Wrestling Report

WWE comes out swinging after Stomping Grounds

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

Coming out of Stomping Grounds the feeling was that the status quo had been maintained. Some things actually happened though to shake it up, including an interesting booking for Extreme Rules in three weeks. A mixed gender tag match scheduled between Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans vs Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins is now set for Extreme Rules; it's cool because you don't see a lot of mixed gender matches in the WWE but there are all the rage in the indy scene. The Undertaker made a surprise appearance in aiding Roman Reigns against Shane McMahon and Drew Mcintyre, a tag match between those four would be pretty exciting. Having both shows tag team champions on Raw fight The New Day and the Usos in an elimination match was an odd choice and the match between R Truth and Drake for the gimmick 24/7 title was just mean but overall Raw was entertaining.

Smackdown kicked off with a flat promo from Shane threatening the entire Smackdown roster, and then Kofi cut a great promo before it was interrupted by two time loser Dolph Ziggler. Kofi has been incredible for the WWE this week having a cage match Sunday, two matches against Samy and Kevin on Monday and then taking a beating from Samoa Joe before agreeing to another match on Smackdown, but yeah there's no chance of athlete burn out working for WWE or anything. Having the Smackdown tag team champions lose all the time is a really odd way to position the champs but for the second tag fight in a row involving the champs versus The New Day, they lost again. Mustafa Ali cut a promo where he gives his best green lantern impression and tries to seem like a super hero, if he's fighting injustices then why isn't he fighting Shane McMahon or Samoa Joe? Also in the category of odd promos Aleister Black continued his campaign of begging for a fight in a company full of professional fighters, it's confusing.

Overall this was a good week for WWE but there are genuine concerns or there should be genuine concerns about overuse for some of the more important WWE stars like the title holders. The Smackdown tag title holders, the WWE Heavyweight Champion both competed on both shows and on Sunday's big event. So what's the usage plan for these guys, how much longer can guys like Kofi and Daniel Bryant keep it up? The New Day being focused on is a great push for them and I think it's worth staying with for a huge amount of time but not all at once, spread it out and make it a brand specific story, don't burn these guys out in four months.

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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