Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

IMPACT Wrestling has announced that it will induct Raven into the company’s Hall Of Fame at Bound For Glory on 7 October.

The pay-per-view, which will be headlined by Josh Alexander vs. Eddie Edwards for the World Title, is IMPACT’s biggest of 2022. Now, thanks to the Raven announcement, it just got a little bit bigger – this is a neat honour for the former ECW, WCW, WWE and TNA man.

IMPACT’s Hall Of Fame includes names like Sting, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, Earl Hebner, Gail Kim, Abyss, Ken Shamrock, Awesome Kong and Team 3D. Raven fits in with that kind of company, and even old-school ECW hardcores will get a kick out of seeing IMPACT pay tribute to his legacy.

Raven enjoyed an on and off seven-year stint in TNA/IMPACT between 2003-2010. He was also the NWA World Champion for a spell in 2005 (holding the title for 88 days), and helped the promotion out during some awkward early days.

IMPACT chiefs will recognise that on 7 October by inducting Raven. There’s no word quite yet on who else will be in attendance for the ceremony.

Buffalo Bills safety Micah Hyde will be placed on injured reserve due to a season-ending neck injury, according to his agent, Jack Bechta.

Hyde suffered the injury during the Bills’ 41-7 blowout victory over the Tennessee Titans on Monday Night Football. Buffalo already ruled him out for the team’s Week 3 contest against the Miami Dolphins.

The 31-year-old is expected to make a full recovery for the 2023 campaign, his agent adds.

Hyde and teammate Jordan Poyer have formed the backend of the Bills’ secondary for the past six seasons after they both joined the team in 2017.

A one-time Pro Bowler, Hyde has made 81 starts for the franchise, recording 14 interceptions and 363 tackles. He tied his career high in interceptions last season with five.

The loss of Hyde is the latest hit to a banged-up Bills secondary. The team has been without star cornerback Tre’Davious White, who remains on the physically unable to perform list as he recovers from a torn ACL. Corner Dane Jackson will also miss Week 3 due to a neck injury.

The Bills head to Miami on Sunday with a 2-0 record.

The New Orleans Pelicans and guard CJ McCollum have agreed on a two-year, $64-million contract extension, his agent told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The extension, which will begin at the start of the 2024-25 season, ties McCollum to the Pelicans for a total of four years and $133 million.

McCollum was a key part of New Orleans’ late-season surge after being traded from the Portland Trail Blazers midway through the campaign.

The 31-year-old averaged 24.3 points and 5.8 assists per game while with the Pelicans, which would have marked career highs over a full season. He also helped lead the team to a playoff berth and push the top-seeded Phoenix Suns to six games.

McCollum will be counted on once again to be a top scorer and veteran presence on a young team that’s bringing back star forward Zion Williamson into the mix this season.

The Seattle Mariners and right-hander Luis Castillo agreed to a five-year contract extension with player and club options for 2028, the club announced Saturday.

The deal is worth $108 million and could reach $133 million through a sixth-year vesting option, sources told Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Castillo’s contract also features a no-trade clause for the first three years, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

“I feel great,” Castillo said in a press release. “Every baseball player wants to have a dream like this become a reality. I’m happy I was able to accomplish this with the Mariners, and I want to thank everybody in the organization for treating me so well.”

The Mariners acquired the two-time All-Star in a blockbuster deal with the Cincinnati Reds before the trade deadline. He’s posted a 2.83 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, and 64 strikeouts over 54 innings (nine starts) since joining Seattle.

Castillo, 29, was slated to become a free agent after the 2023 campaign.

Former Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne is having a great time watching Juuse Saros seamlessly fill his shoes in the Music City.

“I knew one day he was going to be the No. 1 goalie, and not only (Nashville’s) No. 1 goalie, but one of the best goalies in the league, and he proved that last year,” the franchise legend said, according to’s Zach Gilchriest. “He’s the backbone of this team, and obviously, just as a friend, I’m very proud of him.

“It’s fun to watch him, and obviously, like everybody else, I’m expecting big things from him this year, and he looks great. I’m just always impressed when I see him skate.”

Rinne served as the face of the organization himself for 15 seasons. The Finn retired last July, ending his playing career with 369 wins and 60 shutouts across 683 games. He captured the Vezina Trophy in 2018 and was a finalist on three other occasions.

Now, Nashville seems to have another perennial Vezina Trophy threat on its hands in Saros, who was nominated for the coveted award this past season after logging a .918 save percentage and 2.64 goals against average in 67 appearances – the most in the league.

The 27-year-old’s underlying numbers were also stellar: He ranked fourth amongst all goaltenders in goals saved above average (16.9) at five-on-five, according to Evolving-Hockey.

Saros wasn’t able to help the Predators fend off the Colorado Avalanche in the postseason thanks to a late-season injury, but the way he handled the frustrating situation impressed Rinne.

“It was a big disappointment for him, for sure, missing out on the playoffs. He had such a strong season and played a ton of games, and right at a key moment, he got hurt,” Rinne said. “So, I’m sure mentally it was a disappointing time. But he is a pretty level-headed guy, and he knew that it was just a hurdle, and I knew he was going to bounce back.”

Saros told reporters earlier this month that he was “all good” for the 2022-23 campaign.

The puck-stopper’s emergence has certainly helped ease the Predators into life without Rinne, who is still serving the franchise as a special alumni advisor.

Saros will be key to Nashville’s success this season, as will defenseman Roman Josi and forwards Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg, who both eclipsed the 40-goal mark for the first time in 2021-22.

One performer from WWF’s Attitude Era who Shawn Michaels believes would have been “phenomenal” in today’s WWE is Chyna.

A founding member of D-Generation X, alongside Michaels and Triple H, Chyna was a former WWF Women’s Champion and two-time WWF Intercontinental Champion. She died in 2016 at 46 and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as a member of DX three years later.

In 1999, Chyna became the first woman to appear in the Royal Rumble match, a groundbreaking moment. The WWE did not introduce a Royal Rumble match for the women’s division until its 2018 Royal Rumble event.

In a recent interview with The New York Post, Michaels said he believes the Chyna would have fit in great with WWE’s current roster.

“From a performer standpoint, she would clearly fit in and be phenomenal,” Michaels, 57, said. “I think what makes her the awe-inspiring, innovative and transforming woman that she was was that she did it earlier than all of them.”

Michaels said her style and character “would be a bit more commonplace today.” “She would certainly have an incredible career — but I don’t know that she’d be the trailblazer today that she is if she were currently doing it today,” he added, pointing out her status as a pioneer in wrestling world by competing for titles in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

Michaels’ interview comes as D-Generation X celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The group is scheduled to make an appearance on the October 10 episode of “Monday Night Raw” at the Barclays Center in New York City.

Mandy Rose had zero clue she was earmarked for a jump to NXT before it happened in July 2021.

The current NXT Women’s Champion told Ryan Satin’s ‘Out Of Character’ show that she found out the news last-minute. That left her with a choice: Mandy could either grumble to WWE management and view the change of scenery as a demotion/negative, or she could double down on hard work and prove herself.

Rose, clearly, chose the latter.

She’s been NXT Women’s Champ for almost a full year now – Mandy beat Raquel Gonzalez (now Rodriguez) to win the belt at Halloween Havoc on 26 October 2021. Since then, she’s gone from strength to strength as a character and has visibly improved between the ropes.

Being able to lead her own Toxic Attraction group has given Rose more confidence too.

Mandy wanted to “ask a million questions” when WWE informed her she was NXT-bound, but decided against it. Instead, she promised herself she’d use the third brand as a platform to remove “stigma” that had followed her around for years.

Basically, Rose wanted to show that she could be a better wrestler.

Booker T is predicting that “WWE Smackdown” star Sheamus will someday join him as an inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Speaking on “The Hall of Fame” podcast, the six-time world champion praised the Irish-born wrestler as someone who “has always been in my fave five,” noting how his focus makes him stand out within WWE.

“He’s a worker,” Booker said. “He’s not one of those guys that [is] just looking to be at the top of the guard. He’s a soldier and soldiers normally find their way to the top of the card.”

Booker also highlighted how Sheamus can switch wrestling personas with ease.

“As of late, he’s been able to change his character,” he continued, noting Sheamus’ latest incarnation as the “Irish pub drinking man with his boys hanging out whatnot. Sometimes when you’re in the business you’ve got to be able to shift gears for a second.”

While Booker admitted he was “one of the guys who wanted to see the “Celtic Warrior” again,” he nonetheless considered Sheamus to be a wrestler who “can actually go out there and have those matches with a Drew McIntyre, another big guy, [and] go to another big guy.”

Booker predicted this is “going to be the year of the heavyweight” and added that he loves “seeing Sheamus go out there [and] perform at this level. And, then again, I love what he tried to do also by switching his character and giving me some entertainment for a minute as well.”

The AEW women’s roster received a major upgrade recently when Madison Rayne, a former TNA Impact Knockouts Champion, joined the company as an in-ring talent and coach.

Rayne was recently interviewed by Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards for the “AEW Unrestricted” podcast, where she talked about how she got started with the company. The former five-time Knockout’s Champion also mentioned some members of the AEW women’s roster that she’d like to wrestle.

“I’ve never been in the ring with Toni Storm. I’ve never been in the ring with Nyla Rose. So, it’s literally like all of these dream scenarios in my head … I would see Anna Jay or Julia Hart walking down the hallway, and I feel like me and Julia could really make magic together.”  

She added, “There’s so much potential to some of these younger athletes. And I feel like, at this point in my career, those are the matches that I want to have. The matches with younger talent who, hopefully, I can help elevate.”

Rayne then went on to discuss the rising stars who’ve stood out to her since joining AEW. “There’s just endless amounts of talent in the locker room. I feel like people haven’t even started to see the depth of Penelope Ford. Wait to see Bunny come back and, you know, she’s another one who once she really taps in and gets the minutes, and the things she can do with those match minutes are just insane.”

Rayne made her official 2022 debut with AEW on the August 5 episode of “Rampage” facing Leila Gray. She also participated in a TBS Championship match against the current champion, Jade Cargill, and faced Serena Deeb on the September 9 episode of “Rampage,” losing by submission.

The first season of Seth Jones‘ eight-year, $76-million megadeal is about to begin, but the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t quite where the defenseman thought they would be when he signed last July.

“It was a little frustrating to see (the trades this summer) at first. It’s not really what I or anybody had in mind, looking back a couple years,” Jones said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Ben Pope. “But it is what it is. It’s going to make a lot of us better in here. We’ll be patient with each other and help each other through this.”

He added, “I don’t have any regrets.”

The Blackhawks’ last two offseasons have been radically different. In 2021, Chicago made a series of splashy moves and seemed poised to make a push up the Central Division standings. The organization traded for Jones then signed him to a hefty extension, and they picked up veteran goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury from the Vegas Golden Knights.

The wheels swiftly fell off, though. The Blackhawks went 1-9-2 to begin 2021-22 and fired head coach Jeremy Colliton in early November. Far out of the playoff picture at the trade deadline in March, Chicago dealt Fleury to the Minnesota Wild and sent talented young forward Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Blackhawks ended last season in seventh place in the Central Division with a 28-42-12 record, and the losses continued this summer. Chicago moved on from Alex DeBrincatKirby DachDominik Kubalik, and Dylan Strome, while the futures of franchise mainstays Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are hazy at best.

In the midst of all the turnover that comes with a rebuild, Jones said he’s focusing on the “bigger picture.”

“Patience is going to be important this year. At the same time, we’re going into every game trying to win,” he said. “We’re going to have to be a disciplined, structured team this year (and) make sure teams earn their wins and goals against us.”

Jones, 27, posted five goals and 46 assists in 78 games during his first season in Chicago. He averaged a career-high 26:13 of ice time per contest, the most on the team.