WRESTLING REPORT

An exciting week as both Raw and Smackdown gear up for Fastlane

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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.facebook.com/nerdthugradio!

In recent history WWE has struggled to be entertaining from week to week, but in the build up to Fastlane, WWE is hitting an interesting stride.

With Raw starting off with the big announcement of the return of Roman Reigns, the tone was set early. Showcasing Ricochet and Alister Black in another tag match against the Revival brings to question exactly what the future plans are for these two. The first tag match featuring the new female tag team match was exciting and the Ronda, Charlotte, Becky Lynch story took an interesting turn with Ronda making a bold power play to get Becky Lynch back in the match. Perhaps the most exciting event of the night came during the Dean Ambrose/Drew Mcintyre no DQ match when the Shield reuniting was strongly hinted at. Raw even managed to end on a strong note when Bautista ambushed Ric Flair during his birthday celebration. Bringing to mind the rumors that circulated during Bautista's run a few years ago where his planned storyline was to end with a match against Triple H in Wrestlemania, is that the case now? Well there's no Guardians of the Galaxy movie to promote this summer, so Bautista won't be busy, or will he?

The shocks continued as Smackdown kicked off with a huge shock as fan favorite Kofi Kingston lost his spot in the Fastlane title match against Daniel Bryan to the newly returned Kevin Owens. Vince McMahon in recent weeks has positioned himself as the "evil authority" making big decisions that are "best for business" which harkens back to the older, perhaps higher rated days of a few years ago. Surprises continued as Matt Hardy made a return in an abbreviated match against The Bar, but it lacked a certain style because honestly, Matt is painful to watch at this point. The showcase continued for Ricochet and Alister Black, maybe this is the way forward for NXT call ups in an effort to try and keep the NXT guys from falling to the wayside, this time against Rusev and Shinske Nakamora. Perhaps the big misstep this week was ending on the predictably flat tag match between Kofi Kingston/Kevin Owens vs Daniel Bryan/Erick Rowan but it was great to see Kevin Owens in action again.

Fastlane and Wrestlemania both had some interesting developments this week and WWE put together two exciting shows, which is something they've struggled with recently. Here's hoping the this is a trend setting week and the positive momentum continues.

Wrestling Report

WWE: The superstar shakeup

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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!

This week is usually one of the more fun weeks in the WWE schedule, the week of the Super Star Shake Up. Some wrestlers from each of three major brands, Raw, Smackdown and NXT shuffle around and make "debuts" on the other shows. This year was a little less exciting.

The changes to Raw weren't really all that major I feel like, moving AJ Styles, The Usos, Andrade, Rey Mysterio and The Miz over to Raw really just feels like they took the top half of Smackdown and slid it over to Raw. The call up of The Viking Experience - yes that's right another terrible gimmick tag team - didn't really make things much better. This does explain why The Usos dropped the titles to The Hardy's on the Smackdown after WrestleMania after having them keep the titles on WrestleMania, but honestly, the Raw Tag Team division is crowded and not exactly exciting. Finally revealing that Lacey Evans, Ricochet and Aleister Black are all officially on a roster is great news but adding all three to Raw is a little odd simply because they've been previewing all three on both shows and now they're just all three on Raw. Perhaps the oddest choice here though is breaking up The Riott Squad.

It was announced that Liv Morgan is now going to be on Smackdown, which means that the Riott Squad, which is the only female faction really and honestly it's a good one, is now dead. I'm a huge Liv Morgan fan. I really like her look and she wrestles well in matches but honestly I don't know how she will do in singles competition and speaking of singles competition, I think one thing the shake up did was add some clarity to the WWE's choice to combine the belts. I think you'll see most of the women's tag matches on Smackdown as now they moved two more tag teams to this show last night with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville and pairing Asuke with the newly called up Kairi Sane and the Iconics were already a Smackdown team. Which means most of your single's women's competition will be on Raw where Becky Lynch already has a rivalry going with Lacey Evans. The addition of Finn Balor, Roman Reigns and Elias are all great additions to Smackdown; these guys need more room to breathe and letting them get more time on the now way less crowded Smackdown main roster will be for everyone's benefit.

Overall this was a solid shake up but the delivery just wasn't there as a lot of these announcements were made by the announcers due to the fact that a lot of guys had travel issues and couldn't get to Montreal in time to appear on this week's shows.

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