THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE actually turns in a solid week of programming

Photo via: WWE.com

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. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows www.nerdthugradio.com!

Raw

Raw started off with a bang with Seth Rollins attacking Elias with a chair after Elias announced he would be the special guest referee for Baron Corbin vs Seth Rollins championship match at Stomping Ground. Seth then proceeded to spend the rest of the show stalking anyone who even considered being the special guest referee for Baron's match. The five man match for the right to challenge Samoa Joe for for his title was nothing special and the list of the five guys who competed is basically that same list of five guys who have been in the mix for everything lately.

While the rise of Ricochet has been great and fun to watch, putting him on par with Straun Browman and The Miz feels artificial and honestly over reaching, but then again maybe not, Kofi is doing great as the WWE Heavyweight champion.It was nice to see Hulk Hogan back on Raw even if it was for a video segment cheering on the Women's Soccer Team in the World Cup. If you think WWE, you think Hulk Hogan if you're over a certain age and it was sly of WWE to promote a live sporting event on future networking partner FS1. Alexa Bliss is absolutely one of the best women's stars in WWE and I'm glad she's back to getting into the ring. I don't know if its injuries or whatever but I'm glad she's back at it.

Smackdown

Smackdown started off with some of the great mic work from Legendary mic champions, The New Day. The Alexa Bliss and Bayley rivalry continues to build very well, and it feels like a natural fight coming between the two of them and it's exciting. Aleister Black keeps cutting these interesting promos and honestly I don't understand why they haven't started booking him into a feud of some kind, is he hurt? Is there no one for him to fight? Also, when are they going to bring back Bray Wyatt? I have questions, as you can tell.

The continued evolution of Shane McMahon as a new authority figure who is rewarding the guys he works with who loyally serve him isn't a new concept, but it's working really well here and this roster of guys working together to further Shane and their own goals is fun to watch. It gives guys like The Miz and Roman Reigns someone else to fight against, although incorporating the 24/7 title into the story continues to make that title so annoying, it's clearly a joke title at this point. Overall this week was a lot better than ones in recent memory, but Stomping Grounds doesn't seem that exciting and honestly I'm just not feeling it.

Feel free to check out my digital short story The Wilson House or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help fight cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

Photo by Getty Images.

Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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