THE WRESTLING REPORT

Money in the Bank begins to take shape

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.nerdthugradio.com!

This week begins the next year of wrestling as the inexhaustible cycle begins again and the road to WrestleMania starts paving anew.

Raw kicks off with some interesting decisions with two triple threat matches announced and the winner of those fight off to determine who will face Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank for The Universal Championship. The idea is interesting but of the six competitors, four are recently removed from Smackdown, so are the top six guys that aren't Seth Rollins mostly Smackdown guys? Doesn't say much for what is supposed to be the flagship show, does it? There wasn't a ton of big moments this week although finally revealing Bray Wyatt in his new form is pretty awesome, he's a great presence on the mic and he's one of the better "new" wrestlers in recent history. Alicia Fox returned to the ring, in an odd match against Becky Lynch which had some bad botches and honestly I don't think her future is long for the WWE ring if the outside the ring rumors are to be believed. Raw's big finish was AJ Styles beating Baron Corbin to face Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank, and then Seth Rollins coming out and shaking AJ Styles hand. That is not the tone you want to see for a title match.

Smackdown felt a little off balance as there were still so many debuts and introductions leftover from the Superstar Shakeup with Chad Gable, Andrade and Lars Sullivan all "debuting" on Smackdown this week. It's good to see the women's division stir up and try new match ups, with the Iconics building a rivalry vs Asuka and Kari Sane while Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville stand by and talk smack. Pitting Bayley and Charlotte Flair is a nice change and a reminder that it wasn't just Charlotte and Becky who built this women's revolution we exist in now. This does bring up an issue though, so Becky is now going to face both Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans at Money in the Bank. This is an awesome idea, it only serves to elevate the myth of the Man and grow Becky Lynch's heat to an unheard of level. Of course WWE could go the other way on this one and have her drop one or both titles but I don't think that's the plan, as of right now it feels like they're going to keep blowing Becky Lynch up as far as the heat will take her. The new New Day was looking great with Kevin Owens in a new fun role and then he betrays Kofi Kingston and all is back as it was. Kevin Owens is truly at his best as a heel, and there may be no one better at pushing the crowd's buttons without saying a word right now than Kevin Owens.

Overall this week was a solid week as the build up to Money in the Bank begins.

THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE makes a move on AEW

WWE PROMO

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!

So there's a ton that happened this week and not all of it on just Raw and Smackdown. Let's get to the big announcement first, NXT will be leaving the WWE Network and coming to USA Network and directly competing against AEW on Wednesday nights. Also, NXT will begin touring the country like the Red and Blue brands to give more exposure to these lesser wrestlers and help grow the brand overall. I've always said one of the hurdles an NXT call up has to deal with when they come up is that they aren't nationally known, so sure they pop in Florida where NXT films every month, but how do they play when they're seen for the first time in the Midwest? That's not going to be a problem anymore which will make some of these guys journeys much easier. The choice to compete with AEW I think is their mistake. I think if people have to choose between two things they don't know, they are more likely to give the complete unknown the try rather than the third WWE show, I might be wrong but that's just how I feel.

The other thing I wanted to mention was WWE did a house show here in Houston on Saturday and this is the perfect opportunity to talk about how crazy the WWE schedule is. This is an untelevised show, with guys like Randy Orton, Kevin Owens and Charlotte Flair among other big name stars doing matches, they were flying in from Orlando, doing this show and going right back on the road for Raw on Monday night. This is where the road takes its toll on WWE superstars. When it was reported that Dean Ambrose did 200 matches in one year and you start adding it up, even if he was on every Raw and Smackdown that's only 104 shows. The number of house shows these guys do is insane and it's part of how they make their business work but still, the travel and the wear and tear is incredible.

This week on the shows they began the King of the Ring contest, this is something they never should have gotten away from. King of the Ring is just one of those iconic WWE things that should always be an active part of the brand and I'm glad they brought it back. From both shows the things that stick out the most to me is the Kofi getting tough with Randy Orton, Bayley getting a little rough with Charlotte and I'm so damn tired of the Roman Reigns storyline. I do like Seth and Brawn winning the tag titles, and I hope they let this have a nice long simmer before these two match up for Seth's title eventually.

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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