THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE continues its backslide into mediocrity

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

In the aftermath of one of the most disastrous WWE events in recent memory, Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia, WWE struggled yet again this week. With an incredibly tepid response to AEW's Double or Nothing, the WWE has fallen well below their own usual standards of quality, the match between Undertaker and Goldberg was easily the worst match in recent history as both wrestlers nearly killed each other doing their finishers with a botched jackhammer and tombstone piledriver, there was literally no way the match could have been worse. Beyond that, there was a 50 man battle royal and the only Saudi on the entire WWE roster won it, a guy who has been on the roster for over a year and has never appeared on either Raw or Smackdown.

Coming into Raw, the bookings made even less sense, with Baron Corbin announcing he has another match against Seth Rollins after losing just three days earlier. So apparently losing a title shot means you get another title shot now? Cool. Kevin Owens came out of nowhere and wanted a match against the champion and got it for no reason either. The Iconics fought a couple of local jobbers for no reason, and then WWE ripped off ESPN and did a split screen interview of Becky Lynch and Lacey Evans, were they scared they might fight?

It's fake. There were other matches, including the Revival getting their titles back, which it never made sense for them to get but at least this time it was a real match. The 24/7 is now officially a joke, it's just a running gag where R Truth just runs around from a bunch of people who also are a joke, this thing is quickly coming off the rails.

Smackdown hasn't gotten much better though, there was another tag match against local jobbers, a meaningless women's match and another awful run between The Miz and Shane and Elias and Drew. The whole best in the World Thing is getting annoying. Big E returns and they book a 3 man tag match against Sami, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler who Kofi will be facing again in Stomping Ground, another loser rematch.


Meanwhile in the Indy scene, Jon Moxley just won a title in New Japan Wrestling in one of his first matches as an Indy wrestler, further hitting home that the WWE is underutilizing it's wrestlers severely. With the WWE going in one direction and the upstart going in the other, it's not inconceivable that change could be on the horizon.

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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THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR: Quaker State 400 preview

Photo via: WikiCommons.

This week, the NASCAR cup series heads to Kentucky Motor Speedway for the Quaker State 400. Built in 2001, this track is a 1.5 mile tri-oval with a dog-leg on the front stretch. The most dangerous part of the track has to be turn three as the corner is flat compared to the other three corners that are banked. This has been a major point of contingency for these drivers as most of the cautions end up being there. Look for turn three to be a hot spot come Sunday. Last year, both the Busch brothers finished 1-2 in one of the most exciting finishes of the season so there will be a lot of hype for this race to live up to.

Last week at Indy, as we all expected the race was a crazy one. Over the course of the race's 160 laps, we saw many horrific accidents including a scary pit road accident involving Corey Lajoe, Ryan Blaney, Justin Allgier, Ryan Preece and others. The wreck started when everyone got stacked up entering the pits and the calamity was on from there. During the wreck Brennan Poole struck Rear Tire Changer Zach Price as he was trying to avoid the wrecking cars in front of him. After the incident fans and media alike all held their breath as they awaited news on his condition. But when the camera panned to him being loaded into the ambulance, there was a huge sigh of relief as he gave everyone a thumbs up signifying he was okay. Another scary moment was both Erik Jones and Alex Bowman's vicious crashes. Both cars had tire failures that sent their cars directly into the wall. Fortunately both drivers were okay but their days were over.

In the end, tire wear would end up claiming one more victim as it took out Denny Hamlin as well. With seven laps to go, the four-time winner this season was in prime position to get his fifth victory until his right front tire blew out, sending him hard into the turn 2 wall. This mishap handed the win to his main rival in the championship, Kevin Harvick, as he went on to claim his third Brickyard 400 victory and fourth win of the year. When it was all over, many questioned why there were so many tire failures and if new owner Roger Penske would make an effort to possibly widen the pit-road after the massive accident on Sunday.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions on what will be different at Indy in 2021. When I talked to spotter Freddie Kraft on Tuesday, he gave a lot of good insights on both topics. When it came to the tire failures, he talked about how the increasing corner speeds at the racetrack has put a lot of pressure on these Goodyear tires which eventually led to them coming apart. As far as Pit-Road and what they can do to fix that, he talked about how it is difficult to make changes to a track that is so historical. Which makes sense, but he followed this up by saying that maybe it would be wise to give up a little history and move the wall over and make it wider. It will be interesting to see what NASCAR does in the coming months.

On Friday, Associated Press journalist Jenna Fryer revealed a bombshell announcement that 7-time champion and NASCAR's biggest name Jimmie Johnson, had tested positive for coronavirus. As everyone knows, the world is going through the worst pandemic it's ever faced in this lifetime. With the sport coming back and racing again, it was only a matter of time until one of the drivers came down with it. Unfortunately it had to be NASCAR's most recognizable driver. Thankfully, Jimmie made a full recovery and was cleared to return this weekend at Kentucky. This was a big scare for everyone in the NASCAR world, but I have to give a lot of credit to Johnson for being as forthright as he was about his diagnosis with everyone who he works with. It will be good to have Jimmie back on Sunday.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Kyle Busch. While this season has been a disappointment for the defending champion, Kentucky would be a great place for him to turn it around. Ever since the cup series has started going there, Kyle has always been in contention to win. In fact, he won the first cup series race that was run at this track back in 2011. In his nine starts there, Kyle has finished outside the top ten only once and even then he finished 12th, back in 2016. Last season it appeared that Kyle was on his way to a third victory at this track, but he came up one spot short to his brother Kurt in a fantastic last lap duel. After a late race restart this weekend though, I see Kyle redeeming himself and capturing his first victory of 2020. Look for Kyle to get back on track come Sunday.


All stats and information used in this article are brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com, the best websites for all NASCAR stats.

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