WRESTLING REPORT

WWE sends mixed signals this week between elimination chamber and 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 and the sister show Ball Control. Check out the podcast replay of the FM radio shows at www.nerdthugradio.com or www.facebook.com/nerdthugradio!

With Elimination Chamber looming, this is usually when the WWE shifts into high gear to get everything firing on all cylinders with their biggest event of the year looming- Wreslemania.

Raw opened up with Becky Lynch who has gone from kicking off Smackdown to kicking off Raw and she's not even on this show. Stephanie McMahon and her cut a promo basically tabling Becky Lynch from competition the next few weeks while she's "suspended indefinitely" coming up to Wrestlemania where she is scheduled to face Ronda Rousey. Kurt Angle looks to be building up to one more big Wrestlemania moment, and with no John Cena, no HHH, no Shawn Michaels and no Undertaker seemingly, this may be the big nostalgic touch for this year's Wrestlemania, possibly in a tag match. Speaking of nostalgia, for some reason Jeff Jarrett and the Road Dogg are still hanging out with WWE for a second week in a row and they rolled out a second match with Elias, where they couldn't even break a guitar on him properly. Finn Balor continues blazing a path back to a main event and it seems like there's going to be a great match in his very near future and EC3 had a solid introduction to the WWE Universe which is nice since Lars Sullivan is alleged to have had anxiety issues and still hasn't debuted on the main roster after several weeks of promos.

Over on the sister show Smackdown, HHH made a rare appearance and flexed some of that VP power with Becky Lynch, continuing the build up for a great Wrestlemania main event. Gallows and Anderson made a rare appearance in a subpar tag match versus Rusev and Nakamora, as Smackdown struggles to find its rhythm since the return of the McMahons and the promised change of direction. Build up for Elimination Chamber seems to be left primarily to Smackdown as the main event is comprised of six of their stars including the Planet's Champion, Daniel Bryan. Overall this match isn't exactly stacking up for a great main event as most of the players involved aren't exactly headliners right now with the exception of AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. Consider in 2018 the line up was Cena, Rollins, Balor, Elias, The Miz, Roman Reigns and Strowman but this year its AJ Styles, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy and Mustafa Ali, it's not really a great comparison is it? Building up for the tag team women's championship elimination match has been a little better though, as the women's matches have been high points on both Raw and Smackdown thus far.

Elimination Chamber looks to be a confusing PPV event with half of the WWE roster talking about Wrestlemania and pointing at the sign in the stadiums, while the other half is talking about an event coming up much sooner.

THE WRESTLING REPORT

WWE makes a move on AEW

WWE PROMO

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!

So there's a ton that happened this week and not all of it on just Raw and Smackdown. Let's get to the big announcement first, NXT will be leaving the WWE Network and coming to USA Network and directly competing against AEW on Wednesday nights. Also, NXT will begin touring the country like the Red and Blue brands to give more exposure to these lesser wrestlers and help grow the brand overall. I've always said one of the hurdles an NXT call up has to deal with when they come up is that they aren't nationally known, so sure they pop in Florida where NXT films every month, but how do they play when they're seen for the first time in the Midwest? That's not going to be a problem anymore which will make some of these guys journeys much easier. The choice to compete with AEW I think is their mistake. I think if people have to choose between two things they don't know, they are more likely to give the complete unknown the try rather than the third WWE show, I might be wrong but that's just how I feel.

The other thing I wanted to mention was WWE did a house show here in Houston on Saturday and this is the perfect opportunity to talk about how crazy the WWE schedule is. This is an untelevised show, with guys like Randy Orton, Kevin Owens and Charlotte Flair among other big name stars doing matches, they were flying in from Orlando, doing this show and going right back on the road for Raw on Monday night. This is where the road takes its toll on WWE superstars. When it was reported that Dean Ambrose did 200 matches in one year and you start adding it up, even if he was on every Raw and Smackdown that's only 104 shows. The number of house shows these guys do is insane and it's part of how they make their business work but still, the travel and the wear and tear is incredible.

This week on the shows they began the King of the Ring contest, this is something they never should have gotten away from. King of the Ring is just one of those iconic WWE things that should always be an active part of the brand and I'm glad they brought it back. From both shows the things that stick out the most to me is the Kofi getting tough with Randy Orton, Bayley getting a little rough with Charlotte and I'm so damn tired of the Roman Reigns storyline. I do like Seth and Brawn winning the tag titles, and I hope they let this have a nice long simmer before these two match up for Seth's title eventually.

Feel free to check out my brand new comic book Another Day at the Office email me for details or buy a shirt from Side Hustle Ts where some proceeds help people struggling with cancer or listen to Nerd Thug Radio. Thoughts, complaints, events and comments can be sent to corydlg@gmail.com.

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