My Rangers are making a nice little run right now to get above .500. After a slow start to their year with their closer blowing 3 saves in the first two weeks of the season, the Rangers have won 9 of their last 10 to get back above .500. The problem? That 9-1 stretch still puts them 6.5 games back of the Astros. Houston is just rolling right now. They are currently 29-14, by far the best record in MLB. Hard to wrap my head around. You just don't typically think "Houston Astros: Baseball Powerhouse". I need them to fall back down to Earth a little bit here in the next couple months.
Saw on Facebook yesterday that the Escape Chamber in Des Moines is running a special that all their rooms are only $15 a person over the summer instead of $30. Looked into it a little bit on their website and it seems to check out. Not sure how long it goes but for $15 a person that's a steal. We did it once for my birthday last year and really enjoyed it.
So for $15, I'm looking to get another group lined up. If anyone is interested in doing that sometime this summer, hit up the Comments section or tweet us at @808thoughts. From there we will get a group and try to find a date. If you've never done it before give it a try.
Quick preview for WWE Backlash tongiht:
Tye Dillinger vs. Aiden English (Kickoff Match)
If this wasn't on the Kickoff Show I'd go with English because I think he needs some wins to build some credibility early in his singles push. But on the Kickoff Show I almost always go with the good guys.
Winner: Tye Dillinger
Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan
There was a minute there about 3-4 months ago when it looked like they wanted to do something with Luke Harper. Then.....nothing came of it. Now he's back where he's been for years, attached to Erick Rowan. I would like this feud if they put some time and effort into it. That hasn't been done yet so I hope this is just the beginning of the feud and not the end. I'll take Rowan here. If he loses, not sure where you go with him. So if he's going to continue to be on the roster I think he's gotta win here.
Winner: Erick Rowan
Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin
This just seems like a placeholder match for these guys until something else opens up for them. And not a particularly entertaining placeholder by that standard either. Sami's character is built to take meaningless losses like this and Baron can pick up a win to continue to build some heat and credibility. Easy pick for me.
Winner: Baron Corbin
Naomi, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya, Carmella, Tamina
Might be in the minority here but I've kind of liked this "Welcoming Committee" angle. Gives Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina something do. It also makes them a bit of a threat. I wouldn't think that of them individually but as a group you always gain some strength in numbers. And with the smaller, split women's rosters this allows SmackDown to not burn through all their rivalries right away as well. That was a big issue with RAW last year when they could only run back Sasha vs Charlotte so many times. So I'll take the Welcoming Committee here to continue this feud and start building some dissension between Naomi, Charlotte, and Becky.
Winner: Natalya, Carmella, Tamina
United States Championship
Kevin Owens (c) vs. AJ Styles
This "Face of America" gimmick seems like it could have some legs so I can't see Owens losing the championship here. But I also think you have to be careful with how you treat AJ Styles. He's too big of a deal to just be picking up random losses so I hope they have something in mind to protect him in a loss. I'm sure they do but I hope WWE has a plan for AJ Styles. He feels like he should be the focal point of not only SmackDown but the entire company. He was there for a stretch from August to January last year but he feels like he's taking a backseat right now. Which isn't a bad thing if they have a plan to get him back to the spotlight. Having one guy in the main event scene for years on end grows stale regardless of who you are. So hopefully we get AJ back in the limelight soon.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Dolph Ziggler
I actually think this is the main event tonight. They've been building this up very well and holding off Shinsuke's debut so it would make sense to put this on last. Plus, with the WWE Championship match being Orton vs. Mahal that could easily be moved to the middle of the show. Not sure the outcome of this one is in much doubt though.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The Usos (c) vs. Breezango
It's great to see Breezango get some run here. It's also disappointing not to see American Alpha anywhere on the card. For as great of a job SmackDown has done building up people and giving them opportunities it's disappointing how little they've done to make American Alpha seem like a huge deal. They were huge coming out of NXT...HUGE. Now they just feel like a random tag team. It's like WWE doesn't know how to book a tag team feud, on either show, that isn't for the championship. If you aren't the number one contender it's like you don't have a spot. Really weird. Anyways, back to this match. As fun as it is to see Breezango get some TV time the money is in the Usos as champs. They have a great thing going right now. They gotta keep the belts.
Winner: The Usos
Randy Orton (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
I hit this in the Three Count earlier this week but just the fact that WWE has made Jinder Mahal into a credible challenger this quickly is a testament to their writing staff. I don't think Jinder is going to walk out of BackLash as the champion but I also wouldn't be shocked by it. And I wouldn't be upset about it either. I think Randy retains but I'm a lot less confident in that assumption than I was three weeks ago.
Winner: Randy Orton (via DQ)