WWE star Roman Reigns joins Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson in 'Fast and Furious' spinoff film
Reigns has been away from WWE as he takes on his latest battle with leukemia
Roman Reigns and The Rock are teaming up -- just not inside a WWE ring. No, on Friday, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson announced via his Instagram account that fellow Samoan Reigns, real name Leati Joseph Anoa'i, will be making his feature film debut in the upcoming "Fast and Furious" spinoff movie "Hobbs and Shaw." In his silver screen debut, Reigns will be taking on the role of Johnson's brother.
In the post, Johnson expressed the excitement over his "cousin" being able to make his movie debut alongside him while cherishing the time spent with Reigns as he recovers from his latest battle with leukemia.
Reigns finally claimed the WWE universal championship back at SummerSlam in August 2018 where he was finally able to overcome the challenge of rival Brock Lesnar, A few months later in October, however, things took a devastating turn. Reigns opened up the Oct. 23 edition of Raw by announcing thatand would be forced to relinquish the universal title he had won a few months prior.
In a follow-up Instagram post of his own on Friday, Reigns thanked his new film family and noted that this whole process has helped him as he heals from the disease he's currently battling outside of the ring.
"I cannot thank my family, friends and my new FAST & FURIOUS FAMILY enough for all the love and support I have received while on this exciting HOBBS & SHAW project," Reigns said. "The time I've spent with my cousin on this wonderful island has truly been a healing grace. I am grateful to the @wwe @therock@universalpictures and everyone on the set of HOBBS & SHAW, for allowing me to be a part of this franchise."
"Hobbs and Shaw," starring Johnson and Jason Statham, is scheduled to release on Aug. 2 later this year.
Allan has been dropped for Napoli's Serie A clash with AC Milan on Saturday, but head coach Carlo Ancelotti insists the midfielder will not be sold to Paris Saint-Germain.
There were reports in Italy on Thursday that Ligue 1 champions PSG were close to finalising a deal for Allan that could be worth in excess of €100million.
Ancelotti has decided to leave the 28-year-old out of his squad for the trip to San Siro given the speculation over his future in recent days.
However, he maintains Napoli have no desire to sell Allan at this stage of the season.
"Allan is not in the squad for tomorrow," he told a news conference on Friday. "He's had a troubled week and he's not trained much.
"We're keeping him here to train and for the game on Tuesday [against Milan in the Coppa Italia quarter-final].
"The only thing I know is that he is staying, fortunately. Nothing more. He's an important player for us and will be more and more important this season.
"With Allan, we've always been very clear. There is no need to sell him. PSG wanted him, but then there are conditions and negotiations.
"The club would have accepted the player's wish to move if the conditions were there, but the player is aware [this is not the case] and we won't have any problems."
Ancelotti did, however, confirm Napoli's interest in Villarreal midfielder Pablo Fornals, who is said to have a release clause of €25m, and reiterated his admiration for PSV forward Hirving Lozano.
"The club is very attentive to what goes on in football internationally," he said.
"Fornals is one of the players we are following with interest. Lozano is part of that list of players. He's a great forward."
Famous football agent: 'PSG are mad to spend €100 million on Allan'
Famous football agent Claudio Anellucci has criticized PSG for trying to spend 100 million euros on Napoli star Allan.
Anellucci was talking to RMC Sport in show recently and he was asked about PSG's attempts at signing Allan. Anelluci said: "We were faced with total madness: if I have to spend 100 million euros I do it for a player who improves the standard, which Allan does not.
"The Napoli midfielder is very strong but it would have been madness on the part of the PSG. Napoli should regret it because with 70-80 million they could buy good players."
Australian Open 2019 women's final: Naomi Osaka hangs on vs. Petra Kvitova for second straight Grand Slam
Kvitova was neck-and-neck with Osaka all match, but Osaka did enough to notch the win
Naomi Osaka is 21 years old, but she's already establishing herself as one of tennis' premier players.
The Japanese star beat eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova 7-6, 5-7, 6-4 in the Australian Open women's final on Saturday, notching her second successive Grand Slam title after winning the US Open in September. It caps a brilliant run for the No. 4 seed Osaka, who had to beat the likes of Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova just to get to this point.
The triumph will result in Osaka getting her first career No. 1 WTA ranking to kick off her third year doing the full Grand Slam circuit. She's the first player from Japan to achieve the highest ranking -- man or woman -- and she'll be the youngest player to get No. 1 since Caroline Wozniacki in 2010 (20 years, 92 days) at 21 years, 104 days old.
Against Kvitova, Osaka finished with nine aces. Both women had three break points over the course of the 2-hour, 27-minute match, and Osaka's first serve was a high point for her. She won 76 percent of her first serves, and only 50 percent of her second serves. Kvitova was in the same ballpark, winning 71 percent of her first serves and 51 percent of her second serves.
Osaka took the hard-fought first set in a tiebreaker (7-2). Kvitova fought back to force a decisive third set (Osaka's fourth in five matches).
Although Osaka seemed gutted by losing the second set -- in which she dropped three championship points and left the court in tears -- she refocused. Osaka continued to do what she did all tournament, completing the match with the grit she has finished all her matches in this tournament.
Kvitova and Osaka were both crowd favorites, with Kvitova capping an incredible comeback story by making her first Grand Slam final appearance since 2014, when she won at Wimbledon. In that four-year gap, Kvitova has battled mononucleosis and a home invasion that led to a knife attack that injured tendons and nerves in her left hand. After the match, Kvitova was all class.
Osaka, naturally, was thrilled by her new status as the WTA's best in the world.
"I'm beyond excited to become the new WTA World No.1," said Osaka, via the WTA. "I've always dreamt of being in this position and I am honored to be part of the elite group of players who have reached the No.1 ranking."
Osaka was her normal, mild-mannered self in her championship speech.
Osaka is the first woman since Jennifer Capriati in 2001 to win earn first two Grand Slams titles in back-to-back fashion, and it seems like she has a few more in store. Not only is she playing great tennis, but she's doing it against top players.
Osaka had nothing but nice things to say about Kvitova after the match.
"You've been through so much," Osaka said to Kvitova while receiving her trophy, via The Washington Post. "I'm really honored to have played you in the final of a Grand Slam."
All in all, it was a feel-good final. Osaka is a young, up-and-coming star who proved she's here to say, whereas Kvitova overcame the odds to make it back. Both players were playing for a No. 1 ranking, and although Osaka came out on top, Kvitova showed that at 28 she has plenty left in the tank. It will be exciting to see if they do it again at Roland Garros in the French Open.
MELBOURNE, Australia — So close to victory, Naomi Osaka suddenly was letting the Australian Open final slip away. Three championship points? Gone. A sizable lead? Soon all gone, too.
She was playing poorly. She yelled at herself. Slammed a ball. Tugged at her visor’s pink brim. Trudged to the locker room between sets with a towel draped over her head.
And then, after returning to the court, Osaka turned it all around just as quickly as she had dropped 23 of 27 points. Refocusing and reasserting herself, Osaka edged Petra Kvitova 7-6 (2), 5-7, 6-4 on Saturday night to win the Australian Open for a second consecutive Grand Slam title.
“I felt like I didn’t want to have any regrets,” Osaka said. “I think if I didn’t regroup after the second set, then I would have looked back on this match and probably cried or something.”
“Amazing achievement,” two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova said. “Definitely she is a great one. We’ll see what the future will bring.”
Osaka added the Australian Open trophy to the one she collected in a U.S. Open final last September that forever will be remembered for the way runner-up Serena Williams was docked a game after arguing with the chair umpire.
Unlike that day, there was no jeering from the confused crowd. No controversy. No chaos. No sharing the spotlight.
Clearly marking herself as tennis’ bright new star, Osaka is the first woman to win two major championships in a row since Williams picked up four straight in 2014-15.
Almost didn’t happen.
Osaka held three match points in the second set at 5-3, love-40 as Kvitova served. But Osaka couldn’t close it out. Instead, she completely lost her way.
At that point, Kvitova would say later, she figured it was going to keep going her way.
“In the end,” she said, “it wasn’t.”
After Kvitova double-faulted to offer up a break point at 1-all, Osaka converted it with a cross-court backhand winner. There was still more work to be done, of course, and some additional drama when it began raining at the changeover right before Osaka tried to serve for the match at 5-4 in the third set.
This time, Osaka would not falter. She would not let this lead disappear.
“I knew that Petra couldn’t keep it up for that long if Naomi could just manage those emotions,” said Osaka’s coach, Sascha Bajin, “and she did that beautifully.”
At 21, Osaka is the youngest No. 1 in nearly a decade; Caroline Wozniacki was 20 when she first ascended to that spot in 2010.
And to think, a year ago, Osaka was ranked 72nd.
What a climb. What a quick climb.
Kvitova was playing in her first Grand Slam final since winning Wimbledon in 2014 — and the first since she was stabbed in the hand by an intruder at her home in the Czech Republic a little more than two years ago.
Kvitova needed surgery, missed the first 4½ months of the 2017 season, including the Australian Open, and couldn’t be sure she’d ever get back to the top of tennis.
On a somewhat cloudy, rather comfortable evening, with only a slight breeze and the temperature around 75 degrees (25 Celsius), both women hit the ball as hard as can be. Exchanges were mostly at the baseline and filled with flat, powerful groundstrokes that barely cleared the net and made retrieving and replying as much about reflexes as anything.
Here’s one measure of how even it was: Each finished with 33 winners.
Points were swift and blunt; of 86 in the first set, only four lasted nine strokes or more. There was plenty of strong serving, clean hitting and good movement.
It was Osaka who was the first to get ahead, tearing through the tiebreaker by grabbing five points in a row — four via winners — to go up 5-1. When Kvitova sailed a backhand wide moments later, ceding a set for the first time all tournament, Osaka pumped her fist and screamed, “Come on!”
When Osaka broke to lead 3-2 in the second set, and then got to 5-3, the outcome seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Turned out, that wasn’t the case. Not at all.
All that really matters, of course, is that Osaka righted herself in time to win.
“It didn’t really take that long,” she said. “I didn’t have a choice.”
Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
DETROIT - Alysa Liu became the youngest person to win an individual title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, stealing the show Friday night with two triple axels and taking the title more than six months before her 14th birthday.
Defending champion Bradie Tennell fell during her free skate, and Liu, skating immediately after, took advantage, breezing through her routine after the two early triple axels, one of which was in combination.
Liu was beaming by the end of her program, and when her score of 217.51 was announced, she put her hands over her face, overcome with emotion.
Tennell finished second and Mariah Bell was third. Earlier, Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue took a step toward defending their ice dancing title, finishing atop the standings after the rhythm dance.
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Alysa Liu takes women’s title at nationals at age 13
DETROIT — Alysa Liu was already a phenom. Now she’s a national champion at age 13.
Liu stole the show Friday night, breezing through a free skate that included two triple axels and dethroning 2018 winner Bradie Tennell at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. Liu became the youngest winner of an individual title at this event, and after her score was posted, she put her hands over her face, overcome with emotion .
Tara Lipinski was the youngest women’s champion at nationals after winning at age 14 in 1997, and Scott Allen also was 14 when he won in 1964. Now a commentator with NBC, Lipinski was there Friday when her record fell.
“Records are made to be broken,” Lipinski said afterward. “It is quite an honor that she is the one to do it. What a phenomenal talent.”
Earlier Friday, Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue took a step toward defending their ice dancing title, finishing atop the standings after the rhythm dance. Hubbell and Donohue will compete for their second straight national championship in the free dance Saturday.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates were second after the rhythm dance, followed by Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker.
The ice dancing competition was one of the most anticipated events of the week, in part because the top teams have plenty of ties to Michigan. Hubbell was born in Michigan, and she and Donohue used to train there. Chock and Bates are from Michigan as well.
Those two teams now train in Montreal under the same coaches — with Hawayek and Baker there as well.
“We’re pretty lucky that we get to train with the best in the world,” Donohue said. “We’re pushing each other. … We’ve got such a unique, incredible atmosphere where we all love each other, we all want to beat each other.”
The women’s competition was without several big names, with Karen Chen, Mirai Nagasu and Gracie Gold all missing it for various reasons. Now Liu looks like she could provide a boost for American figure skating. The U.S. hasn’t won an Olympic medal in women’s figure skating since 2006.
“To handle the pressure like she did, and to push the technical envelope as far as she’s pushing it, at such a young age, is truly mind blowing,” Lipinski said. “I think she’s the future of U.S. ladies’ figure skating.”
The U.S. nationals are being held in Detroit for the first time in 25 years. The 1994 event is best remembered for the attack on Nancy Kerrigan after a practice, but there was a 13-year-old who shined that year too — Michelle Kwan, who finished second.
The 4-foot, 7-inch Liu had already turned heads in August, when she became the youngest woman to land a triple axel in international competition. On Friday, she showed poise and ability on a big stage, although international stardom may have to wait a bit. Under the current age restriction, she’s not even eligible to compete at worlds until 2022.
“I’m not too worried about that part,” Liu said. “Because I get more time to work on my jumps, skating skills, spins, and just trying to learn more.”
Liu received a score of 217.51. Tennell finished second at 213.59, and Mariah Bell was third. Bell was the only skater left after Liu, and she fell during her routine.
Tennell stepped out of a triple loop in a combination early in her program, and she fell attempting a triple lutz.
“Obviously, it wasn’t my best skate, and I’m disappointed,” Tennell said. “There’s always something to be learned from skates like this, so I’m excited to get back home and work harder than ever to fix what I made mistakes on.”
Richard E. Grant Gives Details About the Secrecy Behind STAR WARS: EPISODE IX
Star Wars: Episode IX is one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2019. It will be the end of the Skywalker saga (or so we’re told) and I’m very interested in seeing how everything gets tied up. Well, don’t expect too many leaks before the film is released as Lucasfilm seems to be taking security up to a new level. Richard E. Grant is a newcomer to the series and while no one knows what his role is, he recently sat down and talked about how secretive everything is on the set. From crimson red pages to wearing cloaks walking around the studio, it sounds freaking intense.
Like I said, don’t expect any leaks. I would imagine that Tom Holland and Mark Ruffalo wouldn’t be very welcome on these sets right now with their track records. What do you think of these measures to maintain secrecy, too much, not enough, or just right? Sometimes I wonder if these secrecy measures are responsible for fans not feeling satisfied.
Episode IX is set to release on December 20, 2019.
'Star Wars: Episode IX' Premiere Date, Spoilers: Trailer Rumors Boost Hype for Super Bowl, Nerds & Jocks Unite
To say that fans are excited for any news involving “Star Wars: Episode IX” would be a major understatement. Aside from the fact that it will be the next installment in the fabled franchise, the film will basically be a symbol for its future. This is why there is such hype with regards to the reports that the upcoming Super Bowl will feature a trailer for the film. This is one of those occasions where the athletes and the mathletes can come to an understanding.
As Inverse reports, a lot of fans are hoping that the rumors about the upcoming Super Bowl event featuring a teaser trailer for “Star Wars: Episode IX” will come true. This is why many of them will likely tune in to the sports broadcast just to catch a glimpse of the events in the storied franchise’s next installment.
On that note, it’s still worth pointing out that these are nothing but rumors. There have been no official confirmations with regards to when a “Star Wars: Episode IX” trailer would be released. Then again, it would make sense of the clip to first make its appearance during the Super Bowl. The event has become a favorite for media companies to make such releases.
Even so, fans should remember that the entire premise behind this “Star Wars: Episode IX” rumor originates from a YouTuber who made these claims. The YouTube content creator is Mike Zeroh who has made a name for himself by producing some of the most blatant clickbait headlines ever. This alone makes the rumors about the upcoming trailer highly suspect.Whatever the case may be, “Star Wars: Episode IX” will still be hitting theatres on Dec. 19. As long as fans keep that date in mind, they will still get their sci-fi fix when the movie premieres.
Richard E Grant isn't allowed to tell his wife and daughter about his 'Star Wars: Episode XI' character.
The 61-year-old actor admitted that the spoiler security measures surrounding the much-hyped movie are so intense that he can't even tell his wife Joan, 70, and daughter Olivia, 30, who he plays in the legendary franchise.
Speaking on 'This Morning', he said: "I've never known anything like it - huge secrecy. I know it comes out on December 19 [and] I'm not even allowed to tell my wife and daughter the name of my character.
The 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?' star went on to explain that the cast isn't even allowed to have a copy of the script, and are given select pages at the start of everyday, which they are required to read in a "big conference room" guarded by security.
He said: "You have to read the script in a big conference room that has guards outside with cameras. You get the pages that you are doing on the day you have to sign in for them and sign out for them at the end of the day, so it's Fort Knox."
The upcoming space opera film will be the third instalment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following 'The Force Awakens' and 'The Last Jedi'.
Picking the Best Potential Bayern Munich Lineup to Face Stuttgart in the Bundesliga on Sunday
Bayern Munich welcome Stuttgart to the Allianz Arena on Sunday afternoon hoping to pick up another three points in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund at the summit of the Bundesliga.
The German champions have been in good form of late, winning their previous six league games, and in some style. They have netted 16 times and conceded just twice, closing the gap to Lucien Favre's men to just six points in the process.
They face a Stuttgart side struggling for confidence having lost four from their last five, leaving them just three points above safety heading into the weekend.
Here's a look at how Bayern could lineup on Sunday.
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Manuel Neuer (GK) - The giant goalkeeper has been an ever present between the sticks for Bayern's league campaign thus far, so will be expected to start once more on Sunday - hoping to add to his tally of six clean sheets.
Joshua Kimmich (RB) - Another ever present for Bayern, Kimmich is a versatile player but has lined up predominantly at right-back this season. The German loves to get forward and perhaps surprisingly, based on his position, joint-leads the assist chart for the whole Bundesliga having laid on nine goals.
Niklas Sule (CB) - Sule has been very impressive ever since he joined Bayern back in 2017. His development has taken another step this season and his performances have kept Mats Hummels or Jerome Boateng out of the side for all but one match. At just 23, he has a big future ahead of him.
Mats Hummels (CB) - Hummels has had a disappointing campaign so far, making just ten appearances in the Bundesliga. After some shaky performances and two high profile errors, the World Cup winner must start taking his chances to stay in Niko Kovac's side.
David Alaba (LB) - Another very consistent member of Bayern's back four. Alaba has been selected by Kovac for all 18 Bundesliga games so far, with one goal and assist apiece. The Austrian will get forward when he can and is also a set-piece specialist with a terrific left foot.
Javi Martinez (DM) - Martinez has made the defensive midfield / anchor role his own over the past six seasons. Although he hasn't appeared as regularly as expected this season - just 11 appearances due to injury and form - the Spaniard is a quality operator and has a vital role in shielding the back four.
Leon Goretzka (CM) - Fresh from scoring his first brace for Bayern last week against Hoffenheim, Goretzka should be filled with confidence. The German was considered a major coup following his free transfer from Schalke and is now starting to show his true ability as a box-to-box midfielder.
Thiago (CM) - Thiago should continue his midfield partnership with Goretzka following Bayern's convincing 3-1 win over Hoffenheim last weekend. The ex-Barcelona youngster is a classy operator with the eye for a killer pass.
Thomas Muller (RW) - Muller has found himself playing all over Bayern's front-line this season, as his versatility has proved useful. Injuries to Robben and Ribery should see the German playing on the right this weekend, hoping to add to his tally of four goals and four assists.
Robert Lewandowski (ST) - One of the deadliest striker on the planet, Lewandowski has continued to score freely in the Bundesliga. He has managed 11 goals in 17 outings, to follow up his staggering record of 89 in 95 appearances over the last three campaigns.
Kingsley Coman (LW) - French winger Franck Ribery will be missing on Sunday, giving his compatriot Coman the perfect opportunity to prove his worth. The 22-year-old has made just seven appearances this term, failing to register a single goal or assist.
Diego Simeone is on the verge of signing a contract extension with Atletico Madrid through to the end of the 2021/22 season according to a report from Spanish news outlet Cadena Ser.
The Argentine manager has been with the club since 2010 and talks between his agent – his sister Natalie – and the club have been ongoing for some weeks now.
Some details still need to be ironed out particularly in terms transfers but the feeling is that an announcement on the extension could arrive in a few days time.
Simeone has lead the Spanish capital club to many honours during his tenure including a La Liga title and a Europa League title among others. In addition to this he has also lead Atleti to two Champions League finals but lost out to city rivals Real Madrid in both 2014 and 2016.
The 48-year-old is a former player of Inter and has certainly not hidden the fact he one day wishes to manage the Nerazzurri however this pending renewal would suggest that it is more of a longer term ambition for him than a short one.
Atletico coach says he has confidence in Kalinic
IANS | Madrid Last Updated at January 26, 2019 13:35 IST
Simeone dismissed reports of Atletico having reached an agreement to sign Morata on a six-month loan contract, with an option to make the transfer permanent.
"Niko behaved very well professionally since he arrived. On the sporting level, he improved, he did not arrive in the best way," Simeone said at the presser adding: "He worked and made the most of the opportunities and became important when he had to play."