WWE has announced four more competitors for The Mae Young Classic – WWE NXT Superstar and former American Ninja Warrior competitor Kacy Catanzaro, Japanese women’s star Io Shirai, Canadian indie veteran Nicole Matthews and current PROGRESS Women’s World Champion Jinny, who is also working the WWE NXT UK brand.

These four competitors join former WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn and NXT Superstar Rhea Ripley as confirmed MYC entrants. It was also reported this week that Vernice Gabriel from The Philippines has been booked for the tournament, which tapes in early August to air later this Summer on the WWE Network.

Below is WWE’s announcement on the 4 new competitors:

Mae Young Classic field widens with addition of international standouts, “American Ninja Warrior” pioneerThree international standouts — Japanese phenom Io Shirai, Canadian ring veteran Nicole Matthews and British up-and-comer Jinny — and former “American Ninja Warrior” competitor Kacy Catanzaro are the latest competitors confirmed for this summer’s Mae Young Classic 2018.

Shirai was recently introduced as WWE’s newest signee at a Live Event in Tokyo. One of the most decorated wrestlers in the modern history of Japan, “The Genius of the Sky” has captured countless titles in her home country and was named the top women’s wrestler for the past three years by Tokyo Sports, a national newspaper. Shirai is renowned for her incredible suplexes and high-flying attacks.

Perhaps best known for her groundbreaking performances on “American Ninja Warrior,” Catanzaro —who was recruited into the WWE Performance Center earlier this year — looks to make an impact in her WWE Network in-ring debut. Though she may not have a wealth of wrestling experience, Catanzaro has been earmarked as a prospect to watch, given her otherworldly athletic abilities. A former Division I gymnast, she was the first woman to scale “American Ninja Warrior’s” “warped wall” and has twice been listed on Sports Illustrated’s “Fittest 50” list of the world’s best female athletes.

A 12-year ring veteran from Vancouver, Matthews has established her name around the globe, having competed in Canada, the United States, England, Japan and Australia. Matthews has faced the likes of Becky Lynch, Asukaand WWE Performance Center trainer Sara Amato. She boasts an aggressive, bullying style of wrestling and likes to finish opponents with a devastating rolling cutter she calls the “Vancouver Maneuver.”

Rounding out this set of competitors is London’s Jinny. Less than three years into her career, Jinny journeyed into a WWE ring for the first time at the 2017 WrestleMania Axxess. Known for her hard-hitting style inside the ring, Jinny is the reigning women’s champion of the U.K.-based PROGRESS Wrestling and holds the distinction of being the first female graduate of PROGRESS’s wrestling school.

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When it comes to wrestling, there is no bigger name than Hulk Hogan. From main-eventing the first WrestleMania to making one of the greatest comebacks of all time, the WWE legend has done it all. And it appears that WWE is finally ready to celebrate his legacy once more, as the wrestling icon has been reinstated into their Hall of Fame.

WWE released a statement to its official website on Sunday, which read:

“After a three-year suspension, Hulk Hogan has been reinstated into the WWE Hall of Fame. This second chance follows Hogan’s numerous public apologies and volunteering to work with young people, where he is helping them learn from his mistake. These efforts led to a recent induction into the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Alumni Hall of Fame.”

The Hulkster was originally inducted into the Hall of Fame back in 2005 but he was removed from it in 2015 after a recording of him making racial slurs years prior, was leaked. The company also fired him, ending his short-lived return. Furthermore, he wasn’t mentioned on any WWE programming for quite some time after his dismissal.

The news of his return to the Hall of Fame comes just hours after rumors of a potential appearance at WWE Extreme Rules surfaced. So, we have to wonder: Could this mark the beginning of another on-screen run for The Immortal One?

Former NHL goaltender Ray Emery died early Sunday morning in Hamilton, Ontario after drowning while swimming with friends, Hamilton police confirmed.

Emery was 35 years old.

He played 287 career NHL games across an 11-year career that included stops with the Ottawa SenatorsPhiladelphia FlyersAnaheim Ducks, and Chicago Blackhawks.

Emery last suited up during the 2015-16 season where he split his time between the Ontario Reign and Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League and the Manheim Eagles of the DEL in Germany.

In a flash, the Los Angles Lakers transitioned from rebuilding a storied NBA franchise amid a down period to featuring a potential championship contender by bringing aboard 14-time All-Star LeBron James in free agency.

Head coach Luke Walton knows the pressure to succeed has increased tenfold, and that there’s going to be a new degree of drama surrounding his squad. Nonetheless, he’s ready to face the challenges head-on after going through a similar song and dance during his rookie year with the Lakers when Karl Malone and Gary Payton joined forces with Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal.

“It’s gonna be completely nuts, but it’s also gonna be awesome,” Walton told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. “The whole city’s gonna be behind us. We’re gonna be on SportsCenter every night. If we lose, it’s gonna be the end of the world. If we win, it’s gonna be wild. But no matter what, it’s gonna be fun.”

Walton also recalled the day he was informed of James’ decision to head to Hollywood, and how he spent roughly eight-and-a-half hours on the telephone after the news broke, which took him away from his Sunday family barbecue.

He chatted with his father, Bill, with Bryant, and even with Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who helped guide James to two titles in South Beach.

“He (Spoelstra) said, ‘First of all, you’re getting a different LeBron,'” Walton said. ‘”We (the Heat) got him eight years ago when he hadn’t won a championship.’ But he’s like, ‘Dude, he works extremely hard. He’s so knowledgeable about the game. You gotta always be honest and prepared and ready to work hard. As long as you do those things, the relationship should be fine.'”

James has appeared in each of the last eight Finals as part of the Eastern Conference representative, while the Lakers haven’t even qualified for the postseason since 2013.

Bret Hart worked for Vince McMahon and Company for thirteen years before leaving after the Montreal Screwjob in 1997. He comes from a famous pro wrestling family, so Hart knows how pro wrestlers are treated when compared to other athletes and employees in the office. Hart recently spoke to CBS’ In This Corner podcast about how he believes WWE should treat their Superstars.

“Employees who work for WWF they have better benefits than the wrestlers do. The ones they should take care of is the wrestlers. They still don’t take care of the wrestlers the way they should. I think that’s a real shame.”

Hart then compared another business Vince McMahon has a hand in with how WWE treats their Superstars. While comparing them to cattle, The Hitman said the XFL is being paid for by the pro wrestling industry before saying XFL players are likely to get taken care of much better than WWE Superstars.

“They’re gonna put millions of dollars into the XFL, another one,” Hart continued. “We all know that’s being paid for by the wrestlers, by the wrestling industry. But none of that is gonna filter down to any of the wrestlers. That’s gonna filter down to a bunch of football players being padded with football contracts and they’re gonna have special doctors and they’ll get all the things the wrestlers never got.

“They will be treated like the finest cattle you know animals, you know the treatment they will get is heads and tails above what the wrestlers will get. The wrestlers will get chicken feed at the bottom. If they get injured, they get sent off. It’s a very cut and dry world in pro wrestling.”

Two Anaheim Ducks legends are getting their jersey’s retired, as both Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer will have their numbers raised to the rafters at Honda Center next season.

“Paul Kariya and Scott Niedermayer both had an enormous impact on our franchise,” a statement from Ducks owners Henry and Susan Samueli read. “Paul was the club’s first superstar player, helped put Anaheim on the NHL map and electrified fans with his speed and playmaking ability.”

Kariya was drafted by the then-Mighty Ducks fourth overall in the 1993 NHL Draft and went on to score 300 goals and add 369 assists in 606 career regular-season games for Anaheim. He is also a five-time All-Star, two-time Lady Byng Award winner, and Hall of Famer.

As for Niedermayer, another member of the Hall, he won a Conn Smythe trophy and Stanley Cup as a member of the Ducks in 2007. He signed with Anaheim as a free agent in the summer of 2005 and went on to register 264 points in 371 regular-season games for the Ducks before retiring with the club in 2010.

Kariya will have his No. 9 retired on Oct. 21 when Anaheim hosts the Buffalo Sabres, and Niedermayer will have his No. 27 retired on Feb. 17 when the reigning Cup champion Washington Capitals visit Honda Center.

According to a recent edition of his ‘Heated Conversations’ podcast, Booker T is contemplating a return to the ring, claiming he never really retired.

Whilst discussing his in-ring career, the WWE Hall of Famer stated that Harlem Heat has retired as a tag team but his body felt good at 53 years old, and that whilst he’d love to wrestle for his own Reality of Wrestling promotion, he’d have to consider performing at WrestleMania should the opportunity arise.

The five-time WCW Champion last competed in the squared circle in 2016 for PCW and said on the subject of a potential return:-

“I’m thinking about having perhaps another match, myself. I’m thinking about getting in the ring one more time. I never really said I was retired.”

We’ve seen sensational comebacks from the likes of Goldberg and Kurt Angle in the past couple of years so it would certainly seem that WWE may be open to such a return should it suit them.

Booker went on to clarify that he doesn’t necessarily miss wrestling but that he’d never say never to one more match, due to the fact that the world would love to see it.

Damian Lillard‘s heart lies in Rip City.

With rumors and insider scoops circulating linking the All-Star point guard to the new-look Los Angeles Lakers, Lillard made it abundantly clear on Sunday that he’s a Portland Trail Blazer through and through.

“I’m straight up. I’m straight up with Coach. I’m straight up with (general manager) Neil (Olshey). I’m straight up with ya’ll,” Lillard told reporters while appearing at Summer League, according to NBA.com’s Casey Holdahl. “I’m not unhappy. I love where I live, I love the organization, I love our coaching staff, I love who I am.”

While Lillard – who is locked into his current contract through 2020-21 – is enjoying his tenure with the only franchise he’s ever suited up for, the last thing he wants is for complacency to settle in. His goal is to win an NBA title, and with teams like the Lakers and even reigning champions Golden State Warriorsgetting stronger, Lillard hopes the Blazers will try and follow suit.

“Like I said last year, it’s the urgency of wanting to make those steps in the right direction so we can compete,” he added. “You’ve got people out here going all out to try and make it happen and I just want us to do the same thing. I feel like we’re trying to do that.”

Lillard did admit, however, that he was upset to see teammates Ed DavisPat Connaughton, and Shabazz Napier walk in free agency. This rang especially true for Davis, with Lillard tweeting out a broken heart emoji shortly after the news broke that Davis was signing with the Brooklyn Nets.

He also didn’t do much to dispel the Lakers rumors when someone on Twitter asked if he’d be fine with a move to L.A., simply responding with “I’m a typically happy camper.”

Portland finished third in the Western Conference last season on the back of a 49-win campaign, but was swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the New Orleans Pelicans, with guard Jrue Holiday helping hold Lillard to just 35.2 percent shooting.

It was the Blazers’ fifth straight postseason appearance, although the team has yet to advance past the second round.

Wayne Gretzky isn’t part of the Hockey Hall of Fame selection committee, but if he were, it sure sounds like commissioner Gary Bettman’s induction would have gotten his stamp of approval.

“What makes the game of hockey so wonderful is the fans, the players, the coaches, the cities that back their teams, the global growth of hockey, the ever-expanding growth of our game in North America and, of course, the competitive balance we are fortunate to have in our league,” Gretzky told Dan Rosen of NHL.com on Tuesday when the 2018 class was announced.

“The commissioner’s vision to give every club a chance to win the Stanley Cup has made our game stronger. His leadership and love for hockey is very evident. And hockey has become more entertaining year after year, thanks in part to his passion for the game.”

Named commissioner in 1993, the NHL has seen massive gains throughout Bettman’s tenure, particularly expansion from 24 to 31 teams, largely in the southern United States. The Anaheim DucksNashville Predators, and Vegas Golden Knights are among the success stories.

Under Bettman, the NHL has also secured cost certainty, introducing a salary cap to begin the 2005-06 season, and boosted league revenues more than tenfold. The average player salary has climbed to more than $3 million a year. However, he’s also presided over three lockouts, including one that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season.

Some Cleveland Cavaliers fans have already made the decision not to tune in next season following the departure of LeBron James.

A study conducted by Qualtrics found that 23 percent of fans who viewed half or more of the Cavs’ games during the 2017-18 season will no longer be watching, according to CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin.

The Cavs went a combined 97-215 with no playoff appearances during the four seasons James was with the Miami Heat, which could explain the lack of interest as fans prepare for another post-LeBron era. As Benjamin notes, secondary ticket marketplaces like StubHub and TickPick have reported price increases and decreases of up to 80 percent when James has arrived or departed in the past.

Interestingly, though, 33 percent of those surveyed said they believe James was fully justified moving to the Los Angeles Lakers, while only 14 percent consider it a cop-out.

John Tortorella has repeatedly called the Pittsburgh Penguins “whiners” in the past and has unleashed his fury on both Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but his latest criticism is zeroed in on Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford.

Following Pittsburgh’s signing of former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson, who inked a five-year deal in free agency, Rutherford spoke about Johnson’s varying usage in Columbus, particularly the postseason when he was scratched for all six games.

“I don’t think he had a bad year,” Rutherford told Aaron Portzline of The Athletic. “He was a healthy scratch at the end of the season. I know the reason why. It wasn’t because of how he was playing.”

Johnson’s remarks at an introductory press conference didn’t help matters, either, as the veteran defenseman said, “I’ve been looking to be in a winning culture.”

Clearly, those comments didn’t sit well with the Blue Jackets fiery bench boss.

“All I know is, this organization, from the lawyers, the front office, (president of hockey operations John Davidson), the managers, the coaches, players … has done nothing but try to help Jack,” Tortorella said. “And for him to backhand slap us like this is utter bullshit, and he should know better.

“No one wishes anything bad to happen to him and his family. We wish him the best. But for him to put it the way he put it today is bullshit. And to have a general manager question our decision-making from three hours away, he must be a fucking magician.”

Tortorella’s response comes after the Blue Jackets worked alongside Johnson to help him through an extensive personal bankruptcy case which saw him forfeit nearly all of his salary over the past two seasons.

 

“(Johnson) doesn’t have enough balls to call me back, because I’ve tried to get in touch with him,” Tortorella added. “You don’t shit on an organization that’s done nothing but try to help you. We all know Jack has had some problems along the way here. It’s very well-chronicled. All we’ve done is try to fucking help him.”

Tortorella then turned his aim to Rutherford.

“The thing that pisses me off the most is a general manager in this league questioning and talking about our decision-making,” Tortorella said. “Shut the fuck up!

“I don’t want to go to name-calling, because I know Jimmy. He’s a good man. They’re both good people. But what the fuck are they doing? Get on with your business! I hope (Johnson) plays his ass off for them, but stay the fuck out of our business when you don’t know what’s going on.”

Mark your calendars now. The first meeting between the Blue Jackets and Penguins this coming season is set for Nov. 24.

Bayley and Sasha Banks were forced to attend counseling this week on Raw and a familiar face was there in Dr. Marion Shelby. AJ Lee hired Shelby in 2012 to help with problems between Daniel Byan and Kane. Shelby made three appearances during his first run with WWE and appeared at the Raw 20th Anniversary as well. Interestingly enough, Dr. Sheby returned to Raw for a session with The Boss and The Hugger one week after Team Hell No’s reunion.

Dr. Shelby is played by actor Michael Aspinwall. Aspinwall has a few credits on IMDB, but his most recognizable role is Dr. Shelby. He was in a TV show pilot this year called Stupid Cupid about three friends who want to create a dating app so they band together and explore their previous bad dates in an attempt to understand how love works.

Oakland Raiders cornerback Gareon Conley has filed a counter lawsuit against a woman who said he raped her last year, claiming the investigation and her lawsuit cost him “millions of dollars” and endorsement deals, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.

Conley slipped to No. 24 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft after the woman said he raped her. The cornerback was viewed as a near-lock to be a top-10 pick before his name surfaced in a police report the week of the event.

A grand jury dismissed the case without charges last July. However, the woman filed a civil suit on April 6, saying she “sustained serious physical, psychological, emotional, and mental injuries” in her encounter with Conley.

Conley’s claim argues the woman “instituted and continued the criminal prosecution of Conley with malice … because she was upset that Conley refused to have sex with her, or to position her to be able to squeeze a pay-off from Conley, or both.”

The second-year cornerback is seeking damages of at least $25,000.

According to Wrestling Standard, The Miz is set to interfere in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between The Bludgeon Brothers and Team Hell No at Extreme Rules, costing Daniel Bryan and Kane the titles.

As a result, this will lead to a match between Miz and Bryan at SummerSlam in New York on 19 August. Furthermore, The A-Lister may apparently defeat The Beard unless Bryan signs a new deal with WWE. If he extends his contract, it’s rumoured Bryan will emerge from SummerSlam victorious, with their feud set to continue with a match at Hell in a Cell.

WWE are allegedly booking D-Bry in storylines they had planned for further down the line in order to maximise his use whilst he’s under contract, which expires on 23 September.

Daniel Bryan has already had dream matches against the likes of Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy and WWE Champion AJ Styles, which only supports the theory that WWE are making the most of a recently returned Bryan in case he decides to move on in a few months time.

The Miz versus Daniel Bryan is one of the most highly anticipated rivalries in WWE today given their history. Miz costing the recently reunited Team Hell No the tag team titles could be the perfect catalyst for a potential feud of the year.

High-level professional basketball could be making a return to British Columbia.

There is a “very strong chance” the Portland Trail Blazers, one of the four NBA teams without a direct G-League affiliate, will bring such a team to the Vancouver area, reports Adam Forsythe of Sportsnet 650.

The team would play out of the Langley Events Centre, Forsythe added.

With Portland a five-hour drive south of Langley, the team could have an affiliate relatively close by while also expanding its footprint in the Vancouver area, where there’s already a sizable Blazers fan base.

If the G-League were to come north, it would be the first team in Greater Vancouver with a tie to the NBA since the Grizzlies relocated to Memphis following the 2000-01 season.

John Tavares is coming home.

The superstar forward is signing a seven-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs at an average annual value of $11 million, the club confirmed Sunday.

“The island, the fans, the organization, (and) my teammates will always be special to me and my family but it’s time to live my childhood dream here in Toronto,” Tavares wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Tavares’ new deal will reportedly be paid largely in signing bonuses rather than actual salary, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The Mississauga-born center was by far the biggest fish on the free-agent market, and he gives the Maple Leafs impressive depth at the position, joining Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri down the middle in Toronto’s top nine.

Tavares leaves the Islanders as the fifth-ranked point producer in franchise history, and the seventh-ranked goal-scorer. He poured in 272 goals and 621 points in 669 games for New York after being selected first overall in 2009.

Charlotte spoke with Yahoo! Sports on the ESPN “Body Issue” photo shoot and Ronda Rousey. Here are some of the highlights:

Being the first WWE Superstar to be in ESPN’s “Body Issue”:

“I’ve always been a huge fan of the issue and growing up as an athlete, it was very encouraging to see that strong was being shown as sexy. So, the athletes very much inspired me and I guess almost helped me full comfortable in my own skin. I’m an athlete, I am sexy. It was obviously a bucket list but a WWE superstar had never been in the issue, so when I found out that they were going to have me in the 10th anniversary issue, I was like is this real? I kept annoying our talent relations department like, ‘I really am picked, they aren’t going to change it? For sure?’ Up until the shoot, I kept checking in. I was just so excited and the fact that the women have worked so hard for WWE for so many years to be more than just eye candy, more than just the women are divas. Just to show the world that we are athletes and have so much to offer.

The Body Issue reaches a whole different demographic in that they can see wow, women’s wrestling has come this far and she’s an athlete. I hope this opens doors for more women to be represented in years to come in the issue to a whole new demographic. I was very honored and very excited and it also made me feel proud to be an athlete because I know when I first started, I had such a hard time. How do you do your makeup? How do you look like a star? How do you dress like a diva? And here I am almost six years later and I am so proud I grew up playing sports and that I have an athletic body and I just hope it sends that message all over.”

If she was nervous during the photo shoot:

“Well, doing a moonsault naked is totally different. But no, I completely committed to the project and told them I wanted to do it without makeup. I actually had a black eye from Asuka from WrestleMania that I do not regret. I wanted it to be shown because we shot the week after WrestleMania. I was kind of excited about it. I get to show off my battle wound. I think just the message that being who you are in any shape, any size, no makeup, completely raw, is just so important and that’s what I just kept thinking about. It was almost like a weight lifted off my shoulders. This is who I am. I’m so proud of my body. I’m so proud to be an athlete. I wouldn’t change anything.”

Ronda Rousey’s run in WWE:

“I’m blown away. How fast she has picked everything up, especially with her match against Nia Jax at Money in the Bank. I know my dad texted her and said the same thing, just Roddy Pipper would be so proud of her. She gets better every time she’s out there and it doesn’t look like she’s going to slow down at any point. I know she will become the Raw women’s champion at some point and it’s an honor to have her part of our division. She’s blown my mind with how fast she’s picked this up.”

Charlotte also discussed the Special Olympics and watching Raw with Ric Flair. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.

Any hope the San Antonio Spurs had in reconciling their relationship with franchise star Kawhi Leonard may have gone down the drain in March, thanks to Tony Parker.

The veteran point guard was quoted saying his own quad injury was “100 times worse” than Leonard’s. Those comments were reportedly the “last straw” for Leonard as it pertains to him wanting to remain with the organization, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe.

“I’ve been through it. It was rehab for me for eight months. Same kind of injury, but mine was 100 times worse, but the same kind of injury. You just stay positive,” Parker said in March.

The now 36-year-old was referring to his potentially career-ending torn left quadriceps tendon which knocked him out of the 2017 playoffs. He soon underwent successful surgery to repair the damage and made his 2017-18 regular-season debut on Nov. 27, 2017, after missing the first 19 games.

Shortly after Parker’s remarks were made, Leonard began rehabbing his right quad tendinopathy in New York, away from the team, with no timetable provided for his return. He had reportedly been cleared by the Spurs to return a month earlier but elected to get a second opinion.

Leonard played just nine games in 2017-18, averaging 16.2 points and 4.7 rebounds after averaging 25.5 points and 5.8 rebounds and finishing as a top-three finalist for Most Valuable Player the season prior.

San Antonio has since been engaged in trade talks with both the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, with Leonard’s preference being his hometown Lakers.

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Shaquille O’Neal has high aspirations for his Hollywood career.

The NBA Hall of Famer already has a number of acting credits to his name, including a role in “Uncle Drew,” which opens Friday. He told The Associated Press’ Jake Coyle that he hopes to eventually become one of the biggest movie stars on the planet.

“I want to be as big as (The) Rock,” O’Neal said.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has enjoyed a successful acting career since leaving WWE as a full-time performer, becoming the second-highest-paid actor in the world.

“We come from the same place: athletes that transition,” O’Neal said. “That’s my goal. I want similar type movies. I want to get thrillers. I want to get dramas. I want to do comedies. I want to be the next Rock. I want to do a thriller where I’m like a hero and beat up all the bad guys.”

An NFL investigation substantiated claims of workplace misconduct against outgoing Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, the league announcedThursday.

The league also fined Richardson $2.75 million for his actions, which included the sexual harassment of female employees and the use of a racial slur against an African-American scout. Most of the fine will fund league-wide workplace training and support organizations that address race- and gender-based issues.

Richardson agreed to sell the franchise in December once the allegations against him were made public. NFL owners have already approved David Tepper’s bid to purchase the club, and the sale is expected to officially close in July.

Former U.S. attorney Mary Jo White led the investigation and revealed her findings to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. She determined the misconduct was limited to Richardson and didn’t extend to other team employees.

“I appreciate Mary Jo White’s careful and thorough examination of these issues, and her thoughtful recommendations to the Panthers and the entire NFL,” Goodell said in a statement. “Her recommendations will help ensure that our workplaces are open, inclusive, and respectful.”

White also left the NFL with several recommendations it should implement to help address workplace culture:

  • Prohibiting using non-disclosure agreements to limit reporting of potential violations or cooperation in league investigations under the Personal Conduct Policy.
  • A requirement that claims of workplace misconduct be reported to the league office.
  • To establish a hotline or other system to allow league and club employees to confidentially report issues of workplace conduct.
  • Review workplace best practices and policies with owners, club counsel, and human resource executives.

Influences on the nWo style and catch phrases:

“When I met Scott, he was more of a country-western guy and I was born and raised in Detroit so I was always kind of a Motown guy and once West Coast rap got really hot and especially Death Row it was we began listening to Death Row a lot in the car and there was this old Mack 10 song and in this Mack 10 song they rob a McDonald’s and one dude says to the other dude in the car that he’d been wanting to do that for two years and the other guys says that he’d been wanting to do that FOR LIFE, so that is where we got that. Most of our catch phrases and those things we did we got from West Coast rap. Immediately, I remember I put my headband on backwards like 2 Pac. Here is a thirty five year old white guy with his headband on backwards but it worked.”

Great American Bash 96 and power bombing Eric Bischoff on Pay Per View:

“That is the first night that we became aggressive. Shortly after that I think we were in Charlotte (maybe the next Monday) where we brought out the aluminium baseball bats. That was (Kevin) Sullivan. Sullivan knew that two things sell in wrestling and that is sex and violence.

“The three of us (Hall, Bischoff, Nash) were all there at the beginning. He was WCW and we were the invaders and this was before the third man was unveiled so basically he was the foil and we were the invaders and he was representing WCW. He did such a good job and it was his idea and along the way it was tweaked here and there but conceptually he laid it out to me even before I decided to come on over.”

How the nWo changed the perception of wrestling in the 90s:

“I always say that we showed Vince how to build the Saturn V and once we built it he kicked our astronauts out of the castle and said I’ve got it from here, pal.”

Being the WWE’s first anti-hero:

“I was trying to do it forever. If you look at when I lost to Bret, I made sure that when I said ‘m’fer’ that they got that and at Royal Rumble when I went down and interfered with Taker and Bret I flipped Undertaker off and I know for a fact that I am the first person to flip somebody off like that on TV. They were both pay per views but it was something that was one of those things like how I always dragged the belt.

“At that time the movie Heat was popular and at the end I was talking to Vince and we had just had a conversation like a year earlier and we were all in a room with The Kliq guys and we said wouldn’t you rather have 15,000 people and have 7,500 for the baby-face and 7,500 for the heel? The anti-hero is the way to go.”

Lasting impact of The Kliq on wrestling:

“It’s one of those things where you get that status of at the beginning of The Kliq DVD and they talk to Shawn and Shawn says that a lot of people disliked us and a lot of people did this and that but after all these years they are still talking about us and still talking about what we did so obviously a lot of the things we did were spot on.”

Kevin Owens is a big fan of country music singer Shania Twain and made it his mission to ensure she played her song ‘When’ during the Montreal concert he planned on attending. Tuesday night was the big night for KO and it looks like he got more than his money’s worth out of the concert.

Shania was in the middle of her concert when she brought a superfan to the stage when she noticed his handmade sign. Twain asked the fan what his name was and he replied: “Kevin Owens from Montreal.” They had a funny back-and-forth before Twain brought The Prizefighter on stage with her.

After Kevin Owens told the multi-platinum recording artist what his name was she asked him if he was the ‘annoying fan from Twitter.’ Of course, Owens wasn’t the only fan sending Twain song requests on Twitter but he certainly made himself known by requesting ‘When’ so many times.

Owens admitted he did send her a couple messages on social media but it was the WWE Universe who created all the buzz. After all, Owens just wanted to hear her perform, ‘When.’ After they exchanged a few words in French they concluded the little bit on stage, but Shania didn’t sing ‘When’ claiming she didn’t want to forget the words.

Before Owens left he helped Shania Twain sit on top of a piano by using his knee as a step, he bowed to her and then exited the stage.

 

Oliver Wahlstrom is known for having a great shot, and now he’s aiming it squarely at a crosstown rival of the team that selected him in the draft.

The promising forward had a message for a certain club that passed on him Friday night.

“The New York Rangers made a mistake there,” Wahlstrom told the New York Post’s Brett Cyrgalis at the New York Islanders development camp Tuesday morning.

Wahlstrom wasn’t taken by the Rangers at No. 9 overall, as they opted forRussian winger Vitali Kravtsov with the first of their two first-round choices, and the Islanders chose Wahlstrom two picks later with the first of their two consecutive selections.

The Islanders host the Rangers on Nov. 15 in their first meeting of the 2018-19 season, and the two clubs will face off again six days later at Madison Square Garden.

The Edmonton Eskimos have added Terrell Owens to their negotiation list, TSN’s David Naylor reports.

Owens hasn’t played a down since the 2010 NFL season, when he featured for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The six-time Pro Bowler is scheduled to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer. Owens recently made headlines for stating that he won’t attend the ceremony. On Monday, he posted an Instagram video that appears to show him running a 40-yard dash in 4.43 seconds.

Triple H gave his customary pre-TakeOver media conference call yesterday, speaking on a number of key developmental topics ahead of Saturday’s event in Chicago.

The possibility of main roster talents joining NXT for career-reviving runs )a la Cesaro and Tyson Kidd a few years ago) was a big talking point, with Triple H stating that he “loves the unpredictability,” and that such moves would certainly help those who’ve lost their way on Raw and SmackDown.

‘The Game’ acknowledged that NXT’s stacked roster would make it difficult to accommodate struggling main roster talent, citing EC3’s lack of TakeOver match as evidence of developmental’s depth.

This is something that has been hinted several times in recent years, particularly in late 2017. No formal trades have ever been made, but with The Revival and Tye Dillinger returning to NXT house shows in recent weeks and Hunter refusing to rule it out, it may yet come to fruition.

On top of this, Triple H singled WWE UK standout Pete Dunne out for praise, claiming he sees ‘The Bruiserweight’ as a future WWE Champion. He also acknowledged that the company may eventually move NXT from the Network to television, and that there are currently no plans to expand the Performance Center.

The full conference call can be found here.

The Hockey Hall of Fame class of 2018 was announced Tuesday, headlined by New Jersey Devils icon Martin Brodeur.

Martin St. Louis, Alexander Yakushev, and Jayna Hefford were also chosen in the player category. Willie O’Ree – the NHL’s first black player – and commissioner Gary Bettman were elected as builders.

Brodeur was a first-ballot lock. The goaltender ranks first all time in wins (691) and shutouts (105) to go along with three Stanley Cups, four Vezina Trophies, five William M. Jennings Trophies, a Calder Trophy, and two Olympic gold medals. He owns a career save percentage of .912, and led the league in wins in nine different seasons throughout his time with New Jersey.

St. Louis, meanwhile, was one of the most prolific scorers of his era, accruing 391 goals and 642 assists in 1,134 career contests. The undrafted, undersized winger won the Art Ross Trophy twice, the Hart Trophy once, and the Lady Byng Trophy three times. He lifted the Stanley Cup in 2004 and won Olympic gold in 2014.

Hefford represented Canada internationally on numerous occasions, capturing an incredible four consecutive Olympic gold medals and scoring the winning goal in 2002. Yakushev has a polished international resume as well, having won gold for the Soviet Union in 1972 and 1976.

O’Ree broke the NHL’s color barrier on January 18, 1958 with the Boston Bruins. The 82-year-old appeared in just 45 NHL games, but his legacy and his continued work as an ambassador for the league has finally earned official recognition by the Hall of Fame.

Lastly, Bettman got the nod in his 25th year as commissioner. Since he took over in 1993, the league has expanded from 24 to 31 teams. While he’s received his fair share of criticism for – among other things – his push to expand the game in the southern United States, there’s no denying his efforts to grow interest in non-traditional markets have benefited the NHL.

All six members will officially be inducted in November.

Magic Johnson is putting his money where his mouth is.

The Los Angeles Lakers president said Tuesday that he will step down if the Lakers don’t land top free agents over the next two summers, according to Basketball Insiders’ Eric Pincus.

“If I fail, I shouldn’t be in this position,” Johnson said, according to the Los Angeles Times’ Tania Ganguli.

Earlier Tuesday, Johnson told reporters that he felt no pressure to restore the purple and gold to prominence through free agency, according to ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk.

“You know how many (NBA) Finals I’ve been in? So do you think I’m worried about this?” he said.

The Lakers are in the midst of the franchise’s worst playoff drought ever. While they develop young players such as Lonzo Ball, local media and the team’s fan base also expect them to bring established superstars to Los Angeles.

That could include local products such as Paul George or Kawhi Leonard, or even the face of the NBA, LeBron James. That all remains to be seen with free agency beginning July 1, although the San Antonio Spurs have reportedly suggested they won’t trade Leonard to a Western Conference team.

Johnson took over the presidency of the Lakers in February 2017.

The pro wrestling world was shocked when we lost a true legend with Leon White’s passing. Better known as Vader, he left an impression on every person he worked with not to mention the millions of fans he left in awe all over the world. The Mastodon is no longer with us but his memory will never go away.

Vader’s son Jesse White recently spoke to TMZ where he mentioned DDP, Steve Austin, and Mick Foley as some of the people who have reached out to the White family during this tragic time, but he sent a special thank you to Sting.

White said Sting became a constant source of support during the last year of Vader’s life as The Stinger developed a close relationship with both Vader and himself. “One person I have to send a big thank you out to Sting, Steve Borden he lives in the Dallas suburbs,” Jesse said.

“Sting has been a huge blessing not only as of recent but probably I wanna say for the last ten months to a year in my father’s life as well as mine. I’ve been blessed and fortunate enough to witness that between the two of them as well as develop my relationship with Sting. You know my father was a God-fearing man and so is Sting so they would sit down and read The Bible together and go over The Bible, just talk about good time stories. So yeah, Sting’s been a huge blessing throughout this process.”

Jesse White continued discussing the outpouring of support they’ve received from everyone as well as a special project they’re doing to make sure Vader’s memory lives on forever.

“It’s been overwhelming with how much love and support stories and cool pictures I’ve encountered and I came to the realization that I need to figure out a way to capture these and they’re coming from anywhere and everywhere. I put together an email specifically it’s vader.leonwhite@gmail. I want any and all fans who have any unique photos, rare photos, stories they wanna type up anything they want to add please email there. Me and my family, we’re going to be going through them dissecting them.”

Erica Wilkins, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, has filed a federal lawsuit against the team because of a disagreement regarding monetary compensation, according to The Associated Press, via ESPN.

Wilkins, who worked for the Cowboys from 2014 to 2017, alleges she wasn’t fully paid for her work and made less money than the team’s male mascot, “Rowdy.” She is seeking “unpaid overtime wages, minimum wages, and all other available damages,” according to court documents filed Tuesday.

Wilkins’ lawsuit claims Cowboys cheerleaders were paid an average of $8 per hour, while the team’s mascot made $25 per hour, and roughly $65,000 per year. She also claims some of her payments were incomplete.

This isn’t the first lawsuit filed against NFL teams by former cheerleaders in 2018. The Houston Texans have been sued twice over the last month, with the claims citing a lack of monetary compensation and poor work environment.

Leon ‘”Big Van” Vader’ White has died.

His son announced the sad news via his father’s Twitter account this afternoon. White, 63, passed away following what was described as a “severe case of pneumonia” on Monday night, after years battling multiple, serious health issues related to his heart.

Fans of a certain age and inclination deeply admired Vader’s work throughout the 1990s. A beacon of credibility in a largely cartoonish North American wrestling landscape, Vader drew grimaces and praise alike for his stiff series of seminal matches with Sting, Ric Flair and, notoriously, Cactus Jack in WCW – but it was the Japanese scene that truly maximised Vader’s frightening aura and violent appeal.

Vader excelled in both major Japanese leagues and the fringe shoot sensations alike – there can be no better way to pay tribute to the man than by watching his legendarily ferocious UWF-i war with Nobuhiko Takada in 1993 – in a testament to his versatility. Vader grasped the pomp and circumstance of it all with his iconic gear, and at once terrified and entertained with his gripping hybrid of bruising brawling and astounding athleticism.

All fans are unanimous in their appraisal of Vader as one of the greatest super-heavyweights ever to step in the ring.

Known outside the ring for his sweet nature, Vader was the inverse of the old “extensions of themselves” adage that many believe to be the key to pro wrestling stardom. This was yet another testament to his immense credentials as a worker.

Barry Trotz was named head coach of the New York Islanders on Thursday, two weeks after helping the Washington Capitals win the team’s first Stanley Cup.

“Barry brings to the New York Islanders franchise a tremendous amount of knowledge, experience, and success,” Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello said in a release. “He is and has been one of the top coaches in the National Hockey League. I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him.”

The deal is believed to be for five years with an annual average of at least $4 million, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. In terms of annual earnings, that would put Trotz just below Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien, who reportedly makes $5 million, and above the Edmonton Oilers‘ Todd McLellan, who reportedly makes $3 million, according to Cap Friendly.

Trotz resigned from his position with the Capitals on Monday after the two sides failed to come to terms on a contract extension. His signing with the Islanders means Washington is the only team officially without a head coach.

He’s coming off his fourth year with the Capitals, in which they collected a third straight Metropolitan Division title and the franchise’s first Stanley Cup.

Kenny Omega recently completed his years-long quest to capture the IWGP Heavyweight Title and dethrone Kazuchika Okada in the process. Omega’s monumental achievement at the Dominion show not only caused Dave Meltzer to create another star to give their two-out-of-three falls encounter a seven-star rating but it also marked the second Winnipegger to capture a title that night.

Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega share the hometown of Winnipeg and with Y2J’s IWGP Intercontinental Title win at Dominion, he gave their Canadian hometown something major to be proud of. Now both top singles titles in New Japan Pro Wrestling belong to Winnipeg natives.

“For Chris and myself to win (NJPW’s) No. 1 and No. 2 belts, belts that are generally perceived by fans, critics and wrestlers themselves as the most prestigious titles in wrestling, it isn’t something that happens every day. And the fact that two foreigners, who are not only Canadian, but both from Winnipeg, is wow, just an incredible occasion,” Omega told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Omega’s epic sixty-five-minute battle with Okada might have capped off the night at Dominion with some marvelous storytelling but Chris Jericho’s brutal victory over Tetsuya Naito was a totally different kind of match. However, both Omega and Jericho see eye-to-eye on the fact that there are some very big things in New Japan’s future as the company continues to solidify their reputation and stretch their reach.

Even though Y2J stated he won’t work for New Japan in the United States out of respect for Vince McMahon, Jericho also discussed New Japan’s growing influence as a company “that’s slowly but surely increasing its worldwide popularity and basically breathing down the neck of the WWE. It’s a Japanese wrestling company, the top stars are Japanese, but there we were, two foreigners, headlining and main eventing the Tokyo Dome. It would be like two Japanese football teams in the Super Bowl. The fact it’s two guys from Winnipeg is a really huge deal.”

According to a report by TSN’s Dave Naylor, Maritime Football Ltd. has agreed to a three-step process that could secure a 10th franchise in the Canadian Football League.

The group, which is responsible for trying to bring a CFL team to Halifax, is reportedly in Halifax on Tuesday to meet with city council and to provide an update on the process.

Naylor said Tuesday that part of the update includes some important agreements recently reached with the league.

From potential team names to the activation of a Twitter account by Maritime Football Ltd., the movement to bring a team to Halifax continues to gain momentum ever since coming to light in November.

However, Commissioner Randy Ambrosie, while open to the idea, has maintained that all due diligence will be taken, and the league will take a careful, measured approach to ensure the success of any potential 10th franchise.

One obstacle standing in the way of a potential franchise, which the prospective ownership group hopes to achieve by 2021, is the financing and construction of a stadium.

In February Ambrosie included Halifax on his cross-country road trip to speak to fans in cities around the CFL. The Atlantic Town Hall was both highly-anticipated and well-attended.

According to Naylor, Ambrosie and Anthony LeBlanc, a member of the prospective ownership group, “engaged with Moncton Mayor Dawn Arnold and New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant to gauge their support for a team.”

The Minnesota Vikings will induct the late Dennis Green into their Ring of Honor Sept. 23 at halftime versus the Buffalo Bills, the club announced.

Green served as head coach of the Vikings from 1992-01, guiding the team to four division titles and eight playoff appearances.

“Dennis Green’s impact on the Minnesota Vikings, and really the entire NFL, is still felt to this day,” Vikings president Mark Wilf said in a statement. “In addition to being widely regarded as one of the NFL’s top coaches, Denny was also known as a great mentor and leader by all who had the fortune of being in his presence. We’re extremely honored to forever memorialize Denny and his family in the Vikings Ring of Honor and we’re looking forward to the induction in September.”

Green died July 21, 2016 at the age of 67 due to complications from cardiac arrest. Many of his former players have since spoken about the impact Green had on their lives, including Randy Moss.

British wrestling legend and recently name WWE United Kingdom brand GM Johnny Saint made a major announcement at tonight’s UK Championship tapings at the Royal Albert Hall, revealing the impending launch of an NXT UK Brand.

Triple H assumed control of the mic to promise fans the “very best” of UK wrestling, comprising both male and female divisions. He also noted a tag division whilst being drowned out by rapturous cheers from the crowd. WWE later confirmed separate championships for each of the two new divisions via their Twitter account, to go along with the pre-existing UK Championship.

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Tapings for the new show are scheduled for 28 and 29 July from Cambridge, with further recordings booked for Liverpool, Plymouth, and Birmingham. A restoration of WWE’s UK ambitions has been widely expected since ITV resumed production of their World of Sport series (which concluded taping last month), but as of yet the company have not announced whether their new NXT brand will hit a domestic TV station or be delivered through the Network. As with the original UK Championship Tournament, it’s possibly a means to keep UK talent out of the hands of competitors as much as anything.

Further details on the brand, such as whether it’ll be part of the weekly schedule or an infrequent occurrence, are currently unknown pending an official announcement from the company. Check back for more details as they emerge.

Ronda Rousey will challenge for Nia Jax’s Raw Women’s Championship at Money In The Bank this Sunday, but could fall victim to a heel turn.

According to Dave Meltzer in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the company may have Natalya turn on her supposed friend during or after the Jax match, kicking off a summer program between the two.

This has been hinted for weeks. Nattie and Rousey have spent the past few months buddying up, and Natalya turned face specifically to join forces with ‘Rowdy’ after WrestleMania 34. Ronda has since saved her new friend on several occasions, including a beatdown at Jax’s hands a couple of weeks ago, which could be part of the turn.

Nattie sold a knee injury while working Nia on Raw, and WWE could go with her faking it to trick ‘The Baddest Woman On The Planet.’ Still, there’s no word on how the turn might play out. It Natalya wins the women’s MITB briefcase and Rousey defeats Jax, WWE could pull an immediate cash-in, or they may go for a straightforward interference in a title match that’ll likely be rife with smoke and mirrors.

We’ll see what happens on Sunday, but at this stage, it’d be a surprise if Natalya didn’t turn on Rousey.

UFC 225 was a massive box office flop for the mixed martial arts organisation, reportedly scoring less than 150,000 pay-per-view buys despite a stacked card.

Headlined by Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker’s non-title split decision victory over Yoel Romero, the main card also featured an Interim Welterweight Title fight, and was opened by former WWE Champion CM Punk vs. fellow 0-1 fighter Mike Jackson.

Punk was destroyed. He scored an opportunistic first-round takedown on Jackson, but again looked well out of his depth, with his opponent openly clowning him from full mount in the second and third rounds. Jackson could have finished the fight at several points, but coasted to a lopsided 30-26 unanimous decision victory instead.

That UFC 225 drew so poorly is a huge surprise, not only because it presented an all-star lineup, but because Punk’s presence on UFC 203 reportedly added an estimated 125,000-225,000 extra buys in September 2016.

Many factors will have contributed to 225’s demise, but the cratered numbers suggest that any morbid curiosity PPV-buying fans had in Punk fighting died the moment he was submitted by Mickey Gall, and with Dana White confirming his UFC departure, the future looks uncertain.

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett said Thursday he’d never make a move like Kevin Durant did to win a championship.

“You hopped onto a 73-9 team and he took the easy way out, in my mind,” Garrett said of the former Oklahoma City Thunder and current Golden State Warriors star to Ken Carman and Anthony Lima of 92.3 “The Fan.”

“It’s different when LeBron left. He went to (Miami to join) Wade and Bosh, but it wasn’t something that was already guaranteed, something you already knew was going to have immediate success. (James) had to jell and work things into place.”

Garrett’s opinion might be skewed by the fact that he plays in Cleveland, but his comments were scathing, nonetheless.

“If I were him, I would’ve never made a move like that in the first place,” he added. “Me, I’m too competitive to try and ride on somebody’s coattails to get a W. But for him, you might as well stay at the spot you’re at now. There’s no point in leaving since you’ve already taken that moniker where he’s been called the snake and cupcake and all that. You might as well stay and just keep on winning.”

Garrett, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 draft, was part of a Browns squad last year that went 0-16. He posted seven sacks in his rookie campaign.

Recently on The Steve Austin Show, WWE Hall Of Famer Steve Austin shared his thoughts on wrestling in Canada and working a match against Chris Benoit in his hometown of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on the May 31, 2001 edition of WWE SmackDown. Austin went on to discuss his relationship with Benoit.

According to Austin, he always enjoyed working in Canada, as the people and crowds were “great”. With that said, Austin did not enjoy crossing the border into ‘The Great White North’.

“I always dug Canada. Like I said, it’s a great wrestling place. The biggest problem was crossing over the border and Canada is very strict at the border and they should be. And they go through everything. They makes sure that the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed. And when the boys start coming through, due to the fact that a lot of times back in the 80s, early 80s, probably 70s, guys were carrying a lot of stuff over there. There were always stories of The Iron Sheik and how he’d have weed on him or something like that with him and he’d put it in someone else’s bag. The precedent had already been set. A lot of times, guys came through and they’d be carrying some stuff. There was this, that, and the other. You can probably guess what it might have been.

“But that was one of the biggest pains in the ass about going to Canada because you knew you’d get pulled over and you’re going to sit in a room for an hour, two, or three. They were going to go through all of your stuff and shake everything out. And 99 times out of 100, they didn’t have s–t, but every here and there, someone would have something. That’s why they always kept checking the boys when they came into the country, so great on Customs part – they did a very thorough job. But when you’re one of the guys and you’re just passing through there, and you’ve got nothing in your bag, and you get pulled over, that’s a pain in the ass because you’re always on a schedule, trying to hit the gym, you’re trying to hit a tanning bed, you’re trying for something to eat. You might check into your hotel room. It might be one of those deals where you go straight to the building and you’ve got a long road trip after that. But that was always a pain in the ass when you had to go pass through Customs on the way there.” Austin added, “coming and going across the border was a pain in the ass. Getting the directions in French was not fun. The crowds were always great.”

During the podcast, Austin recalled working a great match with Benoit on SmackDown in Edmonton. Apparently, Austin told Benoit to disregard the go-home cue and he would take the heat for it, as ‘The Texas Rattlesnake’ was left underwhelmed by the match the two had the night prior on RAW.

“I had a great match with Chris Benoit in Edmonton one night and I believe it was on the SmackDown show.” Austin continued, “and we had worked the previous night on RAW and they only gave us a certain amount of minutes and I wasn’t very happy with that match because we didn’t have enough time to build a proper story. I’ll never forget when we rolled into Edmonton that night. It was SmackDown and we were going to work together again. And I told Chris before we went out there, I said, ‘dude,’ I said, ‘I don’t care how much time they give us – we’re going to go home when it’s time to go home. And it’s all on me. I’ll take the heat, so if they give us the go home cue, disregard it.’ And we really ripped it up that night.”

In that match with Benoit, Austin took 10 punishing German suplexes in a row. Austin revealed that the spot was Austin’s idea. While ‘The Global Icon And National Treasure’ indicated that he was not in any pain from the suplexes in light of his neck surgery, Benoit targeting Austin’s perceived injured neck made sense for the story of the match.

“I said, ‘hey man, we’re going to go as long as we need to go’ and it was Chris’s hometown, I believe. I think it was Edmonton. We had worked the night before. [We] didn’t have the match I wanted to have because I knew how much Chris could go and I respected him. And so, I said, ‘hey man, I don’t see you making a traditional comeback on me. I see this being something where you just grab me from behind and let’s go 10 German suplexes, 10 in a row, because I just don’t see a regular comeback. I see 10 German suplexes and here comes Vince [McMahon] coming down and I barely escape with the belt.’ And Chris thought about that for a minute and he goes, ‘I like that.’ And so, that’s what we went out and did. So it wasn’t in the moment. It was something that I called, I planned, I ran across Chris, and he dug it. And we did it.” Austin added, “I called the suplexes and I wasn’t in any pain. And the pain in referring to is because I was returning from my neck fusion and I’d figured all the bumps that I had taken leading up to that match that I would be fine taking those bumps. And it would be a great ploy, a great strategy, for Chris to use to focus on my weakness, or perceived weakness, which could be construed as my neck because of the fusion, because of the surgery. And I was working heel at the time, so he’s giving it back to me and then some. So it made sense for that in his comeback.”

Austin claimed that one of the highest complements he ever received during his storied pro wrestling career was from Benoit after that SmackDown match telling Austin that Austin got him over that night. Austin revealed that the Chris Benoit he knew was a great worker and a cool guy.

“I’ll never forget after that match, I’ve said it on the podcast before, it was one of the highest complements I’d ever been paid by an opponent.” Austin remembered, “we always shake hands after the matches. And, man, that was Chris’s hometown, man. And we got off the headbutt off the top turnbuckle, me throwing the belt up, him getting a little bit of color from that accidentally. It was a real solid match. And he goes, ‘man, thanks.’ He goes, ‘you really got me over’ and he got it. He knew what I was trying to do and it was my job to do was to get him over. He was already over to a degree, but I got him more over than he was after the match than he was before the match, and he recognized that. And he told me that and I’ll never forget that complement. And I wish things hadn’t gone the way they had for Chris as far as down the road, but, man, the Chris Benoit that I knew was a badass worker, great dude, cool as hell, and so I remember that match vividly. Out of all the things I’ve forgotten, I remember that match.”

Winning changes everything.

After uncertainty surrounding his future with the Washington Capitals, it appears Barry Trotz is more confident than ever that he will return as head coach next season.

“We’ll talk,” Trotz said, according to NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman. “We’re going to enjoy this with the players. I love the players, I love D.C., my family loves it here. We’ll get something done.”

This past April, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan admitted that the team would wait until the end of the playoffs before deciding whether or not to re-sign Trotz, whose contract expires July 1.

Following the team’s Cup win, MacLellan made it clear he had made up his mind about Trotz when he told reporters that if the 55-year-old wanted to return to the Capitals, the team would have him back.

Trotz has spent the last four seasons with the Capitals amassing a record of 205-89-34 in the regular season and 36-27 in the playoffs, along with back-to-back Presidents’ Trophies in 2016 and 2017, while winning hockey’s ultimate prize just one week ago.

The Washington Redskins‘ offense made a significant change in the 2018 offseason, trading for quarterback Alex Smith after the club determined it wouldn’t retain Kirk Cousins as a free agent.

As mandatory minicamps begin, head coach Jay Gruden sounds like a fan of the move. He praised Smith for his football IQ on Tuesday, calling his new signal-caller “the smartest guy I have ever been around, without a doubt,” according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.

Despite his kind words, Gruden warned that Smith needs to get familiar with his offense quickly.

“He has got to get (the offense) down by the first game,” Gruden told reporters, according to Florio. “So I think he is already close to having it down for the most part. Each game plan is going to change with different concepts depending on who we play from time to time. But he needs to get it down and he will get it down. That’s why we got him here. …

“We are not in here to build the team around him. The team is built and he has to lead it, like, right now. This isn’t a two- or three-year process. This is a one-year process and we have got to win right away.”

Washington finished 7-9 in 2017, and has surpassed nine wins just once over the last 12 seasons.

 

Erik Karlsson‘s wife, Melinda Karlsson, has applied for a peace bond against Monika Caryk, the longtime girlfriend of Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman, over an alleged campaign of harassment, according to Shaamini Yogaretnam of the Ottawa Citizen.

The application for the peace bond – the criminal code equivalent of a restraining order – was sworn in front of the courts May 4. It alleges that Caryk had been threatening the Karlssons since November 2017.

In late March, the Karlssons announced on social media that their son, Axel, was stillborn. After that, Melinda says Caryk attacked the Karlssons via social media comments and posts. However, Melinda indicated the harassment started much earlier.

“Monika Caryk has uttered numerous statements wishing my unborn child dead,” Melinda’s statement to the court reads. “She also uttered that she wished I was dead and that someone should ‘take out’ my husband’s legs to ‘end his career.’

“Monika Caryk has posted over 1,000 negative and derogatory statements about me as a professional.”

Hoffman denied the allegations when reached by the Citizen on Tuesday afternoon.

“There is a 150 percent chance that my fiancee Monika and I are not involved in any of the accusations that have been pursued (that are) coming our way. We totally understand there’s no place for cyberbullying,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said he and Caryk have offered to cooperate, and reiterated his claim that they were not responsible.

The peace bond application had an ordered court date of May 25. By that time, Caryk had yet to be served with the notice, according to Yogaretnam.

In a brief statement Monday night, the Senators said they are investigating the matter along with the NHL.

Hoffman and Karlsson have been teammates with Ottawa since 2011.

The Miz was recently a guest on Busted Open Radio, below are some highlights:

His confidence rising over the years:

“It feels like now that I have been in WWE for over 12 years, I have developed this confidence where whatever situation I am in I know what to do. I don’t think I have had that type of confidence. I think that it takes a lot of time; a lot of matches and a lot of years to develop that type of confidence where no matter what situation you are in, you know exactly what to do, get the crowd to wherever you want them and be so confident that even if you fail it is still a success.”

Being a locker room leader:

“No. I don’t think I will ever be a locker room leader like The Undertaker or John Cena. That is just not my role. I am not someone that sits in the back watching the monitor and observing everyone. I have to get in the ring to feel exactly how you are. That is how I teach. I teach by example, instead of saying to them what they did wrong. I need to get in the ring with them and be able to feel what the are doing, so that is how I am able to teach. I am not one of those people that people go to and people ask for my advice. I don’t know, it’s tough for me to give a person advice when I wasn’t in the ring with them. I don’t know what their mindset is. I don’t know why they did what they did and when they did it. I have to hear an audience, and feel an audience to know exactly why I am doing something.”

High and low points when starting out in wrestling:

“I always thought the lowest point was developmental. I remember waking up at Deep South Wrestling and telling myself everyday that my body was drained, my mind was drained both physically and emotionally. Everyday I woke up thinking to myself that I can do this for one more day. Then I got up to the main roster and I thought, well, nobody likes me. I tried to find a place to change because I was kicked out [of the locker room]. That was obviously a low point. I will never forget not being able to find a restroom backstage so I went out to where the audience was. I will never forget going to the bathroom and little kids going, ‘Oh my God. It’s The Miz!’ There is no worse feeling than wanting to portray a star in WWE and you are in a bathroom and little kids are looking at you like, oh wow. That was a low point. The high point is obviously main eventing WrestleMania. High point right now is any time I went out with my wife. Anytime you can have your significant other next to you and you can sit there and look at each other and be around eachother 100% of the time. I mean, we just had a daughter. That is definitely the highest point of my life. The fact that I am not with her and I am in Corpus Christi, Texas. I am at the point in my life now where any time I come home when I see her and she sees me she smiles everytime. This is the hardest time in my life by not being with her all the time. Maryse is absolutely an incredible mother. I didn’t pick up really that quickly. I am not a natural at being a dad. It is something that I had to work hard for. I always had to work hard at everything. That is exactly what I am doing, just doing the best that I can. Whenever I come home I want to just put her in my arms and keep her in my arms. People are like, oh, what about changing? I love changing. I love giving her baths. I love dancing and singing to her and doing all these stuff you wouldn’t expect a WWE Superstar to do.”

Despite his storied career in WCW and WWE, Scott Steiner has yet to be inducted in the WWE Hall of Fame. During an interview with Andy Malnoske of Wrestling Inc., Steiner did not hold back his thoughts about what he believes is a fake Hall of Fame.

Steiner’s estrangement from the WWE initially stemmed from the company releasing him in 2004 while he was injured. Later, the WWE banned Steiner from attending the 2015 Hall of Fame ceremony after an alleged incident between him and Hulk Hogan’s wife. Steiner said the fact that a physical WWE Hall of Fame doesn’t exist diminishes the honor and negates its legitimacy.

“Can you go someplace and say that it is legit when it doesn’t exist? How can you say it is legit? It defies all odds. You cannot have a Hall of Fame if you cannot visit. It is the creation of someone’s mind. It boggles my mind that people care about being in the Hall of Fame when it doesn’t even exist. Would you go to a grocery store but there is no food? It is such a freaking joke it drives me crazy. I don’t give a f**k. The Hall of Fame doesn’t exist,” Steiner said. “You can’t visit it. I get so sick of talking about it because it is so stupid. People take it so seriously. Some guys really just mark out for themselves and think of how great it is. It is freaking fake. It doesn’t exist. It’s crazy. People ask me that question all the time but I give the same answer all of the time. It doesn’t exist. You might as well put the Hall of Fame on the moon. It’s the same s**t. You are never going to go to the moon to visit the Hall of Fame. I don’t care if it was on earth; you wouldn’t visit it either.”

Steiner was also asked if he would accept an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame if offered. He said it all would come down to money, as he feels the honor warrants a payment. Steiner said it amazes him that people accept induction into the Hall of Fame for free and he would never do that.

“It’s like anything else; you have to pay,” Steiner said. “He [Vince McMahon] gets paid for the show. The Network pays for him to have the show. If you are going to pay me, sure. Pay me! These guys do it for free, but the whole concept is crazy to me. It is amazing–but, people do it.”

There are few superstars in WWE who have accomplished as much as Kane. Since his debut back in 1997, the Big Red Machine has dominated opponent after opponent, won championship after championship and reinvented his image more times than The Undertaker.

There’s no doubt Kane has become one of the wrestling industry’s most recognisable characters, so it’s surprising to learn that the character was only initially meant to be a short term fixture.

Speaking on Jerry Lawler’s Dinner With The King Podcast, Glenn Jacobs — the man behind the mask — revealed that the plan was initially for Kane to have a one-off match against The Undertaker. However, by the time the character’s debut rolled around, Vince McMahon had fallen in love with the ongoing sibling storyline between Kane and The Undertaker, prompting him to change his mind.

“Vince liked the storyline so much that he didn’t just want to do one match, he thought that he could make it a really good story out of it.”

It’s no wonder that McMahon loved the storyline. The Kane and Undertaker feud is without a doubt one of the finest narrative arcs in WWE history. With foreshadowing and character development leaps ahead of anything we’ve seen in recent years, the tragic tale of the two siblings is fondly remembered by WWE fans.

Kane was Jacobs’ third gimmick, something which he also discussed on the podcast. He had previously performed under the personas of Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel before donning the signature Kane mask. Jacobs also credits The Undertaker – and their first match together – as playing a vital part in his success.

The Philadelphia Eagles gained a somewhat unlikely ally in their fight for social justice, amid a controversy spurred by Donald Trump’s decision to disinvite the Super Bowl champion from the White House.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers legend and FOX NFL Sunday analyst/co-host Terry Bradshaw offered his wholehearted support for the Eagles in their protest.

“I agree with the Eagles. Totally. One hundred percent. Trump just needs to … go somewhere and enjoy the money he’s got,” Bradshaw told TMZ Sports.

“You know what’s so bad about that whole event? Was how they were portrayed as protesting, kneeling, during the national anthem when they were praying. That is just wrong.”

Bradshaw has been a consistent supporter of the Republican Party and hasn’t been shy in making his conservative views public.

After the NFL instituted a policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem if they are on the sidelines prior to a game, sociopolitical tensions between players, owners, and the Trump administration don’t appear to be subsiding anytime soon. The Eagles now have a powerful ally in their corner, while Malcolm Jenkins and Chris Long continue to be among the most vocal advocates of social justice in the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals rookie running back Chase Edmonds has a plan for how to spend a good chunk of his $452,359 signing bonus after agreeing to a $3.6-million deal on May 12.

Edmonds wrote in a school assignment as a child that he wants to make it to the NFL and then pay off his sister’s student loans, according to Josh Weinfuss of ESPN. He remained committed to his goal after being chosen with the 134th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft.

“My sister has some student debt so I really want to pay that off for her,” Edmonds said roughly two weeks after the draft.

His sister, Morgan, fulfilled an undergrad at NC State and earned a master’s in counseling at Arizona State. Edmonds’ mother, Alison, told him his sister’s loans total $80,000, for which she makes monthly payments of $360 to $380.

The numbers came as a surprise to Edmonds, who attended Fordham on a scholarship.

“When you’re on full scholarship you don’t realize these bills,” he said. “These things add up. When my mom told me Morgan’s debt at the time, I said, ‘Wow. If I ever can make it to the NFL that’s something that I would love to do, just to surprise her and pay that off for her so she can really live free and do whatever she wants with her money.'”

Morgan received texts from friends after Chase’s comments, though he’s yet to tell her himself. The two are both hoping to avoid a teary interaction when he does.

“I don’t need a reaction from Morgan,” Chase said. “It’s a token of me telling her how much I love her, how much I appreciate everything that she’s done in my 22 years of life.”

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Paige has slotted nicely into her role as SmackDown General Manager since her unveiling in April, with her portrayal as a fair, balanced authority figure making her a great successor for Daniel Bryan.

Her work has drawn largely positive reactions from WWE audiences, and according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, WWE are just as enamoured with the 25-year-old.

As per Johnson on a recent episode of Elite Audio, the company are “extremely happy” with Paige’s position on SmackDown, and want to utilise her even more in the build-up to the biographical Fighting With My Family film, which releases in March 2019.

Paige will likely receive a lot more screentime as a means of promoting the film, but she definitely won’t be wrestling any time soon. As was revealed a few weeks ago, if the former Divas Champion is ever cleared to compete again, it won’t be for another 15-20 years.

Having hurt her surgically repaired neck at a December 2017 house show, Paige didn’t formally announce her retirement until the night after WrestleMania 34. It was a devastating blow, particularly as it came so soon after her return from a 17-month absence, but the company have done right by repositioning her on SmackDown.

Golden State. Golden still.

Stephen Curry scored 37 points, NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant added 20 and a triple-double and the Warriors stamped themselves a dynasty after winning their second straight title and third in four years Friday night, 108-85 over the Cleveland Cavaliers to complete a sweep and perhaps drive LeBron James from his home again to chase championships.

Overcoming obstacles all season long, the Warriors were not going to be denied and won the fourth straight finals matchup against Cleveland with ease.

”This is so hard to do and doing it three out of four years is incredible,” guard Klay Thompson said.

It was the first sweep in the NBA Finals since 2007, when James was dismissed by a powerful San Antonio team in his first one. His eighth straight appearance didn’t go well either, and now there’s uncertainty where the superstar will play next.

James finished with 23 points and spent the final minutes on the bench, contemplating what went wrong and maybe his next move.

Act IV between the Warriors and Cavs featured a drama-filled and controversial Game 1. But from there on, Durant, Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and the rest of this California crew showed why they’re the game’s gold standard.

And they may stay that way.

”Can’t get enough of this feeling so we’re going to celebrate it together,” Curry said.

Not wanting to give the Cavs or their fans any hope despite the fact that no team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit in the NBA playoffs, the Warriors built a nine-point halftime lead when Curry ignored a closeout by James and dropped a 3-pointer.

Then the league’s best team tightened the screws on Cleveland in the third quarter, outscoring the Cavs 25-13 and prompting Golden State fans to begin those drawn-out ”War-eee-orrss” chants that provide a perfect musical accompaniment to their 3-point barrages.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the only question was whether Curry would win his first NBA Finals MVP or if it would go to Durant for the second year in a row.

And again, it was Durant, who added 12 rebounds and 10 assists – more satisfaction and validation for a player who couldn’t beat the Warriors so he joined them.

After surviving a rougher-than-usual regular season and beating top-seeded Houston in Game 7 on the road in the Western Conference finals, the Warriors withstood an overtime scare in Game 1 and joined an elite group of teams to win multiple championships in a four-year span.

Only Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics, the ”Showtime” Lakers and the Los Angeles squad led by Kobe and Shaq, and Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls have been as dominant in such a short period of time.

The first-round selection of the Boston Red Sox is endearing himself to the Fenway faithful already, as Triston Casas plans on sticking at the hot corner by staying agile, unlike a certain Boston third baseman.

After being selected with the 26th overall pick, Casas didn’t mince words, specifically calling out Pablo Sandoval.

“Obviously watch my weight,” Casas replied when asked what he’d have to do to stay at third base, according to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. “There was another third baseman in Boston called Sandoval who had some problems. Just stay agile, continue to take a lot of ground balls and keep doing my thing.”

Sandoval signed a five-year, $95-million deal with the Red Sox as a free agent prior to 2015. Ultimately, the infielder affectionately referred to as “Kung Fu Panda” did not play that contract out, as the Red Sox designated him for assignment during the 2017 season.

Casas, 18, whose value at the plate is what made him a first-rounder, has had his defense criticized by some scouts, with his path to the majors perhaps on the other side of the infield at first base.

Kellen Winslow Jr. faces a new charge and is accused of raping an unconscious 17-year-old girl in 2003, according to Josh Peter of USA Today.

The former NFL tight end was arraigned on the additional charge Thursday. He was 19 at the time of the alleged incident that took place in San Diego and has recently come to light.

“California law allows for certain specified sexual offenses to be charged regardless of the time of their commission under certain circumstances,” deputy district attorney Dan Owens said on Thursday. “Those circumstances are met in this case.

“… When there is a rape that occurs and the victim is under the age of 18 years old, there is no statutory time (limit) to when that can be charged. That’s exactly what we have here.”

Winslow is already facing multiple rape and kidnapping charges after a judge ruled there’s sufficient evidence for a trial. He plead not guilty to all charges at a preliminary hearing, but could face life in prison if convicted.

The district attorney declined to provide additional information on the third victim, now 32, who recently came forward.

Winslow’s next court hearing is scheduled for August 17.

It appears the Chicago Bears coaching staff are prepared to let quarterback Mitchell Trubisky loose in his sophomore season.

After beginning his rookie campaign on the bench, Trubisky continues to impress his teammates and coaches as he displays his skills as the team’s starter.

“My little boy is becoming a man. Mitch (Trubisky) – they’ve taken the training wheels off of Mitch’s little bike,” Bears guard Kyle Long told the Chicago Sun-Times’ Madeline Kenney Thursday. “So he’s going to be able to do some things creatively and get to showcase his skills.”

The veteran lineman’s comments are notable as he’s the second offensive player to commend the maturity of their signal-caller. Last week, running back Jordan Howard praised Trubisky’s leadership heading into his second training camp. Long has followed suit.

“He’s a tremendous leader and some of the guys look up to in the locker room,” Long said. “And he’s probably one of the coolest guys on the team, to be honest, not just because he’s the quarterback. He’s a really cool kid and we’re lucky to have him.”

Former head coach John Fox came under scrutiny in 2017 after utilizing a slower-paced offense en route to a last-place NFC North finish with the 29th-ranked scoring unit. New coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich plan to implement a more simplistic, up-tempo scheme to help Trubisky make a sophomore leap.

Pittsburgh Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford says he wasn’t taking an intentional shot at the Columbus Blue Jackets when he made an assessment about Jack Johnson‘s usage that didn’t sit well with John Tortorella.

“I have nothing but respect for the Columbus Blue Jackets,” Rutherford told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey. “They’ve got a good city, a good franchise, a great owner, and (president of hockey operations) John Davidson to run the franchise. I feel bad that it either (came) out the way it did or it upset people; that certainly wasn’t my intent. They have a very good franchise there, and it’s very well run.”

After the Penguins made the signing of Johnson to a five-year, $16.25-million deal official on the first day of free agency, Rutherford told reporters the following about the veteran defenseman, according to The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline:

“I don’t think he had a bad year. He was a healthy scratch at the end of the season. I know the reason why. It wasn’t because of how he was playing.”

When asked Thursday to clarify what he meant by the latter remark, Rutherford declined to elaborate.

“I don’t think that’s going to do anybody any good at this point,” he told Mackey. “We feel comfortable with the homework that we did on this player.”

Rutherford’s initial comments, along with Johnson telling reporters on July 1 that, “I’ve been really wanting to be a part of a winning culture and a place where the expectations to win are as high as they can be,” clearly irked Tortorella at the time.

The always forthright Blue Jackets head coach issued an expletive-laden response in which he said that for Rutherford “to question our decision-making from three hours away, he must be a fucking magician,” later adding that the Penguins GM should “shut the fuck up,” and that Johnson’s statement was “utter bullshit.”

Johnson was scratched in all six of the Blue Jackets’ playoff games this spring and he collected only 11 points in 77 regular-season contests in 2017-18.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are bringing back defenseman Jamie Oleksiak on a three-year contract worth $6,412,500, the club announced Thursday.

Oleksiak’s new pact carries an average annual value of $2,137,500, or more than twice the $964,688 he earned in 2017-18, according to CapFriendly.

He was a restricted free agent.

The 25-year-old chipped in 14 points in 47 games for the Penguins after being acquired from the Dallas Stars in December.

WWE Hall of Fame Jeff Jarrett appeared on Prime Time with Sean Mooney and spoke about Owen Hart, who Jarrett noted had an incredibly mind inside the ring, which tends to get forgotten after his legendary ribbing stories and his tragic passing at the WWE Over the Edge PPV in 1999.

“Owen’s in-ring ability, he was incredibly, athletically gifted, had been around the business, [had great] timing,” Jarrett said. “At WrestleMania X against Bret [Hart], Owen was, man, just really, really super good. A lot of times that gets lost people obviously remember the tragic accident and the ribbing, but his in-ring ability was incredible.”

Jarrett was asked about what his perspective was like at that Over the Edge PPV where Owen fell from the rafters during a stunt where he was to rappel down to the ring as part of his Blue Blazer gimmick. Although multiple attempts were done to revive him, Hart was pass away due to internal bleeding from blunt force trauma.

Jarrett said after the two dressed together, he was quickly called for his segment after being notified Owen had an accident, not knowing at the time how serious it was.

“When I say ‘going through the motions’ that is something that is strictly instinct. Me and Owen dressed [together], it was a small building, every nook and cranny was filled with wrestlers or production crates, and we had found a small locker room,” Jarrett said. “I can remember him walking out of the dressing room and I was on after him. I knew that I had a good 15-20 minutes and it was literally minutes I hear someone screaming, ‘You’re up! You’re up!’ and I’m like, ‘No, I’m not.’ and they’re like, ‘yeah!’ I was essentially ready and I had no idea, I remember walking down the hall and they said he had an accident. Nothing in your wildest dreams, it’s a blown out knee or whatever, something so trivial. You get on set – and I haven’t watched it back – you get on set and all of a sudden a mass of people come through and there’s a gentleman on top of Owen doing CPR and compression.

“I knew something was wrong then, the aura, and the vibe, walking through the curtain after [my] match. The police car they had set up for me, I drove immediately to the hospital and I remember one of the ER people walking out and meeting me and giving me the news. It’s a complete tragedy – in so many ways – but I like to remember Owen on the fond days and the good days.”

Jarrett went on to talk about how he since has dealt with that night and the difficult decision Vince McMahon had to make about continuing (or stopping) the show after the accident, noting that neither was the right answer.

“I’ve been around enough things in my life to know that accidents happen. Could everybody been more careful? Absolutely. On so many levels, but it is truly a tragic situation that happened and everybody that was a part of it was dealt that hand and everybody dealt with it differently,” Jarrett responded. “I chose to deal with it with it by not discussing it, not talking about it, moving on in the most positive light. Always talking glowingly and never wanting to go to that dark side and talk about those kind of issues that happened.

“I still believe this, Vince McMahon – solely Vince – nobody else, not Linda [McMahon], not any of his inner circle at that time. It rests squarely on his shoulders and he had a decision that was wrong, regardless of the decision he made [about continuing the show]. Knowing Vince, he knew that. That’s tough, but he took it and it got into a litigated part of life, but he put his best foot forward and ‘kept on keptin’ on.’ My hats off to him and his family, because it’s truly a tragedy.”

Free-agent running back DeMarco Murray, most recently of the Tennessee Titans, announced Friday that he’s retiring from football.

Murray turned 30 years old this past February.

The Oklahoma product was originally drafted in the third round in 2011 by the Dallas Cowboys. He spent four seasons with the ‘Boys, leading the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns in 2014 en route to being named an All-Pro and the Offensive Player of the Year. He then joined the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2015 campaign, where he totaled just 702 rushing yards and six touchdowns in 15 games.

He joined the Titans in 2016, making his third career Pro Bowl in his first year with the team. But he rushed for just 659 yards and six touchdowns in 2017, with 39 receptions for 266 yards and one touchdown, while ceding work to sophomore running back Derrick Henry.

Murray was absent from the Titans’ two playoff games in 2017 due to injury.

The team then opted to sign 27-year-old Dion Lewis to a four-year, $19.8-million free-agent deal, according to Over The Cap, while letting the seven-year veteran walk.

Murray said earlier this week that he’d spoken to teams and hoped to sign before the beginning of training camps later this month.

The Detroit LionsMiami DolphinsNew Orleans Saints, and Seattle Seahawkshad all shown at least some level of interest in the running back, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Murray finishes with totals of 7,174 rushing yards, 2,165 receiving yards, and 55 combined touchdowns in 99 games over seven seasons.