THE WRESTLING REPORT

Money in the Bank is coming!

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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!

The setup for Money in the Bank was in full swing this week as Raw and Smackdown started rolling.

Raw started off strong with the announcement of four contenders for the upcoming Money in the Bank ladder match being announced by Alexa Bliss and then having their own tag match. The highlight of that match for me was watching Baron's partner Drew Mcintyre turning on him mid match. The Usos had a tag match against Gallows and Anderson who honestly I'm not sure anyone asked for a return from. The biggest shock of Raw was the discovery that Bobby Lashley now speaks in third person, that was a tough discovery. Raw then also announced the women's contestants for Money in the bank from Raw which was nice to hear Alexa Bliss be named for it, I hope she gets back to regular competition because the women's division is better for it. Becky Lynch continues to burn across both brands as Becky "2 Belts" aka The Man, it's a beautiful thing she's doing honestly. Quick question, are Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins really the Raw tag team champions? That's weird. So apparently at Money in the Bank we're having another Shane McMahon vs Miz match and we're also going to have a Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles, at least I'm excited about one of those.

Smackdown kicked off with Kofi Kingston laying down some decent promo work in anticipation of his title match at Money in the Bank and Kevin Owens knocked another one out of the park which is a great beginning. The Hardy's having to give up the tag titles was a bit of a disappointment, but this is an issue that I've been talking about on Smackdown for awhile, these older superstars are more likely to break down and that's why Smackdown needs to get some more youth into its roster. Also, Lars Sullivan is the most boring "scary" guy ever, this is just Braun Stroman but less intimidating. As Smackdown announces their list of men entering the 8 man Money in the Bank ladder match, it's actually looking like an interesting match and secretly my hope is for either Randy Orton to win so he can finally have some kind of direction. For the last two years he's basically been showing up when he wants and then just disappearing for a few weeks and then coming back randomly, it's been kind of annoying. Another announcement for Money in the bank is the entry of Mandy Rose, splitting Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville after splitting the Riott Squad but on the heels of creating a women's tag team is a little bit confusing as there aren't a lot of solid women's tag teams.

Overall this was another good week as momentum begins building towards the next big event.

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Houston's offense had another strong day at the plate in Seattle against the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

After striking a deal with the Mariners before Tuesday's game, along with a reported deal with the Marlins on Wednesday before the finale, the Astros continued to try and bolster their bullpen with fresh arms while also focusing on this series against Seattle. Having won the night prior to even it up, it came down to the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon to decide the series.

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 4

Astros' Record: 63-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-5)

Losing Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-6)

Astros continue to score runs in Seattle

Just like in the earlier games in this series, the Astros had no problems offensively. They strung together four consecutive one-run innings, starting in the top of the second when they loaded the bases, then got an RBI groundout by Myles Straw to go up 1-0. In the top of the third, Yuli Gurriel drove one in on a two-out RBI double, bringing in Jose Altuve, who led the inning off with a double of his own. Chas McCormick led off with a single in the fourth, then later scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz.

The fourth run in as many innings came in the top of the fifth, as Gurriel would notch his second RBI with a solo homer to start that inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. They didn't stop there, and neither did Gurriel, as he would get RBI number three on the day as part of a four-run top of the sixth, with RBI hits him, Altuve, Diaz, and Carlos Correa, doubling the lead to 8-0.

Odorizzi gets to the sixth before allowing two homers

The run support gave Jake Odorizzi plenty of leeway, which he didn't need until the bottom of the sixth. He held Seattle scoreless over the first five frames, allowing just four baserunners on a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles, all peppered over that span and erased in each inning. Kyle Seager would get the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a one-out solo homer to cut the lead to seven runs at 8-1. After a single in the next at-bat, recently traded Abraham Toro made it four games in a row with a homer, this one a two-run shot to cut the lead to 8-3 and end Odorizzi's day. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 95 P.

Houston wins the series

Houston brought in Brooks Raley to finish the sixth, issuing two walks but stranding them to keep it a five-run lead. Myles Straw helped push that back to six in the top of the seventh, reaching on a single to start the innings, then stealing both second and third to get in position for Diaz's third RBI of the day, a groundout to make it 9-3. Cristian Javier was the next reliever out for the Astros, but he would not make it through the bottom of the seventh, allowing a single and three walks, the third with the bases loaded to bring in a run.

Bryan Abreu was brought in to get out of the jam, getting a strikeout to end the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker would put two more runs on the board with a two-run homer making the lead seven runs at 11-4. Abreu remained in for the bottom of the eighth, erasing two one-out singles to get through the frame. Brandon Bielak took over in the bottom of the ninth to close things out, posting a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: Houston will travel down the coast to San Fransisco before getting a day off on Thursday. They'll pick up an exciting three-game series with the Giants on Friday, with the opener slated to start at 8:45 PM Central. Framber Valdez (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while San Fransisco's starter is TBD.

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