Posts Tagged ‘Frustration’

Brian Pillman Jr. and Griff Garrison, known collectively as the Varsity Blondes, are the latest AEW wrestlers to express frustration with their creative direction.

During the 8/17 episode of “AEW Dynamite,” Varsity Blondes were squashed by The Gun Club in a match that lasted all of 31 seconds. The match ended so quickly that Pillman Jr. was never allowed to tag in, as Colten Gunn jumped Pillman Jr. in the corner before hitting a Colt 45 on Garrison for the pinfall victory.

Immediately after the match, Garrison wrote “Frustrated” on Twitter.

Shortly thereafter, Pillman Jr. began re-tweeting a bunch of fan posts criticizing AEW’s handling of Varsity Blondes. While one fan wrote, “Great to see the roster that carried AEW through the Pandemic Era getting treated like this. Awesome. Love it. #VarsityBlonds @FlyinBrianJr and @griffgarrison1 deserve better,” another fan pointed out how Pillman Jr. didn’t even get tagged into the match. One fan also suggested that Pillman Jr. should join Chris Jericho’s Jericho Appreciation Society (JAS) stable to resurrect his wrestling career.

The squash match seemed to be AEW’s way of setting up the betrayal angle that followed. Billy Gunn came out to the ring to congratulate his sons on the win as they embraced for a group hug. At this point, Stokely Hathaway appeared at the top of the entrance ramp, following which Austin & Colten began attacking their own father. The Acclaimed made the save and ended up scissoring their “daddio” much to the delight of the fans in the arena.

In recent weeks, the likes of Andrade El Idolo and Miro have also seemingly expressed unhappiness with their AEW booking via social media.

Aaron Rodgers isn’t happy with what he’s seen from the Green Bay Packers‘ young pass-catchers lately.

“The young guys, especially young receivers, we’ve got to be way more consistent,” the quarterback said Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. “A lot of drops, a lot of bad route decisions, running the wrong route. We’ve got to get better in that area.”

The Packers had drop issues in their preseason opener Friday against the San Francisco 49ers, and those struggles remained during the team’s joint practice with the New Orleans Saints. Rookie wide receiver Romeo Doubs dropped what Rodgers described as his best throw of Tuesday’s practice.

“(The regular season is) coming up. … We’re going to play our best guys when the season starts,” Rodgers said. “And whoever those guys are, those guys are going to get the reps. It’s the guys I trust the most and the guys the coaches trust the most. A lot of it is just the simple responsibility in the offense.”

He added: “You keep dropping the ball, you’re not going to be out there. It’s going to be the most reliable guys that are out there. The preparation and the job responsibility is most important. There’s going to be physical mistakes, like we’ve talked about, but if you’re going out there and dropping the ball and somebody else behind you is in the right spot all the time and catching the ball, that guy’s going to play.”

Doubs, who’s stood out at practice due to his impressive catches, caught a 33-yard touchdown against the 49ers last week, though he also had two drops.

The Packers, who traded All-Pro receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders in March, were criticized for not drafting a wideout with one of their two first-round picks this year. Green Bay eventually did add to the position, selecting Christian Watson (second round), Doubs (fourth round), and Samori Toure (seventh round). Watson has yet to participate in 11-on-11 practices as he recovers from a knee injury.

Green Bay’s wide receiver depth chart is headlined by veterans Allen LazardSammy Watkins, and Randall Cobb.

Jonathan Toews isn’t thrilled with the idea of waiting out a lengthy rebuild now that Chicago Blackhawks general manager Kyle Davidson has fully embraced that strategy.

“At the end of the day, we’re talking about a five-plus-year process, according to Kyle,” Toews told The Athletic’s Mark Lazerus. “So that part of it doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. I can’t speak for (Patrick Kane), but I definitely feel that the amount of turnover our team has gone through every single year these last three or four years, that’s where it gets really, really draining. And exhausting.”

Toews cited the recent trades Davidson pulled off at the draft, in which he dealt a bona fide star forward to the Ottawa Senators and sent 21-year-old Kirby Dach – who Chicago drafted third overall just three years ago – to the Montreal Canadiens.

“You have a guy like Alex DeBrincat who was under Kaner’s wing. And I like to think that Kirby and I had that bond in some ways, too. And out they go, out the door,” the 34-year-old Toews said. “Over and over, we’ve seen that turnover. I’m learning to be more patient, but there’s no doubt that timeline is pretty daunting. … I’m not going to sit here and say what I’m going to do or what the future holds for me, because I really don’t know.”

Davidson’s roster purge started well before the offseason. After underachieving despite adding Marc-Andre Fleury and Seth Jones over a four-day span last July, the Blackhawks traded forward Brandon Hagel to the Tampa Bay Lightning before the deadline in March. Hagel, a promising winger in his own right, was under contract through 2023-24.

“When we traded Hags, and then Cat and Kirby, reality really set in that, OK, this is where we’re at, and they’ve got to really focus on the future,” Toews said. “And it’s just unfortunate that it’s come to that. But it is what it is. So much of that stuff has been out of my control for quite some time, and it’s a weird place to be in as a captain.”

Toews also noted that seeing Evgeni Malkin – who’ll turn 36 on Sunday – re-sign with the perennially competitive Pittsburgh Penguins “definitely puts things in perspective” in terms of the Blackhawks captain’s own situation.

The accomplished Canadian center can become an unrestricted free agent after next season. He and Kane – who’s in the same boat contractually – have full no-movement clauses, so they’d have to approve any trades that would send them elsewhere.

Throughout 2002 and 2003 WWE Hall of Famer Rob Van Dam feuded on and off with fellow WWE Hall of Famer Triple H. While fans may remember the confrontations fondly, it appears as if the former ECW and WWE World Champion was frustrated with aspects of their confrontations.

RVD opened up on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast about what it was like for him working with Vince McMahon’s son-in-law.

“I remember being very humbled. I think the fact, I’m winning, I’m winning, Triple H comes out, hits me with a pedigree just over and over and over,” RVD said. “How many times do we have to tell this story that I can’t beat this guy no matter what?”

RVD and Triple H had three singles matches on TV and one on Pay-Per-View, four matches that were all won by Triple H.

“I wasn’t happy about the situation at the time,” RVD stated. “You look at it more like, ‘It’s not fair, just cause [Triple H is] with the boss’ daughter,’ you know, and really there’s so many more variables to it that you just don’t consider.”

Triple H has been married to Stephanie McMahon, daughter of Chairman of WWE, Vince McMahon, now for almost 19 years.

Triple H has not competed in a WWE ring since June of 2019, with most of his focus being laid on NXT. Back in August of 2021, Triple H suffered a cardiac event and underwent heart surgery very soon thereafter. Triple H went on ESPN earlier this year and confirmed that he is doing better, but he is now fully retired from in-ring competition and will not make a return. Since returning to WWE, Triple H’s office role has reportedly changed from what it once was.

RVD may not have been able to beat Triple H, but he still found success elsewhere. “The Whole F’n Show” was the first person to hold the ECW Heavyweight Championship and the WWE Championship simultaneously. During his WWE career, RVD also won the Tag Team, Hardcore, Intercontinental, and European Championships. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of its 2021 class.

Cleveland Browns general manager Andrew Berry said the team was transparent with Baker Mayfield about his status, but he does empathize with the quarterback.

“We were transparent with our intentions with his reps,” Berry said Friday, according to Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “That being said, I think we can all understand how Baker feels. Sometimes things in the NFL, whether it’s team-related, coach-related, player-related, they may not work out.

“Baker is a competitive and driven young man. He’s had success as a quarterback and will continue to have success as a quarterback. So, definitely understandable.”

Mayfield stated earlier this month that he feels the Browns didn’t handle the situation correctly while acquiring quarterback Deshaun Watson.

“I feel disrespected – 100% – because I was told one thing and they completely did another,” Mayfield said on the “YNK: you know what I mean?” podcast.

Trade rumors have circulated Mayfield since the Browns traded for Watson. However, Berry said he is solely looking ahead to the upcoming NFL draft.

“Speculating on the future is probably unfair because circumstances change, and my focus has been on the draft,” Berry said of Mayfield, according to The Athletic’s Zac Jackson.

The GM also declined to discuss whether he’s fielded trade calls or if a deal is imminent, according to The Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich.

The Carolina Panthers reportedly had the “inside track” to land Mayfield.

Cleveland drafted the 27-year-old, who is entering the final year of his rookie deal, first overall in 2018. Mayfield completed 60.5% of his passes for a career-low 17 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while battling injuries throughout 2021.

Hall of Famer Jerry West is formally demanding that HBO issue an apology and a retraction regarding his controversial portrayal on the network’s series “Winning Time,” according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

Attorneys for West called actor Jason Clarke’s portrayal “a baseless and malicious assault” on West’s character in a letter sent Tuesday to the show’s producer Adam McKay, which was obtained by Shelburne. They say the series “falsely and cruelly portrays Mr. West as an out-of-control, intoxicated rage-aholic.”

West is also seeking damages from HBO and the producers of “Winning Time.” His lawyers argue that “the show goes out of its way to denigrate Jerry West despite his accomplishments as an executive.”

HBO did not immediately provide a comment, according to Shelburne.

“Winning Time” is based on the book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s” by Jeff Pearlman, which recounts behind-the-scenes experiences of one of the franchise’s most successful eras through a wide range of interviews. West – whose entire playing career was spent with the Lakers from 1960-74 – was the team’s general manager at the time.

West’s attorneys, however, say that the rage-filled depictions of him in the show are not found in the book, constituting what they describe as “legal malice.”

Lakers icon and fellow Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who played with the club from 1975-89 and is portrayed by actor Solomon Hughes on the show, criticized “Winning Time” as “deliberately dishonest” in a newsletter published Tuesday on his Substack.

“It’s a shame the way they treat Jerry West, who has openly discussed his struggle with mental health, especially depression,” Abdul-Jabbar said. “Instead of exploring his issues with compassion as a way to better understand the man, they turn him into a Wile E. Coyote cartoon to be laughed at.

“He never broke golf clubs, he didn’t throw his trophy through the window. Sure those actions make dramatic moments, but they reek of facile exploitation of the man rather than exploration of character.”

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: After filming and airing a series of vignettes touting Alexa Bliss’ return to Raw, WWE apparently did not have much in terms of creative plans for the former women’s champion to do, including a lack of options for WrestleMania 38.

Fightful Select reports that despite the therapy sessions filmed and Alexa’s involvement in the women’s Elimination Chamber match in February, WWE had “no substantial creative direction for Bliss. Several wrestlers and backstage employees at WWE told Fightful that Bliss herself wasn’t happy with the lack of creative plans for her after Elimination Chamber and spoke up about this, including to Vince McMahon. In particular, she was frustrated that despite being out of action since September 2021, nothing had been planned for her return, no creative direction given.

The report indicates that Bliss was willing to work WrestleMania despite it apparently being determined before March that she would not be featured at the show or that weekend. (That didn’t stop WWE from setting up an “Alexa’s Playground” display for fans to cavort in and take pictures — with a cardboard cutout of Bliss.) Fightful reports that pitches were made to involve Bliss in the Raw Women’s Championship match between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair, though it’s unknown whether these rejected pitches came from Alexa or someone in creative.

Perhaps the most damning — but not surprising — thing about the report is that WWE’s “priority of booking Bliss shifted significantly after the [therapy] vignettes,” which means that WWE invested a ton of time to film a series of videos to try to do logical storytelling rather than just have Bliss return, aired the segments, and then threw their hands up at some point.

Bliss wed singer Ryan Cabrera earlier this month and is currently on her honeymoon (and congratulations to the happy couple!), but she’s still reportedly listed on Raw’s internal depth charts as the #2 babyface on the roster.

Third baseman Alec Bohm apologized to Philadelphia Phillies fans for directing a rude comment toward those in attendance at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.

“Emotions got the best of me,” Bohm said following the Phillies’ 5-4 win over the Mets, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Scott Lauber. “I said it. Do I mean it? No. It’s a frustrating night for me. Made a few mistakes in the field. But these fans, they just want to win. … They’re great. I’m sorry to them. I don’t mean that.”

A video camera caught Bohm telling teammate Didi Gregorius “I fucking hate this place” after Monday’s crowd gave the third baseman an ovation for making a routine throw in the second inning.

Bohm had made two errors right before the play.

The 25-year-old wound up making three errors on three throws during Monday’s contest.

Bohm tied for the third-most errors among third basemen with at least 800 innings played in the majors last season, and he’s coming off a miserable 2021 campaign where he posted a .647 OPS in 115 games.

The former third overall pick finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting in 2020.

It turns out that producing weeks of vignettes announcing the return of an immensely popular superstar does not mean that WWE has any plans whatsoever to use them when they finally show up.

Even with the flurry of activity surrounding WrestleMania weekend, fans have noticed someone who didn’t factor into any of the festivities: Alexa Bliss. PWInsider reports that Bliss was not in Dallas for Mania weekend, leaving the five-time former women’s champion on the sideline during the biggest time of the year.

Bliss herself has not exactly taken this lying down, tweeting Monday morning:

Those are the lyrics to a Tevin Cambell song, “Stand Out,” from A Goofy Movie, as Bliss is a huge Disney fan.

Bliss was heavily featured on Raw earlier this year, appearing in several vignettes showing her undergoing therapy to slowly unwind her spooky persona and be healthy enough to return to WWE in person. She entered the Elimination Chamber in February for a shot at the Raw Women’s Championship but was the last woman eliminated by Bianca Belair. She hasn’t been seen on WWE programming since then.

Alexa hasn’t been shy this week about her availability, responding Saturday to one fan’s question about when she was returning to the ring, “I’m ready when they are…” and later to Liv Morgan’s tweet wondering who Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent was going to be: Bliss herself.

Considering the state of the women’s division and with several top-level women like Bliss, Bayley and Asuka still out of action, it makes you wonder what WWE is thinking. Keeping Bliss on the sidelines when she presumably is healthy and ready to wrestle is just madness.

Big E has admitted that his recent WWE Title run “fell a bit short” of his own expectations.

The New Day man told Sports Illustrated that the reign was an “appetiser” when it should’ve been a “five course meal”. That’s what he wanted to have going in, but WWE pulled the rug out from beneath E’s feet by putting the belt on Brock Lesnar at Day 1.

That, in fairness, was a last-minute plan when Brock’s own bout (for the Universal Title) was pulled – Roman Reigns was removed from the card due to COVID concerns, and Lesnar was hastily inserted into the WWE Title mix before taking the belt.

E wasn’t in the mood to keep quiet whilst chatting to SI.

He said he’s always “overly critical” of his work, and he can’t say with any sincerity that he was happy with the 110-day stint on top. Most fans would likely agree that the title reign felt largely pointless, but E is keen to “climb back” and cherish a longer, more satisfying run as WWE Champ.