Although some of the major sports have been winding down in recent weeks, there is a still a variety of events going down this weekend. Baseball, soccer, martial arts and wrestling are all taking the spotlight. The MLB All-Star Game and Home Run Derby will end an exciting week in sports, but let’s see what’s on tap ahead of that.
WWE: Live – SummerSlam Heatwave Tour – Madison Square Garden, 7/7
As the SummerSlam Heatwave Tour progresses, the matches only continue to get bigger. WWE super stars take to the ring to display their skills. Fans could not be more excited to head to Madison Square Garden. Some of the promotion’s best wrestlers are heading to MSG for the first time in their careers, so fans and wrestlers alike are ready for a great show.
As of now, there are four title fights scheduled to take place at MSG including the WWE Intercontinental Championship Match and the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match.
In addition to that, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt will take center stage at MSG for the first time in their careers. Seth Rollins, another big star in the WWE, will have his work cut out for him against the mammoth Samoa Joe.
However, one match that everyone is looking forward to is the tag team match with the title on the line. Cesaro and Sheamus are the current champions in Raw, but the belt is in jeopardy on Friday night. The high-flying Hardy Bros. – a fan favorite – will look to secure the belt in epic fashion in front of fans at MSG.
The main event will be the WWE Intercontinental Championship Match between Dean Ambrose and The Miz. Both men have been champions before, so they know what it takes to get the job done. Can Ambrose pull off the upset or will The Miz retain his title? Find out by securing WWE tickets to this must-see event.
CONCACAF Gold Cup – United States vs. Panama – Nissan Stadium, 7/8
All is right in the world for the United States Men’s National Team…for now. The roller coaster year that has been 2017 is currently seeing USMNT on the rise. After letting go of Jurgen Klinsmann and rehiring Bruce Arena, a spark has been ignited for the entire squad.
The team’s World Cup Qualifying got a shot in the arm with a recent win and tie. Also, a win over their new rival Ghana in an International Friendly has given young players confidence. All this adds up to a confident squad heading in to the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Christian Pulisic has soccer fans excited as he is clearly the next star for the United States. The 18-year-old currently has the Midas touch whenever he takes the field. Whether it be goals or assists, Pulisic comes up with the magic when the US team needs it the most.
On top of that, Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are veterans nearing the end of their careers. However, based on their recent form you would never know it. Bradley is the offense’s orchestrator and the first line of defense. Dempsey and Altidore are some of the best goal scorers this nation has ever seen.
Their first round match up in the CONCACAF Gold Cup against Panama will be a stern test, but one they are ready for. Panama’s team is young and energetic although they do lack a bit of experience. The United States will be playing in front of a raucous crowd at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, TN., and will need to take care of business in their first match.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Kansas City Royals – Dodger Stadium, 7/9
Baseball in the summer in L.A.?! Doesn’t get much better than that. On top of that, Dodgers fans will get to see one of the best pitchers of all-time take the mound as the team heads to the All-Star break.
Clayton Kershaw will be keen on sending the Dodger fans home happy with another superb start. Kershaw is 13-2 this season, with an impressive 2.19 ERA. He has been the one constant for the Dodgers over the last five seasons, and if there’s anything that L.A. can count on, it’s Kershaw.
There is some new talent bursting on to the scene out West that has helped the Dodgers take the division lead in the NL West. Shortstop Corey Seager is easily the team’s most well-rounded player. Also, Rookie of the Year Candidate Cody Bellinger is only 21, but can’t stop hitting home runs for the Dodgers. This three-headed monster might be the answer for the Dodgers to finally start tasting some postseason success.
The Kansas City Royals are still proving the naysayers wrong. After their Cinderella season in 2014 that finished in a loss to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series, many people expected their success to be one and done. However, they stuck to that formula and ended up becoming World Series Champions just a season later. Now in 2017, the same core is still kicking and the Royals are making a playoff push once again. Led by Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain and a dynamite bullpen, the Royals are a tough opponent for any team.
UFC 213: Amanda Nunes vs. Valentina Shevchenko – T-Mobile Arena, 7/8
The summer of 2017 will have a huge impact on the UFC promotion going forward. Title rematches, stars returning to fight and new fighters looking to make a name for themselves every fight will all be staples of the upcoming summer. After the wild success of UFC 212, UFC 213 will have epic fights to live up to. Fortunately, the card is stacked. With both men and women well represented on this card, let’s break down some of the biggest fights.
The first enticing match up is the trilogy between Heavyweight contenders Fabricio Werdum and Alistair Overeem. However, this will be the first time these two heavyweight legends will square off in the UFC. After splitting the first two bouts, both will be looking for a decisive win in this series. This fight will be monumental for both of their careers as they near the end of their MMA days. Werdum will be looking to secure his #1 contender spot for a shot at the belt, while #3 Overeem will look to a get rematch with Stipe Miocic for the title.
The co-main event is where things start to get even more interesting. Robert Whittaker is the upstart in the division that will take on the tough Yoel Romero. The bout is officially being labeled as an interim title fight. Simply put the winner of this fight will take on the winner of champion Tyron Woodley and contender Demian Maia. Whittaker is a powerful fighter, striking and defense are areas of strength. Romero, is a human rubber band. The former Olympic gold medalist is amazing on the ground, and is physique is that of a 20-year-old not a 40-year-old.
The night is capped off by another Women’s Bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko. 16 months ago, Nunes retained her belt against Shevchenko in a very close fight that went three rounds. They are clearly the most talented fighters in this division, so this might not be the last time we see these two fighters square off.
MLB All-Star Game Festivities – Marlins Ballpark, 7/10, 7/11
Now the fun begins. The MLB All-Star Game has a rich tradition in the sport, and this year promises to be another special event. In conjunction with the Home Run Derby, the MLB All-Star Game is always an exciting time for the game’s best players to showcase their skills. This year, the MLB All-Star Game will head to Marlins Ballpark in the beautiful Miami, FL.
In the National League one story is grabbing headlines. Giancarlo Stanton will be representing the hometown team, as the slugger has had a superb year for the Miami Marlins. He will play in the game as well as try to defend his title in the Home Run Derby. He has dedicated this whole season to former Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died this off season after crashing his boat. Stanton has done a stellar job honoring his late friend, and the trend should continue this week.
For the American League’s MLB All-Star Game lineup, the showstoppers include a couple of young rivals. Mookie Betts of the Red Sox and Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees both earned starting spots in the outfield. Betts is a five-tool player. So close to winning the AL MVP last season, he is picking up right where he left off with another impressive season both offensively and defensively. Judge is nearly leading in all three categories of the Triple Crown – average, home runs and RBI – one of the hardest accomplishments in the sport.
Both MLB All-Star Game rosters have plenty of pitching as well. Strike out savant Chris Sale will represent the Red Sox for the A.L. Max Scherzer will be looking to do the same while representing the Nationals for the N.L.