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Lady Gaga is set to headline the Super Bowl LI halftime show, Us Weekly’s Nicholas Hautman reports, citing a source.

The news comes on the heels of rumors that the “Poker Face” singer was negotiating to take the stage at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Feb. 5, 2017.

Gaga already has Super Bowl experience, as she sang the national anthem prior to Super Bowl 50 last season.

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Stiffer competition between the pipes for the Pittsburgh Penguins certainly doesn’t have Marc-Andre Fleury running for the hills.

The 2016-17 season could provide a scenario, the likes of which Fleury has not endured in nearly 10 years, as the emergence of Matt Murray has put his starting job in question.

However, while Fleury understands he could see less playing time this season, he is not ready to ask for a trade.

“No. No. No. I’ve always said this is like my home,” Fleury said, according to Jonathan Bombulie of Triblive.com. “I wish I could play here my whole career. I try to do my best for the team and for the organization.”

Of course there is the chance that both Fleury and Murray will share the goaltending duties 50-50, which though not ideal, the veteran understands.

“I’m sure Matty is in the same boat, too,” Fleury said. “We’d like to play games. But if that’s what it is, that’s what it is. You deal with it and try my best when I’m in there.”

In the end it’s all about winning games and as Fleury sees it, both goaltenders give the Penguins a great chance to do just that.

“Me and Matty playing gives us a chance to win games, and bottom line, that’s what matters,” Fleury said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the net.”

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With Seth Rollins’s recent babyface turn, all three former members of The Shield are now on the side of law and order. Now, The Wrestling Observer is reporting that despite the fact that Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins are on Raw and Dean Ambrose is on Smackdown, the company is currently considering opportunities to reunite the group – briefly.

The events being discussed for a coming-together of the group are Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble, the next two shows that will feature talent from both Raw and Smackdown. Royal Rumble seems to be the most likely spot, as the Royal Rumble match will feature stars from both brands working against (and with) one another. If Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns are all part of the match (and they will be, if they’re all healthy and none of them are champions), they could easily have an impromptu reunion and dominate their competition.

The Shield debuted in 2012 as hired enforcers for CM Punk, but a long undefeated streak helped them get over as one of the most feared stables in WWE history. By 2014, the group was a popular babyface unit, but Seth Rollins’s turn on his partners split up The Shield permanently.

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A poll conducted by E-Poll Marketing revealed that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the NFL’s most disliked player.

Kaepernick was considered unlikable by 29 percent of the respondents, topping Jameis Winston, Ndamukong Suh, and Tom Brady for the dubious distinction.

The quarterback began protesting police brutality and racial inequality by sitting through the national anthem during the preseason, and several NFL players among other athletes have since joined Kaepernick in solidarity.

Kaepernick revealed Tuesday that he’s faced death threats since beginning the protest.

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Coughing up the ball a few times over the weekend won’t be enough for the Dallas Cowboys to reconsider their position on deploying Ezekiel Elliott as a featured back.

After Elliott’s strong Week 2 performance was overshadowed by a pair of fumbles, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones downplayed the idea the issues could affect the number of carries the first-round rookie sees.

“No. They will not, at all,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan, according to Jon Machota of Dallas News. “He’s a big man and he carries it properly. He does a good job of finishing, which means he’s trying to give the tacklers more than he’s getting in terms of how you absorb hits. All of that makes him a sound ball carrier fumbling wise.”

The Cowboys may not be concerned about Elliott’s ball security after one poor showing, and it’s sensible they don’t have any intentions of scaling back his workload.

But the fact Alfred Morris was on the field for the game’s final three carries in Sunday’s win over the Washington Redskins, including a goal-line set to punch in the go-ahead score, can at least be considered notable.

The Ohio State product should and will remain the featured back as long as his fumbling issues don’t persist. Any continued struggles in that area could conceivably see the veteran Morris get the nod in more key situations.

Elliott finished with 83 yards and one touchdown on 21 carries en route to the win, an improvement over his 51-yard, one-score Week 1 effort.

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Source: CYInterview.com

Chris Yandek recently spoke with Lanny Poffo. You can check out the full interview on Yandek’s website at this link. Below are highlights:

How poetry became part of his WWE gimmick on an episode of Tuesday Night Titans:

“When we went to black, which as you know is when you go to commercial, Vince McMahon said, ‘Lanny, that was great. From now on, you do a poem before every match.’ And I pretended to be cool about it. I just said ok. But inside I was going, ‘YES!’ And I had a gimmick. So that was it. And then when I became a villain, The Genius, oh man, that was easy. I just went to every city and insulted their sports teams. That was easy. Yeah. ‘Cause there’s no heat like cheap heat.”

What he’s up to today:

“I’m just taking care of my mother. You know, after my father died and my brother died right after, she hit the skids pretty badly. So I sold my house. I moved in with her and she’s gonna be 90 years old January 28th. She’s doing much better. I told her, ‘Do you want to live? Or do you want to die?’ She says, ‘I want to live.’ I said, ‘Then you have to notify your face.’ And I haven’t seen her smile in years. ‘You know, you’re gonna have to smile and laugh.’ And she says, ‘But what after I lost?’ I said, ‘Fake it till you make it.”

WWE inducting his brother “Macho Man” Randy Savage into the Hall of Fame last year, making the decision against Randy’s wishes as he wanted the whole Poffo family to go in at the same time:

“Now my mother was very upset because she knew that Randy’s wishes, she says ‘You can’t do that. This is Randy’s wishes.’ And I said, ‘I am the older brother now. I get to make unpopular decisions. It’s my wishes that are gonna happen. And Macho Man is going in the Hall of Fame because the fans have been suffering enough. On one hand you’ve got one Macho Man, on the other hand you’ve got millions and millions of Macho fans. And if it wasn’t for the Macho fan, the Macho man would not exist. So in a way, I am doing Randy’s biding.'”

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CM Punk endured a fast and one-sided loss in his MMA debut at UFC 203 on Saturday, but Conor McGregor is giving credit where it’s due.

“The Notorious” has openly flaunted his lack of respect for the WWE performers, a group that Punk was a part of before retiring from professional wrestling in 2014. However, he had some kind words when TMZ Sports asked him for his thoughts on Punk’s first fight.

“Fair play to him, because he got in there and fought and not a lot of people do,” said McGregor. “Not a lot of people have the balls to make that walk so fair play. He got his ass whupped, God bless, he got his ass whupped.

“Those WWE guys are straight p——, I told you so, but he isn’t. He got in and fought, so fair play to him. Respect.”

If any fighter knows what it’s like to take flack after a disappointing performance, it’s McGregor. The always-talkative Irishman was skewered by critics after being submitted by Nate Diaz this past March, his first loss in the UFC. He evened the score with Diaz by taking a decision in their rematch at UFC 202.

Punk’s prospects in MMA are considerably less bright, but at the very least he’s earned one unlikely supporter.

The Colorado Avalanche

Tales of a rocky relationship between Matt Duchene and former Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy were way overblown.

So says Duchene himself, who let it be known that Roy called him personally just hours after announcing he was resigning from his post.

“We had an awesome chat,” Duchene told Mike Zeisberger of Postmedia. “We didn’t discuss why he left. We mostly talked about the past. I learned a lot from him. He said he enjoyed coaching me. That was great to hear from one of my heroes as a kid.

“That’s the end of that chapter and it ended on a great note for him and I. There was never any problems there.”

One of the examples of possible contention between the two – aside from rampant trade speculation as recent as last season – was Roy’s criticism of Duchene celebrating his 30th goal of the season amid another loss.

Again, Duchene says that was much ado about nothing.

“At the end of the day it wasn’t anything against me,” he said of Roy’s call out. “He was just trying to set a precedent for the team and make an example of me. He expected me to be a leader and at that moment I let him down. We had a great chat the next day and right then everything was fine. It was blown out of proportion in the media. It was really nothing after that.

“After that, it was tough to read stuff that pitted us against each other because it was never that way.”

Duchene, along with many Avalanche players, was shocked to hear Roy was leaving the team, and will get a chance to meet new head coach Jared Bednar following his time with Canada at the World Cup of Hockey.

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Source: WWE

Mick Foley and Noelle Foley recently spoke with the WWE website to promote the new “Holy Foley” WWE Network show. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:

Mick on Vince McMahon’s reaction to the two:

It was definitely Mr. McMahon who loved the chemistry between the two of us. He saw me and Noelle in some footage together, and he thought it would make for a great entry into a family reality show for WWE. Some fans are aware that I kind of go in and out of favor, but deep down, Mr. McMahon has always liked me, always respected me, and he wanted to know if I would like to work with the company again.

Noelle on wanting to get into the business:

I watched [my dad] when I was younger, but then I stopped [watching] for a long time. I started watching again around 2010 or 2011, and like, really watching it every single week. So just watching it all, being backstage and meeting everyone … I have just always loved it. Like I said earlier, so many people look up to him, and I would love for people to look up to me.

Mick on a possible second season:

We would love to do another season. It’s all dependent on people watching …

Check out the full interview with The Foleys at this link.

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Current NBA players like Jabari Parker and Nick Young have openly declared their support for NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the American national anthem due to the racial conflict that’s currently going on in the country.

Even all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has sided with the San Francisco 49er, saying we should admire Kaepernick for his patriotism.

Shaquille O’Neal, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, has a different perspective on the matter.

“I mean to each his own, something I wouldn’t do,” the four-time champion said during an appearance on Fox News Channel’s Fox and Friends on Wednesday, according to NOLA.com’s John Reid. “I don’t really have a say on it but I would never do that. My father was a military man and he protected this country – uncles are in law enforcement, they go out and work hard every day. Just, you know, there are other ways to get your point across.”

If anything, “The Big Aristotle” wonders why Kaepernick hasn’t been heard from until now when it comes to controversial political and social matters.

“Again, my thing is, you have to enter onto the scene one way,” he added. ”People like Muhammad Ali and Bill Russell, they were one way their whole career. You can’t show us something and then go to another just because of certain issues.

”I’m aware of all the issues, but my question is how come he didn’t do it last year or how come you didn’t do it when you first entered the NFL? Again, I don’t know Colin, to each his own, it’s his constitutional right to do that but I would never do that.”

Inducting O’Neal into the Hall of Fame will be legends Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Isiah Thomas, and Bill Russell.

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Two days out from his UFC debut, CM Punk managed to sneak in one last bit of hyperbole.

In a perfect confluence of stories that is certain to delight web journalists and bloggers everywhere, the professional wrestling star-turned-MMA fighter found himself being asked if he saw any connection between his upcoming match at UFC 203, and the news that former football star Tim Tebow signed a minor-league contract with the New York Mets on Thursday.

“Symmetry? Yeah, maybe. But the people who don’t like me are going to point out that, ‘Oh, Punk wasn’t a professional athlete, so that’s a whole different can of worms, but I think there’s a lot of symmetry,” Punk said at the UFC 203 pre-fight press conference. “You go from one – I’m debating whether to call it a sport or not – everything I say gets ‘click baited’ so, ah f— it, you go from one sport to another there’s parallels.”

A Chicago native, Punk shifted the comparison to Bulls legend Michael Jordan and his attempt to become a professional baseball player in 1993. Jordan played one season with a White Sox minor-league affiliate before returning to basketball.

“It’s like Michael Jordan went from playing basketball to playing baseball. ‘Oh, baseball is too hard, he’s not going to be able to do it.’ I’m awkward and uncoordinated, and I’m old, and I’m fat, and I’m lazy, and I suck, and I was a fake athlete, I’m not going to be able to do it. If you believe all that stuff then you’re not going to be able to do it. I’m sure Tim Tebow can hit a ball. I think that’s great.”

Punk faces Mickey Gall in a welterweight bout on the main card of UFC 203 on Saturday.

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The Montreal Canadiens are honoring a legend with the naming of their AHL affiliate.The fans acted as nickname-choosers in this case, and after an extensive voting process, the minor-league affiliate will be known as Club de hockey Rocket de Laval, or, in English, the Laval Rocket.

The team is set to begin playing at Place Bell in nearby Laval, Quebec in 2017-18.

“From the opening day of the contest it was clear that the ROCKET entry would be a heavy favorite among some 850 different names submitted,” said Place Bell president Vincent Lucier. “At the completion of phase I it was the most popular choice. In fact, throughout phases II and III, it earned more votes than all other names combined.

“The message was loud and clear from fans looking for a meaningful identity for their team while paying tribute to Maurice ‘Rocket’ Richard as one of the Canadiens’ most legendary figures.”

Richard, of course, was a member of eight Stanley Cup-winning rosters in Montreal, and won the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP in 1947.

A logo and color scheme will be unveiled in the coming months.

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The long-rumored Chris Benoit biopic, tentatively titled Crossface, was confirmed on Twitter by director Lexi Alexander (Punisher: War Zone) on Wednesday after the news first leaked on IMDB.com.

Though no official press release has come, Alexander responded in the affirmative to fans who noticed the post on IMDB and asked her about it on Twitter. Details have been scarce, but the film’s script is said to be in French, and Alexander confirmed that Liev Schreiber, once thought to be attached to the project, is not associated with it.

Benoit was a beloved WWE superstar and former World Heavyweight Champion who missed the 2007 Vengeance Pay-Per-View event as well as that weekend’s house shows, claiming his family was ill. When police investigated the scene on Monday, June 25, they found Benoit, his wife Nancy, and his son Daniel all dead, the result of a murder-suicide. The wrestling world and mainstream media were rocked by the tragedy, and debates as to the cause of Benoit’s rampage and the effects of concussions in wrestling continue to this day.

In addition to Punisher: War Zone, Alexander’s credits include the film Green Street, as well as episodes of “Arrow” and “Supergirl.” Her breakout film, Johnny Flynton – a live-action short about a boxer who commits crimes similar to Benoit’s – was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002.

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Source: The Ric Flair Show

As noted, wrestling great Kurt Angle was a guest on The Ric Flair Show. Among other things, Angle discussed the possibility of returning to WWE and he shared his thoughts on WWE SmackDown Live’s American Alpha.

The proponent of intelligence, intensity, and integrity said a WWE return is equally as likely as it is unlikely. With that said, Angle indicated that if he did return to the world’s largest professional wrestling promotion, it would be within the next two years.

“Well, I’m not sitting at home waiting around. I’m doing my own thing.” Angle added, “but if I went back to WWE, most likely it would be next year or the year after. I did talk to Triple H a few months ago, a very loose conversation. They have interest. I have interest. They don’t know what to do with me yet. It was more of a loose conversation. Put it this way: I wouldn’t be surprised if I go back next year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t go back at all. But it was kind of cool to talk to Triple H and just bury the hatchet from the past and we’re both on good terms with each other. I reach out to Vince [McMahon] every once in a while via text and it’s just good to be able to let the past go behind you. And if it does happen, at least I’ll be able to end my career there, if I do. If not, that’s okay.”

During the podcast, Angle had high praise for American Alpha, saying that Chad Gable reminds him of himself and Jason Jordan reminds him of Team Angle’s Shelton Benjamin.

“Oh, I think those kids are great. They’re both very talented. They have everything it takes to be a successful pro wrestler. I’d say within a year, they’ll be in the main event match. They just have that ability and it’s fun watching them wrestle. They remind me of me a little bit.”

Angle continued, “[Gable] was a 2012 Olympian. I don’t know if he placed. I don’t know what he placed. Yeah, yeah, being an Olympian, that’s big news. I mean, there are very few that have gone to WWE, so he’s one of the very few. I love Jordan too. He’s a wonderful talent. It’s so funny because I think Gable reminds me of me and I think Jordan reminds me of Shelton Benjamin. And we’ll see how that goes for them. I know they brought Sheldon back, I think, specifically for them, and something happened to Shelton. He had to have surgery or something. So I just know they’ll have a good future. I’m excited for them.”

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Back in Montreal on Wednesday to mark the one-year anniversary of his $10-million fundraising commitment to the city’s children’s hospital, P.K. Subban reiterated he has every intention of visiting regularly now that he’s a Nashville Predator.

Even if he’s able to accomplish a level of success that eluded the Canadiens during his tenure with the club.

One of the kids in attendance asked Subban what he would do if the Predators won the Stanley Cup this season.

His answer?

“If I win a Stanley Cup this year, there is no doubt it’s coming back here.”

To date, Subban has helped raise $1.4 million for the hospital. He admitted he wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep up the momentum following the trade.

He’s found the opposite is true.

“When I got traded, my bond with the community and people in the community only grew stronger,” Subban said, according to Arpon Basu of NHL.com. “It was like everybody kind of rallied around me rather than ran away. It speaks volumes of the city of Montreal and the province of Quebec and the people here.

“Throughout the trade I think a lot of people forgot what this was all about. It’s about the kids and the families and nothing else.”

While donations continue to pour in, Subban hopes some extra silver – raised over his head – will also appear at the Montreal Children’s Hospital in the future.

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Source: The Steve Austin Show

Recently on The Steve Austin Show, Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman talked about Joanie ‘Chyna’ Laurer. Topics discussed include how X-Pac’s romantic relationship with Chyna began, their infamous sex tape, and whether X-Pac would like to see Chyna in the WWE Hall Of Fame.

According to the former 1-2-3 Kid, he and Chyna got together when he was coming off of a breakup. Apparently, Triple H had some words of caution for his fellow Kliq member, as ‘The Game’ had firsthand experience dealing with Chyna romantically.

“I had a breakup right before I saw her, so I was kind of down. I was really kind of the ‘boohoo’, that ‘woe is me’ s–t. And she was there to scoop me up. Things just happened, man. I don’t even know how to explain it, but I just remember Hunter texting me, like, ‘hey man, hey kid, what kind of psycho s–t are you getting yourself into now?’ Yeah, it wasn’t like he was mad or ‘hey, what are you doing?’ He was just worried about me. Yeah, well, he had his experiences with her that I don’t want to get too much into. But he was just going by what his experiences were. I’ll leave it at that.”

As for how the sex tape idea came about, X-Pac claimed that a friend of theirs gave them the idea following with attention garnered by Paris Hilton’s sex tape. X-Pac said that he tries not to be ashamed of anything in life, but he certainly wishes that it never happened.

“My best recollection, we were living in Beverly Hills [California] over here off of Beverly Glen [Boulevard] and Wilshire [Boulevard] in one of Donald Sterling’s buildings. One of the people that worked there was always coming up and hanging out and it was a female security guard. I think she floated the idea about [making a sex tape] because of the Paris Hilton thing. And it just kind of built from there and she was down for it. And I was in, at that point, ‘okay, I’ll do whatever’, whatever made her happy. It was both of our [idea]. I would never blame anything on her.” X-Pac added, “I felt like dog s–t, Steve. My kids, man, my family. Not at all [proud of it], man. I try not to be ashamed of things because shame is not a good f–king thing to have. Right, but it is okay to not feel good about s–t you did in the past. And I can’t, obviously, it goes without saying that we can’t change it, man. But, man, I really wish that wouldn’t have happened. And it hurt her, man. Even though we both were in on it, like, the artwork on the cover of the DVD was so humiliating for her and the s–t that was written on it. So I get it, man. And really, that was one of the things that led to the downward spiral and she’s dead now, man.”

One of the few professional wrestlers to be a member of both D-Generation X and nWo stated that money was the motivating factor behind the decision to make the sex tape and he shared that he made “six figures” from the sex tape.

“I’m pretty sure [the motivation behind making the sex tape was financial]. It’s hard to put yourself in someone else’s head. I’m not sure. As far as my own motivation, sure, it was financial. Also, ‘hey, she wants to do it, then, okay. I’m fine with it. Okay.'” X-Pac said, “it’s six figures and I got $50k up front. She got $100. But what happened was, I came back after rehab and we actually filmed after the deal was made, they wanted more footage and we filmed it after. And then, I flew to China and filmed some footage over there, so they could add it to the video.”

Also, the man known as Syxx in WCW indicated that he would like to see Chyna inducted into WWE’s Hall Of Fame in the near future. Moreover, Waltman suggested that he would be uncomfortable with being inducted without her being an inductee as well.

“It’s important to me that she gets in there. I mean, she was part of the reason, like, she was really disappointed when it didn’t happen before when she wanted it. But they wanted her to get cleaned up, get some help. Come on, from their vantage point, when they get somebody to come up on the stage and accept the Hall Of Fame, to be inducted in the Hall Of Fame, they want to not worry about what they might say or make sure they’re kind of stable, so I get it from that point of view. But she deserves to be in there, man. And I don’t know if I’d want to go in without her going in. She deserves that sooner rather than later, man, I hope.”

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Source: Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone has an interview with WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley, who was promoting Holy Foley on the WWE Network. Below are a couple of highlights:

If he stays in touch with The Rock:

“What’s funny is our daughters keep in better touch than we do. Like I’ll hear my daughter say, ‘The Rock’s going to be on Raw today,’ and it’s a complete secret. ‘His daughter just texted me.’ I get a message from him every once in awhile. And I’ve got a great rock and roll Rock story. When I met his girlfriend Lauren, she said, ‘You and I have already met. You were at my 13th birthday party. My father is Sib Hashian, the drummer from Boston.’ I happened to be with a friend of mine on the way to Fenway Park and he said, ‘We just got to stop off at a buddy of mine’s house.’ So we’re forever bound by the fact that the mother of The Rock’s child turned 13 with me in attendance.”

His past criticism of female wrestlers in WWE and if he’s made changes on that front:

“Yeah. I think Mr. McMahon was only shown the negative things I wrote. I don’t think they showed him the other 92.5 percent of nice things I was saying. He knew I was critical but it was always constructive criticism, and when I came on board, Stephanie and I agreed that as the big proponents of the women’s wrestling evolution that we needed to draft the women very high for Raw, so we drafted Charlotte second and then Sasha Banks sixth. We are really excited about the women’s division. Moving forward, it’s going to get bigger and better.”

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Source: Channel Guide Mag

Former WWE Diva Eve Torres was interviewed by Scott Fishman of Channel Guide Magazine to promote her upcoming movie, Skiptrace, which stars Jackie Chan. Below are some highlights:

More emphasis being put on women’s wrestling in WWE now:

“It’s really exciting for me to watch, but at the same time it’s also hard because when I was a part of it, the movement hadn’t really started. It was always there. You saw the women trying to fight and fight. Unfortunately, it didn’t get as far as I would have liked when I was there. There was a lot of frustration with that. It was a part of why I decided to move on from WWE. So it is actually a beautiful thing to watch this finally happening because as we’ve seen with Ronda women who can be a draw in a male-dominated, aggressive sport.

“Women can be a huge draw. We can be just as talented, even more so than the men as well. They can have great matches and be something that both men and women want to see. They don’t have to be this novelty. So to see this happening and watching the women get recognized while putting on these awesome matches is really exciting as a fan of wrestling and a fan of women’s wrestling.”

CM Punk’s upcoming UFC debut:

“For Punk, I just really commend him because it’s one thing to say you want to fight, but another to actually do it. It takes so much. I know this because my husband trains top-level professional fighters every week. I see the sacrifices they make and how hard the training is. It’s like nothing else in the world. So to actually go through with it is a really challenging feat in itself.

“Just for that I tip my hat off to anyone who puts their body on the line like that to fight in front of the whole world. So for that, he has all the respect in the world. I’m really excited to see the fight and how that training paid off and how this is going to turn out. I wish him the best. I think we will see how the training translates. I think it’s going to be awesome.”

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Mickey Gall knows facing a pro wrestler-turned-MMA fighter is a precarious proposition.

The UFC welterweight prospect has been tapped for former WWE superstar CM Punk’s debut at UFC 203. In a Tuesday appearance on the UFC’s “Unfiltered”podcast, Gall readily admitted the “high risk, high reward” in fighting someone of Punk’s background.

“If I win, it would really help my MMA career, it’d be a lot of exposure and I’d get to keep moving on with my dream of being in the UFC. If I lose, I look like a frickin’ asshole. Everyone treats him like a joke, so I’m not making that mistake. I’m taking it very seriously.”

Gall’s predicament is indeed a potentially treacherous one. Despite Punk’s undeniable name recognition, he still has to prove he can successfully transition to a real combat sport at age 37, a daunting task with no shortage of doubters. In other words, Gall, 24, can’t afford to lose what little credibility he’s accrued in his still embryonic career to an opponent many are reluctant to take seriously.

As for how he expects their fight to unfold, Gall sees Punk trying to vanquish his lack of MMA experience by instigating a brawl.

“He has a 2-year-old’s vocabulary. He’s been doing this for two years. I’ve been doing this for eight years. My vocabulary is bigger than his and just my talent … I’m a different athlete than he is, so I think he’s gonna try and come in and make it ugly. Try and bring the fight to me, and I welcome that. I love that. I hope he does. He’s gonna walk into some big punches and probably go down early.”

The New Jersey native has won both of his career fights, one his UFC debut, by first-round rear-naked choke.

Gall will face Punk at UFC 203 on Sep. 10 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Source: The Ross Report

On episode 130 of The Ross Report, professional wrestling legend and current lead announcer for New Japan Pro-Wrestling on AXS TV, Jim Ross, welcomed Ricochet to the podcast. Ricochet, who also performs for Lucha Underground as Prince Puma, talked about his future career plans and whether he would like to sign with WWE. Also, ‘Mr. High Fly’ discussed his favorite professional wrestlers.

During the show, Ross asked Ricochet whether he would like to perform for WWE in the future and the professional wrestler from Paducah, Kentucky responded in the affirmative.

“Of course, I mean, I would love to. Even all the people that I know that have been there, they always tell me, ‘you’ve got to at least experience it once’. But they tell me ‘you’ve got to go there and experience it at least once – whether you like it or not, it’s up to you, but you’ve got to go there and you’ve got to experience it once’. And, of course, I would love to go there one day. So hopefully, all my ducks get in line and get in order and I can make it happen, but, I mean, of course, I would love to, but right now, I’m still just kind of doing my thing, doing the New Japan thing, I still [have] got the Lucha [Underground] going on right now. But, of course, one day, I’d really, really, really enjoy to be there one day.”

Apparently, the first ever Lucha Underground Champion has already decided between re-signing with Lucha Underground and holding out for a possible WWE deal.

“Obviously, I’d love to go experience and do the WWE experience, but honestly Lucha is going really good too, so it is a hard decision, but I’ve got some decisions to make right now. I mean, like, right now, I’m in a position where decisions are needing to be made, so it’s actually something that [has] been on my mind here recently. I think I’ve already made my decision, which one I want to do, if that gives you some suspense, I guess. I think I’ve already made my mind up, like, which one I want to do. Definitely between now and 2017 some decisions are going to have to be made and stuff’s going to have to happen, so I’m just hoping for the best.”

On the topic of professional wrestlers who served as inspiration to Ricochet, ‘The Future Of Flight’ named The Rock, Eddie Guerrero, and Rey Mysterio, Jr.

“Even since [WrestleMania 15], I’ve been the biggest fan of The Rock ever and then as time progressed, you had your Eddie Guerreros, your Rey Mysterios, those guys that really opened my eyes up to a different form of wrestling. And so, yeah, I guess, like, I can always ask the question and if anyone asks me ‘who [are] your favorite wrestlers?’, I can say, ‘The Rock, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio’. Without even thinking about it, those are my favorite wrestlers. Growing up, those were my three guys.”

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The San Francisco police have responded to Colin Kaepernick‘s accusations.

Following the San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s boycott of the American national anthem, San Francisco Police Officers Association president Martin Halloran sent a letter to the league and team asking for an apology and more, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

The letter requests the league and the 49ers “denounce (Kaepernick’s) foolish statements and separate yourself” from his words and actions. Halloran invited the 28-year-old quarterback to come by the San Francisco Police Department Academy to “partake in any of the simulations that recruits participate in during their training.”

Halloran called Kaepernick’s comments “ill-advised” and said the quarterback has “an incredible lack of knowledge regarding our profession” and a “total lack of sensitivity towards police officers.” Kaepernick had directed his protest towards police, stating “Cops are getting paid leave for killing people,” on Sunday.

The SFPOA president says that police officers “will not stand by while he attacks police officers in this country with statements such as, ‘People are on paid leave while people of color are killed.'”

“Ironically it is those officers who on numerous occasions have protected Mr. Kaepernick and have ensured that the venue where the NFL holds its events are fully protected,” Halloran wrote.

“I only wish Mr. Kaepernick could see the emotional and psychological challenges that our officers face following a fatal encounter. Some are so affected they never return to the streets. In short, Mr. Kaepernick has embarrassed himself, the 49ers organization, and the NFL based on a false narrative and misinformation that lacks any factual basis.”

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Source: 2 Chairs And A Microphone

Recently, professional wrestling legend Steve Austin appeared on Paul Mercurio’s 2 Chairs And A Microphone podcast. During the interview, Austin talked about the evolution of his professional wrestling personas, how being fired from WCW was the best thing that ever happened to him, and life on the road as a professional wrestler.

According to Austin, Dutch Mantel came up with his ‘Austin’ surname as well as his ‘Stunning’ nickname. Austin claimed he started out as a drastically different character from the ‘Stone Cold’ persona for which he became most famous.

“My progression was a guy in long tights with long blonde hair, clean-shaven face, an okay looking guy. And that would evolve into the black trunks and the leg braces because of the knee injuries, the bald head and the goatee, a total ass kicker, so I morphed through my stages until I ended up with the winning thing.”

The former ‘Superstar’ Steve Austin claimed to have no animosity towards Eric Bischoff, who fired Austin from WCW in 1995 while Austin was recovering from an injury sustained during an overseas tour.

“Do I hold any animosity towards Bischoff or anything like that? Getting fired was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, but Paul E. helped me harness all that energy and my competitive drive as an athlete and a performer and just focused all of that into one promo.”

When asked about life on the road as a professional wrestler as it relates to meeting women, Austin admitted that he was surprised to see the hangers on at the outset of his career.

“Starting out on the road, I’m hanging out with guys who have been in the business 10, 15 years and we make our first stop, and, all of a sudden, all these women show up that are following the wrestling show from town to town or different towns have their different ones. I was like, ‘what in the hell is going on?’ because I was always in a relationship with my girlfriend or whatever. This was totally new to me and it wasn’t like I had a tremendous game either. I mean, I just always did my deal and did good, but it wasn’t like I had to go out there and be Laurence Olivier, dropping some smooth rap on somebody. But we get on the road and all that stuff happens. The higher up you are on that card, the stakes increase. The quality gets better.”

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Dana White is standing by his belief that a Georges St-Pierre comeback is not guaranteed, even as the pieces are falling into place for the welterweight legend.

Not only has St-Pierre’s team been in active negotiations with the UFC for months, he also officially entered the USADA testing pool in August to make himself eligible to compete again after a three-year hiatus from the sport of MMA. “GSP” even teased that he could be ready for UFC 206 on Dec. 10, which takes place at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

However, the UFC president told “The Herd” that he isn’t convinced the 35-year-old has the resolve to make a successful return to the Octagon.

“I don’t care how big you are or how much money you make or how much money you bring into the company – if you don’t want to fight anymore, you shouldn’t fight anymore. This is a sport you’re all in, you can’t be wishy-washy,” White said, according to Damon Martin of FOX Sports.

“That’s why when people talk about, ‘Oh Georges St-Pierre’s coming back,’ Georges St-Pierre doesn’t have that ‘I want to be a world champion’ attitude anymore. He doesn’t have that drive and that desire that he once had. And if you don’t have that, no, you shouldn’t fight.”

White has shot down St-Pierre comeback rumors on multiple occasions, most recently when GSP allegedly contacted middleweight champion Michael Bisping about a match.

“Georges St-Pierre will not fight again,” White said at the time.

St-Pierre chose to take a break from fighting following a split decision win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November 2013. He walked away in the middle of a 12-fight win streak with the promotion’s welterweight title around his waist, though he has never declared himself to be fully retired.

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Legacies in professional sports are often defined by the amount of rings one has on their fingers. Championships are what every team player strives to achieve, and a key criteria when ranking the best of the best in history.

LeBron James won the third ring of his career this summer as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, leading his team back from a 3-1 deficit to shock the 73-win Golden State Warriors on their home floor. He’s officially halfway towards tying Michael Jordan, an icon who James says he’s motivated to chase down.

Charles Barkley, a close friend of Jordan and a current on-air analyst for TNT, believes The King hasn’t even passed two newly-retired legends, let alone come close to being His Airness.

“The only problem I have with it, I don’t know how he just passes Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan,” Barkley said during an appearance on the 94WIP Morning Show with Howard Eskin on Friday when asked about James’ desire to catch Jordan.

Barkley went on to add that his personal top-five players of all time list (Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Wilt Chamberlain, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) is never going to change, with Bryant and Duncan ranking sixth and seventh, respectively. James, who Barkley has eighth, needs to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy a few more times to even reach the level of The Black Mamba or Big Fundamental.

“Now if he wins a couple more championships, yeah he’s in that conversation, but that’s a long way to go,” Barkley said.

The former Round Mound of Rebound is clearly entitled to his opinion, which he’s made a post-basketball career off of expressing. James won over a lot of his naysayers by putting on the performance he did in the Bay Area, and it’s highly likely he’ll add a few more titles to his mantle before it’s all said and done. His place in history was secure long ago, so from now on, all James can do is boost his standing and leave no doubt as to where exactly his name sits among the greats of the game.

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Ronda Rousey is reportedly in preliminary negotiations to make a UFC comeback in 2016, and president Dana White believes her return will be the promotion’s biggest pay-per-view ever.

White was asked by Colin Cowherd on “The Herd” Thursday if Rousey’s next fight will be a bigger financial success than both Conor McGregor-Nate Diaz bouts, and he confidently answered, “yes.”

“I think Ronda Rousey’s return will be the biggest pay-per-view we’ve ever done,” he continued.

The former women’s bantamweight champion hasn’t fought since losing her title to Holly Holm in November.

White has already axed the idea of Rousey returning for UFC 205 in New York City on Nov. 12, leaving UFC 206 in Toronto and UFC 207 in Las Vegas as the only possible options in 2016.

“Ronda had a bunch of minor surgeries and they’re healing up and when they are, I’m assuming she’s going to fight,” White said.

Rousey was undoubtedly the UFC’s biggest draw during her run as champion, but her aura of invincibility was ended by the humiliating loss to Holm.

Whether she’s able to reclaim her place atop the UFC hierarchy remains to be seen.

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Last night’s Raw played host to a fatal four-way elimination match for the vacant WWE Universal Championship, and while each of the competitors had a shot at winning, nobody could have predicted how the match would turn out.

A wild brawl that took up most of the final hour of Raw, the four-way match saw Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Big Cass, and Kevin Owens all unleash everything they had on their competitors. The unproven Cass fell first, as Owens pinned him after a frog splash. Though Reigns started to emerge as a potential victor, the unthinkable happened following a Spear on Rollins outside the ring.

Before Reigns could capitalize on his maneuver, 14-time world champion Triple H ran out and Pedigreed “The Guy” on the arena floor. As shocked fans looked on, he threw Reigns in the ring, then tossed Rollins in after him. Rollins pinned Reigns to eliminate him, and Triple H joined his former associate in the ring. “The Game” advanced on Owens, then attacked Rollins, planting him with a Pedigree as well. A confused Owens pinned Rollins, then celebrated with Triple H. Eventually, “The Game” left through the crowd, pausing briefly to acknowledge a stunned Stephanie McMahon.

This marks Kevin Owens’s first world title in WWE, and Triple H’s first TV appearance since his loss to Reigns at WrestleMania 32.

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Kobe Bryant sees no issues with Kevin Durant joining the Golden State Warriors.

Unlike LeBron James, Bryant didn’t go as far as to say the decision is good for the league, but the Black Mamba did tell “The Jim Rome Show” that he was happy for Durant.

“I was happy for him. This is something that he wants to do man, he’s happy with his decision,” Bryant said.

Durant has been widely criticized for joining a 73-win core. The argument goes that Durant stacked the deck and violated the spirit of competition by teaming up with his opponents.

To Bryant, the Warriors present a new challenge to the league.

“As a competitor, I would have thought less about myself if I looked at that move and said, ‘That’s unfair.’ If you’re a real competitor, you say, ‘OK, lace ’em up, let’s go. I don’t care how many players you have over there, we’ll still take you down.'”

Just imagine what a triumph it’d be to topple a team with four All-NBA players in their prime.

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You gotta Bo-lieve this is not how Bo Dallas wanted to spend his Friday night.

The rarely used WWE superstar (real name Taylor Rotunda) was scheduled to work a live event on Puebla on Saturday, but did not make the show. As reported by Pro Wrestling Sheet, it’s because Bo was arrested after he was found to be highly intoxicated on a plane at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport.

He was deemed to be a danger to himself and others, so he was removed from the flight. According to a witness, as Dallas was being escorted off the plane, he told the pilot and gate attendants to go “f**k themselves.”

Well, this obviously doesn’t bode well for Dallas’ future in WWE. While it seemed that the brand split might be a good thing for his career, he hasn’t shown up on-air since the WWE Network post-SmackDown show the night of the draft.

It’s another unfortunate situation for the former Social Outcasts stablemates, as Adam Rose found his way out of the company after a Wellness Policy violation and domestic violence incident. Curtis Axel is “Mr. Irrelevant” and Heath Slater is a “free agent”, though he seems to be doing quite well for himself on-air.

Perhaps most embarrassingly of all, Dallas was reportedly singing The Lion King’s “Circle of Life” in the terminal. That could come back to haunt him.

WWE has not yet commented on this situation..

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Paige VanZant might become the first athlete to go from the Octagon to the ballroom to the squared circle.

While her fight with Bec Rawlings at UFC on FOX 21 this Saturday in Vancouver is first and foremost on her mind, “12 Gauge” is still having to field questions about her extracurricular activities after a star-making performance on “Dancing with the Stars” this year.

One persistent rumor has VanZant being involved in a talent exchange related to the WWE allowing professional wrestler Brock Lesnar to negotiate a return to the UFC this past July. VanZant acknowledged that there has been contact between herself and the WWE.

“We heard a little bit from them,” VanZant told Justin Barrasso of SI.com. “They’re someone I’d love to partner with and work with, they’re a great organization.”

The two sports entertainment organizations have blurred the lines more than once, with Lesnar becoming a heavyweight champion in both the UFC and WWE, Ronda Rousey making a memorable appearance at WrestleMania 31 last March, and Conor McGregor stirring the hornet’s nest recently with comments deriding the sport of professional wrestling altogether.

Unlike “The Notorious,” VanZant has a far more positive outlook on a future relationship with the WWE.

“I’m a huge fan of WWE, and I definitely want to keep them close,” VanZant said. “Eventually, it’s still something I would love to do.”

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Cody Rhodes did an interview with Wrestledelphia Radio and during it he talked about whether his dad would have supported Cody’s leaving WWE. It turns out Dusty had told Cody to leave a few years ago.

“I know he would have supported it because he told me to ask for my release after WrestleMania 28,” Cody revealed. “I waited until WrestleMania 32 to take his advice. At 28, I recalled particularly, he was unhappy with the direction things were going with me and Big Show, and he just thought that I was so close to the keys to the kingdom, and they were slipping away, that maybe leaving would wake them to the idea that this is somebody who wanted to captain your ship and the way you guys are treating him has pushed him out.

“But it seemed at the time like kind of a leopard’s play, so it just didn’t interest me. I wanted to stick it out, and I always tried to not take Pop’s advice, because he’s my dad, so the advice always came from that part of his heart, not the businessman part of his mind, but his heart, and actually at the end of my WWE career, he was right that I should have made that decision maybe a little sooner.”

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Source: ESPN

Charlotte and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair recently spoke with ESPN to promote Sunday’s WWE SummerSlam pay-per-view. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:

Charlotte on turning heel:

“It really gave me an opportunity to have some personality. For me, being a heel comes more natural because Charlotte’s character was created upon being genetically superior, which is hard to tell people as a baby face and come across endearing.”

Their reactions to the segment where she turned on him:

Charlotte: “He was looking up at me with tears of joy. He was just so proud of me, that I was owning the moment.”

Flair: “I was just thinking how proud I was. Everybody thought I was upset. It’s amazing. It was probably one of the best promos they have had on TV in a long time. It was just tears of joy for her. She has been through a lot. We, as a family, have been through a lot.”

Flair on the SummerSlam match against WWE Women’s Champion Sasha Banks:

“I think the match she had with Sasha on Raw is the greatest women’s match I’ve ever seen. I don’t have a problem saying this, and I have seen some good ones, certainly Trish [Stratus] and Amy [‘Lita’ Dumas] had some great matches. But you would be hard-pressed to say that anything was ever better. That’s what’s unique about [Charlotte]. All she could think about is, ‘Dad, we didn’t have time to really put it together.’ I said, ‘Nobody knows that but you. Wait until SummerSlam, wait until SummerSlam!’ But she has been like that her whole life. She just can’t stand being second. I couldn’t stand it either.”

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Harry Fujiwara, who achieved Hall of Fame status in the WWE under the ring name Mr. Fuji, died Sunday morning. He was 82.

The WWE confirmed the longtime wrestler’s death on its official site.

Fujiwara established himself as a master of ring psychology during a wrestling career that lasted two decades, highlighted by his time in the WWWF and WWF, the predecessors to the WWE.

He’ll always be remembered for the heel tactic of throwing salt in opponents’ eyes. He ended up being part of teams that won the WWE World Tag Team Championships five times.

The Honolulu native also spent time in various other promotions before ending his career as a full-time in-ring performer in 1985.

He quickly made a seamless transition into the world of managing, where he spent another decade working with the likes of Don Muraco, Yokozuna and George “The Animal” Steele. His trademark salt toss remained part of his arsenal, along with a myriad of other memorable maneuvers.

Fujiwara’s ability to make Mr. Fuji one of the most iconic characters in wrestling history earned him a place in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.

Given Fujiwara’s long-lasting impact on the wrestling community thanks to his unique style and a brilliantly executed character, multiple generations of fans will likely remember him in different ways. But there’s no doubt he was unforgettable, regardless of the role.

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Rory MacDonald’s issues with the UFC’s apparel deal extend beyond the financial side of it.

Several fighters have spoken out against the UFC-Reebok partnership that was formed last year due to the deal being less profitable for the athletes than was initially expected. At the Bellator 160 post-fight press conference on Saturday, MacDonald cited the restrictive Reebok uniform policy as one of the motivating factors for his jump from the UFC to Bellator MMA.

“We walked into that cage like every single other person on the roster. We’re basically like a robot walking into the cage,” MacDonald said, according to FIGHT SPORTS. “The same jersey on. There’s no difference between this guy and this guy. It’s boring, I find it very plain. I understand where they’re trying to go with it, but that’s just not fight sport. There’s no personality there.”

Despite being recognized as an elite welterweight, MacDonald has struggled to establish himself as a fighter with any significant drawing power. He’s hoping that Bellator will allow him to showcase his individuality, an arrangement that could be beneficial to both parties.

“We’ve been in talks with Bellator for a long time now,” MacDonald said. “It’s gone back and forth with the UFC. We put a great deal together. We’re gonna build a great business together. Bellator believes in me, I believe in the company, and we’re gonna take it to the next level. We’re gonna take over.”

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While he no longer has a say in the matter, former Edmonton Oiler Taylor Hall feels Connor McDavid would be a “great” choice as the team’s next captain.

The Oilers went captainless last season after Andrew Ference was stripped of the title. However, heading into next season, head coach Todd McLellan has confirmed the club will name a captain and, for what it’s worth, Hall feels McDavid could fit the bill.

“I’m not there anymore so it’s not something I’ve given much thought to, but I do think that they need a captain,” Hall said, according to Postmedia’s Michael Traikos. “They need someone that has a ‘C’ on their jersey and if that’s Connor, he’s going to do a good job, there’s no doubt about it.”

Hall was dealt to the New Jersey Devils this offseason after playing with McDavid during his rookie season. And while he understands McDavid is still young, he certainly is captain material.

“I don’t know if Connor is ready. He very well could be,” Hall said. “But he’s going to be a great captain, whether it’s this year or whenever it might be. I was lucky to play with him and spend some time with him and he’s one of those guys that I’m always rooting for.”

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The San Diego Chargers are coming off an abysmal 4-12 season, but Philip Rivers maintains grand expectations for his club.

Competing in a division that boasts the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, a team that strung together an 11-game winning streak in the Kansas City Chiefs, and an Oakland Raiders club that clearly won the offseason, Rivers remains undeterred.

“We lost all six games (last year), so we can’t put ourselves up there yet,” Rivers said to ESPN’s Eric D. Williams. “But I do think that our expectation is to win the division. Now, that’s our expectation and what we believe in here – we can go from the very bottom to winning the division.”

Although he expects the Chargers to win the AFC West, Rivers did acknowledge the caliber of competition.

“It’s got a chance to be one of the more salty, tough divisions in the league,” Rivers said. “Four or five years ago, it was regarded by many to be a weak division. And now I think, shoot, it’s arguably one of the best.

“We know what Denver’s been. They won a Super Bowl last year, and have been the division champs for a handful of years in a row. I think they’re still the top dog until they aren’t. Obviously, Kansas City got in last year, won a playoff game and won their last however many in a row. And Oakland is kind of the hot team people are talking about.”

Reeling from their worst season since 2003, the Chargers possess an opportunity to shock the world in 2016.

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Connor McDavid has his eyes set on raising the bar.

Of course, McDavid’s bar has been considerably higher than his peers’ since he was granted Exceptional Player Status to enter the OHL at 15 years of age, but now 19 years old, the Edmonton Oilers phenom wants to ditch the “kid” narrative heading into his sophomore season.

“I just want to go in and have a good (training) camp and show everyone that I’m not some 18-year-old kid anymore,” McDavid told The Canadian Press.

McDavid endured a trying rookie campaign after a shoulder injury sidelined him for 37 games, but recorded 48 points in 45 contests when healthy. As one of the presumed leading candidates for the Oilers’ vacant captaincy, McDavid could be bearing larger expectations before even stepping foot on the ice, something he believes he’d be ready for.

“It would mean so much,” McDavid said. “It would definitely be an accomplishment that I would be the most proud of. But that’s still to be determined and I don’t want to talk about it too much or anything like that.”

The Oilers changed their identity this offseason, trading 2010 No. 1 pick Taylor Hall and acquiring Milan Lucic via free agency. Without revealing any personal goals, McDavid shared a glimpse of optimism heading into October.

“Definitely have high hopes for this year,” he said.

We’ll be watching, Connor. No pressure.

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Jerry Jones isn’t pleased with his young running back’s decision-making.

As first reported by TMZ, first-round rookie Ezekiel Elliott was spotted in a Seattle marijuana dispensary Thursday afternoon before the Dallas Cowboys took on the Seahawks in a preseason game.

Sources told TMZ that Elliott wasn’t seen buying anything during his visit, adding that it’s common for tourists to browse such shops, but the Cowboys owner knows the perception isn’t ideal.

“It’s just not good,” Jones said after the game, according to David Moore of the Dallas News. “That’s a part of just really getting the big picture here.”

The fact that Elliott stopped to take pictures with fans all but confirms he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Putting himself in that situation, though, where questions will arise about the NFL’s strict drug policy, is concerning for the team.

“In general, while it may not be wrong, it’s just not good,” Jones added. “I don’t want to say anymore.”

Elliott racked up 48 yards on seven carries in his first preseason action.

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Source: F4WOnline

Former WWE and WCW star Lance Storm was on Wrestling Observer Radio this week. During the episode, Storm discussed Finn Balor’s injury at WWE SummerSlam and noted that the reliance of “holy sh-t, oh my God!” moves are leading to a lot more injuries.

“When you’re throwing someone backwards at stuff who is partially obstructed… I’ve seen guys, if you come a little short, they bang their head on the barricade, too high you hit your back and fold yourself the wrong way,” Storm said.

Storm said that by watching the replays, it looked like Finn was coming up a little short and he reached back with his arm to take the top of the barricade to try to help catch himself, which led to the injury. Storm noted that both Finn and Rollins are good enough to have great matches without these kinds of high risk moves.

Storm noted that he wasn’t a fan of Rollins’ buckle bomb, and said that there is too small of a margin for error.

“When your moves have a high risk but the risk is on you, I don’t mind it as much,” Storm noted, citing Tommy Dreamer as an example of someone who took a lot of risks, but that he was always putting himself at risk. “But when you’re throwing guys backwards, the risk is all on him and I don’t like stuff like that. I didn’t like it when Sting took the buckle-bomb, and I don’t like it when other guys take the buckle bomb.”

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Paige VanZant feels privileged to have opportunities outside of the Octagon, even if they come with unwelcome scrutiny.

The 22-year-old UFC strawweight will compete Saturday for the first time since December 2015. A large part of that inactivity was due to VanZant’s successful appearance as a runner-up on season 22 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Her performance did wonders for her mainstream profile, but it also raised questions about her dedication to MMA.

Vanzant doesn’t understand why a potential career change was such a hot topic when the issue wasn’t raised for other athletes on the show.

“I don’t know. That’s the weirdest thing for me too because I got so many questions on that,” VanZant told Damon Martin of FOX Sports. “So many people were thinking that I would just move to Hollywood. I didn’t see Antonio Brown all of a sudden having everybody like, ‘Oh, Antonio’s going to quit the NFL to become a professional dancer.’ They never questioned Antonio or Von (Miller).

“I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s because I look like I fit into that world better? I don’t know. But I belong in the fight world.”

In her last fight, VanZant was submitted by Rose Namajunas, the first loss of her UFC career. When the matchmakers asked if she’d be interested in a fight with Bec Rawlings in Vancouver on Aug. 27, VanZant jumped at the opportunity, even though it meant she had to bow out of a role in the upcoming film “Kickboxer: Retaliation.”

“It can be hard because you want to say yes to absolutely everything because there are great opportunities and you don’t want to pass anything up,” VanZant said. “At the same time, you have to find that balance and find your priorities at the time and I think that winds down to the team that I have telling me and using their wisdom on what I need to do and what I need to focus on.

“A lot of that has been Urijah (Faber), he just helps me out with absolutely everything. I ask him before I take any roles or how that could affect my fight camp and he helps me delegate.”

VanZant is currently No. 10 in the official strawweight rankings with a record of 3-1 in the UFC. Saturday will mark her fifth Octagon appearance, tied for second in the 115-pound division behind champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk (six).

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The Kobe Bryant farewell tour from the NBA isn’t over just yet.

To honor his legendary career as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, council members will meet on Wednesday and declare Aug. 24 “Kobe Bryant Day” in the city.

“Among his astonishing list of accomplishments, Kobe Bryant’s 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers ranks No. 1 all-time for NBA players who played for a single franchise, and ‘Kobe Bryant Day’ is the City of Los Angeles’ way of thanking him for his single-minded dedication to excellence, the fans and the entire City and region of Los Angeles,” council member Jose Huizar said in anofficial statement.

“For 20 years, we were all the beneficiaries of Kobe’s incredible talent and legendary work ethic, and on 8-24 we’ll gather to say, ‘Thank you, Mamba.'”

The date pays tribute to the two numbers (8 and 24) the five-time champion donned during his tenure wearing gold and purple. It will also come one day after Bryant turns 38 years old.

“Kobe Bryant Day” will also acknowledge his charity work over the years, specifically what he and his wife, Vanessa, have done with the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation, which is “dedicated to improving the lives of youth and families in need, and encouraging young people to stay active through sports.”

*Jan 20 - 00:05*

Darryl Strawberry is doing his best to care for former New York Mets teammate Dwight “Doc” Gooden, but there’s growing concern, according to Strawberry, that Gooden is at risk due to a potential drug relapse.

“The condition Doc is in, it’s bad, it’s horrible. It’s like cocaine poison. I feel like I’ve got to get it out there because nobody else is doing anything to help him, and it might be the only way to stop him,” Strawberry told John Harper of the New York Daily News on Sunday.

Strawberry, who’s dealt with his own fair share of off-field struggles in the past, has been growing increasingly worried about Gooden after the two were scheduled to make a joint appearance last week, but Gooden didn’t show up.

It’s the second time Gooden canceled a public appearance in the past week, leading Strawberry to take initiative.

“He’s a complete junkie-addict,” Strawberry said. “I’ve been trying behind the scenes to talk to him and get him to go for help, but he won’t listen.

“I have to try something before he’s dead.”

Strawberry and Gooden, both former Mets first-round picks, won back-to-back Rookie of the Year honors in 1983 (Strawberry) and 1984 (Gooden). The pair battled addiction during and after their careers, which both players spoke about in the “Doc & Darryl” 30 for 30 film by ESPN, which aired last month.

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The King sees nothing wrong with Kevin Durant‘s decision to join a 73-win team.

In fact, LeBron James applauded Durant’s move to join the Golden State Warriors in a recent interview with Business Insider.

“I think it’s all great for our league,” James said. “Our league is very competitive. It’s continued to grow, and Adam Silver has done a great job of picking up where David Stern started, so it’s pretty cool.”

Since announcing his move, Durant has been buried beneath an avalanche of criticism from those outside the league. Notable ex-players like Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley roundly dismissed Durant’s decision to chase a ring.

But James, like most of Durant’s contemporaries, sees nothing wrong with a player exercising his free agency and picking his employer as he sees fit.

And, of course, James would take no issue with Durant joining a superteam – James famously took his talents to South Beach six years ago to team up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Like Durant, James took a beating in the press for his decision at the time, but that strategy worked fantastically for James in the long run. He’s won three championships and cemented his legacy as one of the 10 greatest players of all time.

If Durant has his way, it’ll work out for him as well.

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The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday they will retire former captain Daniel Alfredsson‘s No. 11 before a Dec. 29 game next season against the Detroit Red Wings.

Alfredsson was selected by the newly formed Senators Player Honouring Committee and will join Frank Finnigan as just the second Senators player to have their number retired.

“Daniel is an iconic figure in the history of our franchise. We are very excited to announce that the Senators Player Honouring Committee has unanimously decided that as we embark on the Ottawa Senators 25th season in the NHL, this would be the perfect time to have Daniel’s number 11 raised to the rafters of Canadian Tire Centre,” Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said in a release. “Daniel has consistently demonstrated class and excellence throughout his NHL career so it is only fitting his jersey number be retired to hang alongside the number 8 of legendary Frank Finnigan.”

Alfredsson – who works as the Senators senior advisor of hockey operations – played 17 seasons with the Senators, captaining the club for 13 of them. His 426 goals, 682 assists, and 1,108 points all sit as Senators records.

The 43-year-old joined the Red Wings for the 2013-14 season where he contributed 18 goals and 49 points in 68 games.

On Dec. 4, 2014 Alfredsson signed a one-day contract with the Senators so he could formally retire as a member of the club the drafted him.

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PWInsider is reporting that former WCW star Buff Bagwell has filed a lawsuit against World Wrestling Entertainment, pertaining to royalties he feels he is owed as a result of content on the WWE Network.

The lawsuit has been filed in the US District Court of Connecticut, and WWE has until November 9th to file a motion to dismiss.

Bagwell’s suit claims that when he signed with WWE following the collapse of WCW in 2001 his new contract merged with his old. Bagwell claims that WWE is bound by the terms of this contract (signed in 2001) in regards to payment of royalties for pay-per-view events and home video content.

The suit goes on to claim that when Bagwell was released in 2001 the language in the agreement stated that WWE was buying out all the obligations of the contract with the exception of future royalties. WWE has faced similar lawsuits in the past from Stevie Ray, Eddie Gilbert and Doug Somers, but the difference here is is Bagwell’s claim of contractual obligation.

As of Wednesday WWE was yet to receive the lawsuit. Will they have the stuff to deal with tough Buff, or are things about to get rough?

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Source: The Ric Flair Show

Recently on The Ric Flair Show, ‘The Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels was a guest on the podcast for a two-part interview. Among other things, Michaels talked about whether he ever seriously considered leaving WWE in favor of WCW. Also, Michaels talked about the 2006 angle pitting Vince and Shane McMahon against Michaels and God.

On the subject of whether he was ever close to signing with WCW, Michaels indicated that he fantasized about the prospect of joining his friends in WCW; however, he was always under contract with WWE and he never really entertained the idea of leaving WWE.

“It’s one of those things where you talk about it [and] you fantasize about it, but really, legally and contractually, no. I mean, I could never go. It’s just one of those things where you can, in the theatre of your mind, you can fantasize about it, think about it, wonder what it would be like, but, ultimately, I think I’ve always felt like I was a WWE guy and I honestly didn’t want to be anywhere else and the only reason you’d ever go anywhere else is for money. As badly as everybody feels like I’m a sellout for one thing or another, I guess, ultimately, when it came to wrestling, I just wanted to wrestle where I want to wrestle. And something had to be bigger and more important than the money and for me, it was the time inside that ring.”

Michaels added that Vince McMahon told him that he would not enjoy any creative freedom if he left for WCW.

“Even when all the WCW stuff did come up and I asked him, ‘jeez, let me go’, he said point blank, he said, ‘you wouldn’t be happy down there’. He said, ‘Shawn, they wouldn’t let you be you’. He said, ‘you’d suffocate – you’d never make it’. But the thing is, that was the day when I realized, again, he gets me.”

With respect to the infamous storyline where The McMahons defeated Michaels and God, Michaels indicated that his focus has always been on the in-ring product. In this light, Michaels was fine with the storyline despite his strong religious beliefs.

“I thought that was funny. It was so over the top and so silly. I don’t know. It’s funny, years later, I can remember [Triple H], I think it’s not years – months or a year later – I remember Hunter coming to me and he goes, ‘dude, we didn’t think in a million years you’d do that’. He goes, ‘we really thought you would be all hurt and uptight about it’. I was like, ‘dude, what do I care? It’s silly.'” Michaels continued, “the part inside the ropes, the part where people decide if it’s a good match or a bad match, that’s the part that I take very, very, very, very, very seriously and that I respect the most. All the other stuff though is just, it’s just window-dressing and silliness. And so, none of that stuff bothers me. And so, I don’t know. It wasn’t the most intellectually stimulating angle or storyline that we’ve ever did at the WWE, but, look, we used my personal life – we’ve used a lot of guys’ personal lives or real wives and stuff like that to fill up a storyline – mine is no different. Again, I don’t know that it was, honestly, I don’t know that it was one of the best by any stretch of the imagination, but it also wasn’t one of the worst. It was just another in a run of many sort of over the top, maybe too overdone storylines in WWE lore.”

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In an interview with 790 The Ticket in Miami, The Big Show has revealed that next year will be his last in the wrestling business.

The 44-year-old star told the hosts of the show he has been getting into great shape lately, and that he is training heavily for his match with Shaquille O’Neal at WrestleMania 33.

This comes as a bit of a surprise. Even though Show is well within the age of retirement, he always hinted that he had a bit more time in the business in past interviews. It’s great to see him getting into better shape, and hopefully he’ll be able to put over a couple stars on the young roster on the way out.

A match with Shaq has been rumored for years, and with it about to go down, Show may feel there’s nothing left for him to accomplish. Another run with a world title seems like a long shot at this point, so one last, big mainstream match for him is probably the right way to call it a career.

Here’s hoping to Show vs. Shaq going down better than Show vs. Akebono.

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Georges St-Pierre has put the wheels in motion for his return to the UFC.

In an interview with Israel-based writer Ram Gilboa, St-Pierre said he’s to begin the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) testing process Wednesday in Las Vegas.

Fighters who’ve been out of commission have to undergo four months of testing in order to return to active competition. St-Pierre, who’s publicly voiced his disdain for performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), said he wasn’t looking to be exempted from the process like Brock Lesnar was in his return at UFC 200.

“I don’t want to be an exception, because I was very outspoken about performance-enhancing drugs. It would be bad for my reputation if I would have an exemption – I don’t want to have a free pass, I want to be like everybody else. That’s why I’ll be starting the process Aug. 10.”

While the former welterweight king has yet to book a date for his return from a near three-year hiatus, he’s confident he’ll soon find an opponent now that he’s made the first step toward eligibility.

“I don’t have any fight yet, but it’s gonna happen now, because I’m getting tested, if I’m getting tested it’s for a reason.”

St-Pierre revealed he was offered a middleweight title fight with division champion Michael Bisping, but negotiations fell through around the time the UFC was sold. Now that Bisping is expected to face Dan Henderson at UFC 204, the would-be Superfight is unlikely.

“I could fight 155, 185-170 is where I’m comfortable, better, and it is better for me. I could make a Superfight, but I don’t (want) them to expect me to be fighting regularly at 185.”

Former opponent Nick Diaz’s name came up, with St-Pierre stating he’d gladly fight him again if fans got behind the idea. Diaz recently claimed he was drugged before their fight at UFC 158, but has yet to ask for a rematch.

“It seems to me to me like it’s Nick Diaz that is running for another shot at me. I wouldn’t mind, I’m not afraid of Nick Diaz, I’ll tell you. I am telling you right now: If it’s what the fans want to see, I’m in. I don’t care if it’s the first, or second, or third. If they want me to fight Nick Diaz it would be my pleasure. I don’t mind, I am not afraid of Nick Diaz, I beat him last time, and I’ll beat even worse, I’ll beat him way worse next time that I’ll fight him.”

As for the actual USADA testing protocol, “GSP” said “it’s getting better,” adding results are sometimes slow to be released. In the event of a failed test, St-Pierre suggested a monetary penalty, say a fighter’s purse, be added to the ensuing suspension.

“Because a training camp costs a lot of money. Mark Hunt, a lot of the guys when they’re fighting – like me for example, I spend money. You spend money to make money and that’s the idea of a training camp. When a fight gets cancelled because the other guy is cheating, there should be a penalty. The guys who(‘re) cheating should pay a purse not only because of the USADA but because of his opponent. Because the other guy spent a lot of money to get prepared – and time.

“I’m a very wealthy person now, but I remember the time I was not making a lot of money, it was hard. Whether is for PEDs or an injury, you lose a lot of money, and some guys don’t have the means. But if you have enough money to spend on performance-enhancing drugs – because this thing is not free, these things cost money – you should have enough money to pay your opponent if you got cut using it. To reimburse him.”

St-Pierre has not remained idle during his lengthy layoff. He said he’s been training the entire time, making a point to clarify he never officially retired.

“I didn’t retire. People have mistaken my break, I took a break from competition, it was because of mental problems, and because I was not agreeing with performance-enhancing drugs. I put the things on pause for a while, but I didn’t retire. I took a vacation. I put things on pause. That’s how I see it.”

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Retired pitcher Roy Halladay has aspirations of becoming a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, and if he ever were to receive the honor, he would enter wearing the cap of the Toronto Blue Jays.

“I’d go as a Blue Jay,” Halladay said Sunday during an anniversary celebration of some of Toronto’s best franchise players, according to the Toronto Star’s Mark Zwolinski.

“I wanted to retire here, too, just because I felt like this is the bulk of my career.”

Halladay spent the first 12 seasons of his career in Toronto, where he amassed an impressive 148-76 record with a 3.43 ERA, while living up to his workhorse title by tossing 2,046 2/3 innings.

He also won a Cy Young award in 2003 after 266 innings of work, so the Blue Jays recent decision to switch to a six-man starting rotation in order to preserve the arm of young right-hander Aaron Sanchez, isn’t one he thinks he could have accepted during his tenure.

“I would have really had a hard time with it,” Halladay explained to the Toronto Star’s Richard Griffin. “But that’s what all the guys in the four-man said (when MLB went to five). They’re like, ‘Man, these guys are soft.’

“If you have the kind of pitchers that (the Jays) do and a strong bullpen, it’s got to be beneficial. You’re saving arms. The guys are fresher every time they go out. It seems like so many more advantages. It’s probably more of a selfish thing to be able to want to pitch on a four-day or five-day. There’s times when you have a bad start and that would be hard to sit on for five days. That, for me, would be the tough part is having a short 2-3-4 inning start and then thinking, man, I have to wait this much longer to get out there again.”

Halladay pitched his last season in the bigs in 2013 with the Philadelphia Phillies, ending his career with a 203-105 mark accompanied by a 3.38 ERA and 67 complete games across 2,749 1/3 innings.

The 39-year-old will be eligible for the Hall of Fame for the first time in 2019.

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Source: Forbes

WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart was recently interviewed by Forbes regarding the current WWE product. House Money Studios, Forbes’ wrestling contributors, asked the Hitman about the WWE’s creative and its writers, as well his thoughts on how they handled Cody Rhodes, among other things. See the full Forbes interview with Bret Hart by clicking here.

Bret Hart agreed with Cody Rhodes’ sentiments about WWE Creative and the writers. Bret thinks there is too much talking and everyone sounds the same.

“If you watch wrestling like I do, you watch for the wrestling. There’s so much talking. There’s some ‘twit’ back there with a pencil behind his ear writing down all these things for wrestlers to say.” Bret continued with his displeasure, “It all starts to sound the same” and “I switch channels as soon as I hear someone going into a big monologue.”

Bret criticized the writers creating of the Stardust gimmick. On the writers, “They are wrestling fans but they don’t understand wrestling. The only way they can understand wrestling is to be a wrestler and that’s not going to happen.” Bret later praised Cody Rhodes’ wrestling ability.

“Somebody writes down a bunch of lousy things for you to say and it comes across flat, it’s not your fault.”

Bret compared promos today to the past, where in his era you owned what you said. The current dialogue is not “from your own heart”, as Bret put it.

Bret said the writers give wrestlers a script during the day to remember and then a few hours before show time they change the entire thing.

“They come up to you at six and say it’s all changed. Here’s this, you gotta remember this now.”

Bret claimed he has seen guys like John Cena remember pages and pages of material. Bret doesn’t know how guys like Cena do it, claiming “it’s hard to do.”

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He may be slightly biased, but Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett believes his boss, Jerry Jones, is worthy of a Hall of Fame bust on his first try.

With the Pro Football Hall of Fame contributor committee set to vote on the candidates for 2017’s ballot next week, Jones is one of the favorites to be selected.

“For me, he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer,” Garrett said, according to Clarence E. Hill of the Star-Telegram. “If you think about the impact he’s had on this league since 1989, it’s way above my pay grade but I know he’s had a huge impact in how we do TV contracts, how we market teams, I think he’s helped grow this league as much as any owner I know of. There’s no question the league is very different now than it was in 1989 and he’s been in the forefront of so many of these big changes, these big developments, this growth that we’ve had. I just think he’s done an amazing job.”

Jones has been one of the league’s most influential figures since he bought the Cowboys in 1989. He led the franchise to three Super Bowl titles in the 1990s and molded the Cowboys into the NFL’s most valuable team.

While Jones’ tyrannical approach to running his franchise has been met with criticism in recent times, mostly due to the Cowboys’ lack of success on the field, it’s likely Garrett’s prediction will come true.

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Jim Popp has stepped down as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes but will remain the team’s general manager, the club announced Monday.

Popp served simultaneously as head coach and GM for just over a year. He took over as head coach after Tom Higgins was fired in August 2015. He will now focus solely on the general manager role, where he’s built three Grey Cup-winning squads.

Jacques Chapdelaine, who was the team’s wide receivers coach and special assistant to the offensive coordinator, will take over as interim coach for the remainder of the 2016 season.

Chapdelaine has held offensive coordinator positions with Calgary, BC,Edmonton, and Saskatchewan, winning three Grey Cups along the way. The 22nd coach in Montreal history, Chapdelaine also led Laval University to its first Vanier Cup in 1999 as head coach.

“Jacques is an excellent football coach; he knows the X’s and O’s as well as how to get the most out of his personnel. He brings rich experience working with seasoned veterans and teaching talented young players,” said owner Bob Wetenhall. “Jacques is the best person to lead an immediate turnaround as we try and make a playoff run.”

Chapdelaine will coach his first game Oct. 2 when Montreal hosts the Toronto Argonauts. The Alouettes sit last in the East, two games behind the Argonauts.

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Who says hockey won’t sell in the desert?

The Las Vegas franchise – who has yet to announce its official name –announced Monday that they have received deposits for all 16,000 available season tickets for the 2017-18 season.

“We launched a season ticket drive in February 2015 to demonstrate the long-term viability of an NHL franchise in Las Vegas and were able to surpass our initial goal within months. Since then, we have hired an outstanding general manager, assistant general manager, director of player personnel, director of amateur scouting, capologist, director of analytics, and many highly qualified scouts. Today, we are proud to announce that season tickets for the 2017 season are sold out,” said majority owner Bill Foley said in a release. “This is a truly historic event for the Las Vegas community, the NHL and all of our fans. I would like to thank everyone who has supported and continues to support our efforts to make the Las Vegas NHL franchise a success.”

The milestone comes 18 months after the tickets first went on sale as part of a drive to see if there was enough interest in the city.

Las Vegas will become the 31st franchise in the league and will begin play in the 2017-18 season.

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Billy Corgan has been vocal lately about wanting to purchase TNA. But the sale of the company hasn’t been so simple, as various parties have an interest in it.

Dixie Carter still reportedly has majority control of TNA, and Dave Meltzer of The Wrestling Observer has revealed that she’s looking for at least $4 million to sell her shares.

Four million dollars seems relatively low to own the company, especially for someone like Billy Corgan. He’s likely made that amount many, many times over during the course of his career. But you can only imagine how many tens of millions the Carter family has lost over the years on the project, before they quit financing the company and left Dixie on her own. Perhaps she just wants to rid her hands of it now.

That number is rumored to be roughly what WCW sold for when they went out of business in 2001 (perhaps even more). While that company had a library that was worth much more than TNA’s, they didn’t have a TV timeslot, which badly damaged any leverage they had for potential buyers.

Hopefully the company figures out what they’re going to do soon, as it would be a shame to see WWE swoop in once again and buy out a wrestling company only to bury it in one form or another.

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Michael Bisping is still struggling to earn the respect that comes with being a champion.

“The Count” won the UFC middleweight title this past June with a stunning first-round knockout of Luke Rockhold at UFC 199. Rather than celebrate the veteran’s 12-year journey to the top, Bisping’s peers lined up to either challenge him, criticize him, or both.

Former titleholder Chris Weidman wondered if Bisping was even ‘championship material’ and hasn’t backed off in subsequent interviews.

In a recent blog post written for champions.co, Bisping addressed Weidman’s comments directly, with his usual grace and aplomb.

“I think Chris is really embarrassed that I knocked out the guy that dominated him and beat the living crap out of him (at UFC 194),” Bisping wrote. “He should be embarrassed that as a guy who calls himself a black belt in jiu-jitsu and some kind of crazy skilled wrestler, he was mounted by Rockhold, and had something like a hundred strikes landed on him. The referee should’ve called that fight after the third round.

“Where were his mount escapes? He should be embarrassed more for the fact that he got his ass absolutely kicked, but I went out there and knocked Luke out in the first round.”

Bisping’s first title defense is scheduled for Oct. 8 at UFC 204 in Manchester, England against Dan Henderson. That booking only drew more ire from the middleweight division, given that the 46-year-old Henderson’s had limited success in recent years.

Meanwhile, Weidman is rumored to be facing fellow top-five contender Yoel Romero in November, and Bisping thinks “The All-American” should focus on that before looking in his direction.

“Why should he be embarrassed that I’m the champ? I mean, really, it’s about time that Chris Weidman just shuts the f— up,” Bisping wrote. “He’s acting like a little bitch, and we all know it. Everybody is sick of him and all that whining. He’s always feeling sorry for himself and making excuses.

“Quit being a little bitch, Chris. Get back in the cage, win a fight and then maybe we can talk.”

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When one thinks of the New Orleans Pelicans, the first thing that comes to mind is the roster’s inability to remain healthy, as it ranked first in man-games lost during the 2015-16 regular season.

The team finished with its worst record in three years at 30-52, good enough for dead last in the Southwest division and 12th in the Western Conference. Its four leading scorers in Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson, Jrue Holiday, and Tyreke Evans all missed significant time, with Evans absent the most (57 games) due to a knee injury.

Shaquille O’Neal, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame last Friday, told the Times-Picayune’s John Reid that he believes the Pelicans need at least two more key players and two more years under their belt before becoming a legitimate threat in the ultra competitive West.

“It’s never really about management, it’s all about the coaches and players,” O’Neal said. “At some point, you have to make the determination whether you are good enough.

“The only thing that separates teams are attitudes, fan base, and the will to win. If you are in the NBA, you are good enough to compete. At times, the Pelicans played well last season, especially that game in Detroit (Anthony Davis scored 59 points and pulled down 20 rebounds). He looked liked the best big man ever. Now done it once, can he do it twice and on a consistent basis? He was doing everything in that game, inside and outside shooting jumpers – where has that been? They are still two years and two players away.”

New Orleans will look drastically different this upcoming season, with seven new players (Solomon Hill, Terrence Jones, E’Twaun Moore, Lance Stephenson, and rookies Buddy Hield and Cheick Diallo) needing to be integrated by head coach Alvin Gentry. He’ll need all hands on deck from the opening tip of opening night, as Holiday is out indefinitely while he tends to his wife who’s facing brain surgery, and Evans doesn’t appear able to compete following yet another surgery on his ailing knee.

There’s only so much a coach can do with a limited arsenal at his disposal. Davis is an all-world talent, but with so many question marks surrounding him and the injury bug never far off, a return to prominence may be exactly how The Big Aristotle projected – two years away.

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If the Ottawa Senators have their way, the team will host an outdoor game at Parliament Hill.

Despite past speculation linking an outdoor game to TD Place Stadium, the goal remains to play before the national capital.

Planning remains in the preliminary stages, with hopes to host the game in 2017.

“There’s really only one option we’ve been working on and that’s to try to find a way to make that game work on Parliament Hill,” team president Cyril Leeder told TSN 1200. “(TD Place) is not an option we’ve looked at, at all, in any detail and we’ve been really focused on the Hill.”

Senators owner Eugene Melynk likes the idea of the game played before a backdrop of Parliament Hill and the Peace Tower.

“That would be a fantastic way to really highlight (the Senators 25th anniversary season) and to have a national celebration of the game on Parliament Hill would be really exciting,” Leeder added.

Four outdoor games are slated for this season: Edmonton vs. Winnipeg at Investors Group Field, Detroit vs. Toronto at BMO Field, Chicago vs. St. Louis at Busch Stadium, and Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.