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.

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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!

If it feels like we're sprinting into another pay per view almost on top of the last one, it's because we basically are. Extreme Rules is this coming Sunday only three weeks after Stomping Grounds. The seeming break neck speed of event after event after event is annoying and honestly seems to be designed to force people to pick up the WWE network. If they just bought the occasional pay per view there is no longer an incentive to spend the $40 bucks for one because well for $10 a month you get one a month and every few months there will be a second one snuck into the long months, so the value is in your favor. It's annoying for fans though because suddenly wrestlers are cutting promos from event to event and sometimes yelling at a guy about a fight in three weeks while they have a fight with someone else that weekend. Say what?

This past week Raw had a few interesting bits, perhaps most interesting was the behind the scenes moves of putting Paul Heyman mostly in charge of Raw and him upping the shock factor up a level or two. As that continued you saw the rise of The AJ Styles and his boys Gallows and Anderson, I'm not big fans of them but it's fun for those guys to get back together and a heel turn is in an interesting choice for AJ Styles, because I'm not sure it was needed. The other big thing is the Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch mixed tag match against Corbin and Evans for both their titles is a cool match idea and these two matches should be exciting at Extreme Rules.

Smackdown delivered what was a rather underwhelming go home show for Extreme Rules, although Otis of Heavy Machinery looked great in the three-way match, that guy is just incredibly impressive physically for such an oddly shaped athlete. The Kevin Owens face turn continues as he seemed to go "off script" but it was probably a bit and it's trying to set him up as an antihero, the problem with that is that his buddy Samy is in the middle of a great heel run. The Roman Reigns/Undertaker tag match has built up to exciting levels as Shane McMahon has continued his rise to top villain in the WWE and deserving of a beating from the Deadman and the Big Dog. He's assembling a nice collection of B players to help push his agenda as good muscle and as a result they're elevating themselves as well. This match may either save or finally end Undertaker's part time career and the Extreme Rules event overall.

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. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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