THE WRESTLING REPORT

Wildcard Week derails all momentum for Money in the Bank

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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 seemed to hit a pretty big speed bump. Raw spent the first almost 30 minutes talking and cutting promos. Including Vince McMahon stumbling through some half developed concept called the "Wildcard Rule" where now three stars from Smackdown can come to Raw and vice versa. This makes absolutely no sense considering the whole point of a brand split is to have different guys on different shows and we literally did the superstar shake up two weeks ago. One thing that was exciting was the return of Daniel Bryan but why do it on Raw considering he was Smackdown's Champion all the way up to and through WrestleMania although no official announcement was made either way. It's good to see Ricochet in singles action, although I do think he works best as part of a tag team to let him get time to recover and get his wind back from all those flips he does during a match.

Later on Becky Two Belts showed up and she doesn't even have to speak to make her presence known and I love that she didn't, just ran out and shut up Lacey Evans. Also, have they decided on a name for this Viking group yet? What are we calling them now? The Viking Experience? That's not going to work for me. Raw then rematched Roman Reigns against Drew Mcintyre and I really don't know who wanted to see more of that. Then Shane McMahon and Elias showed up and now there were five members of Smackdown on Raw, uh what? I'm glad Kofi retained the title instead of just putting it back on Daniel Bryan, and I think this shows that WWE is banking on Kofi being the champ for a while. Overall, Raw was confusing and poorly planned it felt like.

Snackdown continued the terrible idea of a wild card rule with AJ Styles kicking off the show he left literally three weeks ago. They then transitioned into an Mustafa Ali promo where he says he won't quit, that may be but he might get hurt and miss the whole thing, again. The match had a great finish though, as much as I complain about Randy Orton it is always great when he shows up and just RKOs someone out of nowhere, I really do like that. Bringing the Usos back for a title match against the newly crowned Daniel Bryan and Rowan was a weird decision to say the least, and it just lends itself to the confusion from this Wildcard week, like why are AJ Styles and Sami Zayn in a triple threat with Kofi for the title? Why not just book them on Smackdown anyway? What was the point? Like I said, this was a confusing week.

Maybe next week will be better as Money in the Bank's "go home" week comes around.

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Houston's offense had another strong day at the plate in Seattle against the Mariners on Wednesday. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

After striking a deal with the Mariners before Tuesday's game, along with a reported deal with the Marlins on Wednesday before the finale, the Astros continued to try and bolster their bullpen with fresh arms while also focusing on this series against Seattle. Having won the night prior to even it up, it came down to the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon to decide the series.

Final Score: Astros 11, Mariners 4

Astros' Record: 63-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (4-5)

Losing Pitcher: Yusei Kikuchi (6-6)

Astros continue to score runs in Seattle

Just like in the earlier games in this series, the Astros had no problems offensively. They strung together four consecutive one-run innings, starting in the top of the second when they loaded the bases, then got an RBI groundout by Myles Straw to go up 1-0. In the top of the third, Yuli Gurriel drove one in on a two-out RBI double, bringing in Jose Altuve, who led the inning off with a double of his own. Chas McCormick led off with a single in the fourth, then later scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz.

The fourth run in as many innings came in the top of the fifth, as Gurriel would notch his second RBI with a solo homer to start that inning, pushing the lead to 4-0. They didn't stop there, and neither did Gurriel, as he would get RBI number three on the day as part of a four-run top of the sixth, with RBI hits him, Altuve, Diaz, and Carlos Correa, doubling the lead to 8-0.

Odorizzi gets to the sixth before allowing two homers

The run support gave Jake Odorizzi plenty of leeway, which he didn't need until the bottom of the sixth. He held Seattle scoreless over the first five frames, allowing just four baserunners on a hit by pitch, a walk, and two singles, all peppered over that span and erased in each inning. Kyle Seager would get the Mariners on the board in the bottom of the sixth, blasting a one-out solo homer to cut the lead to seven runs at 8-1. After a single in the next at-bat, recently traded Abraham Toro made it four games in a row with a homer, this one a two-run shot to cut the lead to 8-3 and end Odorizzi's day. His final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 95 P.

Houston wins the series

Houston brought in Brooks Raley to finish the sixth, issuing two walks but stranding them to keep it a five-run lead. Myles Straw helped push that back to six in the top of the seventh, reaching on a single to start the innings, then stealing both second and third to get in position for Diaz's third RBI of the day, a groundout to make it 9-3. Cristian Javier was the next reliever out for the Astros, but he would not make it through the bottom of the seventh, allowing a single and three walks, the third with the bases loaded to bring in a run.

Bryan Abreu was brought in to get out of the jam, getting a strikeout to end the seventh. Then, in the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker would put two more runs on the board with a two-run homer making the lead seven runs at 11-4. Abreu remained in for the bottom of the eighth, erasing two one-out singles to get through the frame. Brandon Bielak took over in the bottom of the ninth to close things out, posting a 1-2-3 inning to wrap up the win and give Houston the series victory.

Up Next: Houston will travel down the coast to San Fransisco before getting a day off on Thursday. They'll pick up an exciting three-game series with the Giants on Friday, with the opener slated to start at 8:45 PM Central. Framber Valdez (6-2, 2.97 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros, while San Fransisco's starter is TBD.

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