THE WRESTLING REPORT

NXT debut strengthens the WWE brand

WWE PROMO 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. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

So this week technically started last Wednesday with NXT's debut. The hour long show started off with a four woman battle royale, that was pretty good. They girls were impressive and entertaining, I'm not sure they were as polished as they should be for televised wrestling, but maybe that's the style or point of NXT. I'm not sure that following it up with a squash match was all that smart but they did. The Velveteen Dream is a great athlete and put on an impressive match but having interference in the match was very WWE and I think it works. Overall NXT was a good hour of wrestling.

Raw kicked off with The Fiend and Seth's rivalry which will always be interesting but they then followed it up with The Viking Raiders, who they have made boring and predictable. They did beat the stuffing out of the OC which was nice. Rusev's return has been great and Sasha is getting a great run for an allegedly unhappy superstar. Lacey Evans fighting Ember Moon is a great match these are two powerful and athletic wrestlers. Is anyone still excited to see R Truth and the 24/7 title? Well now it's Carmela's turn! King Corbin and his custom crown actually looks pretty cool, although he's still one of my least favorite in ring personas. Seeing Rey Mysterio in a title match isn't on anyone's wish list I feel like. Finishing with the Fiend like Raw began is a great opening.

Smackdown kicked off with Rowan cutting a mediocre promo and Daniel Bryant coming out and challenging him to a fight. I don't think there's a universe that exists where Bryant could beat Rowan and apparently neither did the WWE. Teaming Roman and Bryant together immediately makes Daniel Bryant a face again, which can't hurt now that he's lost the title. Chad Gable is pretty annoying on the mic, it really makes me wonder why he's getting this push, also are we STILL doing short jokes about Gable? Sasha and Bayley vs Charlotte and Carmela is a great match and it's good to see Carmela in action again. Becky interrupting the match was great to see but it only reminds me that she's been absent from the ring for a little bit, this is that burn out that happens when you get too popular. Mustafa Ali is running out of time in the spotlight I hope, these matches aren't exciting. During the New Day and the B-Team tag match, they mentioned that during the draft they may split the New Day and that would be a huge mistake. Kevin Owens is just awesome on the mic and a ladder match would be awesome but you just know Shane is going to have his guys show up and help him.

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.

THE WRESTLING REPORT

AEW shines as WWE has a draft

WWE PROMO 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. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

All Elite Wrestling followed up their premiere episode with another great week of matches. They have established a good rhythm early of mixing in veterans and names you know with young guys and the audience has seemed to be incredibly involved and enjoying the matches. The energy from these matches literally screams through the television screen and you can actually feel it. Jon Moxley, Chris Jericho, Dustin Rhodes, Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks are doing a great job working with lesser guys and losing matches, it's impressive how ego has taken a back seat to booking so far. We'll see if this momentum can continue, but for now they are crushing NXT.

Finn Balor coming to NXT was announced at the finale of last week's show and should lend some momentum to the show coming in this week, but the odds of watching this show live versus watching AEW live decreases each week. Leading off this week with Lio Rush isn't as groundbreaking as Finn Balor last week, maybe they could have swapped those. I'm trying to figure out how Beth Phoenix is the last girl standing as far as on-air talent goes, was Renee Young that bad? I didn't think so but I really can't get into Beth, she just isn't as good. Also, Ripley may be the baddest woman in wrestling right now. As successful as NXT was on the WWE app, I'm not sure that the characters and matches stand up to the show AEW is putting on at the same time. I think this show will be the first to undergo changes of some kind.

Smackdown kicks off the WWE brand draft last Friday and honestly I don't think the song fits for the intro to the show. There had to be better AC/DC songs they could have used. It's weird hearing the announcers actually talk about the networks wanting their own brands, it isn't often that the real world peeks in to the world of wrestling. Roman Reigns and The Fiend are the top picks for Smackdown, so that tells me big plans are coming for them both. The Bayley heel turn is a great finish to the first episode of the new post draft Smackdown.

Raw kicks off with the overall number one pick, Becky Lynch. By the way, congrats to her, this is a huge statement about her importance to WWE and it's awesomely impressive. For the second match in a row, Charlotte Flair lost a title match to a quick roll into a pin and I'm starting to wonder about the booking for her. Seth Rollins being named to RAW means they just killed the rivalry with The Fiend which might be for the best considering how poorly Hell in a Cell ended. Raw taking Aleister Black so early has to mean they plan on actually using him for something, but we'll have to wait and see I guess. It was inevitable that the Viking Raiders would win the tag team titles but honestly, I don't care. I really think these guys are boring. Raw is continuing its awful run of embarrassing storylines with their female talent, now doing a Bobby Lashley, Lana, Rusev triangle where implied nudity has been part of each bit. What is the point of that? Tyson Fury coming on to Raw and signing for a match against Braun Strowman is typical WWE pop culture and star chasing, which they have done many times before. Did WWE actually say the name Liv Morgan? That's exciting.

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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