WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Sami Zayn makes a statement before Fastlane

Sami Zayn surprised everyone when he pinned Kevin Owens in the main event of SDL. Photo by WWE.com

This is a weekly look at the action in the WWE:

Raw

An upset Kurt Angle opened Raw. He wants an apology for Triple H’s sucker punch last week. Of course, Stephanie McMahon came out instead and insisted Angle “use his head” and “know his role.” Ronda Rousey came to the defense of her friend. McMahon tried to get back on Rousey’s good side, but the former UFC Champion was not having it. Rousey revealed that her contract states she can have whatever opponent she wants at ‘Mania, and she wants Stephanie McMahon. Triple H rushed to the ring to try to prevent that match from happening. Angle, then, used his pull as GM to issue a tag match-Triple H and McMahon vs Angle and Rousey. The “Power Couple” tried cheap shots, but Rousey got the upper hand after hitting McMahon with a Samoan Drop. Asuka defeated Nia Jax after trapping her in an Arm Bar that Jax could not break, despite her best efforts. The Bar defeated The Revival after Cesaro hit Dawson with the Goch Neutralizer.

John Cena came to Raw to explain how he will break Ric Flair’s record for World Championship titles at Fastlane. That will be his path to WrestleMania. For some reason, Goldust interrupted Cena, and it led into a match that Cena won after an Attitude Adjustment. Bayley came out to explain her issues with her friend Sasha Banks, but was interrupted by Absolution and her opponent of the night, Mandy Rose. Bayley defeated Rose with a roll up. Absolution began attacking Bayley after her match as Banks raced down to the ring to save her friend. Banks tried to embrace her, but was rejected by Bayley who chose to leave the ring instead. Alexa Bliss consoled an upset Nia Jax backstage.

A “Symphony of Destruction” match between Elias and Braun Strowman was scheduled to begin the last hour. Elias tried to escape the arena, instead. Strowman caught him and chased him back. Strowman defeated Elias after collapsing a piano over him and pinning him at the top of the ramp. Matt Hardy teased a visit to the Hardy compound for Bray Wyatt. The Mizzies made their triumphant return. Of course, Miz used these awards to insult people like Balor, Rollins, and Angle. Rollins, followed by Balor, crashed the award show, much to Miz’s chagrin. The Intercontinental Champ, therefore, challenged them to a Handicap Match against Him and the Mizterouge. The two had issues working together, but were eventually able to defeat Miz and the gang. Angle came out after the match to announce Miz will be defending his Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania in a Triple Threat Match against Rollins and Balor. Paul Heyman responded to Roman Reigns’ comments last week. He explained Brock is not the “bitch,” but the Universal Title is “Brock’s bitch.” Reigns, then, closed the show telling Heyman to inform Brock to show up to Raw next week ready to fight, not to talk.

SmackDown Live

Ruby Riott and Charlotte opened the show exchanging words before their championship match at Fastlane. Riott called for her squad when things began getting too personal, but nothing came from it as the Riott Squad left the ring when Bobby Roode came out to watch the first match of the night, Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal. Orton shoved Mahal into Roode when the two were brawling outside. As Orton was trying to set up for the RKO, Roode pulled up to the rope and caused a distraction allowing Mahal to win the match. Sami Zayn reiterated that he will allow Owens to win at Fastlane if the opportunity presents itself. Backstage, Rusev challenged Nakamura to a match on Sunday. Nakamura accepted, claiming that Fastlane will be Nakamura Day. Becky Lynch submitted Carmella with a Disarmer. Backstage, Naomi challenged Natalya to a tag match at Fastlane, Naomi and Becky Lynch vs Natalya and Carmella.

AJ Styles came to the ring to talk about Cena’s promo on Raw about taking his WWE Championship at Fastlane. He explained that he will walk into ‘Mania a champion, so he can have his dream match against Nakamura. Dolph Ziggler came to the ring to tell Styles he was full of it. The two were scheduled for a match in the main event, but Styles decided he wanted to fight Ziggler then and there. Owens and Zayn raced down to the ring to attack the two. The attack was successful, but it lead to Shane McMahon scheduling a Fatal Fiveway featuring those four men and Baron Corbin. Bodies flew around and eventually the match was won by Sami Zayn, who pinned none other than his best friend, Kevin Owens.

Boy, oh boy, was this week about scheduling matches.

Raw started the week scheduling two huge matches for WrestleMania. I am not sure I want to see anybody wrestle in the tag match with Rousey and Angle, but there is no denying it is a big match. On the other hand, the Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship should be one of the biggest matches on the card. Raw did a great job at beginning to form the ‘Mania card, and, man was it exciting.

SmackDown did the same thing, only for the less anticipated Fastlane. The show should be fine, but, frankly, I am ready for the show to catch up to Raw and begin building to WrestleMania. The matches on the card will be good, but except for a few of them, they will not matter in the grand scheme of WrestleMania.

Come next Monday, we will be getting down to the nitty-gritty. More matches will be announced for 'Mania as we turn our heads to New Orleans. Hopefully, SmackDown finds momentum the way Raw has.

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Houston loses to end the road trip

Dodgers get best of Odorizzi to split series with Astros

Jake Odorizzi allowed four home runs over three innings against the Dodgers on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After spoiling the night of many Dodgers fans in the opener of this two-game series in Los Angeles the night prior, the Astros returned to the stadium to a fresh set of hostile fans, looking to get the mini-sweep. This one went much more in favor of the home team, though, as the Dodgers would ride three big innings to start the game to the win for the series split.

Final Score: Dodgers 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 65-43, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Max Scherzer (9-4)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

Odorizzi gets shelled

After a Michael Brantley solo home in the top of the first run against Max Scherzer, making his Dodger debut, it looked like the Astros may continue their momentum from the night before to grab hold of this game as well. However, that all changed in the bottom of the inning, as the Dodgers would tee off against Jake Odorizzi.

In that inning, he allowed four runs, a leadoff solo shot by Mookie Betts, then later a three-run blast by Will Smith. Betts made it 2-for-2 with solo homers in the bottom of the second, extending the lead to 5-1. Things went from bad to worse in the third, with Los Angeles getting their fourth home run, this one for two runs to make it a 7-1 game. Odorizzi would finish the third but go no further.

Scherzer K's 10 over seven innings in his Dodger debut

Houston tried to start clawing back into it in the top of the fourth, getting a second run against Scherzer with a two-out RBI-single by Kyle Tucker, trimming the lead to five runs at 5-2. First out of Houston's bullpen was Yimi Garcia in the bottom of the fourth, and he tossed the first 1-2-3 inning for Houston. Rafael Montero was next in the bottom of the fifth, working around a leadoff double followed by a walk for a scoreless inning.

Montero remained in the game in the bottom of the sixth, still 7-2, and would get another scoreless inning, this time sitting down the Dodgers in order. Scherzer finished his quality debut for his new team in the top of the seventh, erasing a leadoff walk to complete seven innings while allowing two runs.

Astros lose to split the series with Dodgers

Brooks Raley was Houston's next reliever, and he, too, would get through a scoreless inning by erasing a two-out single. In the game-within-the-game, the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly for the top of the eighth, who notched two strikeouts to bring none other than Carlos Correa to the plate, setting up a rematch of the well-known incident that led to the "pouty face" clip from 2020. Carlos Correa won this round, launching a 405-foot homer off of Kelly to make it a four-run game at 7-3.

Phil Maton kept the score there, stranding two runners in the bottom of the eighth to send the 7-3 game to the top of the ninth, where the Dodgers would bring in Kenley Jansen. After a leadoff single, Kyle Tucker would get the Astros within two runs on a two-run homer, making it 7-5. That's as close as they would get, as Jansen would regroup to get the next three batters out to wrap up the loss for Houston.

Up Next: With this road trip completed, the Astros will have a quick turnaround as they catch a late flight back to Houston then turn around with a game Thursday at 7:10 PM Central to open a four-game series with the Twins. Framber Valdez (7-2, 3.01 ERA) will take the mound for Houston in the opener, while Minnesota will counter with Griffin Jax (1-1, 6.41 ERA).

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