CM Punk on WWE retirement: It feels good
Earlier today, Red Eye Chicago posted an interview with CM Punk. In it, he was asked how it feels to be retired at the age of 35 and if that means he's going to be doing more charity work now.
It feels good. It's a lot easier when you hook up with organizations like the Cubs and being friends with some of the team members. It isn't hard to support their charities. Plus I get to do fun stuff like bowl and paint chairs and play whiffle ball with Bill Murray. It was super fun and for a great cause. You've got athletes and actresses and musicians and all kinds of people painting chairs. I'm super happy to be a part of it.
At this point, Punk isn't so much a pro wrestler as a "Chicago personality". If there's a high life for a rich guy with nothing better to do than attend sporting events and hang out with famous people, Punk is living it to the fullest.
Oh and he's also getting married to AJ Lee next month. There's that too.
This won't completely kill rumors of his eventually returning to WWE because, well, those will never die. Fans -- and, admittedly enough, media -- simply won't let that happen. Chris Jericho once referred to the industry like the mob: you're never truly out of the business.
Plus, Punk has already gone back on his word. Before leaving WWE, he said he would disappear when he retired and we would never hear from him again. Obviously, that's not the case. That doesn't mean he'll ever return to WWE but it's a thread some fans will surely hang on to.
cuties <3 <3
To Lance Stephenson, blowing in an ear is 'just playing ball'
His morning began with words of contrition; a sort of awkward, forced repentance 36 hours after Lance Stephenson had done precisely the opposite and professed no regret for his costly comments of LeBron James.
His night ended with a crowd of reporters surrounding his locker, his voice quickened, his confidence once again strengthened. Wednesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse offered among the more bizarre Stephenson sideshows – and certainly, that's saying something when you're discussing Lance Stephenson.
Game 5 of these Eastern Conference finals was a chapter filled with plenty of good and plenty of odd, an appropriate snippet into the soap opera that is at once enthralling and maddening and confounding.
And, of course, wildly unpredictable.
NXT Takeover 2014: The full rundown and why you should care
If you're unfamiliar with NXT, please think of it as the WWE's version of Triple-A baseball. Talent signed to what's known as "developmental" contracts wrestle at the company's performance center in Florida and those who are almost ready for prime time (as it were) wrestle for NXT, which has a weekly show on the WWE Network and Hulu Plus.
When the WWE Network launched in February, its first live event was the two-hour NXT ArRIVAL. On Thursday night, NXT will once again broadcast live, exclusively on the WWE Network, with another two-hour special: NXT Takeover. The event will be preceded by a live pre-show beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET, hosted by Renee Young and featuring guests Cesaro, Paul Heyman and Christian. Takeover will begin at 8 p.m. ET.
If you've never watched NXT before, or if it's been a while (or even if you just like jokes), we have your complete primer right here.
Adam Rose vs. Camacho
What am I looking at here? Adam Rose (who was previously known as Leo Kruger, a South African big game hunter) (basically if Kraven the Hunter were a wrestler) is a fun-loving rock star in the vein of Russell Brand's Aldous Snow character (which is basically just Brand playing himself, if we're being honest). He lives on a bus called "The Exotic Express" with his "Rosebuds," a group of like-minded individuals who never want to stop partying.
Okay, so it maybe sounds weird when I type it all out like that. But there's a guy in a bunny suit. You'll like that guy.
Camacho, meanwhile, is a Tongan-American man from Hawaii who the WWE turned into a guy named "Camacho" from Juarez, Mexico, because they needed a partner for a Latino gangster character named "Hunico" who is now the second person to play the masked children's superhero Sin Cara and is no longer affiliated with Camacho. Or a gang, assumedly. And yet Camacho remains Camacho.
I swear, the rest of the explanations will probably not be this weird.
Why you should care: Because Adam Rose is fun to watch in NXT? Heck, this might end up being a good match. I have no idea. The bottom line is this: weep for Camacho.
NXT Tag Team Championship Match: The Ascension (c) vs. Kalisto & El Local
What am I looking at here? The Ascension are a couple of vaguely demonic guys who are bruisers. They're the tag team champs. One of the guys, Konnor (the other guy's name is Viktor), goes "YAH" when he does things, so the NXT crowd will be chanting "YAH" a lot. It's all in good fun. Kalisto is a masked high-flyer and the shorter of the two on his team. El Local is a masked sort-of high-flyer who might sound familiar if you close your eyes. Or leave them open. Or happen to be near the Internet.
Why you should care: Because Kalisto is going to blow your gosh danged mind with the stuff he's going to do in this match. He's going to be the Rey Mysterio for a new generation if WWE plays their cards right. If you doubt what I'm saying, please watch this right now. That's Kalisto, when he wrestled on the indies as "Samuray Del Sol." Get ready for FLIPS.
No. 1 Contender's Match: Tyler Breeze vs. Sami Zayn
What am I looking at here? Tyler Breeze is a male model who is pretty pleased with himself. Think Derek Zoolander before the fall. He is obsessed with selfies and someone at WWE probably thinks he's a scathing commentary on our social media-obsessed culture. Really, he's just good at being a self-absorbed prick. Sami Zayn is one of the very best wrestlers in the world and a rare "good guy" that is actually a decent human being and easy to root for.
Why you should care: Because the winner of this match will go on to challenge for the NXT title and NXT title reigns are typically good benchmarks for "who's going to get called up to WWE next?" And because this will probably be the best match on the show. Heck, it's worth it just for Tyler Breeze's entrance. You'll see.
NXT Women's Championship Match: Charlotte vs. Natalya
What am I looking at here? Charlotte is the seven-foot-tall (I'm exaggerating) daughter of Ric Flair. For real. She'll have Ric Flair in her corner for this match, reportedly. Natalya is the daughter of Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, but WWE doesn't really care about Jim, so she's the niece of Bret "Hitman" Hart. Also-reportedly, Bret will be in Natalya's corner for this match. So this match involves Ric Flair and Bret Hart! Sort of.
Why you should care: Besides the Ric Flair/Bret Hart thing, this match is the tournament final for the vacant NXT Women's Championship. Pray for a Charlotte victory, because both on "Total Divas" and in the WWE, Natalya is kind of the absolute worst.
NXT Championship Match: Adrian Neville (c) vs. Tyson Kidd
What am I looking at here? Adrian Neville is the NXT champion, a tiny, impossibly ripped dude known as "The Man Gravity Forgot," due to his ability to jump and do flips. I think. I don't think it's because he's lost in space. Tyson Kidd is Natalya's husband and one of the last graduates of the prestigious Hart Family Dungeon. He's a fine wrestler but he's basically the opposite of "personality" or "charisma." If you make vanilla ice milk into a person, it would be Tyson Kidd. Except more flavorful.
Why you should care: Title matches are neat! And these guys should give you a solid main event, despite Tyson Kidd being the charisma equivalent of a bread sandwich. This may also be your chance to get in on the ground floor of Adrian Neville, as it appears he'll be one of the next wrestlers heading up to WWE television soon.
That's basically all you need to know about NXT. Just ... don't ask about Mojo Rawley. It's better that we don't discuss it.
Fan Rushes The Shield At SmackDown Tapings, “Unreal” Dark Match Takes Place
A female fan jumped over the barrier and rushed The Shield as they kicked off Tuesday’s WWE SmackDown tapings in Atlanta. Police quickly grabbed the woman and took her away. One fan in attendance noted that she was handcuffed but we can’t confirm that.
- The dark match in between Tuesday’s WWE Main Event and the SmackDown tapings saw Dolph Ziggler defeat NXT’s Sami Zayn in a match that was described as “unreal.”
* WWE puts this sexy ass video of the holy trinity of fine men on their instagram *
Seven amateur players to attend 2014 MLB Draft
Seven amateur players are scheduled to attend Major League Baseball's 2014 Draft, which will be held on Thursday, June 5th at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey, it was announced today.
The seven scheduled attendees are high school shortstops Michael Chavis, Jacob Gatewood and Nick Gordon; high school outfielders Monte Harrison and Derek Hill; and high school pitchers Grant Holmes and Kodi Medeiros.
MICHAEL CHAVIS, SS
Sprayberry Senior H.S. (Georgia)
HT: 6-0 WT: 187 B/T: R/R
Born: 8/11/95 Hometown: Marietta, GA
Through 17 games of his senior season, Chavis was hitting .627 with 32 hits, seven home runs, 19 RBI and 14 stolen bases. Chavis was named to the American Family Insurance All-USA Preseason High School Baseball Team, played in the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park and won the Perfect Game All-American Home Run Derby last summer.
JACOB GATEWOOD, SS
Clovis H.S. (California)
HT: 6-5 WT: 190 B/T: R/R
Born: 9/25/95 Hometown: Clovis, CA
Gatewood was the winner of the 2013 Major League Baseball Junior Select Home Run Derby at Citi Field in New York last summer. He also won the Baseball Factory Home Run Derby after hitting 14 home runs at the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game held at Wrigley Field. As of the second week of May, Jacob had recorded 28 RBI during his senior season.
NICK GORDON, SS
Olympia H.S. (Florida)
HT: 6-1 WT: 170 B/T: L/R
Born: 10/24/95 Hometown: Windemere, FL
Nick is the son of former Major League pitcher Tom Gordon and the younger brother of Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon. In 2013, Gordon was named the Gatorade Florida Baseball Player of the Year, received the Jackie Robinson Award presented by Perfect Game and was named 2014 Preseason Mr. Baseball from Florida by MaxPreps. Nick played in both the Under Armour All-American Game and the Perfect Game All-American Game in 2013. Through 20 games of his senior season, Nick was hitting .508 with five home runs, 24 RBI and seven stolen bases.
MONTE HARRISON, OF
Lee's Summit West H.S. (Missouri)
HT: 6-5 WT: 225 B/T: R/R
Born: 8/10/95 Hometown: Lee's Summit, MO
Harrison played in USA Baseball's Tournament of Stars last summer after hitting .457 with six home runs, 12 doubles, three triples, 33 RBI and 36 runs scored in his junior season. Monte was a 2013 Underclass First-Team selection, a 2014 First-Team All-American and named Central All-Region First-Team by Perfect Game.
DEREK HILL, OF
Elk Grove H.S. (California)
HT: 6-2 WT: 185 B/T: R/R
Born: 12/30/95 Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Through 21 games of his senior season, Derek was hitting .529 with 27 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a .609 on-base percentage. Derek participated in the 2013 Perfect Game All-American Classic at Petco Park and the 2013 Area Code Games in Long Beach, California.
GRANT HOLMES, RHP
Conway H.S. (South Carolina)
HT: 6-0 WT: 200 B/T: L/R
Born: 3/22/96 Hometown: Conway, SC
As a sophomore, Holmes went 4-3 with a 1.16 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 54.1 innings. During his junior year, Grant went 6-1 with an ERA of 0.40 and 88 strikeouts in just 52.2 innings. Entering his senior season, Grant's career pitching record at Conway was 16-5 while compiling a .380 career batting average at the plate.
KODI MEDEIROS, LHP
Waiakea H.S. (Hawaii)
HT: 6-2 WT: 180 B/T: L/L
Born: 5/25/96 Hometown: Hilo, HI
Medeiros competed in the 2013 WWBA U-17 National Championships and was also the first Hawaiian to be named to a Perfect Game All-American Team. Through 10 games of his senior season, Kodi had gone 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 48 strikeouts in just 22.2 innings.
A total of 20 amateur players all-time have attended the Draft, including a record-high of nine players in 2013. Among last year's attendees was the number five overall choice, outfielder Clint Frazier of the Cleveland Indians organization. Attendees in previous years have included the 2012 number one overall selection, shortstop Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros; 2012 American League Rookie of the Year and two-time A.L. All-Star Mike Trout (2009) of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; Minnesota Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks (2008); and Washington Nationals pitcher Ross Detwiler (2007).
Four Hall of Famers, four Cy Young Award winners, two Most Valuable Players, one World Series-winning manager and 29 All-Stars are among the baseball legends scheduled to represent the 30 Clubs at Major League Baseball's 2014 Draft.
Hall of Famers Andre Dawson, Ferguson Jenkins, Tommy Lasorda and Tony Perez headline a decorated group of baseball personnel that is scheduled to attend the 2014 Draft on Thursday, June 5th at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey. Jenkins, the 1971 N.L. Cy Young Award winner, and Dawson, the 1987 N.L. Most Valuable Player, will be joined by fellow BBWAA award winners Randy Jones (1976 N.L. Cy Young), Frank Viola (1988 A.L. Cy Young), Chris Carpenter (2005 N.L. Cy Young) and Ivan Rodriguez (1999 A.L. Most Valuable Player). Arizona Diamondbacks executive Roland Hemond, who was the 2011 recipient of the Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, will also be among the scheduled representatives.
Other former All-Stars who will represent the Clubs are (alphabetically): Bob Boone (WSH), Eric Davis (CIN), Ray Fosse (OAK), Ryan Franklin (STL), Ralph Garr (ATL), Luis Gonzalez (ARI), Bryan Harvey (LAA), Brad Hawpe (COL), Livan Hernandez (WSH), Charlie Hough (LAD), Chet Lemon (DET), Jeffrey Leonard (SF), Derek Lowe (BOS), Gary Matthews (PHI), Carlos May (CWS), Charles Nagy (CLE), Jeff Nelson (NYY), Paul Quantrill (TOR), Jim Sundberg (TEX), Greg Vaughn (MIL), Jack Wilson (PIT) and Willie Wilson (KC).
The Draft will begin live on MLB Network and MLB.com on Thursday, June 5th at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a Draft preview show, also simulcast on MLB.com, at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
The selection order of the First-Year Player Draft is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. The Houston Astros will have the first overall selection of the 2014 Draft, marking the third consecutive year, and the fifth time in Club history, that they hold the top selection (previous: 1976, 1992, 2012, 2013). It marks the first time ever that a Club has the top pick in a third consecutive year. In addition, the Astros are the third Club in history to hold the top selection at least five times, joining the New York Mets and San Diego Padres (five each). Six Clubs - the Toronto Blue Jays (9th and 11th), the Kansas City Royals (17th and 28th), the Cincinnati Reds (19th and 29th), the Cleveland Indians (21st and 31st), the Boston Red Sox (26th and 33rd) and the St. Louis Cardinals (27th and 34th) - have two selections in the first round. The Indians, Miami Marlins and Royals each have a League-high four selections within the first 68 picks during the opening day of the Draft.
The Draft will once again feature Competitive Balance rounds, which were agreed upon as a part of the 2012-2016 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The Competitive Balance rounds give Clubs with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets the opportunity to obtain additional draft picks through a lottery, which was held last July. The 10 Clubs with the lowest revenues and the 10 Clubs in the smallest markets were entered into a lottery for the six selections immediately following the first round of the First-Year Player Draft (picks 35-41; excluding pick 36, which Miami holds as compensation for an unsigned 2013 selection). The eligible Clubs that did not receive one of the six selections after the first round, and all other payee Clubs under the Revenue Sharing Plan, were entered into a second lottery for the six picks immediately following the second round of the Draft (picks 69-74).
The Draft will have 40 rounds, and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds. Like each of the previous five years, the 2014 Draft will span three days. For day one on June 5th, MLB Network and MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage during the first round, Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. The intervals between selections will last four and a half minutes during the first round and one minute during Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. The Draft will resume at 1:05 p.m. (ET) on both Friday, June 6th and Saturday, June 7th via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York City. Friday, June 6th will cover rounds three through 10, and Saturday, June 7th will cover rounds 11 through 40. Rounds three through 10 will have one minute between selections, and the remainder of the selections will be made without delays.
Beginning with the Draft preview show, MLB Network's live coverage will feature news, analysis, interviews with Club front office personnel and representatives, footage from Club draft rooms, and features and interviews with prospects and newly drafted players. MLB Network's Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, John Hart, Harold Reynolds and MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo will anchor the live coverage with contributions from MLB Network's Cliff Floyd, Dan Plesac, Bill Ripken, Sam Ryan, Tom Verducci, Heidi Watney and Matt Yallof, as well as Jim Callis of MLB.com and John Manuel of Baseball America.
MLB.com will begin its exclusive live programming of the Draft's final two days with a live draft show from its New York studios at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on June 6th, followed by a live pick-by-pick stream and draft and scouting expert commentary from Mayo and Callis. It also will provide Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of more than 1,500 draft-eligible players with statistics, scouting reports and video highlights. On Twitter, the official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.
The 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft is supported by T-Mobile, the official wireless telecommunications sponsor of Major League Baseball, and The Topps Company, the exclusive trading card licensee of Major League Baseball.
Mothership OT: Thunder Rattling The Spurs
We have a series in the Western Conference Finals. The Oklahoma City Thunder took the San Antonio Spurs to task last night and beat them like they stole something for the second straight game. Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 71 points, with 40 of that coming from Westbrook. It is quite amazing what that Thunder team can look like when they are clicking on all cylinders. Could it just be the surge from Ibaka’s return (see what I did there) or a comfort level from being at home where they have been dominant for most of the season? All of the sudden those old Spurs are looking quite old and slow compared to the youthful Thunder. This morning’s Cold Open.
The most talked about wedding of the year, second only to Kanye/Kimmy K’s, took place Friday night, and there was a ton to dissect. From Mraz being unable to repeat word for word the wedding vows the judge was teeing him up for, to him ending up shirtless on the dance floor. In all seriousness though, Mraz did well for himself. His bride looked beautiful, the food was outstanding, the booze flowed and may still be coursing through our veins. A full recap with some of the highlights and lowlights.
Champ or Chump. The Champs tonight are the Toronto Blue Jays and their eight-game winning streak. Heading into the year, outside of the Yankees and Red Sox, the Tampa Bay Rays were seen as a team that could run away with the AL East and possibly make some noise in the playoffs. They are sputtering currently, the Sox are under .500 and the Yankees are dealing with injuries. The Jays are getting contributions from top to bottom in their lineup and may be around with something to say come postseason time. The Chump this morning is Mike Pouncey. Repeatedly he has made an ass out of himself in the media, from the “Free Hernandez” hat to him currently refusing counseling by the NFL after the Incognito disaster last season. DA goes off on quite the diatribe on Pouncey, and with good reason.
This morning’s Epic Fail is probably the funniest we’ve had for a month, in my humble opinion. Ben in Alberta, Canada made a pathetic attempt at a German accent. But I’ll be damned if Ben didn’t stick with it until the end, even after repeated call-outs by DA. Now, if you’re going to fake an accent here on the show, at least have some sort of sports take so that way we can rationalize having the conversation. But Ben just kept repeating the same nonsense with no logical point or end in sight. DA got fed up real fast. This morning’s Epic Fail.
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