Monday morning hangover: Game of Thrones and Wrestlemania

    What if, every Monday morning, whether you were spending the weekend living it up or partying down, you could have all of your pop culture news in one place? What if there was more to your weekend than bright nights and hazy mornings? What if you could be caught up on your television, film, and music news all at once, with a little Northwestern thrown in for good measure? This is the Monday Morning Hangover.

    One warm spring night, many summers ago, Little Dazz stood by his father at the University of Phoenix stadium and told Kurt Angle that he sucks, along with 80,000 other people.

    It was my first ever professional wrestling event, and Kurt Angle (USA Olympian/gold medalist, by the way) had just trounced Matt Hardy in a match. Of course, that means that everyone in the stadium can partake in one of the greatest communal “eff yous” in sports, the “You suck!” chant. The trumpets blared, the drums pounded, and as grade-A d-bag Kurt Angle paraded around the mat, I gave into all of the hype, all of the fanfare, and all of the pandemonium. I told the biggest douche in wrestling that he sucked, and I was hooked from that moment on.

    So it should go without saying that a huge part of this column is going to be about Wrestlemania 30. There was a whole heck of a lot else happening this weekend (rest easy, Game of Thrones fans, you will have your due), so we have a lot of words ahead of us. 


    Normally, I would abuse my power as this columnist even further and devote this entire section to The Raid 2 (I finally saw it – incredible – the franchise is the benchmark for the modern action movie), but since you already are being treated to my wrestling schtick, I will cool off for this little while.

    Trailer of the Week goes to the new extended look of Godzilla. We have not had a marketing campaign this excellent since Inception. The ads are consistently cryptic, stylish and foreboding, and they do a great job of riding the line between being sneaky and being spoiler-y. This movie looks damn cool.

    Best new release has to be Captain America: the Winter Soldier. It killed at the box office, and critics are calling it one of Marvel’s best films yet. We should have known it would be great as soon as we saw Robert Redford was involved. The guy has reached the “Just in case you forgot, I’m still Robert Effing Redford” stage in his career. Why are we surprised?


    Reports out of the Westeros camp indicate that this is going to be the strongest season Game of Thrones has seen. This is where things in the books enter the Mayfest Zone, you know, the point in time where you are literally ready for anything and have no idea what is going to happen next (heyyyyyy-ohhhhhh!!!). As a result, this season looks to be all kinds of crazy – it was a strong opening Sunday night. For the sake of keeping things spoiler free, we will not be recapping things in this column, but just know that this is Mayfest Zone territory.

    In other news, I was doing some research for this column when I stumbled across some ratings statistics for last week. Number one show? NCIS. It rakes in 17.5 million viewers. Number two show? NCIS: Los Angeles. It has 15.5 million viewers. My question to you – how the hell is that true?! No one talks about what happened on NCIS last night. No one! I cannot name a single NCIS character, and I bet you cannot either! And how is the spinoff show doing so well? This makes no sense to me. How can these be the two most-watched shows on television? The accessibility of network TV cannot be the answer – there is too much Hulu and Netflix now. I want an explanation, dammit. This means that more than 1 in 20 Americans are tuning into NCIS every week – someone’s throwing the stats here. This is absurd. 


    NU Burlesque has a show this weekend. Man, fond memories of going to that last year. I seem to recall some near-naked women, uncomfortably watching one of my friends tear her clothes off (you know, because I was there to support her), and seeing a bow tie looped around a guy’s junk. It was one of those quintessential “welcome to college” moments for me, and I am sure that the group did a killer job of helping a few more wide-eyed innocents to see the light.

    For the record, though, this is a hilarious show that everyone should see at least once. The environment is intimate (!), rowdy and all kinds of fun. Catch it next year for sure.


    What? No one gives a shit about Anna Kendrick hosting SNL, Spike Lee making Eminem’s video for “Headlights,” or the American Country Music Awards? Good, we can talk about wrestling now.

    Wrestlemania 30

    Or, as the more boldly-minded like to say, Wrestlemania XXX!

    Now, the story from the beginning is not actually from a Wrestlemania event. That was from Summer Slam – a premiere summertime pay-per-view event for the WWE. It was crowded, sure, but nothing compares to a Wrestlemania.

    Take the Northwestern-Ohio State crowd. Every seat was filled, everyone was standing, everyone was having a great time. That was about 47,000 fans. Now, double that crowd, have everyone scream as loud as they can, and line the entire football field with fire, explosions, and other pyrotechnics. Slap some sort of wrestling memorabilia on 95 percent of the crowd, pump in some entrance music, and you have the chaos that is a WWE event.

    Check this out, at this Wrestlemania alone, you had all this taking place: The Undertaker (Little Dazz’s all-time favorite) going for a 22-0 record at the event, AJ Lee battling against every diva she has not beaten yet just so she can say she has beaten every diva in the entire WWE, a play-in match to go to the title match (meaning, that’s right, you had a three-way title match!), and appearances by Hulk Hogan, the Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin. But that’s not all! Triple H brought his wife into a match, someone dragged themselves off a stretcher to make it back to the ring and win a championship (He pinned the guy while he was in a neckbrace! You can’t make this stuff up!), somebody cheated to win their match (refs in the WWE make the replacement refs from the 2013 NFL season look competent), and you bet your ass that there were “YES!” chants to be had. Everyone should go.

    Wow, what a weekend. We watched our fellow students striptease for us, we saw our favorite cast of fantasy characters stab each other in the back, and we watched some of the greatest entertainers in popular culture hit each other with chairs, smash each other into tables, and put on one hell of a show. See you next week, friends.

    Except you, Kurt Angle. You still suck.


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