience audibly chanting AEW at the end of the event. It's important for WWE to find some footing coming through the draft starting this Friday or AEW is going to keep chopping away at them and leading off with a cheating wife is so 1990s and not the right move at all. Natalya and Lacey Evans put some great work into the first match of the night to help recover some of the damage done by the opening. Overall it was a flat episode coming out of a rough pay per view and those aren't the things you want if you're looking over your shoulder at the new guy.

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

THE WRESTLING REPORT

AEW shines as WWE has a draft

WWE PROMO IMAGES

Born with a comic book in one hand and a remote control in the other, Cory DLG is the talent of Conroe's very own Nerd Thug Radio, Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

All Elite Wrestling followed up their premiere episode with another great week of matches. They have established a good rhythm early of mixing in veterans and names you know with young guys and the audience has seemed to be incredibly involved and enjoying the matches. The energy from these matches literally screams through the television screen and you can actually feel it. Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho, Dustin Rhodes, Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks are doing a great job working with lesser guys and losing matches, it's impressive how ego has taken a back seat to booking so far. We'll see if this momentum can continue, but for now they are crushing NXT.

Finn Balor coming to NXT was announced at the finale of last week's show and should lend some momentum to the show coming in this week, but the odds of watching this show live versus watching AEW live decreases each week. Leading off this week with Lio Rush isn't as groundbreaking as Finn Balor last week, maybe they could have swapped those. I'm trying to figure out how Beth Phoenix is the last girl standing as far as on-air talent goes, was Renee Young that bad? I didn't think so but I really can't get into Beth, she just isn't as good. Also, Ripley may be the baddest woman in wrestling right now. As successful as NXT was on the WWE app, I'm not sure that the characters and matches stand up to the show AEW is putting on at the same time. I think this show will be the first to undergo changes of some kind.

Smackdown kicks off the WWE brand draft last Friday and honestly I don't think the song fits for the intro to the show. There had to be better AC/DC songs they could have used. It's weird hearing the announcers actually talk about the networks wanting their own brands, it isn't often that the real world peeks in to the world of wrestling. Roman Reigns and The Fiend are the top picks for Smackdown, so that tells me big plans are coming for them both. The Bayley heel turn is a great finish to the first episode of the new post draft Smackdown.

Raw kicks off with the overall number one pick, Becky Lynch. By the way, congrats to her, this is a huge statement about her importance to WWE and it's awesomely impressive. For the second match in a row, Charlotte Flair lost a title match to a quick roll into a pin and I'm starting to wonder about the booking for her. Seth Rollins being named to RAW means they just killed the rivalry with The Fiend which might be for the best considering how poorly Hell in a Cell ended. Raw taking Aleister Black so early has to mean they plan on actually using him for something, but we'll have to wait and see I guess. It was inevitable that the Viking Raiders would win the tag team titles but honestly, I don't care. I really think these guys are boring. Raw is continuing its awful run of embarrassing storylines with their female talent, now doing a Bobby Lashley, Lana, Rusev triangle where implied nudity has been part of each bit. What is the point of that? Tyson Fury coming on to Raw and signing for a match against Braun Strowman is typical WWE pop culture and star chasing, which they have done many times before. Did WWE actually say the name Liv Morgan? That's exciting.

Feel free to check out my brand-new comic book Another Day at the Office email me for details or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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