The Best of How2Wrestling

Since I think we all need a little time to recover from the bullshit and the politics in the back of the last 18 months, let’s give you something else to take your mind off of life. I post a lot about great wrestling podcasts but a lot of them are built around the basis that you’re already a fan. What if you’re a new fan or want to become a fan? That’s where How2Wrestling comes in. Hosted by Kefin Mahon, host of The Attitude Era Podcast, and Jo Graham, Kefin’s girlfriend and new wrestling fan, How2Wrestling teaches you how to get into wrestling, how to understand wresting and how to enjoy wrestling.

So to give you something fun to listen to and to take your mind off the fate of the world, let’s listen to five of the best and my favourite episodes of How2Wrestling.

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Sunday Link-Off: Fireworks

sasha-banks-gq16-04It’s a busy weekend in the world. Last night was UFC 202 (I had it as a 47-47 draw giving McGregor a Rounds 1 [10-8] and 4 while Diaz had the other three), NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn 2 and the final Tragically Hip concert. Tonight is the Apocalympic closing ceremony and Summerslam. There is definitely something for everyone to watch tonight… And Netflix. I really need to watch Stranger Things.

Anyway, it’s Sunday so we have to do the links. Since Summerslam is tonight, let’s kick things off with Sasha Banks.

Last night was goodbye for The Tragically Hip in what could only be considered a Canadian cultural moment the likes of which will never be matched. (The New Yorker)

And in case you don’t know any Hip songs, here is a list of ten of their best songs. (Rolling Stone)

Millennials aren’t that entitled. A new study says that millennials’ inflation-adjusted earnings are earning $4,200 less than people thirty years their senior. (Press Progress)

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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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Wednesday Link-Off: Panama

leanna-decker-01Remember how excited I was for WrestleMania 32 on Sunday? How naive does that look right now? I might write up some brief thoughts on the state of the WWE after its biggest show and its biggest weekly TV episode of the year. For now, let’s talk about anything but.

So with that shorter than usual preamble out of the way, I think that it’s time that we do the links. Let’s kick things off with American model Leanna Decker.

The Trump campaign might look comfortably out front of the Republican Primary but they’re working the back rooms to pick up unbound delegates for the convention. (MSNBC)

The push toward basic income creates a stronger social safety net for people than a minimum wage. (Bloomberg)

The Panama Papers revealing the use of Panama as a tax haven for the wealthy might just help Bernie Sanders’s campaign for the White House since he is the one candidate not owned by the wealthy. (The Independent)

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The Best WrestleMania Hype Videos

wrestlemania-32-logoThis weekend, the WWE will present the 32nd edition of WrestleMania in Dallas, Texas, in front of what they will likely claim is a crowd of over 100,000 people. While the focus will be on the action in the ring, injuries have forced change after change to the card and we’re left with a card and build that makes me kind of glad I couldn’t make it to Dallas for the show of shows. At the very least, we know the WWE will do their usual superb job of last minute salesmanship with epic promo videos to hype the matches.

So to celebrate WrestleMania, we have a collection of some of the best WrestleMania promo hype videos that the WWE has produced.

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Wednesday Link-Off: The Great (Missed) Debate

Sorry I’m late with today’s set of links. I’ve spent the last couple of evenings playing Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC for review. Square Enix just moved the embargo date from Thursday to today so I can what I was playing. And, yes, it’s good. Probably better than 2013’s reboot but I’ve got about two-thirds of the game still to go.

Anyway, it’s Wednesday so it’s time for us to do the links. Let’s kick things off with Kate Beckinsale.

In sort of the inverse of the California ballot initiative requiring legislators to wear their donors on their sleeve, President Obama is contemplating an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to disclose who they donate to. (New York Times)

Donald Trump thinks he can shoot people and not lose any support. That might be true but would he no longer be eligible to hold office if convicted. (The Hill)

And Trump is planning to pull out of tomorrow’s GOP debate because Fox News has Megyn Kelly assigned as a moderator. Maybe it’s for the best because Trump can’t improve his standing in the debates. (Daily Intelligencer)

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Sunday Link-Off: One vs. All

charlotte-muscleandfitness16-01Wrestling fans will notice that the title is the theme of tonight’s Royal Rumble. I’m hoping that All wins tonight but I’m not going to put money on that given how the Fed has booked the last 20 months. By the time ‘Mania rolls around, the Fed will have given Reigns a non-stop 22-month push for one Wrestemania moment. And you wonder why Raw’s ratings have tanked over the last few years.

Anyway, it’s Sunday which means it’s time for us to do the links. Let’s kick things off with WWE Divas Champion Charlotte.

A number of prominent Conservatives have taken to the pages of the National Review to explain why Donald Trump would be disastrous for the GOP. (National Review)

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha talks about her fight to expose the problems with Flint’s water. (CNN)

It may not be Flint in the midst of a water crisis. There might be a whole host of major American cities that will soon have the same problems made public. (Gizmodo)

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Wednesday Link-Off: Golden

kirsten-dunst-goldenglobes16-03I know in last week’s podcast, if you listened to the spoilers anyway, I mentioned that we would have the top games of 2015 and most anticipated games of 2016 lists posted last week. They’re coming tomorrow and Friday. The StarCraft II review that went up yesterday was the last piece I needed to cover everything for tomorrow’s best of 2015 list. Normal et geekera cross-posting service with then continue quickly scads of reviews.

Before we get there, we have to do the links. Let’s kick off with Kirsten Dunst who was at the Golden Globes even though I thought she wasn’t making movies any more.

One of the strangest stories from the El Chapo arrest is that he was interviewed by Sean Penn for Rolling Stone while on the run. (New York Times)

The Conservatives are concerned about the Canadian Government changing election laws without a referendum. What is the saying about people who live in glass houses? That Harper Government is pretty glass housey right now. (Press Progress)

We know income inequality is a huge problem in America. What you might not know is that it’s also a big problem in Canada. (Huffington Post)

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So You Say You Want a #DivasRevolution?

wwe-summerslam-2015-divas-tag-matchRegular readers know that I’m an occasional wrestling watcher. For the most part, I watch NXT and Lucha Underground. One thing that both shows get right that the WWE hasn’t figured out on Raw or SmackDown is how to make the female talent matter. On both NXT and Lucha Underground, women are an important part of the show with their own interesting characters and stories rather than filler to get through five-plus hours of television each week.

The WWE have tried to fix that with their #DivasRevolution™ on Raw and SmackDown. After only a month and a half, it seems to have run out of steam. The crowd at Raw on Monday night turned on the Divas™ match that was part of 20+ minutes of talking and match segments. The wrestlers blamed the fans for not being behind the WWE’s #DivasRevolution but the problem is that the revolution has been doomed to failure, intentionally or unintentionally, from the start.

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The Best of OSW Review

As we are wont to do in these parts, today, we’re taking a look at another website in our Best of the Interweb series. This time, it’s a look at the labour of love of three Irishmen called OSW Review. OSW is the Old School Wrestling Review in which three friends (Jay, V1 and Mr. OOC [and, at the beginning, Neo]) look back at classic pay-per-views with their own unique spin mixing in behind the scenes stories, little known anecdotes and their trademark humour. If you started listening to a wrestling podcast in the last four years, chances are that OSW inspired it.

Today, we take a look at the best OSW Review episodes of the Hulkamania era.

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