Connect with us
NOT IN USE

World News

Where Next For WWE’s Released Stars?

Published

on

WWE’s Released Stars

There are more established stars on the ‘free agent’ scene in professional wrestling than there have been for quite a while. WWE has been in a ratings war with rival promotion AEW on Wednesday nights for quite some time, and that war is likely to intensify now several former WWE stars are now available for hire. Will AEW pick them all up, though, or are we more likely to see these fallen stars appear elsewhere? Will some of them leave the wrestling business completely? Let’s take a closer look and see if we can work out who will go where.

One thing we can say with confidence is that not all of them will go to AEW. The last thing AEW wants to be seen as is a place that’s full of cast-off WWE wrestlers. It’s true to say that a wrestling show is only as good as its lineup, but just like anyone who’s ever played slots knows, not every lineup is a winner. By the time some players realize that, they’ve already sunk too much money into an online slots game to have any realistic prospect of making that money back. AEW doesn’t mind a gamble – it’s proven that in the past by using a casino and online slots theme for its ‘Double or Nothing’ Pay Per View event, but it only gambles when it makes sense to do so. Picking up a whole raft of recently-released WWE talent probably doesn’t.

Let’s start off with the best-known and most surprising of all the releases, and work from there.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

Gallows and Anderson are multiple-time WWE tag team champions, and until their release, they were part of ‘The Original Club’ on television with AJ Styles. They even had a role in the well-received ‘Boneyard Match’ between Styles and the Undertaker at WrestleMania 36. It was a surprise to see them released when you consider their name value, but perhaps not so much when you consider the financial side of the situation. Both men signed huge new contracts – believed to be worth $750,000 per year each – with the company last year to avoid the risk of them walking out when their current deals expired. The objective of the WWE releases was to save money, and so if they weren’t going to be used in a featured position, it probably makes more sense to let them go. We don’t think AEW is their likely destination for now, though – if AEW picks up a tag team, it will be The Revival. Gallows and Anderson were a huge deal in Japan before they arrived in WWE, and that’s where they’re likely to return to.

EC3

If WWE offered voluntary redundancy to any of the released performers, EC3 probably accepted it before Vince McMahon had even finished speaking. It’s been an open secret that he’s wanted out of his deal for a long time, and he was never used correctly on the main roster. He’s already started releasing promotional videos for his new character on Twitter and is understood to be in high demand on the indie scene and by every other promotion you could mention. He has a ready-made feud waiting with MJF in AEW, though, and we’d be surprised if he signed anywhere else.

Drake Maverick

Drake Maverick

Drake Maverick

We’re going to call WWE’s bluff on this release. Drake Maverick released a tearful video on social media after his release while still wearing a WWE t-shirt. He mentioned that he was being permitted to complete his scheduled cruiserweight tournament matches before his departure, and his video became a talking point on WWE NXT before his first tournament match was aired last week. There’s been a groundswell of support for Maverick ever since he released the video, and the smart money says that WWE will have a change of heart about letting him go. We think he’ll end up with a new contract, and he’ll stay put.

Sarah Logan

The release of Sarah Logan wasn’t really a shock. Aside from being used as cannon fodder in the ‘Riott Squad’ stable, she hasn’t done anything of note since signing a WWE deal. She was, however, immensely popular backstage. She’s also the wife of Raymond Rowe, who is one half of the Viking Raiders and wrestles under the ring name ‘Erik.’ Firing one half of a married couple while keeping the other isn’t really the WWE way, and several industry websites have suggested that a number of people have gone to bat for Logan since she was let go. We think that she, too, will be hurriedly re-signed to a new deal.

Lio Rush

This might be it for Lio Rush when it comes to wrestling, and that would be a huge shame. He’s made no secret of the fact that he’s lost his passion for performing as a wrestler during his WWE run, and he could never seem to stay out of trouble backstage. These days he’s far more interested in making music, and he can’t pursue that full time while under wrestling contract in WWE or anywhere else. As gifted as he clearly is in the ring, he’s always been limited by both his size and his attitude, and so we might have seen him work in the ring for the last time.

Heath Slater

Heath Slater has been one of WWE’s most consistent mid-card workers for more than a decade. He’s also a former member of the ‘Three Man Band’ stable – and there’s an interesting story to be told there. The other two members of the stable were Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre – both of whom have been released by the company in the past, worked hard on the independent scene, and then returned to the company in much better physical shape and won the WWE Championship. Slater, at 36, is still young enough to do that if he wants to. That might limit his options, though. If he signs with AEW, he can kiss goodbye to any dreams of coming back to WWE in the future, and so he’ll have to choose wisely. A stint with the NWA, Ring of Honor, or Impact Wrestling wouldn’t harm him. Impact might be the best bet of the three.

Zack Ryder

The biggest crime Zack Ryder ever committed in WWE was to get over without assistance from the head office. His YouTube channel made him popular with fans and briefly saw him elevated from jobber status to solid midcarder. Ryder has been a US Champion, an Intercontinental Champion, and, more recently, a tag team champion with Curt Hawkins. He’s a big guy with a great look and a lot of charisma, and he could be an asset to the right company. More importantly than all of that, he’s a very close friend of Cody Rhodes – and Cody is the guy who makes the majority of hiring decisions in AEW. He’s going to AEW, and we’re more certain about this call than we are with any of the others. He might even be able to get Curt Hawkins a job there at the same time.

As for the rest – time will tell. Rusev is the biggest name among the releases, but he’s understood to have had some sort of issue that’s kept him off television for three months already. Without knowing what that issue is, it’s impossible to say what his next move might be. Eric Young, Epico, and Primo were likely close to retirement anyway, and Mike and Maria Kanellis can breeze straight back into Impact Wrestling any time they like. It’s never nice to lose your job – but for these wrestlers, a lost job means a whole new set of opportunities.

 

Advertisement

World News

Is Cristiano Ronaldo worth what’s being offered?

Published

on

Ronaldo

If asked who the greatest football player of the modern era is, most people will say Lionel Messi of Argentina. A large minority will instead name the Portuguese legend Cristiano Ronaldo. A significant proportion of those in both camps – especially those under the age of fifty – will say that Messi and Ronaldo are the two greatest players of all time, eclipsing even Pele and Diego Maradona. Both men have lit up the world football stage for the past two decades, but both are entering the twilight of their careers. Messi will play another season for Paris Saint Germain before deciding what he wants to do next. Ronaldo’s future is less clear. He’s currently playing at the 2022 Qatar World Cup as a free agent, having been released early from his Manchester United contract after falling out with the club.

When Ronaldo first asked to leave Manchester United over the summer, the reason given was that he wanted to continue playing in the UEFA Champions League, which is an experience the Red Devils were unable to offer him this season after their poor performance in the 2021/2022 season. At the age of 37, Ronaldo is aware that he cannot defy the effects of ageing forever, and he doesn’t have long left at the peak of his game. That’s why he wanted to ensure that he had the chance to play at the highest level of them all for as long as he could – but it’s beginning to sound like an enormous cash offer might have turned his head.

As has been reported on numerous websites, including our own, Ronaldo has received an offer from the Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr that would make him the highest-paid athlete in the history of world sport. The deal would last for three years, taking him to the age of forty and, presumably, retirement, and would pay him £173m per year. There are even rumours that another Saudi Arabian club will attempt to beat that offer. Ronaldo is already rich, but offers of that kind are difficult to turn down. Spending three years earning such a figure would mean that not only is Cristiano Ronaldo financially secure for life, but he could ensure the same for his children, his grandchildren, and perhaps generations of the Ronaldo family beyond that. Furthermore, becoming the highest-paid athlete in history would suit Ronaldo’s already-inflated ego.

The big question we’re asking in this article is whether there’s any metric that would make Cristiano Ronaldo worth that kind of money. He’s a global star, of course – he’s the most followed man on Instagram, and as we’ve already said, he’s one of the greatest football players of all time. It would be an incredible boost for football in Saudi Arabia to have him play in the country. It’s difficult to see how Al-Nassr could bring him in without violating FIFA’s financial fair play rules, but the effect of those rules appears to be minimal in Saudi Arabia. The club would have more people at its games than ever before and would also sell more replica shirts next season than in every previous season combined, but that might still not be enough to recoup such a monstrous spend.

To fully get its money’s worth out of Ronaldo, Al-Nassr would have to explore other commercial activities involving the superstar forward’s likeness and image. Eyecon, a casino game development company, has demonstrated how to do this without even holding an official licence. The company operates a casino game called “Striker Goes Wild,” starring a player who looks virtually identical to Cristiano Ronaldo. There are dozens of football-themed slots and games available to casino networks and their sister sites, but “Striker Goes Wild” is one of the most popular of them. Some of the credit for that can be laid at the feet of its Ronaldo clone, even if it isn’t Ronaldo himself. We can only imagine how much more money could be made by a casino game that stars the real Ronaldo. Maradona’s name and license have been used to sell casino games in the past year, so this might be something Al-Nassr could consider for Ronaldo, too.

There’s no way that the Saudi Arabian club could make its money back on the pitch. Even if television viewership increased by fifty per cent for Al-Nassr games because of Ronaldo’s presence – which is probably too much to hope for – it wouldn’t make a meaningful dent in the club’s costs. Shirt sales, as we touched on earlier, would improve, but there’s still the question of whether football fans outside Saudi Arabia would spend money on a replica shirt for a Saudi Arabian team. The answer to that might be a hard “no” regardless of the fame of the name and number on its back. Ultimately, what this might come down to is how much Al-Nassr might be willing to pay purely for the privilege and bragging rights of having Ronaldo line up for the team – and we already know the answer to this question.

In the end, it’s possible that none of this will matter. It was initially reported that Ronaldo was interested in the move, but more recently, that’s been refuted by Piers Morgan – the man to whom Ronaldo gave the interview that brought his Manchester United career to an end. Morgan believes that the Portuguese is steadfast in his desire to play for a club in the European Champions League, and that would rule all but the top teams in Europe out of contention. The question then becomes one of which big European club might take him at this stage of his career, with questions about his form and attitude. One of the leading contenders is Chelsea. How Ronaldo would fit into Graham Potter’s team is unknown, but the club’s (relatively) new owner Todd Boehly is known to be a huge Ronaldo fan and would view him as a marquee signing regardless of his age. Bayern Munich is another possible – but less likely – solution.

In the end, nothing’s ever boring where Ronaldo is concerned. His is a name that’s always in the headlines and always attracts attention – and perhaps that explains why Al-Nassr is willing to pay such big money better than anything else.

Continue Reading

Listen

From Apple Music With Love: DJ Khaled’s Ultimate 2022 MegaMix in Spatial

Published

on

unnamed 2

Apple Music is getting into the giving spirit this holiday season with the return of From Apple Music With Love, a special countdown to the holidays. Each day at 8:00a PST from November 25 – 30, Apple Music subscribers will receive exclusive gifts from some of the biggest and brightest names in music, stamped with love and ready for unwrapping. This year, gifts range from live concert recordings, new renditions of favorite songs, a classic album rerelease alongside a brand new holiday album, and party-crushing mixes to close out the year. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the musical experiences we’ve put together with Apple Music listeners in mind.

Today’s exclusive gift comes from DJ Khaled. Following up 2021’s year-ending MegaMix, Khaled returns with a final holiday gift for Apple Music subscribers. “I was just thinking of this year and all the great hits that came out,” he tells Apple Music. “It was real special because this was the first year in a while that we all been back outside! Know what I’m saying—from the pandemic, and dodging all this corona and all that. First of all, God is the greatest, and we blessed—so when I got this opportunity to make this MegaMix, I was like, ‘It’s only right that we do it big and play nothing but all the hits of the whole year,’ know what I’m saying?”

Look back at all of the From Apple Music With Love gifts this year, and hear Khaled’s MegaMix now, which includes smashes from Taylor Swift, Jack Harlow, Lizzo, and Beyoncé—plus a couple of Khaled’s own highlights from 2022 HERE

Continue Reading

World News

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian settle divorce, Ye to pay $200k a month in child support

Published

on

kim and ye

Kim Kardashian and Ye have reached a settlement in their divorce, averting a trial that had been set for next month, court documents filed Tuesday showed. (more…)

Continue Reading

Watch

Future Releases Music Video For “712pm” Directed By Travis Scott

Published

on

future

– Ready to blow up the internet yet again, Future presents the blockbuster music video for “712PM” directed by none other than fellow game-changer Travis Scott. Watch “712PM”

(more…)

Continue Reading

Listen

From Apple Music With Love: Listen To Sam Smith’s Royal Albert Hall Set In Spatial

Published

on

unnamed 1

Apple Music is getting into the giving spirit this holiday season with the return of From Apple Music With Love, a special countdown to the holidays. Each day at 8:00a PST from November 25 – 30, Apple Music subscribers will receive exclusive gifts from some of the biggest and brightest names in music, stamped with love and ready for unwrapping. This year, gifts range from live concert recordings, new renditions of favorite songs, a classic album rerelease alongside a brand new holiday album, and party-crushing mixes to close out the year. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the musical experiences we’ve put together with Apple Music listeners in mind.

Today’s exclusive gift comes from Sam Smith, and features their stunning October 2022 performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

“I definitely wanted this to be different to my other shows,” Sam Smith tells Apple Music. “I come from a theatre background and really missed that feeling on my last tour. It takes a village of talent to put on my shows, and it’s important for me now to showcase and celebrate the artists around me.” In Live From Royal Albert Hall, which arrives to Apple Music listeners as part of the From Apple Music With Love series, Smith celebrates their body of work with a curated selection of songs from the evening.

Though Smith was mostly performing songs from their catalogue, the singer says the set was imbued with the spirit of their fourth studio album Gloria, scheduled to release in January 2023. “With this show it was about adding a little Gloria to all my songs,” Smith says. “I always want to change all the songs a little to fit the mood and the tones of whatever project I’m currently releasing. But I am also passionate about playing the songs the way people love them.” One listen to Live From Royal Albert Hall and you’re sure to have found that Smith couldn’t lose either way.

Tune in every day at 8am PST to keep counting down the holidays with an exclusive gift on Apple Music and check out Sam Smith’s October 2022 performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall HERE

Continue Reading

World News

Brazilian photographer uses the model as a human sticker album in a project about Brazilian passion for the World Cup

Published

on

unnamed 2

Inspired by the World Cup, Brazilian photographer Carlos Locatelli innovated the idea of a record that refers to the national passion for women and football. The artist used the body of a model and influencer, Wanessa Moura, to produce a “human sticker album.”

 

The influencer said she was a little uncomfortable when she received the invitation, but she accepted the challenge after understanding the proposal. “At first, I didn’t understand the idea, but I accepted the challenge of artistically approaching the woman’s body and sensuality.

 

Today, masculinity and the objectification of women’s bodies are outdated figures, and they don’t complete the album”, explains the model.

 

Wanessa gained worldwide fame after being compared to actress Penélope Cruz in 2019 and was on the cover of Vietnam’s Baazar magazine.

 

Always active on the networks, she always seeks to exalt the female body and power, encouraging women of all body types to seek their space in the world of fashion and catwalks.

 

The model has performed a provocative test in favor of female empowerment before. In 2018, the year of the last World Cup, the model took pictures with phrases and expressions stamped on her body, asking for respect, freedom, and rights for women. “I will always raise this flag. In the same way that we root for Hexa, we should hope that women are respected and stop being objectified”, completes Wanessa.

Continue Reading

Trending