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SURREY EVENTS: More ‘Movies Under the Stars’ at Holland Park, plus comedy, festivals, etc. – Surrey Now-Leader

SURREY EVENTS: More ‘Movies Under the Stars’ at Holland Park, plus comedy, festivals, etc. - Surrey Now-Leader

CONCERTS

Music on the Plaza concerts to Sept. 6 at Surrey Civic Plaza, 13450 104 Ave, on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. “With different musical genres performing live every Tuesday evening, bring a lawn chair or a dance partner and enjoy your summer evenings to the fullest.”

Sounds of Summer concerts at various Surrey sites this summer. Details posted to surrey.ca/soundsofsummer. Schedule includes Aug. 17 with Cookin’ with Brass (Funky brass Pop covers) at Elgin Heritage Park at 6:30 p.m., and Aug. 24 with Akaaljot & Satpreet Dhadda (Traditional Indian instrumental) at Bear Creek Park at 6:30 p.m.

Aegis Rocks 2022 at Bell Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 10. “Now graced by 7 members, one of the most popular OPM bands- six girls and a man, whom the girls tease as already being like one of them (Of course, they’re just kidding)- is now the New and Enhanced AEGIS Band.” Tickets/info: bellperformingartscentre.com.

Coffee Concert: Dancing with Eight Hands: Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Surrey Arts Centre’s Studio Theatre. A Surrey Civic Theatres presentation. “Enjoy an amazing morning of music with not one amazing piano duo, but two. The Canadian Piano Quartet are the Bergmann Duo and Duo Turgeon and their combined tickling the ivory power means audiences are in for double the fun.” Box office: tickets.surrey.ca, 604-501-5566.

THEATRE/STAGE

Beach House Theatre: At South Surrey’s Blackie Spit (Crescent Beach), Beach House Theatre Society presents summer theatre annually in a limited run at its state-of-the-art tent stage. From Aug. 9-14, the community-based group’s eighth season will highlight “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni, adapted by Tracy Young and Odd Gross directed by Candace Radcliffe and Rick Harmon. Info: beachhousetheatre.org.

POP! Summer Strolls at Darts Hill Garden Park offer Performances Outdoors in Parks from Aug. 18-28, 1633 170 St., South Surrey, featuring Vostok, Pangaea Arts, Gamelan Tekanan Suara and Cause & Effect Circus. Tickets $5-35, tickets.surrey.ca, 604-501-5566.

“Drag Out Your Friends”: Pivot Theatre presents an all-ages drag bunch show Sunday, Aug. 21 at The Greek Corner, 7218 King George Blvd., Newton. Shows starts at noon. Tickets $50, includes entry, food entree, drag entertainment, part proceeds to Rainbow Refugee. Hosted by Aria Treble, performances by Isabella, Margaux Rita, Eva Scarlett, Heathen, Batty B Banks, Abeiya Miraj, Mystic Minx. Info: pivottheatre.ca.

“To Perfection”: A ‘genderational’ play by Meghan Gardiner kicks off Surrey Civic Theatres season Sept. 13-17 at Surrey Arts Centre, via Shameless Hussy Productions. “Gloria, a former celebrity TV chef, played by the inimitable Patti Allan, is finally reuniting with her estranged grandchild, Alex.” Tickets: $22-$29; student/senior matinee for $15 on Sept 15. Box office: tickets.surrey.ca, 604-501-5566.

“Menopause the Musical”: Musical comedy is set in a department store where four women meet by chance while shopping for a black lace bra, Oct. 6 at Bell Performing Arts Centre in Surrey. Tickets range $55-$65 on bellperformingartscentre.com, or call 604-507-6355.

DANCE

“Mriya: Life in Rhythm” performed by Cheremosh Ukrainian Dance Company at Surrey’s Bell Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 12. “Rich in intensity, energy, and spirit, Cheremosh takes audiences on a colorful and exhilarating journey, thrilling them with intricate choreography, spectacular costumes and dynamic music.” Tickets/info: bellperformingartscentre.com.

COMEDY

An Evening With Mary Walsh: At Main Stage at Surrey Arts Centre on Oct. 29 (new date). “Join Canadian cultural icon, comedienne, and social activist, Mary Walsh, as she performs some of her best comedic bits and most popular characters from Dancing With Rage, CODCO and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, along with up-to-the-minute local political satire.” Tickets $54, 604-501-5566, tickets.surrey.ca.

Yuk Yuk’s comedy club at Elements Casino Surrey, with shows Saturday nights at 17755 60 Ave., Cloverdale. For calendar and tickets, visit yukyuks.com/surrey or call 1-800-899-9136, ext. 0. Aug. 13: Darryl Lenox with John Perrotta; Aug. 20: Amber Harper-Young, with opener Ryan Williams; Aug. 27: Ola Dada with openers Travis Waters & Mark Nesbitt.

BARS/NIGHTLIFE

Donegal’s Irish House: Live music and more at 12054 96th Ave., Surrey. Info: 604-584-2112, donegals.pub.

White Hart Pub: Live music, jam nights and more at 8593 132 St. Info: 604-503-5735.

Dublin Crossing: Live music on stage at 18789 Fraser Hwy. 604-575-5470, online at Dublincrossing.com.

Mojitos: Latin music and more at The Turf Hotel, by bands and DJs, 12411 King George Blvd. Info: 778-223-6936, facebook.com/mojitosurrey.

Taphouse Guildford: Music/sports bar, 15330 102A Ave., Surrey. Info: 604-583-8828, Thetaphouse.ca. DJ Paul the Wall (Fri./Sat.).

Brewster’s Pub: Live music Saturday nights at 7380 King George Blvd. No cover. Info: brewsterspub.ca, facebook.com/BrewstersPub.

ATTRACTIONS

Bear Creek Park Train and MiniGolf: Mini train rides through the forest at Surrey’s largest park, 13750 88 Ave. For hours and rates, call 604-501-1232 or visit bctrains.com.

MOVIES

Movies Under the Stars: Outdoor movies at Surrey’s Holland Park in August, with pre-movie entertainment and games starting at 6 p.m. Event hosted by Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (BIA). Three family-friendly movies will be shown at the Whalley-area park in August. Continues with “Encanto” (shown Aug. 13) and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” (Aug. 20). Info: downtownsurrey.ca.

Hollywood 3 Cinemas: 7125 138 St., Newton. 604-592-4441. Movie listings: Hollywoodcinema.ca.

Landmark Cinemas 12 Guildford: 15051 101 Ave. 604-581-1716, Info: Landmarkcinemas.com.

Strawberry Hill Cineplex: 12161 72 Ave., Surrey. 604-501-9400, cineplex.com.

FLEA MARKET

The Cloverdale Market: “Your Weekly Treasure Hunt” in two buildings with 200 tables and 100+ outdoor spots, open every Sunday from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Cloverdale Fairgrounds, off 176 St. (Hwy 15) and 62 Ave., Surrey. Info: 604-837-1676, Cloverdalemarket.ca.

LIBRARIES

Authors Among Us: Surrey Libraries hosts local authors for online Q & A sessions. For a detailed calendar of events/authors, visit surreylibraries.ca/events.

“Genealogy: Eastern Europe Border Changes”: Online program hosted by Surrey Libraries on Tuesday, Aug. 16 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. “Anyone researching their family history in Eastern Europe probably has faced the challenges that changing borders present. In this program, Edie Adam will use findings from her family history research to demonstrate the key factors – time and place – and how to use them to your advantage.” Free. Registration required. Email familyhistory@surrey.ca or call 604-598-7327. Web: surreylibraries.ca/events.

“Genealogy: Online Polish Records”: Online program Tuesday, Aug. 30, 10 a.m. Free. “Presentation will provide a brief overview of two primary databases which reveal parish and civil registry records in Poland encompassing many Polish, German and Jewish residents of in the 19th to early 20th centuries: Geneteka and Metryki.Genealodzy. Registration required. Email familyhistory@surrey.ca or call 604-598-7327. Web: surreylibraries.ca.

MARKETS

Surrey Urban Farmers Market: Weekly summer market runs until Oct. 8, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Royal Kwantlen Park, in the parking lot at the corner of 104th ave and Old Yale Rd. Info: surreymarket.org.

SPORTS

Powerplay Hockey League is a fun league for boys and girls aged 6-9 and 10-13 who want to play the sport they love in an environment focused on fair play and participation. “Learn the rules of the game, practice your skills, and experience being part of a team all at an affordable price. No body-checking allowed.” Fall sessions at Sport & Leisure Complex on Sundays. Fee: $139.50 for 10 sessions. Goalies play for free. More info: 604-501-5875.

CHARITY

Habitat for Humanity 11th Annual Butterfly Release: “Check out a live butterfly release charity community event in Fleetwood, fundraising for Habitat for Humanity,” on Aug. 13, 11:30 a.m. at Fleetwood Villa 16028 83 Ave. Free to attend; $20 to purchase a butterfly to release. “Come for a lineup of live entertainment. The event is organized for seniors, but the family can come and join in on the fun.” Info: 604-590-2889.

F.U.B.A.R. Golf Classic 2022 tournament on Sunday, Aug. 28 at Guildford Golf & Country Club, to benefit Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon. “The F.U.B.A.R. Golf Classic is a Best Ball Tournament for men and women who want to FUNraise and help bring hope, joy and strength to families living with critical illnesses.” Sponsors sought. Info: friendsunitedbeyondallrace.com.

“Ignite a Dream”: Annual charity gala hosted by Surrey Fire Fighters Charitable Society “to help remove barriers and ignite the dreams of children in Surrey by providing educational opportunities that would not exist without community support,” Sept. 24 at KPU Cloverdale campus. Info: surreyfirefighters.com.

AWARDS

Surrey Environment and Business Awards on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel (15269 104 Ave.), featuring speaker Josie Osborne, B.C.’s Minister of Land, Water and Resource Stewardship and Minister Responsible for Fisheries. Luncheon event starts at 11:30 a.m. Info: businessinsurrey.com.

Surrey Arts and Business Awards: Surrey Board of Trade seeks nominations for businesses and individuals that have enriched Surrey through arts and culture. Categories are Philanthropy, Cultural Ambassador, Legacy, Arts & Innovation and Music. Deadline is Aug. 22. Info: businessinsurrey.com/events/surrey-arts-awards.

COMMUNITY

Community Picnic at Royal Kwantlen Park on Tuesday, Aug. 16, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. “Pack a picnic and celebrate at this free outdoor event. Enjoy games, fun park activities, and free hotdogs for the first 150 people,” at 13035 104 Ave., North Surrey. Info: Email: partnersinparks@surrey.ca, call 604-501-5050.

FESTIVALS

Battle of the Brews on Saturday, Aug. 20 at Surrey Civic Plaza, at city hall, 1 to 5 p.m. “An afternoon of beer tasting, food sampling and music,” in support of Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society youth initiatives. Tickets at thepeak.fm or surreyfirefighters.com.

Give Peace a Chance festival Oct. 1 at Bell Performing Arts Centre hosted by Global Peace Alliance BC Society with theme of “End Racism, Build Peace,” featuring singers, dancers, guest speakers, art exhibit and more. Info: peacealways.com, 604-329-0850.

WALK/RUN

Run Surrey Run: First-time event on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 11 in City Centre area, with start/finish at Holland Park, on 5K/10K route. Race route is posted to runsurreyrun.com, with registration details. Fees start at $25 and rise to $45.

Surrey Walks Together: City hall initiative encourages residents to “reconnect with others while walking to improve both mental and physical health.” Meeting locations are posted to Surrey Walks web page (surrey.ca/parks-recreation/surrey-walks) along with other walking resources including trail maps, information on self-guided walks, walking groups, charity walks and more.

KIDS/YOUTH

MYzone After School Drop-In Program offers activities for children ages 8 to 12 at reopened recreation facilities in Surrey, from October to the end of June. “Play games, make arts & crafts, learn new things, take part in community projects, have quiet time for reading or homework in supervised and safe environment.” Info on surrey.ca, or call 604-501-5100.

ARTS

Surrey Muse: Interdisciplinary art and literature presentation group meets on fourth Friday of each month except December (5:30-8:30 p.m.). Gatherings feature an author, a poet and an artist/performer at varying levels of artistic development, followed by an Open Mic session. Virtual gatherings continue for now. Info: surreymuse.wordpress.com, facebook.com/surreymuse.

GALLERIES

Jane Saborio art exhibit Saturday, Aug. 20 at Clubhouse Paletteon The Park, 12711 64th Ave., Surrey, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Art cards, matted and unmatted watercolours, framed acrylics, more. “Florals, landscapes, seascapes, still life, architectural images inspired through a lifetime of travel and deep appreciation of nature’s beauty, color, light & shadows.” Info: laorquideaart.com, email: jmsaborio43@gmail.com, 604-596-9345.

Surrey Art Gallery: Gallery at Bear Creek Park, 88 Ave./King George Blvd. 604-501-5566, Surrey.ca/artgallery. “Mere Phantoms: Shadows Without Borders,” (to Aug. 14), plus “Black Breath Spectacle” (also to Aug. 14); video installation “Zachery Cameron Longboy: Guardian of Sleep,” to Nov. 26; Fraser Valley Chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists with “Fresh Paint” juried exhibition, to Oct. 16.

Newton Cultural Centre features works by local artists at 13530 72 Ave., at venue of the Arts Council of S urrey. August feature: Lynne Kelman and Carla Paterson: Stories in Photographs and Stitch.

Thursday Artist Talk: Events hosted by Surrey Art Gallery Association (SAGA) on first Thursday of every month, 7:30 p.m. Free. Info: 604-501-5566, Arts.surrey.ca. On Facebook.surreyartgalleryassociation.

MUSEUMS

Museum of Surrey: At 17710 56A Ave., Cloverdale. Info: Surrey.ca/museum, 604-592-6956. “Body Language” showcase of Indigenous tattoos and culture, to Sept. 4; “Inspiration X: Dilber Mann” showcases Mann’s collection of movie/comic statues, to Sept. 25.

WORKSHOPS

The Network to Eliminate Violence in Relationships (NEVR) is offering free 3-hour online workshops every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 9am-12pm, 1pm-4pm. “The goal of the workshop is to learn to identify different types of abuse, support survivors of abuse and learn how to find additional supports and resources for survivors of abuse.” Email nevr@kpu to register for a free VIP workshop. Info: 604-599-2267.

CONFERENCE

Surrey International Writers’ Conference: This annual event attracts hundreds of writers to the city from points around the globe, with workshops, panel discussions and “Night Owl” events at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel and also online. The 30th annual conference dates for 2022 are Oct. 21-23. Info: siwc.ca.

CALLS

Westcoast Harmony Chorus: Group rehearses in Surrey at Parkland Community Church (9574 160th St.) on Wednesday evenings, 7 p.m. “A group of women and people of marginalized genders who love to sing and are personally committed to excellence and lasting friendships.” New members sought. Email info@westcoastsings.com, or visit westcoastsings.com.

HEALTH

Recovery Canada: “We are a free, in-person, self-help support group for people experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression. In-person meeting is on a summer break and will resume on Tuesday Sept. 13 at 1:30-3pm at St. Cuthbert Anglican Church, 11601 82 Ave, Delta BC. For more info contact Anita at anitaendorse@gmail.com or 604-788-4633. The virtual meeting will continue as normal on Thursdays 7 -8:30 pm. Contact Gilles at gilber005@yahoo.ca for more info, or visit RecoveryCanada.ca.

Surrey Prostate Cancer Support Group meetings on last Saturday of month at Valley View Memorial Gardens 14644 72 Ave., Surrey (no meetings July and December). “Everyone is invited who are interested in knowing more about prostate cancer. Coffee & cookies provided. Call 604 594-5257.”

VOLUNTEERS

Surrey Art Gallery docent program seeks volunteers to lead weekday school group tours of contemporary art exhibitions. Application deadline is Aug. 22 for the next training session, beginning Sept. 12. Visit “Volunteering at the Gallery” page on surrey.ca/artgallery or contact Chris Dawson-Murphy, Volunteer Coordinator, artsvolunteer@surrey.ca, 604-501-5198.

READ Surrey/White Rock Society is recruiting volunteer adult literacy tutors for their fall training. Info: readsurreywhiterock.com.

Fraser Health Crisis Line is marking 50 years of operation this year; that’s 50 years of 24/7 service delivered by volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, contact the Fraser Health Crisis Line: options.bc.ca/volunteer-at-options.

SENIORS

Technology Forums for seniors hosted by City of Surrey on Sept. 7 at City Hall, Nov. 5 at Newton Seniors Centre and Feb. 11 at Clayton Community Centre. “Free forums aim to help seniors learn about relevant digital resources that support healthy active aging, make life easier and enhance social connectedness.” Secure spot by phone at 604-501-5100, online at surrey.ca/register, or in-person at any Surrey Parks, Recreation & Culture facility.

Surrey Singles Over Sixty: “We are a group that meet for dinners, card games, bowling, dancing, picnics etc. We are based in the North Surrey/North Delta area. New members (fully vaccinated) are welcome.” Call Georgie at 604-585-7304 or Bob at 778-545-5350.

TALK (Third Age Learning at Kwantlen): Program promises “creative and stimulating educational activities” for the 50-plus age group in Surrey and surrounding cities, with a mix of in-person and online events. TALK courses are “ideal for retirees who want to continue learning.” Fees range from $15 to $30, plus $10 annual membership fee. Info: kpu.ca/talk, 604-599-3077.

Seniors Centre Without Walls: Join various presenters for telephone-based exercises, literature or coffee clubs, learning mindfulness or estate planning. View details for information about the Seniors’ Centre Without Walls initiative by Seniors Come Share Society and register by calling 604-531-9400 ext. 205 or scww@comeshare.ca.

EDUCATION

READ Surrey/White Rock Society’s Partners Program offers free, one-to-one tutoring for adults who want reading, writing or math support. “If you or someone you know needs literacy help, call Shanti at 778-242-7323 or email readswrs@gmail.com.” Info at readsurreywhiterock.com.

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B2Digital Expands LIVE Events Strategy With New Combat Sports Friday Nights Featuring Top Former B2FS Stars

B2Digital Expands LIVE Events Strategy With New Combat Sports Friday Nights Featuring Top Former B2FS Stars

TAMPA, FL, Aug. 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via NewMediaWire – B2Digital Incorporated (the “Company” or “B2Digital”) (OTCMKTS:BTDG), the premier development league for mixed martial arts (“MMA”), is excited to announce that, starting this weekend (Friday, August 5), the B2 Fighting Series (B2FS) LIVE Event weekend schedule will feature Combat Sports events on both Friday and Saturday: Going forward, every event weekend will kick off on Friday night with a special showcase of top fighting talent engaged in Professional Grappling, Kickboxing, and/or Boxing. That will be followed by a full B2FS MMA Fight Night event on Saturday night.

“Adding Combat Sports Friday Nights gives the fans something they want while roughly doubling the number of revenue-producing events we have each quarter despite having a minor impact on our costs – our fixed cost structure for any weekend B2FS event doesn’t change much whether we sell tickets for both Friday night and Saturday night or just for Saturday night,” noted Greg P. Bell, Chairman and CEO of B2Digital. “It also gives us a great excuse to showcase some of the best talent that ever stepped into a B2 cage: our graduates. The best B2FS fighters eventually get called up to the big leagues to fight under the brightest lights in the sport. These Friday night events will offer them the chance to come back and thrill B2 fans once again.”

Management anticipates this new Live Event weekend schedule will carry advantages for both top- and bottom-line performance. The major costs involved in staging a new event have to do with traveling, transporting equipment, venue operations, equipment setup, and local marketing. These costs are relatively stable whether the company sells tickets for two nights of events or just one.

This model will also give the Company more content to monetize through other channels while nearly doubling the number of revenue-producing days over any given fiscal period.

In addition, the Company will be very excited to welcome many former B2FS superstars back under the B2 Fighting Series lights for these Combat Sports Friday night events. Some have already agreed to take part.

Bell continued, “As we exit the Gym and Fitness business to focus entirely on our LIVE Event strategy, the addition of star-studded combat sports events on Friday nights will help to drive accelerating revenue growth and to build out our fanbase by diversifying into Grappling, Kickboxing, and Boxing. At the same time, we should see improving margins on a per-Event-weekend basis and overall. Finally, we are in the process of developing some new and exciting ways to monetize the sharp jump in our base of produced combat sports content coming our way, and we will have more details related to this soon.”

About B2Digital Inc.

B2Digital (OTC: BTDG) is the premier development league for mixed martial arts (“MMA”). The Company is primarily engaged with scheduling, organizing, and producing live MMA events, marketing those events, and generating both live audience and PPV ticket sales, as well as creatively marketing the archived content generated through its operations in this segment. The Company also plans to generate additional revenues over time from endorsement deals with global brands as its audience grows. The B2 Fighting Series is licensed in 20 US states to operate LIVE MMA Fights. Most B2 Fighting Series events sell out at the gate. The Company now operates at a pace of more than 40 events per year.

For more information about B2Digital, visit the Company’s website at www.B2FS.com.

B2Digital has a growing social media presence. Follow us on:

Twitter: @B2digitalOTC

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/b2digitalotc/

B2Digital: MMA’s Premier Development League

www.B2FS.com

B2 Fighting Series Pay Per View Link

www.b2mma.com

CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This Press Release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the securities laws. These statements relate to future events and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond our control and which could, and likely will, materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Any forward-looking statement reflects our current views with respect to future events and is subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity. We assume no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements for any reason, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

For more information, please contact:
information@b2fs.com

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WWE NXT stars Grayson Waller and Xyon Quinn explain the importance of returning to live events

WWE NXT stars Grayson Waller and Xyon Quinn explain the importance of returning to live events

NXT stars Grayson Waller and Xyon Quinn have explained the importance of returning to live events, with the COVID area officially in the rear-view mirror for WWE’s developmental territory.

The third brand of the pro wrestling juggernaut has seen a myriad of changes in recent times, with the new-look NXT 2.0 focusing more on preparing talent for the bright lights of the main roster, as opposed to being it’s own entity. 

Waller has become one of the shining lights for the brand since the changes were made, with the Aussie loudmouth cementing himself as one of the top heels in NXT.

From working an angle with the departing Johnny Gargano, to wrestling former world champion AJ Styles and challenging for a number of titles within NXT, the 32-year-old is primed for big things in the squared circle.

Waller is one of many NXT stars who will now get the experience to go back out on the road post-COVID, with the brand only working out of their Performance Center in Orlando, Florida since the pandemic began. 

Prior to the pandemic, NXT was a touring brand that would do ‘loops’ around parts of the US, and even travelled to the UK and Australia at the height of its popularity. 

And while the goalposts may have been moved in regards to the product, getting the opportunity as a developmental talent to perform solely for the live crowd, as opposed to a massive television audience, will only be beneficial in the long run.

Despite years of experience working the independents in Australia, Waller knows how important it is for the NXT roster and himself personally to get out in front of a different audience and further hone their craft. 

“It’s super important, I can’t put it over enough,” he told The Sporting News. 

“Luckily for me, I have about four or five years on the independent scene in Australia and working in front of live crowds twice every week.

“There’s a lot of people in NXT who this is their first time either working in front of a crowd at all, which is wild, or working in front of a crowd that isn’t at the Performance Center.

“That Performance Center crowd, they are there every week and they know everyone and they know what to expect. These live event crowds, some of these people have never seen wrestling before, so it’s a different environment.

“Regardless of how talented I am, when the camera comes on I perform, but the stress is there before you go out. There’s hundreds of thousands of people watching (on TV) and most of them want you to fail.

“Being able to go on these live events and have a little bit more fun and enjoy yourself more and interact with the live crowd, we’re not working for the people at home – we are working for the people who bought a ticket to come and watch us and we put on a show for them.

“I think it’s the most important thing and now that we are back doing that, I think you are going to see people improve even more rapidly than they are already are.”

With pro wrestling experience prior to signing with WWE, the likes of Waller, Carmelo Hayes and Cameron Grimes could be considered ‘main-roster ready’ in 2022, and those men likely aren’t far away from receiving a call to move up to Raw or SmackDown.

But for a talent like Xyon Quinn, who has come from a professional rugby league background just three years ago, the return to live events is even more important.

Up until the return to touring, the 32-year-old had only ever wrestled in front of the tight-knit Orlando crowd for the brand’s weekly TV program – but his world is about to change.

Quinn explained the ‘trial and error’ aspect of working live events without the pressure of TV. 

“You go out there, you have fun and try things – some things don’t work and you change them,” he told The Sporting News.

“As you know from school, when you make some drafts and send them in, the teacher has a look and they give it back to you – you send the next one in and get a much better mark.

“That’s kind of the same thing, you’ve just got to make sure you are ready and learn what things work and what things don’t and learn to try things.

“That’s the whole fun of it.”

Quinn and Waller are just two of a long list of Australian stars to make the jump to WWE, and while they come from different backgrounds, their end goal is the same.

And with WWE’s past reliance on part-time stars such as The Undertaker, Triple H and John Cena now leaving a huge hole at the top of the main roster, the hunger for NXT stars to make the jump and succeed is higher than ever. 

WWE NXT airs each Wednesday from 10am AEST on FOX8 and 8pm ET on USA Network. 

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Why did Kyrie Irving leave the Celtics? A timeline of the events that preceded Nets star’s exit

Why did Kyrie Irving leave the Celtics? A timeline of the events that preceded Nets star's exit

Kyrie Irving is no longer a stranger to the hostile environment of TD Garden. After the Nets split Games 3 and 4 against the Celtics during the 2021 NBA Playoffs en route to a 4-1 series win, Irving played two more games on the road against Boston this season to prepare for his 2022 first-round matchup.

After assuring Celtics fans prior to the 2018 season that he would be re-signing with the team, Irving absconded for Brooklyn the very next offseason when his contract expired. Since then, it’s been nothing but hostility in TD Garden, which is sure to ramp up in the postseason.

MORE: NBA Playoff schedule 2022: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels

This time, however, the Celtics find themselves with home-court advantage. The Nets will be visiting Boston for Games 1 and 2 of the series, as they look to right the ship on what has been a roller coaster of a season.

Why exactly did Irving leave the Celtics? And why did Boston fans take his departure so hard? Here’s everything you need to know about Irving’s tumultuous final year with the Celtics.

Kyrie-Irving-Celtics-052821-GETTY-FTR

Why did Kyrie Irving leave the Celtics for the Nets?

Irving left the Celtics because he wanted to return closer to his New Jersey home. He confirmed as much in his 2019 media day availability with the Nets, and his decision to leave was influenced by the passing of his grandfather early in the 2018-19 NBA season.

“After he passed, basketball was the last thing on my mind,” Irving said. “A lot of basketball and the joy I had from it was sucked away from me. There was a facial expression that I carried around with me throughout the year. Didn’t allow anyone to get close to me in that instance, and it really bothered me.

“I didn’t take the necessary steps to get counseling or get therapy or anything to deal with someone that close to me dying. I’ve never dealt with anything like that, so, for me, I responded in ways that were uncharacteristic, and I had to acknowledge that fact.”

Irving did talk to the Celtics about the issue, and he expressed a desire to re-sign. However, after reflecting more on his grandfather’s death and how basketball prevented Irving from seeing him before his passing, his thought process started to shift.

“I talked to Danny [Ainge] and I wanted to re-sign. So throughout the year, it started becoming more and more clear that my relationship within my home life had a way higher precedence than the organization or anyone,” Irving said.

“Throughout that year, [things] just became rocky and a lot of the battles I thought I could battle through from that team environment, I just wasn’t ready for. I failed those guys in a sense that I didn’t give them everything that I could have during that season, especially with the pieces that we had.”

After the disappointing season, Irving made the exit that he had been building up to and went to play for the Nets. That allowed him an opportunity to play closer to home and also gave him the luxury of playing alongside Kevin Durant, who signed with Brooklyn that same summer.

That took some of the pressure that he “just wasn’t ready for” off the table.

Timeline of Kyrie Irving’s departure from Celtics

July 21, 2017: Irving requests trade, names Knicks among preferred destinations

When Irving initially requested a trade from Cleveland, Chris Haynes noted Irving’s four preferred teams: The Knicks, Heat, Spurs and Timberwolves.

Aug. 22, 2017: Cavaliers trade Kyrie Irving to Celtics

The Cavaliers finally ended the Irving saga by trading him to Boston. The deal got them a haul of three picks and three players.

Oct. 4, 2018: Irving commits to re-signing with the Celtics during preseason fan event

“If you guys will have me back, I plan on re-signing here,” Irving told the Boston crowd, per NBA.com.

Oct. 5, 2018: Irving reaffirms his happiness in Boston, praises organization for ‘taking a chance’

The next day, Irving continued to praise the Celtics for “taking a chance” on him, saying that he enjoyed playing in Boston.

“I’m happy here,” Irving said, per ESPN. “Every single day is at an all-time competitive high. What more can you ask for from an organization than taking a chance as far as getting me out of Cleveland? Really taking a chance regardless of whether I signed back or not.

“They had the same attitude. They just wanted to show me what being a Celtic is about, and that I was going to come around, and I absolutely did. I believe in it. I believe in the franchise.”

Irving commented that he wanted to see his jersey in the TD Garden rafters one day along with the retired numbers of other Celtics greats.

“I have every intention of signing with Boston next year. I do have a dream of putting my No. 11 in the rafters one day if I’m so blessed to do that,” Irving said, per NBC Sports Boston. “I’ve worked my tail off, obviously a lot of great players have come before me, but to throw my name in Boston Celtics tradition and history is something I’m glad I can do. And I’m planning on doing so.”

Oct. 20, 2018: Irving says he nearly requested trade to New York after Knicks game

After a game in New York, Irving confirmed the Knicks were a preferred destination for him.

“Every team was under consideration,” he said. “But obviously New York held a special place for me, just being from [New] Jersey and obviously envisioning myself as a free agent and ultimately taking a meeting and playing for [David Fizdale] and a great young core that they have here.

“Thinking about playing with [Kristaps Porzingis], that was a big thing before I made my decision to sign back with — to plan on re-signing back, I don’t wanna get in trouble, plan with re-signing back with Boston. But yeah of course, New York was a strong consideration.”

Jan. 12, 2019: Irving chides Gordon Hayward for giving Jayson Tatum final shot vs. Magic

However, as the season went along, there appeared to be growing tension within the locker room and frustration on Irving’s part. That came to a head after Hayward threw a late-game pass to Tatum to try to let the then-rookie win the game. Irving screamed at Hayward after the play.

Irving apparently wanted a chance at the last shot. After the Celtics’ loss, he spoke about the team’s lack of experience and how he differed from his teammates.

“The best thing I can say is experience, we’re lacking it and because of that we have a lot of learning to do, so we have a lot of ground to make up in that aspect,” Irving said, per WEEI. “You know, it gets tough. When it gets hard, you have to think. You have to do the right things. You can’t gamble and think that it’s going to be the winning play. You have to be able to play through the full 48 minutes, no matter what’s going on and hold your head high when you make mistakes. When your job is called upon, you have to do it to the best of your ability. You have to come in and make an impact for the minutes that you’re playing out there. 

“You have to appreciate to be out there and just competing. It doesn’t matter who you’re going against, it matters the type of preparation you have — what you’re going out and trying to accomplish. What’s the big picture? What are we doing here? These are a lot of things that I don’t think that some of my teammates have faced just every single day. It’s not easy to be great.”

Feb. 1, 2019: Irving retracts promise to re-sign with Celtics: ‘I’m going to do what’s best for my career’

Shortly thereafter, Irving walked back on his desire to rejoin the Celtics.

“At the end of the day, I’m going to do what’s best for my career,” Irving said, per NBC Sports Boston. “I spent the last eight years trying to do what everyone else wanted me to do — managers, other personnel — and I don’t owe anybody s—. I still have confidence in Boston and what they can promise for the future and what we have in terms of pieces. That’s what excited me at the beginning of the season.

“… It’s my decision at the end of the day. Who cares who said what’s best for him, like, it doesn’t matter. It’s unwarranted commentary, and of course it’s going to continue throughout the season. I’m aware of that. I’m a professional, I’m not going to disrespect anybody but like I said, it really comes down to what’s best for me and my family.”

That comment marked a major shift in Irving’s tenor and seemed to indicate that he was thinking about — if not, planning to — leave the Celtics. 

Feb. 17, 2019: Irving and Kevin Durant stoke rumors with All-Star Game conversation

Later that month at the NBA All-Star Game, Irving had a discussion with Durant, who was on the Warriors. There was plenty of speculation about what the two were discussing — perhaps teaming up in Brooklyn — but after being asked about it, Irving said that he was merely talking to one of his best friends.

“I don’t have a private life when I’m out there in the NBA,” Irving said, per The Boston Globe. “Somebody wants to take a video, it is what it is. Pour water on [the speculation]? I’m a human being talking to another best friend of mine. It’s just crazy.

“This is the stuff that just doesn’t make the league fun. Nobody helps promote the league by doing s— like that. Just fictitious, putting things on like what we’re talking about, it’s crazy. I guess that’s what you want, huh?”

Irving’s future remained in doubt for the rest of the season. The Celtics continued to stumble along until the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bucks. Irving shot 25-for-83 over their final four games of the season against Milwaukee.

July 7, 2019: Kyrie Irving signs with Brooklyn Nets for four years, $136.49 million

Then, of course, Irving signed with the Nets in free agency and completed an exit that went from improbable to expected in a matter of months.

Dec. 18, 2020: Kyrie Irving returns to TD Garden, burns sage in empty arena

Irving stirred up conversation before a preseason game against the Celtics, walking around the arena (which still wasn’t hosting fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic) and burning sage. After the game, Irving said that burning sage was simply part of his pregame ritual.

May 28, 2021: Kyrie Irving returns to TD Garden for Game 3 of Nets-Celtics series

Irving returned to TD Garden, playing as a Net for the first time with Boston fans in attendance. Heading into the matchup, Irving said that he hoped his return would be “strictly about basketball” and Celtics fans would avoid “subtle racism.”

Irving scored 16 points in a losing effort for the Nets, receiving boos every time he touched the ball. In Game 4, Irving broke out, scoring 39 points and pulling down 11 boards in a 141-126 win. The Nets would go on to close out the series in Game 5 at the Barclays Center.

What did the Celtics trade for Kyrie Irving?

The Celtics acquired Irving from the Cavaliers as part of a four-player deal. Boston sent three players and three draft picks to Cleveland in order to acquire the All-Star point guard.

Here’s a look at the details of the trade:

Celtics acquire:

Cavaliers acquire:

  • PG Isaiah Thomas
  • SF/PF Jae Crowder
  • C Ante Zizic
  • 2018 first-round draft pick (Nets)
  • Two 2020 second-round picks

The first-round pick that the Cavaliers acquired became point guard Collin Sexton, who had his 2021-22 campaign shortened after tearing his meniscus in November.

The original framework of the deal had only one second-round pick going Cleveland’s way, but after the Cavaliers came away from Thomas’ physical discouraged with what it showed, Boston agreed to include another pick. Thomas had suffered a hip injury the previous season and had surgery to repair the issue.

The Sporting News’ Jacob Camenker contributed to this article.