WRESTLING REPORT

Raw changes course as Smackdown continues to search for solid footing

SOURCE: WWE 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 and the sister show Ball Control. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows at www.nerdthugradio.com or www.facebook.com/nerdthugradio!

Another week has come and gone in the world of wrestling and there was a lot of changes and waves made this week.

In Raw, Braun Stroman was stripped of his title match for making a rather formidable display of strength by flipping a limousine over onto its side. It was incredibly impressive, even as a bit as Braun has been recovering from elbow surgery and this sort of proves physically he is back and that is bad news for whomever gets in front of him. Rising out of the ashes of that now dead match was a fatal four way where the haircut-needing walking myth himself John Cena passed the torch to one Finn Balor, the first ever WWE Universal Champion who relinquished his title due to injury. The intercontinental title passing to Bobby Lashley was an odd turn considering all three men - Lashley, Rollins and Ambrose - involved in that match now have held the title in the last month. There were still some corny bits, some scripted almost nudity from still injured Alexa Bliss resulting in the best eye roll in history from Renee Young, but they were balanced by the announcement of a women's tag team division, finally.

On Smackdown, the ship keeps feeling like it's listing, like the show is moving in the wrong direction somehow. The opening with Becky Lynch was amazing, the building of her character into this massive star has been incredible and more of this is what Smackdown needs. She opened her match with a massive throat punch that shows a kind of cocky dominance Smackdown as a whole is lacking, a feeling that some of these guys are truly legendary badasses. The Mandy Rose wants to ruin a marriage storyline continues for some reason and yet again Naomi and Mandy came to blows with no resolution. When will it end? The show overall was flat but it did end with a Shane McMahon coast to coast, leaping cake in the face on Shamus.

The WWE has started the process of introducing some new talent, with Nicki Cross involved in a three on three women's tag team match on Raw and with Heavy Machinery -a tag team- playing comic relief and Lacey Evans standing around sipping tea, not an exaggeration at all. Hopefully these three can do more than reorganize the deck chairs on what is starting to feel like The USS Smackdown post iceberg, but only time will tell.

Getty 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!

Coming out of their first pay per view in their new weekly format, AEW came out resetting the stage. After the big betrayal of Cody Rhodes by MJF during the Jericho championship match there was still some great sizzle between all of these guys in the middle of the show as Jericho and MJF cut a great promo and then Cody Rhodes tried to run out there and get revenge but suffered the wrath of the Inner Circle and the numbers game overwhelmed. The crowd is in it with these guys and they have done a great job of signing talent that really grabs the energy and uses it. Moxley, the guy WWE had no business letting go, continues just burning up all the tape he gets recorded on and there is no doubt he is the guy that is a superstar regardless of who has belts and who doesn't. All you need is a ring and a microphone and Moxley is going to win over crowds and steal shows. I honestly have been massively impressed with the formula All Elite Wrestling has put together and while they are doing subtle differences like posting win/loss records and things of that nature they are really staying more true to wrestling than WWE feels in a lot of ways these days.

Survivor Series is already this weekend, making that Crown Jewel event seem even more poorly planned in the WWE calendar. Survivor Series has long been one of the iconic WWE events, alongside Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania and Summer Slam. These have long been the main four and nowadays with all the crazy scheduling and over booking, Survivor Series got almost zero buildup coming out of Crown Jewel. There have only been three RAWs since the Saudi Arabia event and one of those continued the NXT takeover event, which at least did lend to the Survivor Series matches, and four Smackdowns but one of those is the NXT invasion episode because a contingent of the Fox roster had trouble getting out of Saudi Arabia on time. So with little fanfare and troubled writing, Survivor Series is here and honestly I'm struggling to muster the energy to care. There hasn't been consistent rhythm or momentum since the brand split and subsequent draft and perhaps their biggest splash was Fox bringing back CM Punk to the WWE Backstage show, where oddly enough he has no relationship with WWE. I'm curious if WWE is starting to think they have too many masters now.

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.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome