THE WRESTLING REPORT

Money in the Bank is looking weak

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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!

This week was another really awful week of WWE "entertainment." In what was supposed to be the "go home" week for Money in the Bank, where WWE typically tries to end on awesome high notes and get everyone pumped for the event. That didn't exactly happen this time around. WWE is on their European tour still and basically it felt like there's only four important matches at Money in the Bank. Becky Lynch's two matches and she did a double contract signing with Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans and then it devolved into a fight but at least it had some great promos, and The Miz and Shane McMahon in the cage match and Roman Reigns fighting Elias. That's all that seems to matter for this event; Alexa Bliss didn't even fight in the Raw Women's promo match and Baron Corben and Drew Mcintyre helped get Braun Strowman out of the men's ladder match.

Smackdown again stayed focus on Shane McMahon and his two foes Roman Reigns and The Miz. They did do a fun thing where The Usos showed up to help and Rowan and Daniel Bryan being in the pocket of Shane is kind of an interesting thing. The idea of a new Authority or Corporation or whatever they want to be called would be cool. They could do a better job and all have their own angles but still helping McMahon. The Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville team is cruising for a clear rivalry match at some point in the very near future, which means to me that Mandy Rose is now one of my favorites for the money in the bank. She wins the contract and then Sonya chases her for it, boom entertainment! I don't really understand the excitement around Lars Sullivan, he cuts awful promos, he doesn't seem to be able to move and honestly he isn't that large of a guy in the scheme of WWE athletes. Somehow the Kevin Owens and Kofi Kingston match suddenly feels like a far less important match than Kofi has been in since winning the title, which is disappointing although they did manage to end Smackdown strongly which was a surprise considering how bad the week was overall.

Hopefully a balance will be found before the coming move to Fox or Smackdown will struggle to find the new audience it feels like WWE is searching for. All of these changes and scrambling feels like WWE is genuinely fearing the upcoming AEW events and inevitable premiere on television and is trying to make as many people happy as possible but all of this craziness is going the other way it feels like, possibly turning fans off instead of bringing new fans on, only time will tell.

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 or support our Patreon Page. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

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Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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