THE WRESTLING REPORT

AEW seems to have WWE on the ropes

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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 and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

If you're looking at a calendar you can't tell but this is actually a really important week in wrestling, we are now living in a post All Elite Wrestling world. They had their event this Sunday and all indications are that it went amazing. The biggest criticism people seem to have so far is that most of the "big names" are former WWE superstars including the big surprise reveal of the event that John Moxley, formerly Dean Ambrose, has come to AEW. That's a fair point but there was plenty of small time made big talent as well such as friend of Nerd Thug Radio Kylie Rae and others. So with All Elite Wrestling landing such a big flag then the expectation is that WWE would come out swinging this week on Raw and Smackdown, right? They have their controversial return to Saudi Arabia coming up and they should be looking for some opportunity to regain ground and try and stop some losses somewhere.

Raw essentially did the opposite though, while it was Memorial Day and they ran a gorgeous video package in honor of those who served and gave all for our freedoms, they didn't get into an actual real match until about an hour and half in and honestly it never picked up from there. There was a Becky Lynch appearance but it was in a tag match, there was a fatal four way but it was hurt by the absence of one of WWE's biggest current stars AJ Styles who is now out with injury, another unfortunate side effect of the new double usage for the top portion of the WWE roster. The Brock Lesnar bit where he didn't know he had an entire year to cash in his money in the bank contract was odd, it doesn't make any sense, hasn't he been on the roster for roughly a decade? He never knew about the Money in the Bank contract before? That doesn't even make sense.

Smackdown didn't get much better, with Kevin Owens cutting a weird promo before he fights Kofi Kingston again that he hopes Dolph Ziggler beats Kofi Kingston so that Dolph then gives Kevin a title shot. What? Why wouldn't Kevin just beat Kofi on Smackdown for the title? Then Shane McMahon does some more anti Roman Reigns stuff, I guess tabling the Miz rivalry for a week. Also another injury, Finn Balor, adding up to WWE needing to start bringing up more guys and giving screen time to more people. The 24/7 title is still a joke and I worry it will never not be, which sort of makes me wonder what's the point?

So with the Saudi Arabia event coming up and several key guys saying they aren't going to be there and with injuries piling up from over usage and AEW putting on an amazing event and announcing a TNT television deal for later this year, this isn't the kind of foot I expected WWE to put forward.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio or support our Patreon Page. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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