WWE

WrestleMania 32 Recap: Shane McMahon’s epic leap, The Rock wrestles, Stone Cold Steve Austin returns, Roman Reigns triumphs

1 Comment

When Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker in a “Hell in a Cell” match was announced for WrestleMania 32, every wrestling fan was giddy with anticipation that Shane was going to have an insane moment.

And boy did he deliver.

With the assistance of his custom-made Jordan 30s, Shane O’Mac jumped from the top of the 20-foot cell and CRASHED through the English announce table.

Here’s the incredible moment in GIF form:

It’s been almost 20 years since someone has taken a fall from the top of the cell (Mick Foley in 1998) and it’s the first time that someone has plunged from the top of the 20-foot version of the cell (Foley’s fall was 16-feet).

The Undertaker would later hit a Tombstone piledriver and pin Shane. McMahon was taken to the back on a stretcher after the match. He was heavily favoring his right shoulder.

While this was easily the craziest moment of the night, a ton of stuff happened during the SIX AND A HALF HOUR broadcast.

Yes, those caps were intentional.

Good Gawd, is that Shaq’s music??

This was shocking. It had been six years since Shaquille O’Neal appeared on WWE television and there was no mention of the four-time NBA champion on Raw or Smackdown leading into WrestleMania.

O’Neal entered the ring and immediately got in the face of the Big Show. The pair were eliminated from the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal about five minutes after their stare down.

The Rock has a flamethrower and a surprise match

The Rock lit WrestleMania on fire (literally) as he brought out a flamethrower:

After announcing the record-setting attendance number — 101,793 — The Wyatt Family interrupted The Rock, which led to an impromptu match between Rock and Erick Rowan, which Rock won in six seconds. Afterwards, the Wyatt’s surrounded the People’s Champ and were about to attack The Rock when John Cena returned from his five month absence to help clear the ring.

Stone Cold, Shawn Michaels and Mick Foley!

After the League of Nations beat The New Day –who had the best entrance of the night IMO — Wade Barrett issued a challenge to anyone who was willing to step up and face the LON, so the combination of Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley (in Cactus Jack form), and Stone Cold Steve Austin (!) answered the challenge:

Austin got the best reaction of the night and delivered a massive Stone Cold Stunner to Xavier Woods:

Roman Reigns leaves with his daughter and the WWE title

After defeating Triple H to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in a 27-minute match, Roman Reigns carried the gold and his daughter out of AT&T Stadium.

Ladders, ladders, ladders

The new Women’s Championship is unveiled

The Diva’s Championship era came to an end as the new Women’s Championship was unveiled during the TWO HOUR pre-show:

Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks proceeded to have one of the best matches of the night. Charlotte won the title thanks to the assistance of her father, the legendary Ric Flair.

Match ratings

Ryback vs. Kalisto: 3 1/4 out of 5 stars

10 Women tag match: 3 out of 5 stars

The Uso vs. The Dudleys: 3 out of 5 stars

IC title ladder match: 4 1/4 out of 5 stars

AJ Styles vs. Chris Jericho: 3 out of 5 stars

League of Nations vs. The New Day: 2 1/2 out of 5 stars

Dean Ambrose vs. Brock Lesnar: 1 1/2 out of 5 stars

Women’s title triple threat: 4 out of 5 stars

Hell in a Cell match: 3 out of 5 stars

Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal: 3 out of 5 stars

The Rock vs. Erick Rowan: NA

WWE World Heavyweight Title: 3 3/4 out of 5 stars

 

Nassar victim: Michigan State leader offered secret payoff

AP Images
3 Comments

LANSING, Mich. – A sexual assault victim of former sports doctor Larry Nassar confronted Michigan State University officials on Friday, alleging the school’s interim leader offered a payoff to settle her lawsuit and pressured her to do so without her attorney present.

Kaylee Lorincz spoke during a contentious board of trustees meeting, where interim President John Engler expressed regret over the university’s response to another woman’s federal lawsuit over the schools handling of rape allegations involving basketball players. Lorincz, who has said Larry Nassar sexually assaulted her when she sought treatment for back pain, said Engler and his attorney offered her $250,000 when the teen and her mother were at the school a few weeks ago to sign up to speak at Friday’s meeting.

According to Lorincz, Engler said to her, “Right now if I wrote you a check for $250,000 would you take it?”

Lorincz said Engler also claimed another Nassar victim had given him an amount she would consider to settle with the university. Lorincz said she felt “bullied” by the encounter.

Engler didn’t immediately respond to her comments. His spokeswoman, Emily Guerrant, said she was in the room during the conversation and does not remember Engler offering a dollar figure.

“My interpretation of the discussion was not that he was saying, `I’m offering you $250,000,”‘ she said. “It was a discussion about the civil litigation and how it was going on.”

Lorincz addressed Engler in a room brimming with protesters, parents and sexual assault victims of Nassar, now serving decades in prison for molesting women and girls and for possessing child pornography. Lorincz was among roughly 250 women who gave statements earlier this year during Nassar’s sentencing hearings in two Michigan courtrooms.

In a separate case, a woman filed a lawsuit Monday saying the university’s counselors discouraged her from filing a police report after three Michigan State basketball players allegedly raped her in 2015. She accuses the school of violating Title IX protocol and claims staff made it clear that “she faced an uphill battle that would create anxiety and unwanted media attention” should she report her rape.

The university’s immediate response to reporters asking about the lawsuit was to decline comment. But on Wednesday it issued a lengthy statement that detailed staff interaction with the woman.

The university faced criticism over that response from people who say it violated privacy laws.

Engler acknowledged Friday that the school “provided an unnecessary amount of detail” about the case, saying some people saw the response as “violating privacy expectations.”

Engler became interim president after Lou Anna Simon resigned in January hours after Nassar was sentenced to decades in prison for crimes involving Michigan State athletes. Students remain anxious over the future course of the university, which has yet to choose a permanent replacement for Simon.

In Friday’s board meeting, Engler attempted to steer focus toward celebrating milestones of the university’s graduating seniors but was frequently usurped by boos and jeers from a crowd clad in teal shirts with the phrase, “I stand with the sister survivors (hash)MeTooMSU.” Some Nassar victims wrapped their mouths with black bands that had the phrase “Silenced” scrawled over them.

Parents of victims were left in the lobby downstairs because their posters of their children’s faces were considered “signs” and thus barred from the meeting room. Protesters who were able to attend instead held up cellphones with childhood pictures of victims.

During the meeting, Engler proposed a 2.97 percent tuition increase, the third lowest in 20 years. Earlier he had teased the possibility of heavy tuition increases should the school’s lawsuits over the Nassar controversy continue to snowball financially.

During public testimony, Engler and his board were castigated for how he handled the public fallout over the past few months and repeatedly told to resign.

“You sponsored my assault,” dancer Morgan McCaul, a Nassar victim, said. “Your time is up. Resign.”

As McCaul’s testimony concluded, the crowd joined her in chanting, “Shame on you,” at the board.

Sportscaster Dick Enberg dies at 82

AP Photo
5 Comments

SAN DIEGO — Dick Enberg, the longtime sportscaster who got his big break with UCLA basketball and went on to call Super Bowls, Olympics, Final Fours and Angels and Padres baseball games, died Thursday. He was 82.

Engberg’s daughter, Nicole, confirmed the death to The Associated Press. She said the family became concerned when he didn’t arrive on his flight to Boston on Thursday, and that he was found dead at his home in La Jolla, a San Diego neighborhood, with his bags packed.

“He was dressed with his bags packed at the door,” wife Barbara told the Union-Tribune. “We think it was a heart attack.”

Enberg retired in October 2016 after a 60-year career – and countless calls of “Oh my!” in describing a play that nearly defied description. He also was well-known for his baseball catchphrase of “Touch `em all” for home runs.

Raised in Armada, Michigan, Enberg’s first radio job was actually as a radio station custodian in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, when he was a junior at Central Michigan. He made $1 an hour. The owner also gave him weekend sports and disc jockey gigs, also at $1 an hour. From there he began doing high school and college football games.

During his nine years broadcasting UCLA basketball, the Bruins won eight NCAA titles. Enberg broadcast nine no-hitters, including two by San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum against the Padres in 2013 and 2014.

He said the most historically important event he covered was “The Game of the Century,” Houston’s victory over UCLA in 1968 that snapped the Bruins’ 47-game winning streak.

“That was the platform from which college basketball’s popularity was sent into the stratosphere,” Enberg said. “The `79 game, the Magic-Bird game, everyone wants to credit that as the greatest game of all time That was just the booster rocket that sent it even higher. … UCLA, unbeaten; Houston, unbeaten. And then the thing that had to happen, and Coach Wooden hated when I said this, but UCLA had to lose. That became a monumental event.”

Enberg’s many former broadcast partners included Merlin Olsen, Al McGuire, Billy Packer, Don Drysdale and Tony Gwynn. He even worked a few games with Wooden, whom he called “The greatest man I’ve ever known other than my own father.” Enberg called Padres games for seven seasons and went into the broadcasters’ wing of the Hall of Fame in 2015.

John Ireland, the radio voice of the Los Angeles Lakers, tweeted that “If there was a Mount Rushmore of LA Sports Announcers, Dick Enberg is on it with Chick Hearn, Vin Scully and Bob Miller. Rams, Angels, UCLA, NBC, and so much more. Was the first famous announcer I ever met, and he couldn’t have been nicer. Definition of a gentleman.”

Enberg won 13 Sports Emmy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and UCLA named its Media Center in Pauley Pavilion after Enberg this year.

“Kindest, most proactive possible treatment of newcomers in this business, for the length of his career,” broadcaster Keith Olbermann said of Enberg on Twitter. “What a terrible loss.”