THE WRESTLING REPORT

With Fastlane out of the way, it's full steam ahead to Wrestlemania

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 and Wrestling. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.facebook.com/nerdthugradio!

From the wreckage of Fastlane emerges the first week towards Wrestlemania, let the set up commence.

Rocking from the controversy of Fastlane, Raw kicked off with Seth Rollins and Paul Heyman making the case for either side winning the upcoming main event of Wrestlemania, Seth Rollins vs Brock Lesnar. Aleister Black and Ricochet continue their tag team exhibition tour, in yet another tag match. Overall there wasn't a ton of new ground covered on Raw although Triple H and Bautista confirmed the long overdue Wrestlemania match that was originally planned for a few years back but then Daniel Bryan happened. Kurt Angle also confirmed suspicions that at Wrestlemania he would be wrestling his farewell match, now who to fight, hmmm? The Shield basically carried the night through with Roman Reigns having a match scheduled against Baron Corbin but instead Drew Mcintyre ambushed him and Dean Ambrose took up the call to avenge the insult with a no DQ, falls count anywhere match where both Dean and Drew took some amazing bumps, finishing with a gnarly Claymore kick that literally knocked a hand rail for some stairs loose, that's pretty good.

Smackdown felt like the show most affected by Fastlane, aside from Ronda Rousey completing her heel turn on Raw, as nearly all of Smackdown was focused on the fallout from the pay per view. As everything from the Shane McMahon/Miz break up, to Kofi Kingston and his friends in The New Day getting their revenge on The Bar and Rusev and Nakamura, AJ Styles and Randy Orton started their feud right on schedule with some decent smack talk. Daniel Bryan and Rowan restomped Kevin Owens and Mustafa Ali, in a continuation of their losing ways. The biggest change coming out of Fastlane was the new intercontinental champion, Samoa Joe. Coming out of a fatal fourway featyring R Truth, Almas and Rey Mysterio Jr the title changed yet again, the intercontinental championship has really struggled to find a home this year floating from superstar to superstar with little story or reason to it. The finale was interesting set up, giving Kofi Kingston an "impossible task" is an interesting twist to this storyline, the super heel role that Vince has taken as of late opens more doors for him to continue playing a "hand of God" type role adding people to matches and swapping out stars at will, continuing the longstanding air of "who knows what can happen".

Coming out of an underwhelming Fastlane, the road to Wrestlemania is clear and they can finish setting the stage for all the matches.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ROCKETS BEAT THUNDER

Rockets blast Thunder in home opener, 124-91

Rockets take care of business in home opener. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

The Houston Rockets had an impressive outing versus the Oklahoma City Thunder after an embarrassing loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves Wednesday night. They took care of business at home on Friday night, which was a surprising blowout. The Rockets didn't have to worry about Karl-Anthony Towns screaming at Alperen Sengun or Anthony Edwards telling Coach Silas to call a timeout. Instead, they took their frustrations out on the Thunder (another younger core).

"We responded and bounced back from that game 1," Silas said. "I wouldn't say it was taking anything out. It was just learning and applying to what you learn and that's going to be us this year. Applying to what you learn and getting better and having some games like we had the other day. Veteran teams have some games when they don't play as well they want."

Christian Wood led the way, as he controlled the paint on all aspects with rebounding and putbacks. He played an incredible game after having a poor performance versus the Timberwolves. Silas showed complete trust in allowing Wood to open sets, as he walked the ball down the court several times, and in transition too. Wood became aggressive on the perimeter with open shooting and tough shots, and long strides towards the rim. He finished the night with 31 points and 13 rebounds off 66 percent shooting from the field.

The young core for the Thunder had a tough night defending Wood from every aspect. Hopefully, he keeps this play up. Silas loved the space that was created throughout the game for Wood, which included the help from Eric Gordon, as he continued to play better. Wood continues to develop underneath the Silas umbrella. He had a great feel for off-the-dribble shooting a few times. Wood becomes more dangerous when space is created on the court.

"It allows me to show what I can do. It allows the floor to be open and I can create for other guys and create for myself," Wood said.

As Gordon continues to impress, his teammate Kevin Porter Jr was amazed with his performance.

Gordon looked marvelous inside and outside of the paint, as it looked like a time ripple. The younger guards of the Thunder had a tough time staying in front of Gordon. His size and strength gave the Thunder a huge problem. Gordon is shooting the ball better too, as he is shooting the three-ball at 70 percent this season. Although it's a small sample size, Gordon is trying to overcome his shooting struggles from last year. Gordon finished with 22 points on 66 percent shooting versus the Thunder.

"EG is the biggest part of this squad," Porter said. He comes in and just scores. We need somebody off the bench to do that. He is our guy when me and J come out, it's EG time and he knows that, and comes in aggressive. So much energy on the bench, and we need that every night from him if we want a chance to win."

As I recently mentioned Porter, his facilitation did look better versus the Thunder than the Timberwolves. Porter had nine turnovers in his first game but managed to have two Friday night. He made great slip passes and found open teammates in the open corner. Porter forced a good number of passes versus the Timberwolves but looked more relaxed Friday night. The hardest position in the NBA is the point guard position, but Silas will not allow Porter to fail. Instead of nine turnovers, Porter dished out nine assists. Silas said:

"Bounce back right, going from nine turnovers to nine assists… I think he had two turnovers tonight, which is great. He is making plays for his teammates, and he was really focused."

Porter's shiftiness and creative ability allowed his teammates to get open looks near the rim. He had 18 points because of his step-back threes and first step going towards the basket. Thankfully, Porter is a great ball handler, which confuses defenders on different spots on the court. It's almost like watching a ballerina skate on ice in the Olympics. Hopefully, his confidence continues to get better throughout the year. Porter shot the three-ball at 50 percent tonight. Efficiency is key for Porter this year.

"I'm just trying to let the game slow down," Porter said. "I had a lot of turnovers last game and I just wanted to piggyback and learn from them and learn from some of my forced passes and reads. And sometimes I still force it a little bit. My guys hate that, and sometimes I'm still passive and I'm working on that. When to pass and score and bounce it out, and tonight I felt like I did a good job of that."

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome