Last Sunday was WrestleMania, which served to remind me that my revived interest in pro wrestling has fizzled out. It’s probably part of a general malaise during which I haven’t been watching much on TV other than news (and punditry), but yeah, this foray back to a childhood love lasted about nine months.
However, HBO’s Andre the Giant documentary brought back plenty of memories of my wrestling fandom, and how fascinating it was not just to follow WWF, but the other wrestling companies and territories throughout the country like the NWA, AWA, Mid-South and so forth. I remember spending Saturday mornings at the old Community Newscenter in Ann Arbor poring through wrestling magazines and spending my paperboy paycheck on too many of them.
The film also reminded me how special it was to be in the Pontiac Silverdome for WrestleMania III, which I wrote about last year on the event’s 30th anniversary. Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant was definitely the event of the day (though not the match I was most excited about), and as the documentary explains, gave WWF a huge cultural push. To hear how much pain Andre was in during that match and how the ending hadn’t been determined until the two performers were in the ring was surprising and sobering.
All right, here’s what we have to show for the past week. Not a lot of writing out of me, unfortunately. Just that kind of week.
The week’s reading
** Brian Michael Bendis’s DC Comics debut hits comic book shops this coming week with Action Comics #1000. I’m not sure if it was in an article or on his old Jinxworld message board, but I recall Bendis once saying Superman was a character he couldn’t get his head around. Or a character that didn’t work in modern times. Something like that. But he’ll be writing the Man of Steel’s adventures after helping to define the Marvel Universe for nearly the past 20 years. And I’ll be buying. [New York Times]
** The “new” Comiskey Park — now Guaranteed Rate Field — was the first of the new ballparks throughout Major League Baseball. But it could have been so much better, as Dayn Perry explains in this outstanding feature. (And you’ll learn something about ballpark architecture too.) [CBS Sports]
** There have been rumblings of concern for months over the welfare of Stan Lee and whether the people taking care of him have his best interests in mind. This story confirms those rumors, and unfortunately Lee’s daughter is one of the people mistreating him. [The Hollywood Reporter]
** Maybe the most amazing thing about this young baseball season (all of the rainouts are frustrating) is that Shohei Ohtani has lived up to the hype so far — both as a pitcher and a hitter. He’ll probably continue to be MLB’s most fascinating player throughout the season and at this point, I sort of feel like Ohtani is the only player I really want to watch. [ESPN]
** I feel like I’m pretty careful with my info on Facebook, but I’m sure I should be better. I plan on downloading that info to open my eyes and realize what an idiot I’ve been. [New York Times]
** I miss Charlie Rose’s show, though I realize he should never work again. This story is kind of gossipy, but makes it seem as if Rose is still in denial (which he most certainly was after news of his many incidents of sexual misconduct was reported). [The Hollywood Reporter]
The week’s writing
** Chewbacca is how old? 5 takeaways from the new Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer
** A Quiet Place once considered as a Cloverfield movie, according to writers
** What do sports fans actually want in a morning show? (Roundtable)
** Where does Shohei Ohtani go from here? Forecasting season stats for baseball’s new sensation (Roundtable)
** Rampage works because it doesn’t try to adapt the video game