For better or worse, that time of year is upon us. The WWE’s annual “sports entertainment” spectacular, WrestleMania, is upon us for the 31st time. This year’s edition got a last-minute boost of intrigue with the late re-signing of Brock Lesnar so for the first time in about 9 months, the outcome of the main event is up in the air.
So to get you ready for the five-hour show (that includes two pre-match shows expected to start at 3:00 PM PDT), I found some of the best “hype” videos to get you ready for The Granddaddy of Them All, The Showcase of the Immortals, WrestleMania Play Button.
Just when you thought it was safe to go outside again, there was snow in Northern Ontario over the weekend. I guess we were spoiled by above zero weather. And I suppose there’s this WrestleMania thing happening in a week that’s a big part of this Sunday’s linkdump. I suppose that’s worth mentioning and covering on top of the usual stuff.
Anyway, it’s Sunday so it’s time for the links. Let’s kick things off with Gigi Hadid. I can finally understand why she was a frontrunner for this year’s SI Swimsuit cover.
How will possible Republican Presidential hopeful and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker help the state’s budget problems? Not paying back the state’s debt. (Washington Post)
Just to make things worse for the Republicans, it turns out that Obamacare isn’t too back for the creation of new jobs. (Bloomberg)
SXSW is ongoing right now. What is SXSW? No one’s really sure anymore. (Fusion)
Just five weeks from WrestleMania 31, the actual 30th anniversary of WrestleMania, the WWE was still working on setting the stage for their big annual show. They were scrambling to make up for the underwhelming and nearly riot inducing Royal Rumble by putting Roman Reigns’ hated WrestleMania title shot up for grabs in a match against Daniel Bryan. They pretended the US Title mattered by having John Cena challenge for it. And… Nothing much else worth hyping. But the Uppercats were on the card. They’re cool.
But the first WWE Fastlane pay-per-view was something closer to a go-home show for WrestleMania 31. Getting on the fast lane to WrestleMania seems to have meant fast tracking the creative for WrestleMania too.
I kind of wanted to title today’s linkdump with a bit of a Judge Dredd reference but this title fit best. I’ve finally caught up on my back issues of Judge Dredd. Now it’s to catch up on Justice League and Superman. I don’t even have that big a file at my local comic book shop and I’m always behind. Some people order in like five times the number of comics I do. How can they pull that off?
Anyway, it’s Sunday which means that it’s time for the links. Something like nine months after being named Maxim’s hottest woman of 2014, we finally have Candice Swanepoel’s Hot 100 shoot. It’s too bad that there’s only one photo that’s remotely SFW.
When the chief economist for America’s biggest conservative think tank can’t come up with an actual fact to back up his claims that the Affordable Care Act has been a failure, isn’t it time to give up that fight? Then again, lying to electorate seems to work so why the hell not. (Daily Intelligencer)
A former CSIS officer says that the Harper government’s new anti-terror bill will completely backfire. (National Post)
Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein went from petty criminal to shooter in a short period of time. What happened to him to cause that change? (Time)
While the first stop on the Road to WrestleMania 31 was a disappointment, the WWE’s developmental territory was here to save the day last week. The last time NXT had a live special, it completely overshadowed the main roster pay-per-view that followed only a few days later.
NXT Takeover: Rival was the fifth NXT live special and it had massive expectations to live up to after the critical success that was R-Evolution. Fortunately, NXT doesn’t have to live up to this weekend’s WWE Fast Lane pay-per-view because it’s likely to be terrible. But could NXT live up to its own standards?
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that I probably shouldn’t be writing wrestling reviews on any sort of basis. I don’t watch the WWE regularly apart from watching their NXT developmental territory. I’ve probably watched more New Japan in the last month than WWE since WrestleMania 30. But it’s the Road to WrestleMania and what better time to tune into the WWE for three months.
But even I with my limited WWE viewing knows that what’s best for business is paying customers. With the relative failure of the WWE Network launch, TV ratings that are stagnant at best and fans who are growing increasingly discontent with the product on-screen, the Royal Rumble had to be bigger than just your standard hype machine for WrestleMania.
It’s just too bad that the WWE failed entirely to get anyone interested in their annual showcase.
I’ve never made it a secret that I’m a big fan of the OSW Review podcast. It features three self-described racist Irishmen, Jay, Steve (V1) and Steve (Mr. OOC), as the chronologically critique wrestling storylines pay-per-view by pay-per-view.
Having looked at the Hulkamania era of WWF and the David Arquette era in WCW, the boys’ most recent chronological critique looks at the rise, fall, rebirth and subsequent final death of ECW and WWECW. What was supposed to be a four-part ECW retrospective ended up becoming a six-part ECW saga.
Since the final part of OSW’s ECW saga drops today, you can catch up with the first five parts provided that you can spare nine hours to catch up on all five episodes.