The WWE Draft Shows the Root Problems Won’t Be Fixed Overnight

wwe-draft-2016-bannerLast Tuesday’s inaugural edition of SmackDown Live featured the second WWE brand extension draft. Unlike 2002, which had the WWF stars and writers that carried it through the Attitude Era and a multitude of WCW and ECW alumni, the current incarnation of WWE is headed up by a select few wrestlers who are allowed to be stars and writers that have led WWE to viewership declining to record lows.

As part of the TV deal that WWE has with the USA Network / NBC Universal, the USA Network requested that changes be made to SmackDown to shore up its ratings. The call was made to go live on Tuesday nights (when WWE tapes the show) and break up the WWE roster into two separate crews in order to give people a reason to watch SmackDown in addition to Raw.

The problem is that the draft didn’t really do anything to make SmackDown important and worthy of appointment viewing.

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Sunday Link-Off: Convention Time

summer-rae-wwe16-10The Republican National Convention just wrapped up and it certainly wasn’t without controversy. The Democratic National Convention is about to kick off and I would expect is be equally a gong show. However, since the RNC just happened, I figure that I should focus on that first.

Anyway, it’s Sunday and it’s time for us to do the links. Since we have a big wrestling post coming tomorrow, let’s kick off with newly Raw exclusive wrestler Summer Rae.

Want to know the real Donald Trump? The ghostwriter of The Art Of The Deal explains how he started making the modern Trump. (The New Yorker)

How did Trump pick his running mate? Basically, his options largely eliminated themselves. (New York Times)

A big deal was made about Ted Cruz not endorsing Donald Trump. However, he had a good reason that I couldn’t argue with. (Rolling Stone)

It’s decidedly ironic that Roger Ailes time at the top of Fox News ends as Donald Trump ascended to the top of the GOP. The man who created modern conservatism became a hero and then saw it all destroyed as he became the villain. (Politico Magazine)

Part of the Republican National Convention was “make America safe again.” Well, crime statistics don’t back that up. (AP)

Probably bad news for the Democrats: WikiLeaks has released just about 20,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee. (Daily Caller)

Bad news: Science says that alcohol causes seven different types of cancer. No wonder why conservatives hate science. (The Guardian)

The Tragically Hip have just started their last ever tour. (Rolling Stone)

McDonald’s of New Zealand allowed people create and name their own burgers. It went about as expected. (Dorkly)

I know that Pokemon Go is supposed to be the new Tinder but be careful who you PokeTinder up on.

Entertainment Link-Off: To the Unknown

sofia boutellaIt’s Comic-Con weekend, so there would be plenty of new reveals taking place, even after the ELO gets posted. However, if you’re not lucky enough to attend, perhaps you can venture to the cinemas to catch the latest Star Trek Beyond. Reviews have been kind so far and you can catch Sofia Boutella in the flick! Not that you would recognize her under all that make up in the movie though…

After the jump, Brad Bird does not like video games, a Pokemon movie could be on its way, Divergent series is headed to your TV screens instead, a few new Marvel/Netflix teasers to check out, and the latest Honest Trailer tackles Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Continue reading

Ducati – 90th Anniversary Review: Mid-Pack

ducati-90th-anniversary-headerWhat Ferrari is to cars, Ducati is to motorcycles. The legendary Italian motorcycle manufacturer celebrates its 90th anniversary of its founding this year. To celebrate, the Italian marque joined forces with Italian racing game developer Milestone to produce a motorcycle racing game that explores the history of Ducati through some of it famous models through the years.

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F1 Power Rankings: Hungarian Grand Prix

It’s time for Magyar Nagydij! While I’ve never been a fan of the Hungaroring, the combination of low grip and low-speed that requires high downforce takes the perpetual Mercedes advantage away so that the field can have a legitimate chance at victory without a fluke happening. The last time Mercedes won in Hungary was before the Turbo V6 engine formula was introduced. Could they pull of the victory this time? The F1 Power Rankings attempts to answer that question.

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Wednesday Link-Off: In Depth

alessandra-ambrosio-globalgiftgala-05This has been a pretty intense week in the worlds of news and politics. The Republican National Convention has been sidetracked by another Trump distraction. This time, it’s his wife plagiarizing a speech. The whole Trump campaign has been distracting everyone from the issues to focus on him so if you don’t talk about the issues, you can’t beat him on them. It’s worked to this point and it’s working this week. There’s also more chaos in Turkey and Fox News is in turmoil.

Anyway, it’s time for us to do the links. Since a model features prominently in this set of links, let’s kick off with model Alessandra Ambrosio.

It’s not looking very cheery at the Republican National Convention and that’s just on-screen. There’s a lot more turmoil behind the scenes. (Politico)

While I’m not sure anyone can accuse Donald Trump of stealing his words (the best words) from anyone else, the same can’t be said for his wife. She plagiarized a large portion Michelle Obama’s speech from the 2008 Democratic Convention. (USA Today)

Overlooked in the plagiarism scandal is the rhetoric that is being spouted at the RNC. (Vox)

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Formula One: 2016 Silverstone Mid-Season Test Recap

For the second time this season, the teams of Formula One stayed a few extra days after a grand prix for an in-season test. With most of the teams having exhausted their experienced driver test days, most of this test was a Young Drivers’ Test in all but name. However, experience still carried the two days of the test as the fastest times were set by the 2nd and 3rd most experienced men on the grid.

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