Posts Tagged ‘Praise’

By his own account, LeBron James was stunned by Magic Johnson’s sudden resignation as Los Angeles Lakers president on April 9. Now, almost two months later, it seems James was pleased with Johnson’s now-infamous TV appearance on Monday, in which he eviscerated the Lakers and GM Rob Pelinka.

A source close to LeBron told ESPN’s Ohm Youngmisuk that James thought Johnson “did well” during his appearance on ESPN’s “First Take.”

Among other things, Johnson accused Pelinka of stabbing him in the back and questioned team owner Jeanie Buss’s management skills. One figure he did not criticize was James, whom Johnson signed as a free agent last summer.

“I respect LeBron for what he just said,” Johnson said during Monday’s appearance after ESPN played a clip from James’ show “The Shop,” where LeBron wished Magic had notified him of his resignation beforehand.

“I love LeBron, I love his family … but sometimes as a man, you have to make decisions based on your well-being. And I made that decision.”

James spent Monday on the sidelines of the Lakers’ news conference in which Pelinka introduced Frank Vogel as the team’s new head coach. James didn’t speak to media, but Vogel said the two have talked, saying, “I’m looking forward to getting started with him.”

WrestleMania was a little over a month ago, which saw the historic women’s triple threat match with Becky Lynchcapturing both SmackDown and Raw titles to Kofi Kingstonrealizing his once-improbable dream of winning the WWEChampionship. 

It was a topic of discussion on the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards, which was held earlier this month. Former Raw and SmackDown women’s champion Alexa Bliss was asked by KVEG Hot 97.5 radio personality Adrian Hernandez on the red carpet what match at WrestleManiawas more emotional for her. 

“You know I’m very happy for Kofi,” Said Bliss. “But I have to say I loved the fact our women main evented WrestleMania for the first time. That is what we have been working for with the Women’s Revolution, the fact that it finally happened was an amazing moment for all the women.” she also added, “It was great, it was awesome.”

For former champion and future WWE Hall of Famer Mickie James, she has a personal connection with Kingston but recognizes what the women achieved.

“I have known Kofi for such a long time. We were in developmental together in Louisville. I’m going to have to go with my boy Kofi right now,” explained James. “I’m very happy for the girls and I think it’s incredible and they blew them out and we are moving mountains. All the women before them all set the pace for this. Kudos to them, they nailed it and they killed it.

“Kofi’s my boy and I’m so proud of him. He deserves it and he is an amazing human. Kofi-bear you deserve it.”

Ronda Rousey recently spoke with UFC’s Megan Olivi about how WWE and MMA can take a toll on her mentality and physically, who taught her to lace up her boots, if WrestleMania was her bigger career moment, and her love for Stephanie McMahon.

Rousey discussed the differences between working in UFC, where it’s much more of a mental drain, compared to the physical grind WWE can have on talent.

“It’s physical in a different way, the stress from fighting is much, much more,” Rousey said. “The training camp, the weeks leading up to it, the press, and going to sleep every night thinking about it. That’s the real wear and tear, not so much the physical part of it. With fights you assume, ‘Okay, I’ll give myself at least a month to recover after that.’ It’s a peaking system, you allow yourself to peak and crash. With WWE it’s just a grind and it’s non-stop, I did the easy version, everybody else does 300 days a year. Their bodies don’t get to rest as much as ours in MMA, but their minds get to rest a lot more in MMA I feel like. There’s no pressure on anything.”

One of Rousey’s first big WWE appearances was at WrestleMania 31 when she was invited into the ring by The Rock where she would end up taking down Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Rousey said when she first returned one of her requests was to finish that story with Stephanie, partly because she’s such a big fan of her.

“When I first came into the organization I was like, ‘Hey, I would really liked to do this for a couple months, I’m gonna have a baby soon. Just so ya know, this isn’t forever,”‘ Rousey began. “My one request was when we first started is I wanted to finish my storyline with Stephanie. That was my request because I love Stephanie McMahon so much, which is so funny because we’re supposed to hate each other. But I love her! Oh my God, I lover her so much! It’s so great to get that out. I love all of the girls so much.”

Rousey also noted in the interview that Triple H was the one who taught her how to lace her wrestling boots properly.

“Triple H taught me how to lace my boots,” Rousey revealed. “He was like, ‘Oh no, you want to do do this from the outside in like this.’ I was like, ‘Triple H is showing me how to lace up my boots.’ How can I not succeed in this situation when I have all the best people in this situation to help me succeed? I would be ashamed of myself if I could exceed every expectation.” 

Earlier this year, Rousey, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte were the first women to ever main event WrestleMania. Lynch would pick up the victory in the Winner Take All match, claiming both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Titles after pinning Rousey. While Rousey thought it was a big moment for her, she put her fight against Liz Carmouche (the first-ever women’s fight in UFC history) at the top. 

“Yeah, [WrestleMania 35] felt big,” Rousey said. “I think it just has to do with the time and the perspective. Me and Liz Carmouche felt bigger to me. Even though it was years ago and not as many people watched, it was at the Honda Center which holds maybe 16k-20k compared to WrestleMania where it was in front of maybe 80k people and millions watching. I just felt me and Carmouche was the most pivotal moment had to happen that way or women’s MMA would have ended before it started. 

“With WrestleMania it just felt like all the stars were aligned and the whole universe was conspiring for us to succeed and there was not a single doubt in my mind that we would. For Carmouche, there were so many outside factors: the numbers had to do well, I had to win the match, but I had to win the match in an exciting way, and there were so many other factors I had to worry about.”

Ali was just floating around in 205 Live and in an out of the Cruiserweight Title picture when his world flipped upside down in December. He got the opportunity to have a one-on-one match with Daniel Bryan on SmackDown and he parlayed that performance into a full-time roster spot with the blue brand.

Ali credits Bryan for wanting to work with him and then praising him after the match. Ali talked about Bryan’s influence in an interview with TalkSport.com.

“I’ll never know the full story because Daniel is not the type of guy that would put his hat on anything,” Ali started. “That’s the kind of guy he is. But, the way it went down was I showed up to TV one day and I was told ‘Hey, don’t get your hopes up, it’s a one time deal, but you’re working Daniel Bryan on SmackDown. It’s just to highlight you and the 205 Live division, it’s a one-time deal. It’s an opportunity, but don’t get any ideas! You’re not getting moved to SmackDown’.

“So we went out there and had this once in a lifetime – I thought – match with Daniel Bryan and I came back, it was a positive reception and what not, but it wasn’t until the following week till I came back to TV that I was told ‘Hey, we’ve made the decision to move you over to SmackDown, you’re going to be a full-time member and you’re in the main event of the night,’ so it was a lot to take in in two weeks. Thinking that you kind of have this opportunity to show people what you’re made of, to ‘OK, not only do we want to see what you’re capable of but we’re also putting you in the mix.'”

Even though Ali was on the losing end of his singles match with Bryan, Ali was victorious in a tag match a week later when he and A.J. Styles defeated Bryan and Andrade.

That then led to a triple threat match for the WWE World Championship against Bryan and Kevin Owens at Fastlane. Ali’s profile went from being an afterthought in 205 Live to main eventing cards and competing for world titles.

“As far as Daniel’s involvement in it, I’ve heard a bunch of different stories, but I refuse to believe anything other than Bryan saw I was capable of doing or he wanted to give back because Bryan himself is a guy who struggled at cruiserweight just like we did,” Ali continued. “You know, smaller guys, work-rate guys, guys that might not get the best story or chance to show personality and he saw whatever he saw and I was fortunate enough to work him. I would directly say if Daniel Bryan wasn’t involved I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now.”

On the latest Busted Open, WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry continued to praise the work of Sami Zayn. Zayn returned last month after double rotator cuff surgery that kept him out of action for 10 months. Previously on Busted Open, Henry believed Zayn would be a “major player” for the company in the next six months. 

Heny has since doubled down on Zayn, saying he’s the best promo in wrestling today as Zayn continues to call out the fans for their lofty expectations and demands of wrestlers.

“I listen to Sami’s banter and the people are now sitting and listening like they’re in church,” Henry said. “They’re not a wrestling audience, they’re an audience. And they’re listening to him, and they’re learning from him, and he is the best promo in wrestling today. There’s no one close. Sami is giving an opinion that is so polarizing that you have to sit there and listen, even if you disagree.

“People are sitting and they’re not clapping, they’re not booing and hissing unless he prompts them to. They’re sitting there like, ‘Wow, he’s right.’ He’s like, ‘You point your fingers at me and wrestling, and you expect us to kowtow to every little thing that you do. And when somebody says no, you pout.’ Sami is bringing these points that nobody is talking about. Like when he says those things, that’s not everybody, you can’t generalize a stadium full of 20,000 people, but it hits home to a bunch of them. The things that he’s saying is hitting home and people are sitting there—you can tell who he is affecting. 

“Because the people who are wrestling fans feel uncomfortable, and I love it. That’s the entertaining side of what he’s doing and I hope he continues to do that, but more than anything, you cannot put Sami Zayn in the ring with a babyface because I feel he is a babyface. You have got to put a polarizing heel in a situation with Sami Zayn.” 

Henry even drew a comparison to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s promos as he sees Zayn is out for himself (not the fans), much like Austin was. 

“Sami is doing Steve Austin type promos,” Henry continued. “Steve Austin was not going to the ring trying to make the fans feel good. Steve Austin was about Steve Austin, Sami Zayn is about Sami Zayn. He’s going to get his point across and you’re going to listen. I think it’s the most interesting thing on television right now. We have guys with titles, we have Shake-Ups, the women’s movement, and the thing that moves me the most is Sami Zayn’s promos because they’re real. 

“Not only are they real, the crowd is starting to understand that Sami is not just your atypical wrestler, he is something more than that. And now it’s time to put the machine behind him and let him ride because it is interesting as hell.”

Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon heaped heavy praise on head coach Rod Brind’Amour after their club finished off a sweep of the New York Islanders on Friday night to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.

“It’s unfair to boil it down to one thing, but the truth is he’s the one thing,” Dundon told FOX Sports Carolinas’ Mike Maniscalco postgame.

Dundon promoted Brind’Amour to the head coaching position last May after Bill Peters resigned about three weeks earlier. Brind’Amour had been an assistant and development coach with Carolina prior to his promotion, joining the staff in 2011.

The Hurricanes posted a 46-29-7 record under Brind’Amour in the 2018-19 regular season, improving by 10 wins compared to Peters’ fourth and final campaign in 2017-18 when Carolina went 36-35-11 and missed the playoffs.

Alexa Bliss recently spoke with People magazine while at the Billboard Music Awards and had nothing but praise for The Bella Twins.

“They are the busiest, yet most successful women I know and they are those women who, when you meet them, you want the most success for them because they are so sweet, so genuine,” Bliss said. “They’ve gone on to Total Bellas. They have their wine. Now that they a skin care, they have pet shampoo. I think it’s fantastic what they’re doing.”

Bliss didn’t hesitate when asked if she considers Nikki Bellaand Brie Bella to be role models. She said they have paved the way for others like her.

“Absolutely, they’ve become entrepreneurs and that’s what we want for the women in our industry,” Bliss said. “We want to be successful in and out of the ring and they’re really paved the way for us.”

Regarding a possible babyface turn, Bliss said she has fun working as a heel, but she would be interested in being the good guy for a change.

“I think it would be great. I would love the challenge of it. I’ve been playing a bad guy for six years and I’d love to try a different dynamic,” she said. “But right now I’m just having so much fun. It’s fun being a bad guy.”