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 is usually one of the more fun weeks in the WWE schedule, the week of the Super Star Shake Up. Some wrestlers from each of three major brands, Raw, Smackdown and NXT shuffle around and make "debuts" on the other shows. This year was a little less exciting.
The changes to Raw weren't really all that major I feel like, moving AJ Styles, The Usos, Andrade, Rey Mysterio and The Miz over to Raw really just feels like they took the top half of Smackdown and slid it over to Raw. The call up of The Viking Experience - yes that's right another terrible gimmick tag team - didn't really make things much better. This does explain why The Usos dropped the titles to The Hardy's on the Smackdown after WrestleMania after having them keep the titles on WrestleMania, but honestly, the Raw Tag Team division is crowded and not exactly exciting. Finally revealing that Lacey Evans, Ricochet and Aleister Black are all officially on a roster is great news but adding all three to Raw is a little odd simply because they've been previewing all three on both shows and now they're just all three on Raw. Perhaps the oddest choice here though is breaking up The Riott Squad.
It was announced that Liv Morgan is now going to be on Smackdown, which means that the Riott Squad, which is the only female faction really and honestly it's a good one, is now dead. I'm a huge Liv Morgan fan. I really like her look and she wrestles well in matches but honestly I don't know how she will do in singles competition and speaking of singles competition, I think one thing the shake up did was add some clarity to the WWE's choice to combine the belts. I think you'll see most of the women's tag matches on Smackdown as now they moved two more tag teams to this show last night with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville and pairing Asuke with the newly called up Kairi Sane and the Iconics were already a Smackdown team. Which means most of your single's women's competition will be on Raw where Becky Lynch already has a rivalry going with Lacey Evans. The addition of Finn Balor, Roman Reigns and Elias are all great additions to Smackdown; these guys need more room to breathe and letting them get more time on the now way less crowded Smackdown main roster will be for everyone's benefit.
Overall this was a solid shake up but the delivery just wasn't there as a lot of these announcements were made by the announcers due to the fact that a lot of guys had travel issues and couldn't get to Montreal in time to appear on this week's shows.
Houston Astros skipper Joe Espada wasted no time this week at spring training by answering one of the most talked about questions of the offseason.
Espada revealed that newly-acquired free agent Josh Hader will be the team's closer and will pitch the ninth inning, with Ryan Pressly working as the setup man.
Bryan Abreu will be tapped to pitch the seventh inning, but it wouldn't shock anyone if he had the best season of the three. But after Abreu, things get interesting in the bullpen.
Who pitches the sixth inning?
Astros GM Dana Brown gave Rafael Montero a vote of confidence, saying he's “legit.”
While we have our concerns about Montero after he finished with an ERA over five last year, there's reason for hope. The nature of relief pitchers halving up and down seasons from year to year could work in Montero's favor.
And with the salary that's already committed to him, Brown will likely give him every opportunity to justify his contract. It will be fascinating to see how Espada deploys him early on. You have to think with the boss man backing Montero, Espada will be on board too.
But if he does struggle, will Espada quickly stop using him in critical situations? The good news is, the team won't often have to turn to him in high leverage situations with Abreu, Pressly, and Hader ready to handle those duties.
Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion about the Astros 'pen, and much more!
Don't miss Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every week on SportsMapHouston's YouTube channel!