THE WRESTLING REPORT

Smackdown takes a stumble this week

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, Sports. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

The week started strong with a great Raw but fell flat as most of the Smackdown stories failed to land this week.

Raw started off a little flat with a weak promo from Sasha Banks, but business picked up fairly quickly with a great match between Ricochet and Drew Mcintyre in the King of the Ring tournament and Baron Corbin cut a great promo after defeating The Miz making King of the Ring exciting as it goes. Bayley and Nikki Cross was only an OK match but I think part of that problem is that Nikki Cross is so unorthodox that the other women seem uncomfortable in the ring with her. The Tag Team Turmoil match took an interesting turn with Heavy Machinery losing to Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, which was an interesting development as it looked likely that this was supposed to be Heavy Machinery's time. Sasha Banks' return to the ring was impressive but the whole thing is still odd as the rumors had been that she was unhappy and wanting out, maybe they're trying to give her one more run and see if they can make her happy and keep her. The AJ styles finish completes the AJ Styles heel turn; it's one thing to say "I'm a jerk but I'll take any fight" and another thing to fake being hit with a chair to get out of a fight, this solidifies AJ's status as a heel now.

Smackdown came out flat with Kofi Kingston actually giving a pretty weak promo and then Randy Orton going Samoa Joe and bringing up Kofi's family like they're in actual danger. This is that line that I always frown at, when they pretend like these guys are really going to hurt someone for a wrestling match, it's too far. It's disappointing to see Ali get the lift over the red hot Buddy Murphy, Ali has been cutting these awful "I'm a superhero" promos and honestly he just isn't as exciting as the other guys he keeps beating. The Miz and Nakamora is a first at least and this is a good time for Smackdown to introduce a new rivalry and giving Zayn the job of repping for Nakamora gets him off the mic which is his weakest point. Bayley has been showing a great mean streak but the issue with this match is at this point where is Evans supposed to rate if she keeps losing? Randy and Big E put on a decent match and I like this pseudo stable Randy Orton has created with The Revival, these are three guys who need each other and a new direction. I honestly couldn't care less about Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin is simply spiraling to the bottom of the roster. The end of Smackdown fell flat because the entire concept of Roman Reigns apologizing to someone for thinking they tried to kill him is dumb, like anyone thought he would apologize.

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.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

10th-ranked UH looks poised for a great season

Here's why UH could make a deep tournament run

The Coogs are off to a hot start. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Through eleven COVID stricken weeks, the University of Houston football team has mustered three wins.

The UH men's basketball season began on November 25th. It took them five days to catch up.

The Cougars came into last week ranked 17th in the nation in the AP preseason poll, the highest they've begun a season in 37 years. They took little time to establish themselves as one of the top teams in the nation.

UH shot out of the gate last week to a 3-0 start, including a double-digit win over 14th ranked Texas Tech. That, combined with a myriad of week one upsets, sent the Cougars soaring even further up the rankings.

By Monday afternoon, Houston was already one of the top 10 ranked teams in the nation.

Now it's important to note that it's incredibly early in the season, and there is plenty of time for something to go haywire. With TDECU stadium right across the street, they've had a front row seat to see just how sideways COVID can flip a season. The football team may only have 3 wins, but that's partly because they've had to postpone 5 games.

Regardless, they remain 10th in the nation at the moment, and it's no fluke. This is a solid team that has shown glimpses for the past three years.

Led offensively by sophomore guard Marcus Sasser (17.3 ppg) and Kansas transfer guard Quentin Grimes (16.0 ppg), the Cougars field a deep backcourt that has received welcome early contributions from freshman Tramon Mark (14.0 ppg) who's already earned an average of 19 minutes per game.

Speaking of minutes, UH brings one of the most important skills to the court this season: experience. In the era of one-and-done turnover among NCAA programs, the Cougars bring back four players that averaged over 20 minutes per game last season. That type of experience playing with one another and understanding the system head coach Kelvin Sampson plays could prove invaluable come tournament time.

What truly gives this team a shot though is their defense and hustle, both of which are a direct result of Sampson. They're simply relentless on defense. After finishing 11th in the nation last season only allowing 62.1 ppg, they've shown no signs of letting up. Through their first three games they've given up an average of 52 ppg. Even with double-digit leads, this is still a team diving for loose balls and mixing it up for offensive rebounds.

All of those ingredients make for a very salty, and very entertaining college basketball team. The Cougars have proved in the past three seasons that they're legitimately tournament worthy, and as the preseason American Conference champion favorite, this is a team that could—and should—have their eyes set even higher than their sweet sixteen appearance in 2019. Nothing is certain in the COVID era, however, but if they can make it through the season relatively unscathed they should be a tough out during March Madness.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome