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Here's everything you need to know about Rams vs. Bengals

Here's everything you need to know about the Super Bowl (Author: Gardener)

RamsHAPPY SUPER BOWL SUNDAY EVERYONE! Since you'll likely have several hours to burn between now and game time, I thought it wise to launch a newsletter today that will give you enough reading material to kick off, and if it doesn't get you to kickoff then I suggest suggest just reading it multiple times until it's actually time for the kickoff. This Super Bowl is close to me for a number of reasons, the main one being that my dad (Jim Breech) used to play for the Bengals. He actually MISSED MY BIRTH to play in Super Bowl XVI, so I've been connected to both the Super Bowl and the Bengals more or less since the day I was born. Most of my family flew in from Cincinnati to watch the game, and they don't believe in sleep. I know I've mentioned this 19 times this week, but I'll mention it again: I'll be at the game today and if you want to see what kind of Super Bowl shenanigans I'm getting into, be sure to follow be sure to follow us on Twitter or Instagram. I promise to keep sharing photos until my phone breaks or is confiscated. Remember this is a Super Bowl newsletter so you will only receive Super Bowl news today. If you are with family and/or friends today, ask them all to sign up for the newsletter. There's going to be an interesting twist at the Super Bowl this year, and that twist is that both announcers have pretty strong ties to one of the teams that play in the game, and that team is the Bengals. The game will air on NBC and the two announcers - Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth - both have ties to the city of Cincinnati. The biggest tie belongs to Collinsworth, who actually PLAYED for the Bengals. Not only did he spend his entire eight-year career in Cincinnati, but he's also one of only SEVEN players in franchise history to have played in the team's two previous Super Bowls (trivia: can you name all 7?). Collinsworth has been pretty honest all week that this won't be a normal game for him. On a separate note, this will likely be Michael's last game with NBC as his contract expires after Sunday's game. The Bengals' first Super Bowl appearance was to announce John Madden's Super Bowl debut, and that Super Bowl appearance will likely feature Michael's final Super Bowl appearance. Here's how you can watch Michaels and Collinsworth call Super Bowl LVI: Although the game won't air on CBS, we'll have plenty of coverage for you, especially before kickoff. If you love spending Super Bowl Sunday watching as much pregame coverage as possible, you've come to the right place. I will also be in the stands with my family to let everyone know how crazy things are getting during the game, with pictures and comments on social media. Trivia Answer (Bengals players play in both of Cincy's previous Super Bowls): Cris Collinsworth, Jim Breech, Eddie Edwards, Anthony Munoz, Max Montoya, Turk Schonert, and Reggie Williams. Since my dad is on this list, answering this trivia question basically earned me a bonus in pocket money every week when I was a kid. The Bengals are back in the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years and surprisingly they will be the home team for tonight's game despite being played at Rams Stadium. It could also feel like a home game, and that's because it won't come as a total surprise if the Bengals fans outperform the Rams fans at the game. In the last 48 hours I've seen Bengals fans EVERYWHERE in L. Anyhow, here's everything else you need to know about the Bengals before they head into today's game. For more Bengals news, visit our team hub by clicking here. This is only the second time in NFL history that a team has played a Super Bowl at its home stadium. That had never happened two years ago, but then the Buccaneers were allowed to play at home last year. The Rams are hoping this year's game goes the same way, and that's because Tampa Bay dominated in a 31-9 win over the Chiefs. Anyway, here's everything else you need to know about the Rams heading into today's game. For more Rams news, visit our team hub by clicking here. I've shared Super Bowl picks with you from every CBS Sports writer over the past two weeks, but since there's a 100% chance you won't remember any of these specific picks, I'll rehash everyone's picks here and as I write this newsletter, it only makes sense that I give my choice top billing. I'm expecting the BENGALS to win 27-24, but if you're a regular reader of this newsletter you already know that because the Bengals' biggest homer on CBSSports.com would definitely not be playing the Bengals. However, many people have decided against the Bengalis, although I have begged them not to. Although the point spread has fluctuated between Rams -3.5 and Rams -4.5 over the past two weeks, it appears to have settled at Rams -4 as we move towards kick-off. Here are our nine writers' picks taking on the Rams: Jonathan Jones: Rams 28-24 over Bengals Will Brinson: Rams 27-9 over Bengals (full pick) Tyler Sullivan: Rams 28-23 over Bengals (full pick) Dave Richard : Rams 24-20 over Bengals Jamey Eisenberg: Rams 27-24 over Bengals Jared Dubin: Rams 26-23 over Bengals (full pick) Jordan Dajani: Rams 27-24 over Bengals (full pick) Cody Benjamin: Rams 29-26 over Bengals (Full Pick) Jeff Kerr: Rams 30-23 over Bengals (Full Pick) John Breech: Bengals 27-24 over Rams (Full Pick) Pete Prisco: Bengals 31-30 over Rams (Full Pick) Jason La Canfora: Bengals 31 -30 Over Rams (Full Selection) Ryan Wilson: Bengals 21-10 Over Rams Patrik Walker: Bengals 30-27 Over Rams Bryan DeArdo: Bengals 20-16 Over Rams Here. If you plan to bet on the game, here are my six favorite props, and in news that probably won't surprise you, three of them are foosball props (all odds via Caesars Sportsbook): 1. Tie game after 0-0 ( -130): This prop has scored in five of the last seven Super Bowls and I think it will score again tonight. I think we're going to see at least one trick play and this prop will hit (This prop could also hit if one of the quarterbacks hits a big one and has to leave the game for a game or two, allowing the backup QB to throw a pass) . 3. Joe Mixon OVER 25.5 yards (-110): Mixon has surpassed that number five straight games and I think we'll see it again on Super Bowl Sunday. When Burrow is pressured, Mixon is his check-down guy and as we've seen over the past few weeks, he has no problem beating the check-down guy. 4. Both teams hit FG 35 or more (+110): These two coaches love to score field goals and I think we'll see both guys get at least one try from 35 yards or more. 5. Longest Field Goal of the Game: Bengals (-115): As you may have noticed in the playoffs, the Bengals trust Evan McPherson from almost every distance, so I wouldn't be surprised if he hits a long field goal today. However, Rams kicker Matt Gay has struggled in recent weeks. It won't come as a surprise if Sean McVay is conservative today when it comes to attempting long kicks. 6. First shot on goal of the game: Bengals Field Goal (+400). The Bengals have been able to move the ball up and down the field this postseason, but they've struggled in the red zone, so I think they'll end up shooting a field goal for their first points. You can also bet that the first scoring game will be a Rams field goal (+400) and then if the first points of the game come down to a field goal you will definitely win money. For more props, be sure to click here for our monstrous props guide, which may be the most comprehensive I've read. I was going to list 56 facts about the Super Bowl LVI here, but it probably would have taken me three days, and with the Super Bowl only a few hours away, that didn't add up, so I did what any resourceful person would do: Me reduced it to 13 facts. * This is the first Super Bowl in NFL history not to involve a top 3 seed from either conference. Since the Rams and Bengals both start the game in fours, they will also draw the Packers (2) and Steelers (6) for the highest combined seeding since the NFL began seeding teams in 1975. * The Rams are the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in five different decades (1970s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s). Not even the Patriots, who made eleven Super Bowl appearances, can match that. * The Bengals and Rams have a combined record of 22-12 (.647 winning percentage), which is the worst combined winning percentage in a Super Bowl in NFL history. The previous record belonged to the Cardinals and Steelers, who had a combined record of 21-11 (.656) en route to Super Bowl XLIII. The Steelers and Rams also had the same combined record en route to Super Bowl XIV. * This marks the first Super Bowl since 1999 (Titans vs. Rams) where both quarterbacks went into the postseason without career playoff wins and then made it to the Super Bowl. * This is only the second Super Bowl in NFL history to tie two former top picks as starting quarterbacks. Joe Burrow (No. 1 overall in 2020) and Matthew Stafford (No. 1 overall in 2009) will join Peyton Manning (1998) and Cam Newton (2011), who met in Super Bowl 50. * Sean McVay (36) and Zac Taylor (38) will come together to give us the youngest head coaching matchup in Super Bowl history. If the Rams win, McVay will become the youngest coach in NFL history to win a Super Bowl (Taylor would be the second youngest to win a Super Bowl, behind only Mike Tomlin). * Joe Burrow was fired more than any other QB in the NFL this season (51 times), which is notable because this year marks the first time in NFL history that the most-sacked QB led his team to the Super Bowl . * On the Rams' side, Matthew Stafford led the NFL in interceptions, marking only the third time in NFL history that a QB led his team to a Super Bowl in a year where he led the league or Association. * Winning the coin toss may not be as good today because the coin toss winner LOST seven STRAIGHT SUPER BOWLS. The Rams will get the call today, which means there will be a lot of pressure from the player deciding whether to call head or tail. * Joe Burrow will be the 10th QB named Joe to start a Super Bowl, which will tie Tom as the most common play for a Super Bowl starting QB. * The Super Bowl will be the Bengals' first Sunday game of the year to start after 4:30 p.m. ET. They are the first team in 33 years to reach the Super Bowl without playing a single Sunday or Monday primetime game at any point during the season. The last team to do that: The 1988 Bengals. * The Rams are only the second team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, but many other teams have played the game in their home state. Prior to this year, this had happened five times with the Raiders (Super Bowl XI, Super Bowl XXXVII), Rams (Super Bowl XIV), 49ers (Super Bowl XIX), and Buccaneers (Super Bowl LV), all playing in their home state (The Bucs were the other team playing at their home ground). * As the home team, the Bengals have opted for black, which means they'll have a big unity trend if they want to win: The team in white has won 14 of the last 17 Super Bowls. For more details on the unified situation leading up to the game, please click here. Please feel free to use any or all of these fun Super Bowl facts to wow people today. It's so hot here that the National Weather Service issued multiple heat warnings this week, marking the first time the city has been hit by a heat warning in February since 2006. What does this mean for the game? * Super Bowl LVI could be the hottest Super Bowl ever. Sunday's high is forecast at 84 degrees, and if that's the temperature at kick-off, it would make Super Bowl VII the hottest on record (this game was also played in Los Angeles). If the temperature even hits 80, it would only be the third Super Bowl to surpass that mark. Although this game is played "indoors", technically it's not indoors. Basically, depending on the weather, wind (and even rain) can get into the stadium. Click here to learn more about the stadium's unique design. Expected temperature: 80 degrees at kick-off to 67 degrees at the end of the game. Alright everyone enjoy watching the Super Bowl and just as a friendly reminder I'm going to be tweeting a storm of SoFi today so if you'd like to get in on the action be sure to click here.

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What will be the defining story of the Bengals vs Rams matchup?

There's no shortage of interesting storylines between the Bengals and Rams in their Super Bowl slant, but what will prove game-changing? (Author: Gardener)

BengalsThe long wait is over and it's finally time for Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium to begin. The Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams have been preparing for their title fight for two weeks, allowing ample time to analyze the game's biggest plot points. Of course, there's the quarterback fight between Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford. How about the coaching showdown between the former teacher and the student in Sean McVay vs. Then there's the question of whether three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald will destroy the Bengals' maligned line. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. With that in mind, we asked USA TODAY Sports NFL editors and writers: What will be the defining story of Super Bowl 56? Super Bowl titles often elude highly talented quarterbacks. Such is life in a league where 96.7% of teams fail to reach the ultimate goal each season, players sacrifice their bodies and watch their health plummet instantly. Few quarterbacks as capable as Matthew Stafford will set a losing record spanning a dozen years. Rams head coach Sean McVay's quest for a quarterback change seemed bold last offseason, with McVay dropping Jared Goff from the 2016 first round even after the Rams reached the Super Bowl following the 2019 season with him. And yet, as the Rams return to the big game -- or should we say, the big game returns to the Rams at their home stadium SoFi -- McVay's belief in Stafford's ability to improve the team is vindicated. NFL fans with diverse interests will be rooting for the quarterback, who has long suffered from Detroit's ineptness, as he attacks the final game that stands between him and a Lombardi Trophy. At 33, Stafford has released his most successful career campaign. NFL fans and media are drawn to the suspense of his car chase in what could be his happiest 13th year. Donald is considered by some to be the best player in football, but we still consider the quarterback position to be the most important. However, Donald's game in the Super Bowl could be so dominant that we need to create some sort of special category for him, a whole new level of uniqueness. I think it will involve the chess game between Sean McVay and Zac Taylor and the adjustments each makes. We've seen the Bengals fall into big holes and scrape their way back into the second half of games and then pull off wins. Is it reductive to pin this game down to the quarterback game? It feels like Joe Burrow is moving early and often, the right side of his line can't keep up with whatever the Rams throw at them. And if he can lengthen the plays, there could be an excellent opportunity to attack downfield with Ja'Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. But expecting Burrow to dodge defenders all night seems like a tall order, so Cincinnati could be witnessing the limitations of their current offensive setup. Meanwhile, the Rams seem to have found a much more manageable demand for Matthew Stafford: play offense and keep everything on schedule, but make defense pay when things collapse. While Stafford has been a little wild at times this season with his 17 interceptions, Los Angeles put offense squarely in his hands and should do the same on Sunday. Although the Bengals' adaptability and lack of an easily exploited weak link in defense could keep them close, Stafford appears well-placed to cap a 13-year career that began with him being No. 1 for the Detroit Lions was . This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Super Bowl 2022: What will be the defining story of the Bengals-Rams matchup?

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villain no more? Ahead of the Super Bowl, the Rams praise Odell Beckham Jr. as a model teammate

Odell Beckham Jr. was once known as the NFL's most explosive player -- in more ways than one. Now many say that perception has not caught up with reality. (Author: Gardener)

Odell Beckham Jr.LOS ANGELES -- As Odell Beckham Jr. aims for his first championship ring, it's jarring to think he's no better than the third-best wide receiver to play in Super Bowl 56 -- at least based on how the 2021 season has gone. But players like Los Angeles Rams Offensive Player of the Year Cooper Kupp and Cincinnati Bengals Offensive Rookie of the Year Ja'Marr Chase are nowhere near as close to the still vibrant legacy that OBJ somehow created in just eight NFL seasons. It was evident this week that there is a genuine peace in Beckham, 29, who exuded remarkable confidence while seeming fully aware of his august place in the league's pantheon. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. "I appreciate you saying I'm only 29 because a lot of the conversations I've had are really trying to make me feel like the old head," he told USA TODAY Sports, when he was asked about his influence on so many young players. "Knowing the responsibility I have to set a standard, knowing that some of them look up to me, is why I feel the way I am now rather than the 23-year-old me .” I remember when I was in Cleveland, (Browns rookie) Anthony Schwartz came up to me and said, "Yeah bro, I remember seeing you in high school." And I say, 'You don't have to tell me that, I don't have to hear that.' It's crazy because my 29 feels like I've been in the league for 12 years. I feel like so much has happened - ups and downs, good and bad - it feels like a very long career in a short amount of time." Selected 12th overall by the New York Giants in 2014, costing a hamstring injury Beckham entered the first month of his rookie season against the Dallas Cowboys - everyone knew who OBJ was after he caught cornerback Brandon Carr with a hand from 43 yards It was the epitome of a viral highlight and changed everything for Beckham: "It was after the catch, I literally watched life change. I watched how people treated me," he mused. "Everything changed after the catch. More than seven years later, Beckham stars in his first Super Bowl Meanwhile, he was a Pro Bowler; sometimes a sideshow; traded from the Giants to the Browns; often injured — including a cruciate ligament tear that ended his 2020 season early — and cut by Cleveland last November for reasons no one could satisfactorily explain. Yet despite the theatrics over the years and the polarizing image OBJ has cultivated, that portrayal doesn't seem to tally with reality. SUPER BOWL 56 BREAKDOWN: Who will come out on top as Rams and Bengals take the field? MOVE OVER, TOM BRADY: Rams' Andrew Whitworth is delighted with his new status as the NFL's oldest active player. Ask anyone in the Rams about Beckham and there's a continuous line connecting the answers. Reality.' From the outside, you thought he was a selfish player, a guy who just wanted to play and didn't care about his teammates," Rams receiver coach Eric Yarber said. "But in reality he's not a selfish player - he loves his teammates, he plays for his teammates. He's preparing just like the rest of the guys. The effort he puts on the field is like all greats - you don't have to push him. He wanted to be coached and he wanted to get better, he wanted to be a good teammate. It wasn't like, 'Give me the ball, give me the ball.' "Odell has been a great teammate since he's been here," Van Jefferson said of Be Better Off And I'm Learning From Him. He came straight into the game, he learned the playbook as well as he had to and he's played all over the field. He's definitely one of my favorite teammates I've ever had. Receiver and return specialist Brandon Powell adds, "When a player like that of this caliber comes up to you and says, 'Man, you're going to put one in the house,' or 'I need a big return from you,' that just gives you additional motivation. It's like, "This is Odell Beckham, one of the best receivers in the game, he believes in you." That gives an extra boost: "It was a great feeling to be on a team with him, just to have a player like that." Even Kupp, who has perhaps the most impressive season that a receiver has ever had with 170 catches and 2,333 yards 20 TDs in 20 games - is amazing. “That he does what he does – that he produces the way he did – speaks volumes for the player he is, the teammate he is, the football intelligence that he has to be able to do that stuff to learn and be able to go out and do it. It was so impressive to watch him work," Kupp said, noting how quickly Beckham synthesized coach Sean McVay's playbook while trying to fill the void left by receiver Robert Woods' season-ending knee injury had arisen. "I just have a lot of respect for him and the football player that he is -- and that's not just what he does on the football field, it's how he handles it that was jettisoned from Cleveland. He wasn't worried about debunking naysayers when he came to LA, and knew better than to expend so much energy trying to live up to outlandish expectations that he would hurt himself again. "The perception of me will go into the room before I enter the room," he said. "If I carry that energy and try to be someone they don't think I am instead of just being me, it's never going to go right. MORE: SoFi Stadium, site of Super Bowl 56, is a billionaire dream for three and a nightmare for thousands 'ONE HELLUVA STORY': How Kelly and Matthew Stafford found happiness and a Super Bowl in LA What is the source of the Beckham Admiration Society, especially as it might not be obvious to outsiders? "OBJ is quite possibly the most influential football player, other than Tom Brady, that we've seen in the NFL since maybe Michael Vick," Andrew Hawkins, former Bengals receiver turned NFL Network analyst, told USA TODAY Sports. "A lot of people don't understand that, but you have to be aware that when OBJ comes into a dressing room, it's not just a football player that comes into a dressing room - it's an icon. "It's a lot of these guys in the locker room - especially young people - that's someone they looked up to. When OBJ became OBJ — I was at soccer camps, I saw all the little kids, all rocking blonde Mohawks, trying to catch the ball with one hand, trying to dress like him, look like him, like him to dance. Beckham, who has more than 15 million followers on Instagram, understands how important football camps have been to him and the importance of his desire to personally coach and mentor each youngster. He donated his Super Bowl tickets to the Watts Rams, a local youth team sponsored by Beckham's Rams. "It's why I do this," OBJ said, "It warms my heart." "Boys like you are what keep me going." 🎥 @obj surprises @WattsRams with tickets to #SBLVI + Rams reveal two new murals at Dymally High School! pic.twitter.com/YovHxLq11e - Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) February 5, 2022 And maybe that says more about who Beckham is. “There's a lot of talk about who he is as a teammate, but you never hear any of his teammates say he's a bad teammate. That's rare," Hawkins said. "He's the easiest target in the NFL, but you don't hear it because it's just not true. He's not a bad teammate. Beckham knows it can get hot. "In the world we live in, it's easier to sell something that has little more drama than the honest and good stories," he says. "To me, he's a generational talent," said Cincinnati receivers coach Troy Walters. "Anytime someone is a generational talent and can do the things that they do on the field - with ease - people are attracted to it. "He's got a great personality, always seems excited, happy and happy to play the game and that rubs off on his peers and people want to be like him." Like Beckham, the Bengals' newest star hails from Louisiana and attended LSU... like Beckham. OBJ spent time with Chase's 2019 national championship team, but now the young standout can't wait to finally share a field with his Rookie of the Year predecessor. "It's going to be an amazing experience to see him play (in person) for the first time," said Chase. "I didn't see him play when he was with the Browns, but I'm looking forward to seeing him." Beckham had a modest regular season with the Rams, catching 27 catches for 305 yards and five TDs in eight games. But even though Kupp is quarterback Matthew Stafford's main target, OBJ again resembles a No. 1 receiver in the playoffs, where he had 19 grabs for 236 yards and one point tally in three contests. Excellent hand-eye coordination. I just think a change of scenery helped him." Beckham was massive in winning the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers, his 113 yards marking the first time he'd surpassed the century mark in more than two years. His joy on on the field was obvious, but Beckham also took time to comfort Niner's All-Pro Deebo Samuel, who was taking the loss hard. "This whole thing was a full-circle moment for me," OBJ said and Noted that the Super Bowl will be his first game against the Bengals since tearing his knee in Cincinnati on Oct. 25, 2020 and enduring the challenges that followed: "Once you play with that joy in your heart, only good ones come." Things are happening." Today , he's a man who's only too happy to share his testimony. He's a man awaiting fatherhood, his first child is about to be born any moment — albeit Be ckham fervently hopes he can attend the birth and play in the Super Bowl. Finally, this could be the time when the perception of OBJ as the all-time great of rea could be cemented. "I am truly blessed and grateful for this opportunity, but the job is definitely not over yet. I just want to hold on and be able to lift that trophy and share that memory with brothers," he said. I just want to find a way to take advantage of that, man, and be able to call myself world champion.” Ahead of the Super Bowl, Rams praise Odell Beckham Jr. as a model teammate

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Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from February 11th

Goldberg returned a week ago to host a showdown with Universal Champion Roman Reigns at the Elimination Chamber, and he made another appearance on Fox on Friday night to hype the blockbuster main event... (Author: Gardener)

February 11thGoldberg returned a week ago to host a showdown with Universal Champion Roman Reigns at the Elimination Chamber, and he appeared again on Fox on Friday night to hype the blockbuster main event. What did the WCW icon have to say about his upcoming showdown with The Tribal Chief, and would Reigns have an answer for the Hall of Famer? That question surfaced over a broadcast that also featured Charlotte Flair defending her SmackDown Women's Championship against Naomi and the latest in the Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura feud. WWE Official Sonya Deville opened the evening show after sustaining an injury to her left arm following Ronda Rousey's Fujiwara armbar last Friday night. She announced that she had sought a $100,000 fine against Rousey. This came out to Adam Pearce, who revealed an email from Vince McMahon himself preventing Deville from further abusing her powers and engaging in Naomi's SmackDown Women's Championship match against Charlotte Flair later that night. If she insisted, her job would be "seriously jeopardized". This brought out Naomi, who correctly explained that the email said nothing about not touching the WWE Official. Naomi beat Deville to close the segment. Vince McMahon writes the longest emails of all time. Additionally, this was an apt segment, stopping some of Deville's abuses of power for good, giving Naomi a moment of revenge, and setting up a match for later in the night that was supposed to be relatively one-on-one. For Naomi, it was a segment that was months in the making. It was nice to see her step through the eye with confidence, confronting Deville and showing her the lack of respect the WWE official has shown her since last September. Last week's match was so nice that WWE Creative booked it twice. Kingston and Big E dominated early and often, putting an exclamation mark on their offense as they went into the commercial break. During the timeout, Angel and Humberto took control, putting Big E down and cutting him off from his tag team partner. A hot day with Kingston sparked a babyface comeback. In a cool spot, Big E lifted Humberto for a powerbomb and Kingston came off the top rope with a double stomp. Los Lotharios were a great team, despite their lack of consistent TV push, and what better way to give them some much-needed credibility than to have them clean-slap two former WWE Champions in the middle of the ring. While maybe it wasn't on the level of their match a week ago, it was still a hell of a fun competition that further demonstrated the teams' exceptional chemistry and set the stage for a potential rubber match in the near future. Hopefully the strength of the ring at work doesn't encourage WWE to overexpose the matchup as it's a rare one that could bring a freshness to the blue brand's tag team division they desperately need. Backstage, Michael Cole interviewed Roman Reigns about the Tribal Chief's Universal Championship defense against Goldberg at Elimination Chamber. Undeterred by the Hall of Famer's accomplishments, he claimed, "If I was in WCW, everyone would win... because they'd still be in business." When the topic of conversation turned to Brock Lesnar, Reigns laughed it off and asked why they were still talking about him. The championship leader ended the segment by promising "Goldberg" Goldberg in the Elimination Chamber that he vows to crush the legendary figure just as he has crushed so many throughout his career. Could his hubris come back to cost him at WrestleMania? when they fight for the grand prize in professional wrestling one last time? Originally planned Although it was supposed to be a dungeon style match, the showdown between Aliyah and Natalya was nothing more than another duel between the two. Nattie grabbed intense early on but Aliyah absorbed it and fended off a sudden and abrupt end at The Queen of Harts catching her in the famous sharpshooter and forcing the tapout. After the match, Natalya tried to add more penalties, but Xia Li parried, deflecting heel and standing upright. The match was too short to be meaningful and inexplicable The disappearance of the advertised condition showed how invested the creative team was in the competition. At the very least, Li's arrival hints at a new rivalry for Natalya, which should help make Li a real star of the main roster. Hopefully this doesn't spell the end for Aliyah, who is a great underdog babyface. Sami Zayn presented the latest installment of his In Zayn Live Podcast. He threw a video of Johnny Knoxville visiting the WWE pop-up shop in Los Angeles and slandering Zayn merchandise. From there, Rick Boogs and Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura made their way to the ring just seven days before The Artist defended his title against Zayn Arm. Not at all. Nothing about this feud feels like a program for one of the most important titles in the company. Instead, it feels like the setting where Knoxville reappears and pulls off a WrestleMania program with Zayn. While Madcap Moss was knocked out by a black eye, Happy Corbin went it alone on Friday and fought Cesaro in singles. A back-and-forth match ensued in which neither had a lasting advantage. Moments later, the undefeated and obnoxious heel flattened the Swiss Cyborg with End of Days for the pinfall win. Backstage, Drew McIntyre interrupted Moss' eye exam and revealed their match in Elimination Chamber will be a Falls Count Anywhere match. This was a really fun little match that came out of nowhere. Corbin is an underrated worker and his style paired well with Cesaros, making for a better match than it should have been. The revelation that Moss and McIntyre's match at the Premium Live Event will be a Falls Count Anywhere match kicks things up a notch, having just witnessed the Day 1 fight, this will all be McIntyre, and it will be enable him to challenge Roman Reigns coming out of the Elimination Chamber. Michael Cole sat down with Goldberg, who dismissed the idea that Roman Reigns could beat him in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at the Elimination Chamber. He vowed to beat Reigns, win the Universal Championship and defeat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Back in the arena, Naomi stepped into the ring for her shot in history when she challenged Charlotte Flair for the SmackDown Women's Championship. The challenger started red-hot, overpowering The Queen early and controlling the early moments of the game heading into the break. Flair hit back, wrestling the advantage by slowing the pace and grounding the challenger. Naomi exploded with a blockbuster for a close two count, but Flair sent her knees in first before another break ensued. The resilient Naomi found herself able to put pressure on the champion while seeking her first title reign in five years. She hooked Flair into the turnbuckle, but the powerful Flair powerbombed her opponent to the mat for a two count. Flair missed a moonsault, ate his knees on another attempt, and Naomi provided the rear view for a dramatic near-fall that blew the New Orleans crowd out of their seats. Near falls from a headscissor and a split leg moonsault led fans to believe Naomi would dethrone the Queen. Later, Naomi tried another rearview, only Flair blocked her and delivered Natural Selection for the win. After the match, Naomi unloaded on a boastful Sonya Deville only to be jumped by Flair. Ronda Rousey parried and cleared the ring with a big bang to end the show. This was one hell of a legitimate match-of-the-year nominee. Flair and Naomi tore down the house with a wildly dramatic match that had fans believing a title change was imminent. It's a testament to the cast themselves, but positive proof that the months of positioning Naomi as the likable babyface forced to overcome unfair treatment at the hands of WWE official Deville worked. The loss didn't hurt Naomi in any way. If anything, the emotions she displayed throughout the match will only make her more popular with fans who appreciate how much she loves wrestling. The post match hints at a tag team match pitting Naomi and Rousey against Flair and Deville. If so, that would be a blockbuster encounter, hot enough in the US to headline a premier live event.

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Why Packers Should See What They Can Get in a Trade With Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers' future with the Packers is unclear, but Green Bay needs to at least evaluate what it can achieve in a trade in the market. (Author: Gardener)

Aaron Rodgers'GREEN BAY -- The Green Bay Packers should be on a good run at trading Aaron Rodgers, even if he's ready to move on. Yes, coach Matt LaFleur, general manager Brian Gutekunst and CEO Mark Murphy have good reason to want Rodgers back. Rodgers is close to winning his fourth MVP on Thursday night, and even at the age of 38 it looks like he still has some excellent years left if he wants to keep playing. With him, the Packers are almost guaranteed to win 10 to 13 games each season and make the playoffs. But Rodgers is also on the home stretch of his career, and even with him, the Packers have gone 11 years without a Super Bowl return. Another home playoff flameout as the NFC No. 1 and Rodgers' poor performance in that game are hard to brush aside. It's about time the Packers got the best of them while they can by putting him on a team he wants to play on. And the best-looking potential trade partner is probably the Denver Broncos, a quarterback-starved franchise whose new coach Nathaniel Hackett has been the Packers' offensive coordinator and Rodgers confidant for the past three years. The Broncos have the most valuable asset to offer, a big first-round pick, the No. 9 overall pick in this year's draft. "I would take the draft picks and roll with them," said a senior manager of another NFL team, who spoke to the USA TODAY Network on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons, and predicted the Packers can get two first-rounders and a second for their quarterback. AARON RODGERS LANDING SPOTS: What could be QB's next NFL team if he splits from Packers? Said another scout in the league, who spoke to the USA TODAY Network on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons, "I'm making the deal. I just think it's the passage of time. I don't want to keep replaying it, and yes we win games, (but) losing in the playoffs gets so hard. If you're losing and you're No. 1, that's happened a few times now, and it's with him as quarterback. Of course trading Rodgers is risky and not everyone in the league would do it. Immediately after the Packers lost to the 49ers in the Divisional round of the playoffs three weeks ago, it was hard to imagine that they would be knocked out of the playoffs early this season with another No. 1 seed and a more mature team than in 2020 , then it's time for both sides to move on. But many executives and coaches are looking at what gives them the best chance of competing for a title in the here and now, hoping that good health and a few breaks will help them make ends meet from there. Rodgers is a safe bet to give the Packers at least another two or three years of chance. If the Packers trade him, they too could fall into the big quarterback abyss. Thirty years of Hall of Famers play at this point and it's easy to forget what life is like on the other side of the divide. If you didn't follow the Packers in the 1970s and 1980s, it's hard to understand just how bad things can get. Twenty lean years went by between Bart Starr and Brett Favre, and there could be another 20 between Rodgers and the Packers' next goalie in that position. "Probably keep him," an executive from a third team told the USA TODAY Network on condition of anonymity for competitive reasons. I think they need to find a quarterback of the future. It doesn't look like love to me." But even with the risk of stepping into the quarterback's great unknown, there's good reason for Gutekunst to trade with Rodgers. Gutekunst has to watch out for the franchise's future, and if he can do a good deal, it would essentially give him two cracks in finding his quarterback over the next two years. It's true that in his only start this season in Kansas City or his second-half appearance in the regular-season finals in Detroit, Love didn't do much to draw attention. If he didn't look like a completely different player in practice, Gutekunst and coach Matt LaFleur must be concerned that he's the answer. But it's worth pointing out that the same could have been said of Rodgers at the same stage in his career. In Rodger's longest playing stint in his sophomore season, Game 10 against New England, he played most of the second half after Favre sustained an elbow injury, finishing 4-for-12 for 32 yards pass plus a lost fumble to a stripe sack. Rodgers ended that game with a broken foot, but he had a terrible day from start to finish. So it's still too early to write off love. He has several qualities you look for in an NFL passer - good height, lots of arm strength, decent athleticism and a willingness to play from the bag. The question is whether he can play fast enough to be a successful quarterback in the league. It will take the Packers a season of games to figure that out. And if the Packers decide after the 2022 season that love isn't the answer, trading Rodgers sets them up for another quarterback run in the 2023 draft. For one, if love isn't good enough, they have a poor record, probably in the four to six win range. For example, in the 2021 draft, the 49ers jumped from 12th to 3rd overall by trading two first-round picks (2022 and 23) and one third-round pick (23). In 2016, the Eagles advanced from 8th overall to 2nd for a future first-round player (2017) and second-, third-, and fourth-round picks. So this extra first rounder in '23 will be worth more as trading capital than as a choice to keep and use. A trade in Denver is attractive because the Broncos have a top 10 pick. The draft sucks no matter where you choose, but the odds of finding a difference maker in the top 10 are far better than outside. The board would look good to you at 9. If you don't want to draft a quarterback, that's fine. "Next year's quarterback class is a lot better than this year's," said one of the scouts. Denver isn't the only potential trading partner for the Packers. But the Broncos could probably make the best offer.

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Harry Styles won Best Tour of the Year at the Pollstar Awards

Harry Styles' success as an arena headliner was celebrated with an award for the grand tour of the year at Tuesday night's Pollstar Awards, held annually to honor the tours, festivals, venues, promoters, agents, managers, talent buyers and others , which were judged to have achieved the greatest success in the live music sector last year. […] (Author: Gardener)

Harry StylesHarry Styles' success as an arena headliner was celebrated with an award for the grand tour of the year at Tuesday night's Pollstar Awards, held annually to honor the tours, festivals, venues, promoters, agents, managers, talent buyers and others , which were judged to have achieved the greatest success in the live music sector last year. Other artists were honored at the 33rd Annual Ceremony, held in the Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom as part of the Pollstar Live! Artists typically videotape their acceptance speeches, as Styles did this year (although Elton John showed up to accept the grand prize in the flesh two years ago). But there was a big cheer and cheer for the dozens of industry professionals who delivered short acceptance speeches in person, including representatives for venues ranging from the venerable Troubadour and Ryman Auditorium to Inglewood's new SoFi Stadium. Ray Waddell, President of Media and Conferences for Oak View Group, Pollstar's parent company, said: "2021 will be remembered as the year when artists were able to reconnect with fans at live events around the world, and Pollstar is thrilled to be able to recognize artists, venues, events and leaders who have made this possible at the highest level, as determined by their peers. This year's Pollstar Awards is a celebration of live entertainment, and we salute the winners, nominees and everyone taking part in the biggest deal there is.” Billy Strings, the up-and-coming bluegrass performer who is attracting young audiences, sold out Hosting theater with multiple night stands won for Best New Headlining/Artist Development Story, beating out competitors like Phoebe Bridgers. The other artists accepted their trophies in categories divided by genre: J. Cole for Best Hip-Hop Tour, Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin for Co-Headlining Best Latin Tour, Foo Fighters for Best Rock Tour, Maroon 5 for Best Pop Tour, Stapleton for Best Country Tour, Earth Wind & Fire for Best R&B Tour, and Maniscalco for Comedy Tour of the Year. Maniscalco was the only cast member to accept in person, saying, "First and foremost I want to thank Irving Azoff for giving me Super Bowl tickets this Sunday. I also want to thank Kevin Hart for not touring this year." Grohl sent an acceptance speech via text that was read out, writing in part, "Fuck COVID. Garbage received an award for Best Supporting Act for the opening of Alanis Morissette's Amphitheater Tour. Disney on Ice won Best Non-Music Tour or Event. Aside from the Ohana honor, Southern California unsurprisingly made a big showing as Forum won Arena of the Year, SoFiStadium became Best New Outdoor Venue, and Troubadour once again took home Best Nightclub. Nashville was also particularly well represented, with the Ryman winning Theater of the Year, the Brooklyn Bowl winning Best New Small Concert Hall, and the Ascend Amphitheater winning Open Air Concert Hall of the Year. (The latter award officially has "Red Rocks" in its name, as this Colorado venue has won every year so predictably that it has withdrawn from competition.) Another Nashville venue was among the wins, as David Kells of the Bridgestone Arena took over as the venue executive of the year. Best New Arena went to the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. With “new” in the title, the Royal Albert Hall definitely won nothing, standing out as the best international venue. The Royal Albert Hall was a double winner and also accepted the first Milestone Award in honor of its 150th anniversary. Among individual winners, the most sentimental moment of the evening came when Steve Strange, who recently passed away at the age of 53, was recognized as International Booking Agent of the Year for his work with X-Ray Touring. Other individual winners included Live Nation's Bob Roux as Promoter of the Year, Live Nation's Molly Warren with a Rising Star Award, Marshall Arts' Barrie Marshall as International Promoter, Full Stop's Jeffrey Azoff as Personal Manager of the Year, C3 Presents' Amy Corbin as Talent Buyer of the Year, Goldenvoice's Donna Busch Small Venue Talent Buyer of the Year, and CAA's Allison McGregor Marketing/PR Manager of the Year. Ken Helie, who won Road Warrior of the Year for his work with Dead & Company, quipped that "for the first two years, everyone thought I was a nark." Jeffrey Azoff's speech was preceded by a testimonial from Styles, who sarcastically congratulated his manager for being able to do all his tour-related business "from the comfort of his own home." Styles added, "I'm so happy for you ... and you're welcome." Azoff followed up with by far the funniest speech of the night, cracking jokes about nepotism involving his father, Irving. Perhaps more seriously, he thanked his mother, saying, "I know we were worried that I was too nice to survive in business, but look at us now." To Styles, who he credited with getting him to To become a manager, he said: "I don't know why you chose me, but you did it. Companies receiving recognition included CAA for Booking Agency of the Year, High Road Touring for Independent Global Booking Agency, Bandit Lites for Best Concert Visualization, Rock-It Cargo for Transportation Company and Clair Global for Best Concert Sound. Derrick "D-Nice" Jones received the Music Unites Award for Philanthropy, recognizing his work with the Otis Redding Foundation, mental health and wellness organizations, the Apollo Theater and HBCUs. The full list of 33rd Annual Pollstar Awards winners: Sebastian Maniscalco, Nobody Does This Tour Best Family, Event or Non-Music Tour of the Year Music Festival of the Year (Global; Under 30,000 Attendees) Music Festival of the Year (Global; Under 30,000 Attendees ) Small Venue Talent Buyer of the Year (under 10,000 capacity) Best person to dinner with

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John Mulaney will join Saturday Night Live's prestigious Five-Timers Club when he returns to SNL

LCD Soundsystem will be the musical guest for the evening when the episode airs next month on February 26th (Author: Gardener)

John MulaneyJohn Mulaney is making his way back to Studio 8H! It was announced on Saturday that the 39-year-old comedian will be returning to his Saturday Night Live roots as the host of the late-night comedy sketch series on February 26, making him an official member of the prestigious Five-Timers Club make series. The select group includes other famous faces such as Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Steve Martin and Scarlett Johansson to name a few. Paul Rudd is the latest member to join the club after hosting for the fifth time in December. "And just like that..." Mulaney wrote in a tweet early Sunday morning announcing his upcoming hosting gig, where LCD Soundsystem will be the musical guest for the evening. And just like that... pic.twitter.com/PdnoBvYxS3 – John Mulaney (@mulaney) January 30, 2022 Want to receive PEOPLE'S biggest stories every day of the week? Subscribe to our new PEOPLE Every Day podcast for the most important celebrity, entertainment and people-of-interest news Monday through Friday. Mulaney was previously a four-year writer at SNL from 2008 to 2012. The comedian is also the fourth SNL writer to host the show, though he's never appeared as an official cast member. RELATED: Willem Dafoe jokes about "mood of a sociopath" in SNL monologue: "I've got an expressive face" Mulaney first hosted SNL in April 2018 and then again almost a year later in March 2019. Shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic, the series, which the comedian hosted in February 2020 and then again in October of the same year, ended. LCD Soundsystem last appeared on SNL in 2017 as a musical guest during an episode hosted by Chris Pine. RELATED VIDEOS: Pregnant Olivia Munn says she's excited to bring a little person into this world. Mulaney's hosting gig will be his first since becoming a father in November. A source told PEOPLE that a month after Mulaney announced the news of her pregnancy to Seth Meyers on Late Night, Mulaney and Olivia Munn welcomed their first child together. Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney. Happy Holidays," Munn, 41, later wrote, sharing the first photo of the little boy. Mulaney captioned his own post, "Meet Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney. RELATED: Olivia Munn and Henry Golding's babies have adorable playdate — see photos! SNL's Pete Davidson recently met the couple's newborn son, which Mulaney documented on his Instagram Story. "Uncle Pete!" he wrote for the contribution to the “F. he jokingly remarks to the new parents, who can be heard laughing in the background. Saturday Night Live returns to TV screens next month on February 26th.

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Bengals, Joe Burrow shows Steelers how it's done

Steelers fans are about to suffer through a Super Bowl like no other as the Bengals and Joe Burrow reach the NFL's big dance. (Author: Gardener)

Joe BurrowSteelers fans are about to endure a Super Bowl like no other. Proud Pittsburgh is forced to watch once-low division rivals Bengals and their franchise quarterback Joe Burrow dance the NFL big. Few Steelers fans are used to such a twisted world of football. But you can bet the black-and-gold faithful will be green with envy when Burrow and his Bengals take a championship swing at the LA Rams in Super Bowl 56. In two short years, Burrow changed everything for the Bengals -- and for the Steelers. The former LSU quarterback with a penchant for smoking cigars and winning championships is now the benchmark by which the Steelers' next passer is to be judged. So far, however, the Steelers have not had any options in this extremely important position. The Bengals had to sink to the bottom of the NFL to claim No. 1 Burrow in 2020. The Steelers don't want to go that far. Owner Art Rooney II insists the Steelers aren't rebuilding — and never will be. Year after year, the team's goal is nothing less than the Super Bowl. Trouble is, Pittsburgh hasn't come close in over a decade. In fact, a Steelers expert provocatively proclaims that the Steelers missed their chance to take someone like him if not Burrow. Rather than wrap it up, Pittsburgh traded the 2020 No. 1 for Minkah Fitzpatrick's security services. The Steelers went on to post another .500 season, and the Fitzpatrick trade, which was derided at the beginning, was called not just a success but a stroke of genius. In hindsight, with Burrow and the Bengals now in Super Bowl 56, maybe it wasn't anything like that. In this Super Bowl 56 installment of the Steelers Update Podcast, we have a lot more about what could have been and a lot more Steelers Super Bowl envy. NOTE: New episodes of the Steelers update are available every Wednesday afternoon on PennLive.com and everywhere Podcasts can be found, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Podcasts. The Steelers sure did rebuild back then - both a new stadium and a football team for the ages - as seen in the photo below. Today, according to owner Art Rooney II, the R-word is no longer said to be spoken. Another word that may not be in the Steelers' vocabulary in the near future is Super Bowl: A championship-quality franchise QB is the golden ring that rules everything in the NFL. The Steelers need to find theirs. It's no coincidence that the team brought in former Pitt player and current ESPN commentator Louis Riddick for an interview as GM Kevin Colbert's successor. The family franchise, which normally funds from within, could be looking for new blood to revitalize the now-mediocre Steelers. It all boils down to Joe Burrows envy. Or, if you look outside the division, it's envy of the Chargers' Justin Herbert, Bills' Josh Allen and Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes. But he's not Burrow or Herbert. And he's not Troy Polamalu either: Whichever way you look at it, the AFC is full of arm talent, and the Steelers are looking inside from the outside. That's exactly where Pittsburgh will stay as long as it gets to the Super Bowl as they go without franchise passers-by. With pick 20 in the 2022 NFL draft, the Steelers would likely have to act to land their franchise quarterback — if there even is one in that draft. Draft gurus say this entire QB class is weak and there is no Burrow or Herbert to be had. But trading draft picks and paying a big salary for the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo isn't really getting you that far either. No wonder the lumbering Steelers could reach for an outsider like Riddick to run their family football organization. Until the Steelers' prospects improve significantly at quarterback, Pittsburgh's future will be as bleak as the weather. All in all, it's probably wiser and safer for the Steelers to forgo drafting a quarterback this year to reload on other needed positions like offense and defensive line, middle linebacker and cornerback. But it's not sexy. And it won't satisfy Steelers fans, who know Pittsburgh won't stand a chance of making a Super Bowl until their team lands a franchise arm. Instead, Burrow and the Bengals will continue to show the Steelers how to do it -- and what it takes. WANT MORE: New podcast episodes are available every Wednesday afternoon on PennLive or earlier for our podcast subscribers on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Podcasts. So log in, Steelers fans. John Luciew is an award-winning reporter for PennLive and a 25-year Steelers season ticket holder. His column and podcast are presented from the obsessively overinformed perspective of an avid Steelers fan. Catch his latest Steelers podcast every Wednesday afternoon, wherever podcasts are.

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Winners, grades, reactions and highlights from February 11th

Welcome to the Bleacher Report coverage and recap of All Elite Wrestling Rampage on February 11th. Britt Baker fought Robyn Renegade in a non-title match, and Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus put the tag belts on the line against Austin and Colten Gunn... (Author: Gardener)

February 11thBritt Baker fought Robyn Renegade in a non-title match, and Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus put the tag belts on the line against Austin and Colten Gunn. After confronting his former trainer, QT Marshall, the young superstar, known as Hook, battled alleged Marshall top student Blake Li. Last but not least, Rocky Romero and Trent Beretta faced off against Nick and Matt Jackson. Let's take a look at everything that happened on Friday's episode of AEW Rampage. Trent and Nick started with quick changes for their teams, but it wasn't long before Nick had to deal with Romero outside the ring as well. Matt tagged in and his opponents took turns hitting him back and forth like they were volleying a ping pong ball. They continued to control the tempo against the Bucks with some good double-team spots. The Bucks sucked them up the ramp to hit superkicks to count them out, but Romero managed to save the match at the last second. Orange Cassidy went under the ring, and when the Bucks tried to pull him out, Danhausen appeared and distracted them so Romero and Trent could do suicide dives. We returned from a break to see the Bucks in control. They taunted Best Friends before Romero knocked them both down at the same time with a hurricanrana. Sue's son tagged in and took it to both opponents with a barrage of high-impact moves. All four men paced the ring, trading big spots until the Bucks won with the BTE trigger. This match started out like any other tag team fight, but over time all four men picked up the pace to make this a potential match of the week achievement. Romero might have been the MVP, but all four guys deserve credit for making this entertaining. Danhausen's cameo was fun and didn't ruin the flow of the game. Throwing comedy in the middle of a game is a risk at this point, but Best Friends have proven they're good at it. Baker and Renegade baited and traded some basic holds and counters. After DMD had the upper hand for a moment, Renegade built some momentum. She missed a running double knee in the corner, so Baker yanked her down by the hair and stomped her to the mat as we headed for a break. The dentist punished Renegade during the commercial, but when we came back, she made a comeback. She hit the double knee she attempted earlier and climbed to the top rope for a frog splash for a near fall. Baker hit a fisherman's neckbreaker followed by the stomp for the win. This was Renegade's Rampage debut, so it would have been easy to understand if AEW booked this as squash for the champion, but that didn't happen. Baker made Renegade look like a competitive fighter who had a real shot at defeating her at various points. Marshall accompanied Li to the ring for his fight against his former student Hook. They circled each other before Hook went behind for the first takedown. Li went for his leg, but Hook dropped and almost caught him in a submission before grabbing the bottom rope. Hook cornered him to deliver some punches. Hook flipped out of a hip toss and hit a gutwrench suplex. He hit a few crossfaces before locking his opponent in the redrum for the win. Every time we watch hook wrestling, he shows us something new. The way it has been used so far in its AEW run has been spectacular. Eventually he'll have to prove he can deliver a promo, but for now we can enjoy throwing him around with other guys. This wasn't much of a match when it came to how competitive it was, but that was by design. The main event was a tag title match between Jurassic Express and No. 1 Gunn Club, with Austin and Colten joined by their father, Billy Gunn. Austin and Jungle Boy opened with a fast-paced sequence, with both men getting some good shots. Luchasaurus came in and went after the two ace boys at ringside. We returned from a break to see the Gunns keep a firm grip on Jungle Boy. Luchasaurus got the hot tag and went wild with big strikes against both opponents. Jungle Boy stopped them from retreating and sent Colten back to fend off Luchasaurus with a chokeslam and a moonsault. Jungle Boy accidentally hit Luchasaurus with a suicide jump when Austin evaded. Christian prevented him from using the ropes for leverage during a pin, so Billy slammed Christian's head on the steps. Colten hit Jungle Boy with one of the belts while the referee was distracted, but he only managed a two count. After collecting, Jungle Boy was able to get the victory for his team to retain the titles. While it didn't quite match the excitement we saw in the opening tag team match, this was a fun and competitive title fight that gave the Gunn Club a chance to shine outside of Dark and Elevation. We all know how good Jungle Boy is, but it feels like Luchasaurus doesn't get enough credit for what he brings to the team. He moves so well for a guy his size that he ends up looking better than some of the smaller guys doing things like standing moon flips. Rampage continues to offer an hour of solid wrestling each week. This is a good formula for AEW, so hopefully it continues to work as well.

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No. 21 USC upset rival No. 12 UCLA for fifth straight win over Bruins

Drew Peterson had 27 points and 12 rebounds, and the Trojans held on to a 67-64 win over the Bruins despite playing without the injured Isaiah Mobley. (Author: Gardener)

BruinsUSC's Drew Peterson (right) blocks a shot from UCLA's Johnny Juzang at the Galen Center Saturday night. Peterson had five blocks on top of 27 points and 12 rebounds in the Trojans' 67-64 win. This time there would be no late heartbreak, no final twist of the knife, no stunning buzzer-beater to remember (or forget). There wouldn't be a moment that would haunt UCLA — or go on forever in highlight roles for USC. This time it was UCLA's Tyger Campbell who had the ball in his hands late, three minutes down and a chance for a stunning shot in the dying seconds. This time, as a sold-out Galen Center crowd held its breath, the buzzer-beater rattled off the back of the iron — and USC still won a stunner, defeating No. 12 UCLA 67-64 for its biggest win of the season. The scene after USC defeated UCLA for the fifth straight year, 67-64. For USC No. 21, the win, his fifth straight win over UCLA, was significant on several fronts. It was the Trojans' first win of the season against a ranked opponent, a big moment for a team that up to that point had little else to bolster their NCAA tournament history. USC also parted ways with Pac-12 leader Arizona within 2½ games, all but eliminating its rival from the conference race. "It was an incredible win," said USC coach Andy Enfield. "Without our best player on the court, in front of a packed house, this was a big win for us and a very, very important win because of its importance to our basketball program." That program has been left to its crosstown rival for most of its existence. The last time USC beat UCLA five straight times, John Wooden was a coach at South Bend Central High School, a legendary college career yet to come. The Trojans had won 42 straight victories against their rivals by this point in 1943, but when Wooden took over a few years later, the next 79 years would go by without USC being able to record five straight victories against its rival to achieve. In those eight decades, there can't have been many performances as brave as Drew Peterson's on Saturday. But as the Trojans went on without their top scorer, Peterson stepped into the void and more than filled in Isaiah Mobley's footsteps. He scored 25 points and added 12 rebounds, five blocks and four assists as he dominated UCLA on both ends. "He did everything tonight," Enfield said. "Obviously," Peterson added with a grin, "I've got my confidence back and a little bit of bragging rights." The Trojans' Drew Peterson, who scored four three-pointers, shoots over the Bruins' Johnny Juzang. Bragging was in short supply for the Bruins on Saturday. With USC's stingy defense, UCLA shot a meager 30% -- and 25% in the second half. Campbell led the Bruins despite that last miss, posting a season-high 27 while the rest of UCLA's offense spent most of the night trying to find a bucket against USC's intensifying defense. Still, Campbell had two chances to equalize late, first coughing up possession and then missing the final Summer Beater attempt when a Hail Mary inbound pass from USC nearly ended in disaster. The 30 seconds before that final, desperate attempt seemed to beckon for a UCLA miracle. A rogue dunk attempt for USC ended in a technical foul when Max Agbonkpolo hung on the rim and gave UCLA a free throw and possession, which outraged Enfield. With USC down to just three, an inbound pass from freshman Harrison Hornery went awry, leaving Campbell with the ball in the corner. He left his feet only to decide mid-shot that he wanted to pass. But UCLA wasn't done yet as another inbound pass - this time with just two seconds remaining - fell into the wrong hands. UCLA's Tyger Campbell drives to the basket against USC's Boogie Ellis. Campbell, who scored 27 points, missed a late three that could have leveled the score. Campbell picked up the loose ball and said a prayer. "I never let Chevez [Goodwin] put the ball in at the end of a game again," Enfield quipped afterwards. Peterson said he thought Campbell's shot would go in at first. Seconds later, he was bombarded by USC students who stormed the court cheering, a scene neither he nor USC will soon forget. "It was crazy," Peterson said. By the final buzzer, the game had played out with a similar intensity to its buzzing predecessors, with the two Crosstown rivals trading blows. But this time, USC had to recreate the magic of its last four wins over UCLA without Mobley, who broke his nose in a loss to Arizona last weekend. But Enfield said after the game Mobley stayed out due to concussion symptoms.

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