WWE Weekend

Preview: WWE invades Houston

The Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match features some of the biggest names in the industry. Photo by WWE.com

Houston, we’re in for a treat as the WWE will be invading our city for four straight days of action.

 

NXT: WAR GAMES

NXT is no stranger to shows in Houston. Their two latest tours had successful stops in our city. Neither of those events, though, even comes close to the magnitude of NXT: War Games. This will be the first time an NXT show in Houston is held inside of The Toyota Center, and, boy, did they put together a card worthy of the move to a bigger venue.

Kassius Ohno will open the show against Lars Sullivan. Two big, hard hitting, guys will be facing off in a match that will surely set the tone for the night. NXT does a very good job of setting up their shows through their opening matches; this match should do a great job at that.

Aleister Black vs Velveteen Dream is a match that could easily fall under the radar. That being said, creative has done a good job handling these two characters. Will it be as hard hitting as Ohno vs Sullivan? Probably not. That should not be a detriment to this match, though.

A Fatal Four Way match will determine who will be the new NXT Women’s Champion. This match perhaps has my favorite story out of any on the card. Peyton Royce, Ember Moon, and Nikki Cross have now been on NXT for a while but have never been able to get over the hump thanks to Asuka and her incredible reign as champion. Kari Sane is an international wrestler held to the highest regards. She won the WWE’s May Young Classic tournament in her first few weeks in the company. I have no idea who will win this match, and I absolutely love that.

Drew McIntyre will defend his NXT Championship against Andrade “Cien” Almas. Seeing the progress Almas has made since his arrival to NXT has been great. That being said, McIntyre is champion for a reason. This match may not feel as big as a Balor vs Samoa Joe or a Roode vs Nakamura, but I have absolutely no doubt that this match will deliver.

The match the event is named after, War Games, will close the show. This match will be a beautiful train wreck between SAnitY, The Undisputed Era and The Authors of Pain with Roderick Strong. I am very curious to see how Strong fits into this match. I would not be surprised if he is utilized in any possible swerve.

What match am I looking forward to the most?

Without a doubt, it is War Games. At my young age of 23, I have never been able to experience one of these matches as they happened. That changes this weekend.

 

SURVIVOR SERIES

The month long build and cross over between Raw and SmackDown will finally culminate this Sunday. The most interesting thing about this year is the champion vs champion matches that will take place.

The Intercontinental Champion, The Miz, will take on The United States Champion, Baron Corbin. The Tag Team Champions for each brand, The Bar and The Usos, will face off in a match between my two favorite tag teams this year. The Women’s Champions, Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair, will clash; we will finally get to see the two most dominant women on the main roster face off one on one.

The Men’s Traditional 5-on-5 Match looks like Vince McMahon himself hit randomize on WWE 2K18. The Women’s Traditional Five on Five Matches will tease dream matches like Asuka vs. Becky Lynch.  Both of these matches should be great. With so many moving bodies, we are guaranteed some memorable spots. I’m looking at you, Shane.

Speaking of dream matches, The New Day will take on The Shield. One of the most iconic staples of this generation against the most consistent in the last two years. These guys love to put on great matches; Survivor Series will surely be one of those cases.

The Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, will take on the WWE Champion, AJ Styles. This is a match that if you told me at the beginning of the year would happen, I would not believe you. I want to see Styles win this match, but cannot see them going that direction.

What match am I looking forward to the most?

This is probably a tossup. There is so much star power in the Men’s 5-on-5 Match, but the video game dream match of Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles is what I have to say I am looking forward to the most. No matter what the result will be.

 

RAW and SMACKDOWN LIVE

We can expect a lot of recaps from both Raw and SmackDown Live. Without a doubt, the stories, the matches, and the promos will be reactions to Survivor Series. The post Pay Per View television shows have been known to deliver great action and surprise. There are plenty of tickets still available, so if you are unable to make it to Survivor Series, consider going to Raw or SmackDown Live.

WWE will provide Houston with a long, extended, weekend of great wrestling action. If you are a wrestling fan, you should definitely make plans to attend one of these events. From NXT: War Games to SmackDown Live, there will be plenty of memorable moments that will make the trip worth your time.

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Jose Urquidy is a surprising choice to start Game 2. Photo by Getty Images.

After a long and tumultuous season, the Houston Astros made it to their 3rd World Series in five years and will take on the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night.

Houston had the better overall regular season record, so games 1 & 2 will be played at Minute Maid Park while games 3-5 will be held at Truist Park in Atlanta.

(If necessary, the final two contests will be played back at Minute Maid Park).

The Braves got this far by defeating the Milwaukee Brewers in the ALDS 3-1 and the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games (4-2).

Atlanta prevailed with timely hitting from guys like Joc Pederson, Austin Riley and Eddie Rosario performing like an MVP this postseason.

The Braves received solid pitching outings from guys like Ian Anderson, Max Fried and former Astro Charlie Morton.

Atlanta used clutch hitting and solid pitching to make to their first World Series since 1999.

Meanwhile, the Astros made it back to the World Series by defeating the Chicago White Sox in the ALDS 3-1 and out-slugged the Red Sox four games to two.

According to Fox Bet, the Astros are favored at -154 to win the World Series. This is certainly an obtainable goal for Houston's team as they have the experience, hitting and pitching to compete with anyone.

Can Houston's bats stay hot?

The most intriguing matchup this series will be the Astros' bats facing off against this Braves pitching staff. On paper, Houston's lineup seems to be favored for their depth. Jose Altuve at the top of the batting order is always a threat to get on base, and behind him are a plethora of hitters who can drive in multiple runs.

The two best bats this postseason thus far for the Astros are ALCS MVP Yordan Alvarez (.522 batting average) and this year's American League batting title champion Yuli Gurriel (.455 batting average). The Cuban natives have lit up pitching and will look to continue their torrid hitting in the World Series.

Other Astros who could be impactful at the plate against the Braves include Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker. All three of their batting average's in the .200's respectfully and could come up big at any time.

This lineup is so deep, Atlanta's pitchers won't receive many breaks, if at all this series.

Will the pitching step up again?

Losing Lance McCullers Jr. for the World Series certainly isn't ideal, but not impossible to overcome as proven in the ALCS against the Red Sox.

Framber Valdez pitched the best game of his career when he threw 8 innings and surrendered only one run in Game 3, while Luis Garcia had his best start of the postseason and received the Game 6 win. Both of these pitchers have stepped up in McCullers' absence and will have a huge impact on the series. Valdez is set to start Game 1 on Tuesday night.

If Jose Urquidy and Zack Greinke can also pitch deeper into games, there will be less stress on the bullpen and give the Astros a better chance to stay in games. And we won't have to wait long to see Urquidy, as he will start Game 2, according to Astros manager Dusty Baker.

In an ideal scenario, the Astros' starting pitchers should throw six innings of work and let Kendall Graveman, Ryne Stanek and Ryan Pressly closeout games as they have all season.

Of course this is the best-case scenario, which doesn't always happen, but other arms can be used to bridge the gaps that include Phil Maton, Yimi Garcia in short relief outings and Cristian Javier and Jake Odorizzi can pitch multiple innings if needed.

Even if a starter has a clunker of a start, this bullpen has done a great job of keeping things close and setting up the Astros for success.

Will this be Carlos Correa's "Last Dance" with Astros?

One can only imagine what is going on in Carlos Correa's mind right now. No one is implying that the free agent to be will not be focused this series, but it's hard to fathom this upcoming offseason isn't a distraction right now.

The 27-year-old shortstop is set to receive multiple offers from different teams and land one of the richest contracts once this season concludes.

If this truly is his final season with the Astros, why not go out on top and win one more title before moving on?

Let's hope this "Last Dance" for Correa is a slow one, so we can all enjoy it a little longer.

Will Dusty's experience prove to be a difference-maker?

Dusty Baker's experience could be beneficial for Houston's chances of hoisting another trophy as he has managed teams in parts of 24 seasons.

He's the only skipper to ever lead five franchises to the postseason and obtain more than 2,000 career victories.

This is the second time he as taken a club to the World Series. He took the 2002 San Francisco Giants to the Fall Classic but lost to the Angels in seven games.

It's safe to assume the 72-year-old seems eager to win his first championship as a manager to cap off a Hall of Fame career.

Final projection

As previously mentioned, the Astros are favored to win this series. If Houston can continue to stay hot at the plate, receive solid outings from their pitchers and just play Astros baseball, there is a good chance this city will have yet another Commissioner's Trophy in their display case.

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