THE WRESTLING REPORT

AEW shines as WWE has a draft

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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. 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.

ALL ELITE WRESTLING 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 hosted its first pay per view since launching into its weekly format, now running the old school WWE/WCW format that did work for so so long. The method that WWE pumped up and turned into the nationally traded financial juggernaut it is now, it's got a good history. The event went very well, AEW's booking continues to be bold and exciting, with their stars dropping matches and elevating second tier guys to the top of the ladder. I am honestly excited by how AEW has handled itself and its stars, I wonder how long this sort of good will within the company will continue but so far it looks like they are making all the right moves and putting real pressure on WWE.

In contrast to Full Gear from AEW coming off without a hitch, a little over two weeks ago WWE sent the rosters of both Raw and Smackdown to Saudi Arabia in an effort to keep making lots of money. The matches went off without a hitch and the bookings weren't too bad but it was a surprise to see Seth Rollins lose the title and the Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez match was very dissatisfying making the Kofi Kingston title drop even more questionable. To make matters worse, there were plane issues and suddenly only certain guys were able to get back and most of Smackdown's roster wasn't in the country for Friday night Smackdown. After the brand split and the networks making their cases that there wouldn't be crossover of roster between Raw and Smackdown this further complicated the travel issues and suddenly you get the NXT invading Smackdown. Clever bit of writing and of course Triple H makes great television, but the invasion was a totally unnecessary maneuver created by WWE's poor decision to stay in the Saudi Arabia game.

Ultimately perhaps the biggest piece of news this week was the announcement of the return of CM Punk, kind of. He's now signed on to WWE Backstage through Fox, not with WWE and perhaps might even be one of the best things to come out of this whole Fox-WWE relationship. With the ratings not being what everyone expected over at Fox, WWE hasn't had the kind of control they're used to and the rumor mill is running rampant that WWE is probably unhappy with the hire considering the long cold relationship between McMahon and CM Punk. Overall WWE hasn't been the major maneuver FOX probably thought it would be and coupled with AEW's success on TNT, it has to lead other networks to realize that while live events are good, it matters what you buy.

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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