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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Texans vs. Vikings could have fans in attendance. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

The Houston Texans say it's time that fans were allowed to cheer on the home team at NRG Stadium. On Thursday, the team announced extensive safety protocols that would put 15,000 fans in the stands for the Week 4 game against the Minnesota Vikings on Oct. 4.

While the Texans are awaiting permission from city and county officials to host a limited number of fans - socially distant and wearing masks – no plans have been announced how much tickets will cost, and who'll have the opportunity to buy them.

You have to love the free enterprise system: hundreds of tickets for the Oct. 4 game already are on sale on secondary market websites. Lower bowl tickets are going for $800 and up. If you don't mind sitting in the nose bleeds, tickets can be had for around $250.

So the question becomes, if you had the chance, would you attend the Texans game in early October? The tickets are big bucks, and there is a whammy – COVID-19. While the rate of COVID-19 infections is on the decline in Houston, the virus remains a major factor in our daily lives, and there's no guarantee that the pandemic won't spike here again.

Here's the rub, at least for me. Of all the sports we have in Houston, a Texans game might be lowest on my wish list of attending in person. Television does NFL games the best. There are dozens of cameras, so when a receiver catches a pass on the sidelines, we get several views, in slow motion even, to see if the receiver's feet were in bounds. We can almost feel the crunch of a quarterback sack. We get highlights of other games. You don't have to sit next to a face painter like David Puddy.

The NFL is a made-for-TV production. Which is, I suspect, part of the reason the Texans rarely open the roof at NRG Stadium. With the roof closed, the field becomes a controlled TV studio, with no worries of weather pranks.

Television doesn't do basketball or baseball nearly as well. Conversely, the experience of attending those games is terrific fun. What beats eating a couple of dogs at an Astros game? Is there even a traditional food at NFL or NBA games?

The Texans promise that strict safety rules will be enforced. And I believe them. Fans will be scattered over the 67,000-seat stadium. I'm not sure how much of a home field advantage that will be. Most of the crowd noise will come from pre-recorded tapes.

Here's one worry. Sure fans will sit apart and socially distanced. But what will happen when the game is over? Will fans file out in orderly, non-contagious single file? I flew Southwest a few weeks ago. The airline makes a big deal – we don't sell the middle seat. Passengers kept their distance during the flight. When the landed, you know how it is, everybody got up and piled into the aisle, shoulder to shoulder for several minutes.

What will happen if some goofball takes off his/her mask during the Texans game? Will there be enough security to handle each case?

Baseball is planning to have some fans attend post-season games at Minute Maid Park next month. UH Cougars, the Dynamo and Dash are playing in front of small crowds. It remains to be seen how safe – or how risky – allowing fans at sports events will be.

Will parents let their kids attend? Is waiting for a vaccine the smart play? If President Trump is right, that could be only a matter of weeks away. If scientists and doctors are right, nestle in for pandemic life another year. Even if scientists do come up with a vaccine, how many Americans will roll up their sleeve? Some believe, in the case of COVID-19, the cure may be worse than the disease. Not me, the moment Dr. Fauci says the vaccine is safe and effective, I'm sprinting to CVS.

The thinnest of silver linings, if ever there was a year worth sitting out, 2020 has been it for Houston sports fans. The Astros are scratching to stay above .500 (their present position), Jose Altuve hasn't had an extra base hit or RBI in almost a month, and Justin Verlander is throwing bullpens on his way to recovery. The Rockets are searching for a new coach, and possibly another team willing to take Russell Westbrook in a trade. The Texans season could go either way, we'll know if a few short weeks.

Why the rush to fill stadiums? The NBA is thriving in a bubble. Why not baseball and football? There's a fine line between safe and sorry.

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo already has safety plans for next year, including masks and distancing. That will be interesting. Good luck controlling crowds pushing and shoving for corn dogs and funnel cakes.

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