WRESTLING REPORT

Fastlane not exactly set up for success with Wrestlemania lurking right behind

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE 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 and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.facebook.com/nerdthugradio!

The road to Wrestlemania hit a speedbump in the sendoff week for Fastlane.

This week on Raw there was some good - the reformation of The Shield, which is a little odd considering the unknown status of Dean Ambrose's future post Wrestlemania. There was some bad (most of the matches this week) and there was some ugly - the Ronda Rousey heel turn and the changes made to the Raw Women's title matches for both Fastlane and Wrestlemania.

The unexpected return of Roman Reigns has helped redefine the direction of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose who seemed to be rudderless even with Rollins having a title match against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. It's hard to tell a story with no champion to play off of so Seth Rollins is left to feud with people who aren't holding the belt he's trying to win. Triple H cut a great promo for what was hinted at last week, a likely Wrestlemania match between Bautista and Triple H and that about wraps up the good parts of Raw this week unfortunately. A gauntlet match between Heavy Machinery and three weak tag teams went as scheduled and Ricochet and Aleister Black continued their tag team feature tour against Raw tag team champions the Revival. The big ending for this match was Ronda Rousey laying down terms and Stephanie McMahon seemingly giving in, after saying last week that she was the boss and no one tells her what to do. So now Fastlane is Charlotte Flair vs Becky Lynch, if Becky wins, she gets into a triple threat for Wrestlemania. Not sure why Charlotte is factored into any of this; Becky has cut a white hot streak through the WWE universe lately and sticking Charlotte into this mix just muddies Becky's seemingly inevitable title reign.

Smackdown wasn't much stronger overall as a send off for Fastlane, with R Truth losing a fatal four way to Samoa Joe and now he's the US Champion. The title has changed hands several times over the past few months and at this point there isn't a reign to speak of as every few weeks someone else is winning the belt. It feels a bit like a weird game of hot potato. Ricochet and Aleister Black returned yet again making this their third week in a row on both Raw and Smackdown in a tag match. Without real certainty where they will end up or what the end game is they have done a good job in their matches and seem to have won over the WWE universe. Kevin Owens return continues and he seems to have added more than just Stone Cold's stunner to his move set, including even throwing in a nod to Steve Austin during his banter with Daniel Bryan with a "that's the bottom line. Smackdown continued the trend of finishing with the women's rivalry, featuring Becky and Charlotte yet again. Becky Lynch is owning this character turn with great mic skills but Charlotte Flair in the role of spoiler hasn't quite worked out as well, but the story is where it is.

Fastlane is this weekend and after this WWE can do itself the favor of only having to focus on one big event at a time, as all the set up for Wrestlemania has gotten in the way of both Fastlane and Elimination Chamber.

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Let him cook! Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets are in the midst of a rebuild. Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr are studs. KPJ just signed a four-year extension with the team. Other guys like Jabari Smith Jr, Kenyon Martin Jr, Alperen Sengun, Josh Christopher, Tari Eason, and Jae'Sean Tate are really good pieces to surround Green and KPJ with. The only issue with this group: they're REALLY young! Tate is the elder statesman at 27 of the young nucleus. Most are barely old enough to buy a drink. Some still aren't old enough! They're a bunch of green bananas waiting to turn yellow to slightly brown and be ripe enough for consumption.

We need to give it time. Just like bananas, they take time to ripen. Coach Stephen Silas is known for developing young players. His most prized student is the star player for that team in South Oklahoma up 45. Number 77 for that team credited Silas with helping him realize his All-Pro potential while Silas was a part of the coaching staff there. To a man, all his former players credit him with being a positive influence on their careers. So why are fans in a rush to get rid of him?

When you look at the Rockets' record over the last few years, it's gross. Sure, they've been a lottery team the last couple of seasons, but that was by design. As part of the Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook trades, they gave away pick swap rights. Had they not been that bad, they wouldn't have been able to draft Green or Smith Jr. Those two guys are building blocks for the future, along with KPJ. Giving those picks away would've put this team further down the totem pole of developing themselves into a contender. Losing pays off when you can hit on high lottery picks.

If you give a chef dirt, bread, ham, molded cheese, and spoiled mayo, can you expect anything else but a nasty ham sandwich? How about if the chef was given a steak that is almost rotten, potatoes with root growth, and spoiled butter? Could you expect a better meal than the sandwich? Yes! However, that meal may still cause a stomachache. Now, give said chef a full complement of gourmet groceries and guess what you'll get?

This is why I say let Silas cook. He's the perfect coach for this group of kids. He can teach them all the fundamentals of the game at this level and help them grow into their full potential. If there's a change to be made on the sidelines, move Silas into a front office role, but DO NOT get rid of him! Guys like him are too valuable. Why do you think Mark Cuban hated losing him, but knew he couldn't retain him because he had a head coach already? Cuban knew what he had in Silas and what Silas did for Luka Doncic. He can do something similar for the Rockets if given the time to work his magic.

Should Tilman Fertita find the need to move on, I'd look for a more experienced coach who can guide them from bottom of the playoff ladder into top four in the West and real contenders. For now, Silas is the head chef. Continue giving him the groceries he needs, and he'll continue giving these kids the lessons they need to develop. Changing the coach now could stunt their growth. Let him cook!

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