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till love basketball. Honestly, you can (and will!) love it even more than you can even realize right now.Youre going to keep pl

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von jcy123 • 5.628 Beiträge

The top of the card for NXT TakeOver: Toronto looks a whole lot like the top matches from Brooklyn -- but its anything but same old, same old.You have a grudge match three months in the making as Shinsuke Nakamura makes his first official NXT championship defense against former champion Samoa Joe. Theres also a do-or-die 2-out-of-3 falls match for the NXT tag team championships, in which #DIY and The Revival face off in their first true head-to-head clash since the quartet all but stole the show in Brooklyn.Finally, you have Asuka -- still the NXT womens champion, still seemingly lacking genuine contenders or anyone to really challenge her more than yearlong undefeated streak. To present a sufficient contender, WWE dug deep and brought back five-time womens champion Mickie James, who last performed for the company in April 2010, to serve as the challenger in this match.Outside of the title matches, theres an all-Ontario showdown between Bobby Roode and Tye Dillinger, upon whom the brightest spotlight of their WWE tenures has been placed. Theres also the finals of the second annual Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic.It felt like, for most of this edition of the tournament, it was being used merely as a device to advance upward of a half-dozen other storylines. The finals between two up-and-coming teams in TM-61 and the Authors of Pain took on another dimension, though, with the announcement that manager Paul Ellering will be suspended over the ring in a shark cage -- a call-back to 1983s Last Battle of Atlanta,?in which Ellering was put in the exact same position.One additional match was teased, and there are likely to be a few others added on the night of the show, but theres plenty to sink our teeth into as we look forward to NXTs first major foray into Canada.(C) -- indicates defending championShinsuke Nakamura (C) vs. Samoa JoeNakamura got it all in Brooklyn. He got one of the most memorable entrances in NXT (and WWE, for that matter) history. He maintained an unblemished record. And he ?became NXT champion by defeating Samoa Joe in a hard-fought match.Cut to the NXT weekly show a couple of weeks later, when the (to that point at least) unstable Joe finally seemed to have an introspective moment. I was a disgrace, Joe said during a conciliatory speech. Shinsuke was the better man in Brooklyn. When you experience a loss, you look in the mirror, and it makes you see what youve turned into. Im a man who understands when maybe hes gone a little too far.For anyone whos watched even a little bit of wrestling, it didnt smell quite right. After a respectful handshake, and a promise of a rematch, it took all of a few seconds for it to flip back around with a sneak attack and vicious beatdown that took Nakamura out for well over a month. This layoff accomplished a couple of things, including an even sharper edge for Joe, who came out week after week demanding to either get his hands on the injured Nakamura or to be handed back the NXT championship.After a few weeks of no response, Joe laid waste to five different guys in the midst of matches to send a message to GM William Regal. When Joe finally laid down the law and refused to exit the ring before his ultimatum was met, Nakamura finally returned -- and while he had a neck brace on, he quickly shed it and showed that this conflict had added a very different edge to his character as well.Nakamura twice laid out dozens of security guards in an effort to either get to Joe or to send a message to the No. 1 contender. For as good as their Brooklyn showdown was, with the way this conflict has built up, we can likely expect a vicious explosion of a match -- a proper sendoff for one of the biggest and most brutal rivalries NXT has ever seen.Prediction: Nakamura survives a match that leaves both men forever changed. Nakamura goes on to face one of a handful of top guys waiting in the wings, while Samoa Joe, whos done all there is to do at NXT, moves up to the SmackDown roster in the near future to bolster a roster thats recently felt a little thin on the mens side.Two out of three falls: The Revival (C) vs. #DIYThe primary focus of most fans going into NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II was on the two singles title matches. Sure, there was a certain level of excitement for some to see Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, two guys who were longtime independent stalwarts, get their shot on a big stage, but few were prepared for just how incredible a match they were in store for when the newly branded #DIY took on The Revival for the NXT tag team championships.The energy inside the Barclays Center was palpable as the match steadily climbed from near fall to near fall, putting the entire arena on the edge of their seats each time Gargano and Ciampa seemingly had the titles in their grasp. The performance was a credit to all four men in the ring, especially the occasionally overlooked Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, who have been tremendous old-school heels during their two runs as tag team champions, as this match stood out on a stellar night of contests across the board.Unlike several of the other contests on this TakeOver card, #DIY and The Revival were uncoupled from one another for a short stretch. #DIY got back on track with a victory during the finale of the Cruiserweight Classic and seemed poised for a run in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Both teams won their first-round matches, and although they were slated to face each other, Dash and Dawson begged out of the rematch, as Dawson claimed a knee injury.#DIY appeared to be on the brink of a massive victory over the still-undefeated Authors of Pain in the Dusty Classic, but interference from their manager, Paul Ellering, and a run-in by The Revival kept Gargano and Ciampa out of the finals. GM William Regal stepped in and set up one final showdown between these two teams, and with the two-out-of-three falls stipulation, these two teams have an opportunity to push this tremendous rivalry to one final crescendo.Prediction: There are two possible scenarios here, and Ill lean toward the feel-good victory for Gargano and Ciampa -- the bow on a story that started with the pair coming in as one-offs but has become so much more. Alternatively, The Revival, who seemingly need the tag team titles more to remain relevant, could get a big victory in Toronto and move on to fight another day, sending Gargano and Ciampa to potentially compete on the new 205 Live and as part of Raws cruiserweight division as either allies or rivals.Asuka (C) vs. Mickie JamesAsuka has undeniably run roughshod over the NXT womens division since winning the NXT womens championship in Dallas. All of the established stars have moved on to Raw and SmackDown, and while several different women work their way up the ranks and try to show themselves worthy, Asuka is dealing with a void of valid contenders in the short term.Its the perfect situation to bring in a ringer, and it doesnt get much better or more well-established than Mickie James. The five-time WWE womens champion and one-time WWE Divas champion has been outside the confines of the WWE since April 2010, but not out of wrestling. In the interim, she became a three-time TNA Knockouts champion and traveled the globe doing independent events.James time in the WWE stretches all the way back to 2005, and her highest-profile feuds are some of the best in the womens division in the companys history; her past includes showdowns with WWE Hall of Famers Trish Stratus and Lita, along with Beth Phoenix and a host of others.This match should provide a healthy dose of nostalgia, but expect a good match to come out of it too.Prediction: The Asuka train rolls along with another victory. In the next couple of years, James should expect a call for the WWE Hall of Fame.Bobby Roode vs. Tye DillingerThe video package that aired on Wednesdays edition of NXT on the WWE Network perfectly encapsulated everything you need to know about this very old-school-type rivalry. It starts out with the bad guy pretending to turn over a new leaf and extend his hand to the good guy in a show of respect and an offer of partnership, only for said bad guy to run at the first sign of trouble and refute every insistence that he had anything to do with the fallout.We didnt necessarily need to see each and every point made by Roode refuted by corresponding video footage to know it was the case, but it served as a reminder as to why Dillinger finds himself in this match and this overarching conflict. The worst part of it, in-storyline (and one of the best parts for the viewer), is that Roode used Dillingers destruction at the hands of Sanity to call Dillinger the perfect loser and continually bag on him.The real-life circumstances surrounding the match are even more compelling. Both men are from Ontario -- Dillinger is from Niagara Falls, while Roode is from Toronto. Each had to fight for much of their careers to get to this particular position of prominence within WWE; Roode was a longtime TNA talent who started in NXT back in June, and Dillinger is on his second stint with WWE after a developmental run that started in 2006 and three matches on WWEs version of ECW in late 2008.With two of NXTs most popular superstars -- Roode, thanks in large part to his Glorious entrance theme and Dillinger because of his Perfect 10 persona -- set to square off in front of a hometown crowd for both men, along with all of the aforementioned factors, this match has a chance to tear the house down at the Air Canada Centre Saturday night.Prediction: Dillinger shines, but Roode picks up another big win and sets the stage for a showdown with Nakamura.Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Finals: Authors of Pain vs. TM-61There were a lot of tag teams that were expected to have a chance to make the finals of the second Dusty Classic, but not many could have predicted that TM-61 would be the team to square off with The Authors of Pain.Thats not a knock on Nick Miller and Shane Thorne. As The Mighty Dont Kneel on the independent circuit, the pairing made huge waves, and theyve shown great flashes in their matches in NXT, but there simply hasnt been much of a build for these guys until very recently. After going through the likes of Sanity and Roderick Strong and Austin Aries (the latter in a singles match, following Aries injury), TM-61 find themselves facing off with a familiar foe in the Authors of Pain.After having a long string of matches that were largely glorified squashes, excepting their Brooklyn showdown with TM-61, the Authors of Pain were really pushed in their semifinal showdown with #DIY and showed some of the bigger things theyre capable of. With Ellering, the brains behind their brawn, suspended in a shark cage above the ring, theyll likely get pushed again with the Dusty Cup on the line.Prediction: The Authors of Pain have built up as unconquerable monsters, and regardless of the result of the tag team title match, this victory will provide them a bridge to the very top of the division.What else is in store?- On the final episode of NXT prior to Toronto, Ember Moon, Liv Morgan and Aliyah challenged Billie Kay and Peyton Royce to find a third for a six-person tag team match. This is a strong candidate to round out the main card of the show.- We were robbed of what could have been a great match between Aries and Hideo Itami when each was injured in separate incidents. Well get it eventually, but it would have been a nice addition to this particular show.- There are a number of talents that should feature in some way Saturday night. In no particular order: Roderick Strong, Andrade Cien Almas, No Way Jose, Rich Swann, Sanity and Cedric Alexander. There are a handful of others who could also factor in, including a number of cruiserweights, especially if theres an episode or two of NXTs weekly show to be filmed as well. Adidas Ultra Boost Sale . There are surprises among the Vezina candidates, but most of the others are standard top-tier performers, even if the two Hart Trophy runners-ups have never been quite as good as they have been through the first half of the season. Adidas Ultra Boost Wholesale .2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for the leagues broadcast and multimedia rights. http://www.cheapauthenticultraboost.com/ . Klitschkos management company says the bout will be the Ukrainian fighters 25th world championship fight. The 1.83-meter (6-foot) Leapai defeated the previously unbeaten Denis Boytsov in November to become the WBOs mandatory challenger. Adidas Ultra Boost Discount . Third-seeded Murray had the easiest path to victory on New Years Eve, barely breaking a sweat during his 6-0, 6-0 win over 2,129th-ranked Qatari wildcard recipient Mousa Shanan Zayed. Adidas Ultra Boost Cheap Sale . The 20-year-old Pelicans big man glanced up and smiled widely at the well-wishers -- a fitting end to a day he wont soon forget. Davis responded to his selection earlier in the day as a Western Conference All-Star with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans overcame a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Minnesota Timberwolves 98-91 on Friday night. I had a moment last week Im not particularly proud of -- one of those projecting my sports dreams onto my kid moments. It was minor, in the grand scheme of things, but it stuck with me. So I drafted this message to him, to remind both of us what its all about.Hey, pal,Weve put in a lot of time together in the driveway and on the rec team. We talk about obscure NBA summer league players and listen to the Pure Sweat Basketball podcasts and follow the summer results of Team Takeovers 10-and-under championship AAU team on Instagram. I love watching you play.And I love that you love playing sports. But what really matters most isnt that I love anything -- its that you love it.Last week, I sent you to the legendary DeMatha Basketball Camp. Adrian Dantley! Danny Ferry! Victor Oladipo! Markelle Fultz!Im going to be really honest here: That was my dream, not yours. You were happy to drive 45 minutes away to play at a prestigious school -- if less happy to get dominated all day by much better, older players -- but the experience left me feeling as hollow as any moment on this sports journey we have had together. Because it was as much about me as you. (Sigh -- maybe more.)There is always going to be a certain amount of projection by a parent onto a kids athletics. That is basically the basis for the gajillion-dollar youth-sports industry. But seeing you in the camp T-shirt that I wanted so badly but never earned when I was a kid, I didnt feel excited for you -- I mostly felt ashamed of myself.Now that you are 10, its time for this to be your journey, all the way. I cant remind you to work on your dribbling; you have to appreciate on your own that the game becomes so much easier and more fun when you have a better handle. I cant encourage you to hustle for rebounds from the bleachers of the gym; you have to want to want them for yourself (or have a real coach instruct you).I cant let my 43 years of perspective ecllipse your 10, even if it means that you potentially miss some exciting opportunities.dddddddddddd From here on out, your mom and I are just here to support you as you figure out what role you want sports to play in your life.Trust me: Without me contributing so directly -- sharing sideline wisdom or rec-league postgame hot takes or handing you my phone so you can read the latest inspirational basketball quote from Coach Twitter -- youll still love basketball. Honestly, you can (and will!) love it even more than you can even realize right now.Youre going to keep playing and getting better and taking lessons from the sport that are going to be even more important than what happens on the court -- about being a good teammate and showing leadership and developing resilience and having meaningful relationships.Youre going to play ferocious pickup games with your buddies in high school and compete for intramural titles in college that rival anything that happens at the Final Four, and one day youre going to meet someone who will invite you into a weekly drop-in game of other middle-aged people who love basketball, and it sounds silly, but honestly, thatll feel like your NBA, even if you never make it to the high school varsity. Well love watching you learn, grow and -- yes -- play, all the way.Heres a promise: Ill always do my best to say yes if you ask me to rebound the ball for you in the driveway or count your free throws or just stand there mutely as you zip to the basket around me. But it is not fair to you for me to ask you -- Im just the parent ......?you are the player.Go get em,DadDan Shanoff writes about parenting for espnW. You can connect with him on Twitter at @danshanoff, follow Dans parenting effort on Instagram or continue the conversation on espnWs Facebook page. 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