THE WRESTLING REPORT

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

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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.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.

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THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Coca-Cola 600 preview, picks

Watch out for Ryan Blaney this weekend. Photo via: Wiki Commons

It’s a Memorial Day Tradition; The NASCAR Cup Series heads home to Charlotte for the annual Coca-Cola 600. This race is probably the third most crucial race all season, behind the Daytona 500 and the Season Finale at Phoenix. Anyone who wins this race will always be able to say that they were Coke 600 champions. No race on the schedule is as long as this one, because of this there will be a 4th stage added to the race. Teams will be provided 13 sets of tires, and if the last few weeks have been any indication, they will need all the tires they can get. With the race being as long as it is, there is a good possibility this could be an attrition race and the driver that survives will more than likely win. The record for the most cautions in NASCAR history was 22 cautions, at this same race in 2005. Come Sunday, I bet we get close to that number.

What's the deal with all of these tire failures? Last week in the All-Star race we saw drivers like Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Erik Jones all crash out because they had a flat. There are many factors that could be contributing to this, for one the tires are much wider and the sidewalls are much more narrow. Because of this, the tire falloff is much shorter, so now instead of going maybe 40-45 laps on one set of tires, drivers can now only go 25-30 laps. The other major facet is that a lot of teams are running much lower air pressures to get the car to handle better by being closer to the ground. Goodyear and NASCAR usually require the right side tires to run around 51-52 PSI, the rule however isn’t enforced for the left side tires, so drivers will push the limits to see how much they can take out to make the car faster. The fact that we were seeing such tire ware on smooth surfaces like Texas and Atlanta is a clear sign that there is a problem, but not all of it is on Goodyear. Only time will tell how this develops on tracks with old abrasive surfaces, like when they go back to Bristol in the fall.

One of NASCAR’s newest teams, Trackhouse racing, made a bit of a surprise announcement this week. Starting at Watkins Glenn in August, the team will run a third car with a series of international drivers, starting with 2007 Formula 1 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen. This is something that I think is interesting for the sport. I am a bit surprised that another team hasn’t already done this before. Having drivers like Kimi, one of the more world renowned racers in F1, can really bring a whole new audience to NASCAR. There have been rumors on whom some of the other drivers might be, from Daniel Riccardo to even Lewis Hamilton. There will be a lot of intrigue about who will be the next driver.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Ryan Blaney. After winning the All-Star race, it seems like Roger Penske and the rest of the Ford camp are picking up steam. Overall, Blaney tends to struggle at this track with an 18.8 average finish, but if last week is any indication of how his car will run on mile and halves like Charlotte, he will be a fierce contender for the win.

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