AEW WrestleDream results: Swerve Strickland thrills Seattle with victory over Hangman Adam Page

See how hometown hero Swerve Strickland overcame former AEW World Champion Hangman Adam Page at AEW WrestleDream in Seattle.

Hangman Adam Page hits the ring alone, while Swerve Strickland is accompanied by the Mogul Embassy. Swerve plays to his hometown fans, asking whose house it is several times before the ref calls for the opening bell.

Strickland looks like he mouths “I told you” to Hangman before they lock up for the first time. He hits a shoulder tackle to big applause but eats a big boot coming back.

Page lays in some chops in the corner but Strickland is able to retaliate and gets the match’s first near fall. He delivers elbows in the corner and a jumping kick from the turnbuckles before hitting the griddy.

Hangman escapes a neckbreaker and a suplex to hit a fallaway slam, and both men take a beat to compose themselves. Page plays to the crowd, which is lustily booing him. Swerve avoids some trouble on the outside but gets powerbombed onto the apron and barricade. A sitout bomb in the ring earns him a near fall, and he hits a tope suicida to boot.

Some Page chants break through the noise as he keeps the pace slow. A lariat from the top turnbuckle is on target for another two.

A flurry from Swerve ends with a brainbuster that earns him a near fall. He flexes the hand Page stabbed this past week and comes in with a chop and a nasty backbreaker. Hangman goes after the hand and joins Strickland up top, where Swerve batters him away and gives him a double stomp to the shoulders.

Strickland rocks Page with a House Call, covering for another near fall. They battle on the apron, where Page is catapulted forward into the buckles. The fight goes on top of the steel steps, where Page delivers the DeadEye.

Strickland stops Page from attempting the Buckshot, then counters with a drop toehold when the cowboy powers him away for a legit attempt. Swerve grabs Page’s arm and hits the House Call on that, and Doc Sampson arrives to examine him. Strickland cares not, hitting the Swerve Stomp on the apron.

Swerve hits a 450 Splash right on Page’s arm, and when that only gets two, he shifts to a cross armbreaker attempt. Hangman slithers over and gets his foot to the ropes to force a break.

Page manages to get the next near fall, then uses a huge lariat to try for the DeadEye. Swerve counters and looks for a triangle submission. Page hammers Strickland’s hand again to escape.

After a German suplex, Strickland climbs again but misses the Swerve Stomp and gets run over by a Buckshot. Alas, Page hurts him arm even more in the process and is slow to cover. Prince Nana puts Swerve’s foot on the bottom rope and gets ejected from ringside for his troubles.

With the ref arguing with Nana, Swerve gets in a shot from Nana’s crown and covers but only gets two. Strickland hits the House Call twice, then the JML Driver to win it.

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Zulgad: Harrison Smith turns back the clock and quiets discussion of potential departure

With talks surrounding Harrison Smith’s potential departure, he turned back the clock writes @jzulgad

Any hope the Minnesota Vikings had of salvaging their season appeared to be slipping away in the third quarter of Sunday’s game in Carolina. The Carolina Panthers held a 13-7 lead and had a first down at the Vikings’ 21-yard line. Considering how Minnesota’s first three games had gone, a Carolina touchdown likely would have represented a fatal blow.

But two plays later, with the Panthers at the 28 because of a penalty and a 2-yard rushing loss, safety Harrison Smith turned back the clock and changed the game. Smith not only sacked Bryce Young for a loss of 12 yards, but the first-overall pick in the draft last April lost the ball, allowing D.J. Wonnum to pick it up at his own 49 and go 51 yards for a touchdown.

The Vikings took a one-point lead en route to a 21-13 victory that finally gave them a win and kept the Panthers winless.

During the Vikings 0-3 start, there had been plenty of discussion about whether general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah would start to shop veterans like Smith, defensive end Danielle Hunter, or even quarterback Kirk Cousins, as the Oct. 31 trade deadline neared. Losing on Sunday would have only increased the discussion that the Vikings should look to 2024.

The 34-year-old Smith halted that talk for at least a week with one of the best games of his 12-year NFL career, all spent in Minnesota. The game-changing sack of Young was one of three he had on the day and he also finished with a team-leading 14 tackles. There are some who feel Smith will be headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame when his career is finished, but he acknowledged he hadn’t been at his best in losses to Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and the Chargers.

“I felt like I wasn’t really a difference-maker, and I’ve always thought of myself that way,” he said.

So what was the difference?

One key is the Vikings have a far more aggressive defensive coordinator in Brian Flores than they did last season with one-and-done DC Ed Donatell. Donatell promised a system that was expected to keep opponents off balance, but instead delivered vanilla looks that offenses picked apart.

Flores’ defense has had its struggles in the first three games — including giving up 259 yards rushing in Week 2 at Philadelphia and 445 yards passing to the Chargers in Week 3 — but his commitment to the blitz and trying to confuse opponents is clear.

There was never a doubt that Flores would find far more use for Smith than Donatell. Smith played in 14 games last season and did not have a sack — the first time that happened since 2013 (his second season) when he had no sacks in only games.

Smith is a master at lining up in different spots and then either blitzing or dropping back into coverage. But Donatell primarily wanted him to play a deep safety last year and that led him to tying his career high with five interceptions. It also made the Vikings defense far too predictable.

That wasn’t a problem Sunday as Smith had as many sacks in one game as he did in setting his career-high for sacks with three in 2014, 2018 and 2021.

“I can remember talking to (Flores) the first time I ever sat down with him last winter and, as we started talking about the possibilities and that safety group as a whole, it was an exciting conversation that all centered around No. 22 (Smith),” Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “Getting him around the line of scrimmage, getting him involved in the rush, getting his hands on balls in coverage, making plays in space, tackling. He’s been doing it for his whole career and it’s just good to see him back in positions to make huge plays to impact football games.”

What’s interesting is as Flores walked in the door at TCO Performance Center there was no guarantee he would have Smith on his roster. Smith considered going elsewhere in March when the Vikings told him they were cutting his salary from $14.7 million to $8 million with $2 million in incentives. Smith told reporters last spring that “it felt right to stay,” and that Flores was “honestly a big draw in staying here.”

It helped that Young is a quarterback who is being forced to play by the Panthers and not because he deserves to be starting ahead of veteran Andy Dalton. If Dalton had gotten the start against the Vikings, it might have been a different outcome. But these struggling Vikings will take whatever they are given.

That’s especially true with the Chiefs on the schedule next Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium and the 49ers coming to town two weeks from Monday. It helps that the hapless Bears are sandwiched in between.

The Vikings aren’t out of the woods when it comes to some calling for veterans to be dealt. There are four games before the deadline, including the Packers on Oct. 29 in Lambeau. But for at least a week, Smith’s performance should be a focus instead of his potential departure.

Judd Zulgad is co-host of the Purple Daily Podcast and Mackey & Judd podcast at

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Robb: Boston Celtics ‘not done tweaking the roster’ after trading for Jrue Holiday

Per Robb, the “timing of subsequent moves will be dependent on a few factors,” presumably at least some of which rides on how players like Neemias Queta and Wenyan Gabriel look in training camp.

The Boston Celtics traded for Jrue Holiday from the Milwaukee Bucks, giving up Robert Williams III and Malcolm Brogdon two first round picks. Holiday is a two-time All-Defensive First Team member and a two-time All-Star, and a versatile guard who can play both on and off the ball.

The trade is a surprise because the Celtics were already one of the best teams in the league, and Holiday makes them even better — but according to recent reporting from MassLive’s Brian Robb, the team might have more moves left to make. Per the MassLive reporter, “Boston is not done tweaking the roster after acquiring Holiday with training camp on the horizon this week.”

After dealing away Williams as part of the outgoing contracts to land Holiday, that makes sense given the shallow state of the Celtics’ frontcourt.

According to Robb, the “timing of subsequent moves will be dependent on a few factors,” presumably at least some of which rides on how players like Neemias Queta and Wenyan Gabriel look in training camp and preseason play.

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts:



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NFC North watch for Week 4: Everyone’s looking up at the Lions

Keeping up with the Lions foes in the NFC North and how they fared in Week 4

For the first time since 2017, the Detroit Lions are the sole owners of first place in the NFC North. At 3-1, the Lions snatched the top spot with a commanding 34-20 win in Green Bay over the Packers.

Here’s how the rest of the division fared in Week 4.

Squirrel White ‘continues to get better’ for Vols

Wide receiver Squirrel White continues to get better for Tennessee.

Sophomore wide receiver Squirrel White led Tennessee in receptions (nine) and receiving yards (104) versus South Carolina on Saturday.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound White has totaled 26 receptions and 276 receiving yards in five games during the 2023 season.

Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel discussed White after the Vols’, 41-20, win against South Carolina.

“He’s a young player, relatively speaking, that just continues to get better and that’s extremely confident and comfortable out there,” Heupel said. “He operates extremely efficiently. Joe Milton III has great confidence in him. He made a big time competitive play on the deep ball early in the first quarter. He gets us going. He just did an unbelievable job. A lot of the night was one-on-one. I told our skill players earlier that it was the line of scrimmage, to own it, and then out on the perimeter was going to be a one-on-one game. You’ve got to be efficient, throwing it, catching it and winning it in those matchups. Squirrel, obviously, nine targets and nine catches, that’s a night by him.”

PHOTOS: Tennessee defeats South Carolina in dark mode uniforms

Photo by Dan Harralson, Vols Wire

Watch: Isiah Pacheco scores for the Kansas City Chiefs (and yes, Taylor Swift celebrates)

Isiah Pacheco impresses on Sunday night football with a 48-yard touchdown run for the Kansas City Chiefs.

A homecoming of sorts for Isiah Pacheco as the Kansas City Chiefs running back is certainly enjoying his return to New Jersey. The former Rutgers football running back put the Chiefs up 10-0 midway through the first quarter and set Taylor Swift into celebrations.

Pacheco’s run of 48 yards against the New York Jets saw the former seventh-round pick nearly get stuffed in the backfield. But he cut and then with his typical angry running style, got quickly into the second level for his second touchdown of the season.

From Vineland, New Jersey, Pacheco is a former All-Big Ten selection at Rutgers. He certainly seems to be enjoying the home cooking on Saturday night as this is his first game in New Jersey since he entered the league.

Check out the play from Pacheco here and yes, for a quick glimpse of Taylor Swift:


Pacheco now has consecutive games with a rushing touchdown for the third time in his NFL career.

LOOK: Raiders QB Aidan O’Connell’s passing chart vs. Chargers

LOOK: Raiders QB Aidan O’Connell’s passing chart vs. Chargers

Aidan O’Connell made the first start of his career in Week 4 after the Raiders ruled out Jimmy Garoppolo on Saturday due to a concussion. He nearly brought the team back on Sunday after falling behind 24-7 in the third quarter.

So how did O’Connell fare in his first NFL action? Here is a look at his passing chart via the NFL’s Next Gen Stats:

The first thing you’ll notice is that there were zero completions beyond 20 air yards. In fact, O’Connell only attempted one pass beyond 20 air yards and that one was nearly intercepted.

O’Connell finished the game with 24 completions, 16 of which came within five yards of the line of scrimmage. He just didn’t push the ball down the field much in this game, but that has been the case with Jimmy Garoppolo this season, as well.

O’Connell didn’t play poorly, but the interception and two fumbles proved to be too costly. It seems likely that the Raiders will go back to Garoppolo in Week 5, but O’Connell showed enough against the Chargers that the team should be optimistic about his future in the NFL.

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WATCH: Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes hits Noah Gray for long TD vs. Jets

Patrick Mahomes found Noah Gray for his 200th career touchdown pass to give the #Chiefs a 17-point lead over the #Jets on Sunday night.

Patrick Mahomes helped get the Kansas City Chiefs out to a 17-point lead over the New York Jets with a fantastic touchdown pass to Noah Gray late in the first quarter of the highly anticipated Week 4 matchup.

Mahomes clearly wasn’t satisfied with the field goal that Kansas City scored on its first offensive drive, and even after seeing Isiah Pacheco scamper for a long touchdown earlier in the first frame, the reigning MVP wanted in on the action himself.

He found Gray for six points on this beautiful throw that will go down in history as his 200th career touchdown pass.

A fluke safety on a holding call early in the second quarter yielded New York its first points of the game, but Mahomes managed to get Kansas City out to a three-score league with this historic connection.

Watch for Mahomes to continue getting the ball to his receivers later in the game as he looks to push the Chiefs’ record to 3-1 heading into the middle part of the 2023 NFL schedule.

Patrick Mahomes throws 200th career TD pass for Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes has reached the 200-touchdown pass plateau

It is a good thing Taylor Swift isn’t on tour. The pop megastar might lose her voice cheering everything the Kansas City Chiefs will do on Sunday night against the New York Jets.

In the first quarter, the Chiefs had run 18 plays and 17 points. The Jets had none.

The mismatch was on and one note happened for Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes.

When he found Noah Gray for a touchdown in the first quarter, it was the 200th TD pass of his NFL career.

Fittingly, it went to a tight end, just not the one so many expected to catch it.