Posts Tagged ‘Opinion’

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Christian spoke with TV Insider about All Elite Wrestling, his show with Edge on the WWE Network, and the finals months of his WWE in-ring career. Below are highlights from the interview:

Thoughts on All Elite Wrestling:

“I think that they need to focus on themselves. I think the knock TNA had is they seemed to worry too much about what WWE was doing instead of focusing on their own. That would be the way to go, in my opinion. As far as new signing Chris Jericho goes, he is obviously one of the biggest names in the history of the industry. So that is a major feather in their cap right off the bat that they are legit and going to try to make it work. Otherwise, Chris is a professional. He wouldn’t have attached himself to it if he didn’t think AEW had a bright future.”

The Edge & Christian Show on the WWE Network:

“I’m excited to work with all the talent, because many are playing against type of what you’re seeing them portray on television on a weekly basis. We try to have a fun environment when there’s not the pressure of live television. It’s just a very easygoing atmosphere with tons of room to ad-lib and make things your own. We definitely had certain people in mind for different skits. Bray Wyatt, for me, from the first season and second with the midwife skit, which was to me, so funny. Then there was Samoa Joe with the Girl Scout cookies. Even doing throwbacks with the superstars of the past. I think everyone really has delivered, and I’m just really happy with how the season has gone.”

Looking back at the end of his in-ring career with WWE:

“For me, I’ve never been the guy to go out there and say, ‘That’s it. I’m done.’ Honestly, I think what happened is when I got hurt, nobody knew this was going to be the end. It was a bit of a process. It was four or five months down the line when we realized I wasn’t coming back from it. So, it’s kind of hard to go back after and say, ‘Remember five months ago when I was off TV? Well, guess what?’ It got to a certain point when it was too hard to go back and do anything. I’m completely fine with my career. I feel like I accomplished everything I ever set out to accomplish. On to the next chapter.”

Christian also discussed his new show, Knight Fight on the History Channel. You can read the whole interview here.

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One of the biggest differences in pro wrestling today than during the 1980s and 1990s is the difference in characters. The Golden Age of Wrestling and the New Generation had many over-the-top characters like Earthquake or Doink the Clown in addition to flamboyant personalities like “Macho Man” Randy Savage and The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels.

Sheamus is someone who longs for those old days and misses the characters in wrestling. He talked with solowrestling.com about how pro wrestling has evolved over the years and moved away from these eccentric personalities.

“Today a very different product is offered,” said Sheamus. “I think we’re missing some characters. Yes, I believe it. I think we are leaving the creation of characters a little abandoned. Any important series like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead base their product around the characters and their background. I think the athletes and wrestlers that we have today are the best in the history of the business, although in turn I think the business has changed to what people want to see.”

WWE still has some characters but they aren’t highlighted as much as they were in the past. Sheamus pointed outfellow countryman Finn Balor as someone with a unique character that is often forgotten about.

“Then you see Finn Bálor with his alter ego from The Demon, you also have the Bludgeon Brothers – there are a lot of characters, but I think they should be reinforced a bit more,” stated Sheamus. “Perhaps one of the most popular characters that WWE has right now is the prodigy of NXT, The Velveteen Dream. He is a 23-year-old star, talented and with an arrogant character who is destined to do great things in the future.”

Sheamus declares himself to be a big fan of “The Dream”, and insists on re-introducing flashy characters on television drastically.

“I do not mean characters like The Berzerker or Papa Shango,” said Sheamus. “I do not mean unrealistic characters. I mean things about which people can feel identified. But that’s one thing that talent should do itself, and it’s taking the opportunity to show fans a personal side. Although I reiterate again, we have never had as many talented stars as we have today.”

For the past five years or so, WWE has trended more towards a “reality era” in part due to the influence of social media and the internet. Real-life personalities are moving to the forefront, but Sheamus thinks there is still a place for flashy characters in today’s wrestling.

Sheamus was then asked about his favorite wrestling characters and it would be hard to find many fans who disagree with him.

“As for personality, without a doubt my favorite of all time is Macho Man Randy Savage,” stated Sheamus.

“As for character, there is no doubt that the greatest of all time is The Undertaker, right? Look at all the time he has spent in the business and everything he has achieved. He is one of the greatest in history and I will remember him forever.”

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Fans of best-on-best international hockey aren’t the only ones saddened by Wednesday’s news that there will be no World Cup of Hockey in 2020.

Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews admitted he was “pretty bummed” upon learning of the news, he told reporters Thursday, via TSN.

Matthews was a member of the ever-exciting Team North America during the 2016 World Cup, which consisted of a group of players from Canada and the United States age 23-and-under.

Since the tournament preceded Matthews’ rookie campaign, it marked the first chance for Maple Leafs fans to see their prized No. 1 pick live, as the event took place in Toronto. Matthews didn’t disappoint, scoring twice and adding an assist in three games while playing on a line with Connor McDavid.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers have not yet held any trade discussions involving wide receiver Antonio Brown, owner Art Rooney told reporters Wednesday, including Mark Kaboly of The Athletic.

Rooney said the door isn’t completely closed on Brown returning to the Steelers next year, though he would have to address his late-season behavior with his teammates.

“We have left everything open at this point,” Rooney said. “There aren’t that many signs out there that’s going to happen.”

Brown all but exiled himself from Pittsburgh by refusing to practice ahead of a must-win game in Week 17. Rooney previously acknowledged that the seven-time Pro Bowler will likely be playing elsewhere by the time training camp rolls around.

Brown has provided the Steelers with several headaches over the last nine years. He reportedly threw a football at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger during an altercation at practice the week he left the Steelers, and he was disciplined in Week 3 for failing to report to the team facility on a Monday following a loss.

However, he’s also put together a Hall of Fame-caliber career in the Steel City. He led all receivers with 15 touchdown catches in 2018 while surpassing 1,000 yards for the sixth straight campaign.

“I am not going to sit here and disparage Antonio,” said Rooney. “You have to remember that he has been one of the most productive receivers in the league for a long time now. He has helped us win a lot of games the last few years. Was it always done the way you like to see it done? No.”

The 66-year-old noted that Brown was paid for the final week of the season despite leaving the team midweek. Brown did show up at the stadium on Sunday and made himself available for the game, though head coach Mike Tomlin scratched him from the lineup.

“He probably did what he needed to do to avoid his last check being voided,” Rooney said, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette.

The San Francisco 49ers have been most heavily linked to Brown in trade rumors.

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Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster says he doesn’t want to lose running mate Antonio Brown this offseason.

“No, I don’t want AB traded,” Smith-Schuster replied to a fan question in a video on his YouTube channel. “He makes me better. He makes the team better. He’s awesome. He’s a great dude.”

Brown’s been the subject of controversy since reportedly skipping practices ahead of the team’s must-win season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals – in which he didn’t play – following a dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

“For myself, I learn a lot from him – just playing with him,” Smith-Schuster added of Brown. “If I want to increase my game to be the best, I gotta compete against him. So, I do not want him traded.”

Steelers president Art Rooney II said last week the team won’t release Brown, but that “all other options are on the table.”

The 22-year-old Smith-Schuster caught 111 passes for 1,426 yards – both team highs – and seven touchdowns in 2018, just his second NFL season. The No. 62 pick of the 2017 draft was also voted the team’s MVP for 2018, which reportedly angered Brown, a four-time All-Pro and seven-time Pro Bowler.

Smith-Schuster was then named to the upcoming Pro Bowl as an injury replacement for Brown.

Brown is due to have a cap hit of more than $22 million in 2019. Releasing or trading him would cost the team over $21 million in dead cap space, although the figure would drop to $7 million with a post-June 1 designation. The receiver will turn 31 ahead of next season and is coming off a 2018 campaign in which he led the league with 15 receiving touchdowns in 15 games.

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Carson Wentz shared his frustration about his season-ending back injury on Monday following the Philadelphia Eagles‘ divisional-round loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Wentz said the full extent of the injury wasn’t discovered until after a Week 14 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, and it was too risky for him to return to the lineup, according to NBC Sports’ Reuben Frank.

Though doctors told him the injury won’t return “once we get it under wraps,” according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the young signal-caller admitted it was difficult to not be a part of the team’s playoff run.

“Super frustrating,” Wentz said, according to Frank. “To be on the sideline for the playoffs two years in a row is tough.”

“I still have zero games of postseason football under my belt,” he added, according to 94WIP’s Eliot Shorr-Parks.

The 2018 season marked the second straight campaign that ended with Wentz out of the lineup. He tore his ACL in December 2017 and missed the Eagles’ Super Bowl run. The former No. 2 overall pick’s injury history has led pundits to question his durability.

“I look forward to putting (the injury-prone label) to rest over the next couple of years,” he said, according to Garofalo.

Backup quarterback Nick Foles thrived in Wentz’s absence, capturing Super Bowl LII MVP and leading the Eagles to the playoffs in 2018. Foles has a mutual option in his contract due this offseason, however, leaving his future in Philadelphia up in the air.

“I love Nick and whatever happens was meant to happen and I think we’re all going to have success,” he said, according to Frank. “The team is going to what’s best for the team.”

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The Los Angeles Chargers‘ season ended with a divisional-round loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday and questions immediately turned to tight end Antonio Gates‘ future.

Following the 41-28 loss, the 16-year veteran said he’d be open to a return, both to football and to the Chargers.

“You really don’t want to end it in this fashion … When you think about what we built here, do we have an opportunity? I really believe that in my heart. Of course, I would love to come back and play,” Gates said postgame, according to the Orange County Register’s Gilbert Manzano.

The career Charger signed a one-year contract just days before the 2018 season opener. He was brought in after tight end Hunter Henry tore his ACL during organized team activities.

Gates had one of his least productive seasons in 2018, recording 28 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns in 16 games. But he caught nine passes for 76 yards in the playoffs, adding a touchdown grab in what could have been his final game with the Chargers.