WWE Wrap-Up

This week in WWE: Strowman gets even as the odds get even more stacked for Styles

Braun Strowman gets even with Elias in a big way. Photo by WWE.com

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

Raw

John Cena opened Raw explaining to fans how he has to win the Elimination Chamber Match, because, if he does not, he’s not sure he has anything for WrestleMania. The Miz was not thrilled with what Cena had to say, and explained why he will be the one to face Brock Lesnar in New Orleans. This caused Cena to challenge Miz to a match; the loser enters the chamber first. Miz put up a valiant effort, but an Attitude Adjustment from the middle rope put Miz away. The Revival fabricated an advantage for themselves when they attacked Gallows and Anderson before their match. Their effort proved to be fruitful as they were able to pin Anderson to win the match. Kurt Angle revealed that his son, Jason Jordan, suffered a serious neck injury; thus, he will be missing WrestleMania. Seth Rollins came out to wish his former partner a healthy recovery, and to request an opportunity in the Fatal Fourway to determine who will be the last entrant at the Elimination Chamber. Angle, eventually, obliged and granted Rollins the chance to enter the match.

Bayley and Sasha Banks got to air out their differences in the ring, and, boy did they. The match was as hard hitting and aggressive as the last few weeks’ matches have been. Bayley won the match after hitting Banks with a Bayley to Belly from the middle rope to win the match. Nia Jax surprised both women and attacked them from behind. Alexa Bliss persuaded Mickie James to tag with her against Absolution. The mind games of Absolution proved to be too much, though, as Mandy was able to pin James after a distraction from Sonya.

Elias’ concert this week was interrupted in the most creative way possible, Braun Strowman’s concert, with a giant bass. Unfortunately for Elias, Strowman got some sweet revenge by breaking that bass on Elias’ back. Sheamus’ gamble to the top rope in his match against Roman Reigns burned him as Reigns caught him with a giant Spear to win the match. Michael Cole revealed that Ivory will be joining this year’s class of the WWE Hall of Fame. The “Second Chance” Fatal Fiveway between Wyatt, Hardy, Crews, Rollins and Balor closed the show. Crews and Wyatt were going at it on the top rope when Balor and Rollins worked together to power bomb both of them. Both men went for the pin, leaving the referee confused on who the winner of the match was. After Raw, Kurt Angle took to Twitter to announce both men will enter The Elimination Chamber Match.

Highlight of the Night: C’mon, really? It’s Braun with the bass. No question or debate to be had. How do you get even with a man who broke a guitar on your back? You freaking break a giant bass on his back. It’s only fair.

SmackDown Live

Dolph Ziggler came to the ring for his match against Baron Corbin, only Corbin never makes it to the ring thanks to an attack from Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The two raced to the ring and attacked Ziggler as well. Charlotte continued on her quest to defeat every member of the Riott Squad by defeating Sarah Logan with a nasty Natural Selection. Two down, one to go. Shane McMahon explained to Daniel Bryan that Corbin and Ziggler will still get their chances to challenge for the WWE Championship via singles matches against Zayn and Owens. The first of these matches saw Baron Corbin defeat Kevin Owens after hitting him with an End of Days.

Bobby Roode announced he will be keeping the Open Challenge tradition going for his United States Championship. He admitted that he was hoping Randy Orton would challenge him, after he surprised him with an attack last week. Sure enough, Orton answered but so did Jinder Mahal. The former WWE Champion came out to stir the pot between Orton and Roode, and it worked as he caused them to begin to brawl before eventually hitting both of them with Khallas. Benjamin and Gable interrupted Big E’s attempt to break the world record for most pancakes eaten in one sitting. They insulted the New Day’s seriousness before tossing their pancakes. This, of course, lead into a match. The New Day would pick up the win with the Midnight Hour. Sami Zayn did what he could to prevent Dolph Ziggler from joining the match at Fastlane, but one Super Kick spoiled his plan, and Ziggler pinned him for the win.

Highlight of the Night: The New Day keep finding creative ways to feud with their opponents. Add to that their awesome BHM gear, and you have a recipe for a fun segment involving the most creative tag team of this generation.

Boy, were this weeks’ shows about stacking the odds. Raw’s main event became a Fatal Fiveway, and the ridiculous finish made the Chamber match the first ever to feature seven wrestlers. That being said, we finally know who will be in the match and how it will work. It will be fun to see how Miz weasels his way through the match, despite being the first entrant to the match.

On the blue brand, the odds just got stacked that much more against WWE Champion, AJ Styles. The addition of Corbin and Ziggler will make for a ridiculous main event. This, hopefully, changes nothing. If they were to steer away from Styles vs Nakamura at ‘Mania it would be a crime.

Sprinkle in some ridiculousness like Braun’s bass and Big E’s pancake binge and you’ve got another solid week. Next week will be Raw’s go home show before Elimination Chamber, so we should expect less funny business as Raw closes the door on their PPV’s before WrestleMania. SmackDown Live definitely has an intriguing main event for Fastlane, these next couple of weeks should be a build for the remainder of the card.

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Houston dropped two of three

Astros drop series finale to Oakland, A's win series

Jose Urquidy couldn't hold Oakland back on Saturday. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

With Oakland finally ending their drought against the Astros on Friday night to split the first two games of the series, and with the Angels staying in step with them as both teams started the day 6-2, the Astros needed a win to keep momentum in their favor on Saturday.

Instead, Oakland would outslug Houston once again to take the series finale and take the series win. The loss moves Houston to 6-3 and down to second place, at least for now, until the 6-2 Angels complete their game on Saturday evening.

Final Score: A's 7, Astros 3

Astros' Record: 6-3, second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Frankie Montas (1-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (0-1)

Urquidy gives up four over six

Much like the night before, Oakland was able to bring in runs against Houston's starter, this time Jose Urquidy, Saturday afternoon in their second time through the order. Their first time through, Urquidy was cruising, allowing just one baserunner in the first three innings on a single in the top of the third.

Things shifted in the top of the fourth, with the A's getting back-to-back singles to set the stage for a two-run frame with dual RBI-singles to take a 2-0 lead. Oakland doubled that in the fifth, getting a two-out single to set up a two-run homer by Ramon Laureano to make it 4-0. Urquidy would go on to finish six innings, but with no run support to that point, would leave in line for the loss. His final line: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 93 P.

A's pad their lead before Houston gets on the board

Meanwhile, although getting five hits, the Astros could not get anything on the board against Frankie Montas through six innings. Brandon Bielak took over out of the bullpen for Urquidy in the top of the seventh, but after loading the bases, he would allow a dagger two-RBI single to make it a 6-0 deficit for Houston.

With Montas starting the seventh looking to face a batter or two before Oakland moved to their bullpen, Kyle Tucker would finally get Houston on the board with a leadoff solo home run, cutting the lead to 6-1 and ending Montas' day. Houston would get a two-out rally going, with an RBI-double by Jose Altuve followed by an RBI-triple by Michael Brantley to make it a three-run game at 6-3.

Oakland takes the series win

Ryne Stanek tried to keep it a three-run game and give the Astros a chance to stay in it in the top of the eighth but instead would give up a two-out solo home run to push Oakland's lead back to four. That 7-3 score would go final as Houston would go scoreless in the eighth and ninth.

Up Next: Houston will have a day off on Sunday before continuing this homestand Monday night by welcoming in Detroit and former manager A.J. Hinch for three games. In the series opener, the Tigers will send young star Casey Mize (0-0, 2.25 ERA) to the mound, while the Astros will get another start by Zack Greinke (1-0, 1.38 ERA).

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