Sports Throwback Thursday: 2011 Money in the Bank

Welcome to Sports Throwback Thursday! WWE’s Money in the Bank event is coming on Saturday, July 2nd, on Peacock. Therefore, today’s throwback will be about the 2011 Money in the Bank event. It was the second event year, arguably the best Money in the Bank pay-per-view event. It took place in Chicago, Illinois.

The 2011 Money in the Bank was a successful event with staggering numbers. The event drew 195,000 pay-per-view purchases. This event featured many superstars: CM Punk, John Cena, Randy Orton, Christian, Big Show, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan, and many more.

Daniel Bryan won the Smackdown Money in the Bank ladder match for a World Heavyweight Championship contract. It was the second-longest match of the event (24 minutes). The ladder match was solid with some high level of action. This victory by Daniel Bryan was the start of him becoming a star and going on a successful run with the company.

Mary Henry and Big Show faced off each other in the event. Henry hit Big Show with two big splash moves to capture the victory. Mark Henry made a major statement by snapping Big Show’s ankle after his Money in the Bank match.

CM Punk took on John Cena for the WWE Championship in the main event. CM Punk was at the peak of his career. His mic skills and charisma would’ve been perfect for the Attitude Era. During the match, the company tried to pull a 1997 Montreal Screwjob moment, but John Cena did not want a tainted victory. Therefore, he broke off the STF submission. Then, CM Punk took advantage of it, and momentum shifted towards his way. He performed a Go to Sleep on Cena and pinned him to win the belt. Vince Mc Mahon fired John Cena due to not retaining the belt. Punk winning the title was sweet because he did it in his hometown. The match lasted for 34 minutes, making it the longest match of the night.

Sunday Sports Shorts

After being drafted by the Houston Astros nine years ago, Mark Appel made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Damian Lillard needs a superstar teammate in Portland. In his mind, Kevin Durant can be the perfect asset to help Portland compete for the grand prize. Lillard posted an image of himself standing alongside Durant in a Trail Blazers uniform on his Instagram story.

The Birmingham Stallions beat the New Orleans Brookers, 31-17, in the second of two semifinal contests. The Stallions will face the Philadelphia Stars next Sunday, July 3, at 7:30 pm. 

Mississippi defeated Oklahoma Sooners 10-3 in the first contest of the best-of-three Men’s College World Series finals. The Rebels are one win away from now, only their first MCWS title but the school’s second NCAA national championship ever in any team sport. 

Freddie Freeman Receives World Series Ring

Los Angeles Dodgers’ first baseman Freddie Freeman returned to Atlanta Friday night to receive his 2021 world championships ring. 

Freeman played for 12 seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He was emotional during the video presentation to the chants of “Freddie, Freddie” from the home crowd. Freeman helped Atlanta bring their first title since 1995. During his tenure in Atlanta, he made five All-Star appearances, won five Silver Sluggers, one Gold Glove, and was named NL MVP in 2020.

The 32-year-old had many people take out their tissues because it was a beautiful moment and tribute for him. This is one of the best moments of the 2022 season. Freeman is an outstanding leader, player, and human being. 

Photo: Curtis Compton, AP

Miguel’s Friday Thoughts: NBA Draft Night

The NBA Draft took place here in New York on Thursday night. It’s a special night for all the young talent to have their names called up by the commissioner Adam Silver. Several players were drafted, from Paolo Banchero to Chet Holmgren to Jabari Smith Jr and many more. 

Orlando Magic selected Paolo Banchero as the No. 1 overall pick. Banchero joins the list of Magic players to go No. 1 on the draft: Shaq in ‘92, Chris Webber traded for Penny Hardaway in ‘93, and Dwight Howard in 2004. All of those players except Webber went to the Finals, and all of them were All-Stars. I think Banchero is going to be an outstanding player. I hope to see a legit Big 3 with him, Jalen Suggs, and Cole Anthony. The Magic needs to get to the promise land in the future. This franchise has been through so much since Dwight Howard left the team. 

Houston Rockets picked Jabari Smith Jr in the No. 3. The Rockets haven’t drafted an All-Star since 2002 (Yao Ming). Smith Jr can help change this organization. The pairing between Smith Jr and Jalen Green can be electric in H-town. I like what I saw in the second half of the season from Jalen Green, and Jabari seems like he’s going to play with a chip on his shoulder. Houston has their foundation, and they hope these guys can take this team to high levels. 

Oklahoma City Thunder is one of the biggest winners in last night’s draft. The front office has been putting in WORK. Thunder had three first-round draft picks and will have more in the next few years. Thunder has a strong future. Chet Holmgren went No. 2 in the draft and will fit perfectly in the Thunder system. He’s an elite rim protector and a different maker in the paint. Holmgren will make Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s so much easier because Holmgren can stretch the floor and knock down jump shots. At the same time, Alexander is very aggressive in driving to the basketball. I can’t wait to see Holmgren in a Thunder uniform. Gonzaga will miss him dearly, but they should be very proud of him. 

Villanova’s Collin Gillespie agreed to a two-way deal with the Denver Nuggets. Collin is a baller, and I love his competitive drive. He was outstanding in the Big East Tournament and sensational overall for the Wildcats. Denver would love to have him and hope Collin can be valuable to them on the court. The pros and college are two different levels. 

Jaden Ivey is the newest member of the Detroit Pistons. It will be interesting to see him and Cade Cunningham playing together on the backcourt. Ivey is an elite athlete, which is crucial because Detroit needs to get easy buckets in transition occasionally. Pistons are trying to build around their young core, and they will try to get DeAndre Ayton. With those three guys, who knows what can happen in Detroit. 

Philadelphia 76ers traded Danny Green and their 23rd overall pick to the Memphis Grizzlies for De’Anthony Melton. 

Is DeAndre Ayton Done As A Phoenix Sun?

DeAndre Ayton’s tenure with the Phoenix Suns is slowly coming to an end. I don’t see him coming back to Phoenix next season. I knew there would be problems if the Suns front office didn’t give them the max contract. Aston wants to be paid, and we can’t forget how he wasn’t used much in Game 7 against the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Semifinals.

The Detroit Pistons are expected to pursue the Suns’ center, which is set to become a restricted free agent this summer. 

Detroit traded Jerami Grant to the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday for a 2025 first-round pick via Milwaukee. Pairing DeAndre Ayton with Cade Cunningham could be an intriguing duo for the future in Detroit. Ayton is only 23 years old. 

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Sunday Sports Shorts

Milwaukee Brewers designated the 2-time All-Star Lorenzo Cain for assignment on Saturday. Cain hasn’t played his best baseball this season. The 36-year-old is hitting just .179/.231/.234. 

Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal, who turns 29 later this month, has played his whole career with Washington, averaging at least 22 points per game in the past six seasons. That included a career-high average of 31.3 points in 2020-21. With that being said, he might not return to Washington next season. We could be seeing Beal playing for another team. A title-contending team. Beal is an outstanding player and deserves much better. 

The Colorado Avalanche became the third team in NHL history to have a shutout in a Stanley Cup Finals by seven goals or more. On Saturday night, it was all Colorado as they completely dominated the Tampa Bay Lightning and took a 2-0 series lead. The Bolts have dug themselves into a hole again and will head back home to try and get back in the series. 

Anthony Rendon Will Undergo Season-Ending Surgery on His Right Wrist

It’s a tough day for the Angels and its fan base. The Los Angeles Angels’ $245 million player is done for the season. Anthony Rendon will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist next week. 

Rendon has not played since Tuesday, when he exited a game early after aggravating an injury in his wrist that landed him on the 10-day injured list in late May. He will finish the season with a .228/.324/383 slash line and five homers in 45 games.

Rendon, who’s in the third year of a seven-year, $245 million free-agent contract with the Angels, has dealt with several injuries in recent years. In 2021, he was limited to just 58 games played because of the groin, knee, hamstring, and hip problems. The prior season, 2020, was abbreviated to just 60 games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rendon hasn’t been the same since winning the 2019 World Series with the Washington Nationals. 

Sue Bird Will Hang It Up After 2022 Season

Sue Bird, one of the most outstanding women’s basketball players, is calling it quits. She Bird announced that she is playing out the final months of her career after 21 seasons, all with the Seattle Storm.

The 41-year-old Bird, a five-time Olympic gold medalist, entered the league in 2002. She played under the great Geno Auriemma at UConn, where she won two national championships in 2000 and 2002. Bird stayed the whole four years in college, which is rare in today’s sports. She finished her UConn career on many of the record lists. She also was part of three Big East Championships and Big East regular-season titles. Her record at UConn in games she played is 114–4. Bird was a member of the inaugural class (2006) of inductees to the University of Connecticut women’s basketball “Huskies of Honor” recognition program.

During her WNBA career with the Seattle Storm, she became a 12-time All-Star and helped the Storm to four championships (2004, 2010, 2018, and 2020). She impacted the game for many years and inspired a generation of women. It’s unbelievable to have watched her play throughout these years.

She is the only player to play at least 500 games (559, all of which she started) and ranks second in 3-pointers made (965), fourth in steals (700), and seventh in points (6,639).

Creator: Steph Chambers | Credit: Getty Images

Miguel Andujar Wants to Be Traded

The moment has come, and there is no surprise about this report. New York Yankees outfielder Miguel Andújar, frustrated by a lack of consistent playing time, has informed manager Aaron Boone that he wants to be traded to another team.

Andújar, 27, has played in just 12 games this season as he has been shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and the majors and, over that span has batted .268/.279/.317 with no home runs in 41 at-bats. Andújar, on Friday, was optioned back to the minors again.

We can’t blame Andujar for feeling this way. Andujar should showcase his talent in another organization. He was too talented to go to waste. My biggest concern about Andujar is his durability. Other than that, he has the potential to be an All-Star if he is allowed to shine, and being with the Yankees is not the answer. I’m accustomed to seeing players get better after they leave the Yankees or get traded away from the Yankees (Nathan Eovaldi, Eduardo Nuñez, etc.). Not everyone can play in New York and deal with the New York media.

I’m rooting for Andujar to get better as a player with another franchise. 

Photo: Noah Murray/Associated Press

Sunday Sports Shorts

The Houston Astros are extending one of the best sluggers in baseball on a long-term deal. Designated hitter Yordan Alvarez reportedly agreed to a six-year, $115 million extension 

Al Horford was one of the NBA Finals Game 1 heroes, scoring a team-high 26 points and shooting 6-of-8 from beyond the arc to lead the Celtics to a 120-108 victory on Thursday. Horford has improved so much from the perimeter, and Golden State has gotten his attention. Celtics and Warriors will face off in Game 2 tonight.

The Birmingham Stallions (8-0) remained undefeated by defeating the New Orleans Breakers (5-3), 10-9. The defense was a significant part of this game. New Orleans quarterback Kyle Sloter became the first USFL quarterback to surpass 1,500 passing yards.

Edmonton Oilers needed to win Game 3, and unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Colorado Avalanche scored the critical goal of the third period by J.T. Compher when he hopped out of the penalty box and skated on a loose puck cleared out of the Colorado zone. Edmonton nearly took back the advantage while pressing on the power play, hitting the post with a point shot from Evan Bouchard only seconds earlier. Avalanche takes a 3-0 commanding lead in the series and is looking to sweep to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 2001.