Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

The Colorado Avalanche dashed the Tampa Bay Lightning‘s hopes of a three-peat, prevailing 2-1 in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on Sunday to win their first championship in over two decades.

Artturi Lehkonen scored the eventual winner in the second period, giving the Avalanche their first regulation lead since early in Game 3.

Nathan MacKinnon provided Colorado’s first tally earlier in the second frame, tying the contest after Steven Stamkos opened the scoring in the first.

The Avalanche outshot the Lightning 30-23. Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced. His counterpart, Andrei Vasilevskiy, made 28 stops in the defeat.

Colorado defenseman Cale Makar won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP after claiming the Norris Trophy earlier this week. He racked up 29 points over 20 games to lead all blue-liners and rank third among all skaters behind Edmonton Oilers superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

The Avalanche swept the Oilers in the Western Conference Final.

Colorado went 16-4 in the postseason and never trailed in a series.

Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar became the first bench boss to win the Stanley Cup, the AHL’s Calder Cup, and the ECHL’s Kelly Cup. The 50-year-old captured the other trophies with the Lake Erie Monsters in 2015-16 and the South Carolina Stingrays in 2008-09. Colorado hired him in August 2016.

Claudio Castagnoli is All Elite.

During the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door pay-per-view, Claudio Castagnoli (FKA Cesaro in WWE) debuted when he was the mystery opponent against Zack Sabre Jr., who was slated to face Bryan Danielson, tonight. However, on the 6/22 episode of AEW Dynamite, Danielson confirmed that he wasn’t medically cleared to compete but stated that he had a suitable replacement to face Sabre Jr. at tonight’s event.

The match against Sabre Jr. would mark Castagnoli’s first appearance in a non-WWE ring since signing with the company in 2011. Before his decade-long run in WWE, Castagnoli was a star on the independent scene, most notably having runs in Ring Of Honor, PWG, CZW, and Chikara. Castagnoli initially signed with WWE in 2011 where he quickly rose the ranks, going from the company’s development territory FCW and quickly making his main roster debut in April 2012. The former Cesaro would win his first singles title just four months following his SmackDown debut, defeating Santino Marella to win the United States Championship. The ‘Swiss-Superman’ is a seven-time WWE Tag Team Champion, holding the titles with Sheamus (5 times), Shinsuke Nakamura (1 time), and Tyson Kidd (1 time). Castagnoli quietly let his WWE deal expire this past February, ending an 11-year tenure with the company.

Following his WWE departure, Castagnoli was reportedly ‘laying low’ and taking some time off to be with his family before making his in-ring return. It was reported that Castagnoli had a high asking price when being approached by several companies to make an appearance but it appears as if he and AEW President and CEO, Tony Khan reached an agreement.

The inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion was crowned tonight at AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door.

In the finals of the tournament, PAC defeated Miro, Malakai Black, and Clark Connors to become the first-ever All-Atlantic champion.

To get to the finals, PAC had to defeat Buddy Matthews.

Malakai Black defeated Penta Oscuro and Miro defeated Ethan Page to get to the finals.

As noted, Clark Connors took the place of NJPW star Tomohiro Ishii. Ishii was pulled out of the match due to a left knee injury and was not medically cleared to compete.

The AEW All-Atlantic Title was introduced on June 8 on “Dynamite.”

New IWGP Tag Team Champions were crowned tonight at AEW X NJPW Forbidden Door.

FTR defeated former IWGP Tag Team Champions The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) and Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Beretta) to retain their ROH World Tag Team Titles and to become the new IWGP Tag Team Champions.

During the match, Dax Harwood was walked back by the medics after being checked on ringside. He later would return to the ring with his shoulder taped up.

This is the first time that Wheeler and Harwood have held the IWGP Tag Team Titles. FTR have been the ROH Tag Team Champions since they defeated The Briscoes on April 1 at Supercard of Honor XV.

Before losing the IWGP Tag Team Titles tonight, Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb had held them since June 12.

AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa recently spoke with TV Insider about the Forbidden Door, her title reign, and former WWE Superstar Paige.

While speaking about Paige, Rosa said that she has so much experience, and if she came to AEW, everybody would benefit from it.

“She has so much experience,” praised Rosa. “She has been wrestling since a young girl. I met her mother a few years ago at an independent show. She is a wrestler’s wrestler. She would bring something different to the women’s division as a wrestler or even if we needed a general manager. If she came to our door, I think everybody will benefit from it. If anyone comes to wrestle me. I’m open to any challenge. Whoever wants a piece of me, you know where to find me. If not, I’ll send you my number right now.”

WWE decided not to renew Paige’s contract when it expires in July. Paige last competed inside of a WWE ring at a live event on December 27, 2017, where she suffered an injury in a six-woman tag match. Paige would then officially announce her in-ring retirement, on the April 18, 2018 episode of “SmackDown.”

During her in-ring tournament, Paige had assumed several roles for the WWE including being the General Manager of “SmackDown” and the manager of the Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane).

Canadian All Elite Wrestling fans may not have to wait much longer to watch their favorite wrestlers head North of the border.

During an interview with the Toronto Star, AEW President Tony Khan stated that the company will soon have live events in Canada due to their ongoing success on television in the country, on TSN. Khan also spoke extensively about having several Canadian wrestlers on the roster.

When asked about the interview during the AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Media Call, Khan revisited his take on AEW in Canada, providing a few provinces and cities he’d like to visit and why.

“I named some cities and, to be honest, I named cities based on some wrestlers that AEW has, stars competing here, where they hail from,” Khan said. “That includes a lot of great wrestlers from around Toronto and Hamilton, and I will get to Alberta here in a second. Delta, British Columbia which is around Vancouver, Kyle O’Reilly is from the Vancouver area. I neglected to mention Montreal, which is a legendary wrestling city and I should’ve said it. It was an omission by me that I did not mean to make, but I was just naming cities off the top of my head on a long day.

“I have to say when it comes to Alberta, Calgary and Edmonton would both be great homes for an AEW event. We’ve worked very closely with Dr. Martha Hart and the Owen Hart Foundation, and it was a real honor to have Dr. Martha Hart, and Oje Hart, and Athena Hart here in AEW, representing Owen Hart’s legacy. I look forward to continuing working with the Owen Hart Foundation. It was a real pleasure to have Dr. Martha Hart working with us.”

The AEW roster has marveled at Bret “The Hitman” Hart, with many talent calling him the greatest wrestler of all time and constantly paying tribute to the WWE Hall of Famer. With such a deep connection to many within the company, Bret’s hometown would ideally be another stop for Khan and AEW in Canada.

“Speaking of Calgary and wrestling, the conversation has to have Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, arguably the greatest pro wrestler of all time and of course he’s from Calgary, and he’s the very first person ever to hold the AEW World Championship belt in his hands out on pay-per-view, on our very first show, Double or Nothing 2019,” Khan said.

“There’s a lot of great wrestlers here in AEW who have a lot of respect for him, and I have a lot of respect for Bret. I think he’s just a tremendous person and I really like him a lot in addition to respecting him as one of the best people to ever lace up the boots and work in pro wrestling. Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart is somebody that’s still very much in the conversation in AEW today, even though he’s not somebody that actively wrestles or competes here. That is a testament to his enduring legacy.”

The AEW Owner also stated why Winnipeg, Manitoba is another Canadian city he’d like to produce a show in, as it’s the hometown of two of the company’s biggest stars.

“It’s one of the first cities you have to mention with AEW, with Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega coming from there and them being two of the great world champions in AEW, and two of the great Canadian stars, and two of the great stars in all the world of wrestling in Jericho and Omega. Jericho has competed extensively in Alberta; we would love to go there. I think that would be a great place for us to go.”

It’s unclear at this time when AEW will be heading to Canada, but during his initial interview with the Toronto Star, Khan did say he’d like the first show to be in Toronto.

Joe Burrow was a star quarterback in high school, but he didn’t always see himself becoming a professional football player.

Appearing on “Unbuttoned with Chris Simms” recently, Burrow said he favored basketball over football growing up and named Los Angeles Lakers star and fellow Ohio native LeBron James as one of his idols.

“Thought I was gonna be a basketball guy, so obviously LeBron James, coming from Ohio,” the Cincinnati Bengals signal-caller said. “Played his high school (St. Vincent-St. Mary) when I was in high school in basketball twice. … We lost both times, but I put up some good numbers.

“I liked football. I liked college football, but I was more of a basketball guy.”

Burrow was a standout point guard at Athens High School in The Plains, Ohio, earning first-team All-Statehonors during his senior year. He finished his high school career with 1,426 points, the second-highest total in program history.

Bradley Beal appears to be staying put in the nation’s capital.

The Washington Wizards star will very likely decline his $36.4-million player option for next season and re-sign on a new five-year, $248-million contract, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Washington selected Beal third overall in 2012. The Florida product has spent his entire 10-year career with the Wizards. He’s the franchise’s all-time leader in three-point field goals and trails only Hall of Fame big man Elvin Hayes in points scored.

Beal has earned three All-Star selections and one All-NBA nod during his time in Washington. After posting two straight runner-up finishes in the NBA scoring race, his production took a hit last season.

The 28-year-old averaged 23.2 points, 6.6 assists, and 4.7 boards over 40 appearances. Beal’s 2021-22 campaign ended in February after he underwent left wrist surgery.

In the words of William Regal, AEW’s PAC is “as good as anyone walking the Earth”.

Speaking during the latest episode of his Gentleman Villain podcast (via Wrestling Inc.), his Lordship had plentiful praise for the Death Triangle badass.

As Regal detailed:

“I think he’s as good as anyone walking the Earth. I don’t see anything to do with his height. I know me and him have a lot of the same things as far as music and youth culture stuff, and he just looks like somebody who would smash the granny out of somebody. He’s very assuming and quiet and polite. He looks the part, his face tells a story. I really, really rate him and I think he’s fantastic. I can’t say enough good about him and I can’t say enough good about the way he carries himself as a pro.”

Regal and the Bastard have quite the history together, with the pair having previously worked together in NXT. There, PAC, as Adrian Neville, had a 286-day run as the NXT Champion and showcased himself as one of the best in-ring workers on the planet.

As for what’s next for PAC, the Geordie will compete against Miro, Malakai Black and Clark Connors to become the inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion at tonight’s AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door.

In terms of William Regal, it remains to be seen what role he has to play at Forbidden Door. Blackpool Combat Club’s Wheeler Yuta is teaming with Eddie Kingston and Shota Umino to face Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara and Minoru Suzuki, whilst BCC’s Jon Moxley will battle Hiroshi Tanahashi for the interim AEW World Championship.

Of course, Blackpool Combat Club will also reveal its newest member tonight, with Bryan Danielson announcing that this new recruit will face Zack Sabre Jr. at Forbidden Door before they then go onto be a part of the six-on-six Blood & Guts war on this coming Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite.

Getting traded is a tough pill to swallow. But when you’re moved for one of the best in the league, as Boston Red Sox outfielder Alex Verdugo was, it certainly makes it slightly easier.

“Honestly, I was upset about the trade,” Verdugo told MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “I didn’t think I was going to get traded from the Dodgers, and I didn’t feel like I should have been the guy to get traded. Obviously, being traded, you do sit back and say, ‘At least, I got traded for fucking Mookie Betts.'”

Verdugo was the key piece in a three-player haul with Jeter Downs and Connor Wong that sent Betts and David Price to the Dodgers prior to the 2020 season.

“But yeah, I never had that ‘Holy shit!’ moment,” the outfielder added. “I just figured, shit, I got traded, man, this sucks. Then I came over here and was like, ‘Holy shit, this was a blessing.’ I love it over here. The Red Sox have been nothing but great to me, have taken care of me. From the teammates to the staff to the coaching, it has been amazing.”

The 26-year-old has become a crucial member of a Red Sox club that improbably made it to the American League Championship Series last year. After a rough start to the 2022 campaign, Boston now sits atop the AL wild-card standings at 41-31, 11 games back of the division-leading New York Yankees.

Verdugo, who earned down-ballot MVP consideration in 2020, has somewhat struggled this season, hitting .251/.293/.373 – all career lows – with five homers over 66 contests.

Betts, meanwhile, looked to be headed toward MVP consideration in 2022, authoring a .884 OPS in 60 games before landing on the injured list with a fractured rib. The five-time All-Star won an MVP as a member of the Red Sox in 2018 and finished as the runner-up for the award in 2016.