1. Avengers: Infinity War
As much as I am looking forward to Westworld (below), I can’t wait for Infinity War. I feel like a drug addict who needs his next fix whenever one Marvel movie ends and I know there is more waiting for me.
Infinity War will be the 19th movie in 10 years within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s officially the third of four Avenger movies, even though the last few have had multiple characters crossing over into other solo films. The entire series has been slowly building to when Thanos (the ultimate bad guy of the franchise) finally decides to take things into his own hands and to do so, he needs six infinity stones, five of which have been introduced into the MCU series of movies.
If you haven’t seen all the movies or followed the story line, here is a simple guide to what led to this point.
“Before creation itself, there were six singularities, then the universe exploded into existence and the remnants of this system were forged into concentrated ingots… Infinity Stones.” – The Collector
Basically the Big Bang’s leftovers are represented by six colored stones with powers that don’t otherwise exist in the universe. Each has it’s own name and we’ve only seen five so far. If you’ve seen any of the movies, you may have seen one:
Space Stone (Blue) – You know this as the Tesseract which was in Captain America, The Avengers and Thor: Ragnarok. It is a blue stone capable of teleporting anything from one point in the universe to the other. It also was used in Captain America to manufacture futuristic weaponry for the Germans. The last time we officially saw it was when it was taken by Loki as everyone abandoned Asgard at the end of Thor: Ragnarok. However, it is one of two seen in the trailer as Loki uses it for transporting someone (we assume Thanos) and then Thanos crushes it and puts it in the Infinity Gauntlet (more on that below).
Reality Stone (Red) – This has been seen in only one movie technically, and it was in Thor: The Dark World (the second one) where it was called the Aether. It was a red floating liquid that attached to the host and made them powerful. It was given to the Collector for safe keeping at the end of that movie, but when the Collector’s place was blown up in Guardians due to the Power Stone, we aren’t sure what happened to it.
Power Stone (Purple) – This is the stone from Guardians of the Galaxy. It was hidden in an orb and the whole movie revolves around trying to control it. In the end, we see Starlord (Chris Pratt) be able to hold on to the stone without dying, which revealed that he was super powerful (and we find out later he’s the son of a celestial, which is essentially a God in Marvel’s world). It was only seen in the first Guardians and was “kept safe” by the Nova Corps on the planet Xandar. However, Thanos already has it in the trailer, so we can assume that he’s ransacked Xandar to get it.
Mind Stone (Yellow) – We’ve seen this for a while, but it just came to light in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It was used in Loki’s scepter when he was being a bad guy early on and it looked blue, but when it was broken out of the scepter, it was revealed to be yellow. Ultron was going to use it to power a new fancy body for himself, but instead, the Avengers decided to give Tony Stark’s AI life and created Vision (Paul Bettany). It is in Vision’s forehead and we see Thanos’ goons going after the stone in the trailer.
Time Stone (Green) – We see this for the first and only time in Doctor Strange. It is in a necklace that he uses to control time. He uses it to lock Dormammu into a time loop and stop the Earth from being consumed by him. You can see Doctor Strange wearing the necklace in the trailer.
Soul Stone (Orange) – This is the one we haven’t seen yet. Most assume it will come into play with Wakanda, but we didn’t see it in Black Panther, so it’s a mystery. We all assume it will finally make an appearance in Infinity War since it’s needed to have the full set.
All of these stones are super powerful and have all been used as weapons individually, but Thanos has what is called the “Infinity Gauntlet” – a power glove that holds all six stones. Basically, Thanos becomes the most powerful being in the universe when he has all the stones. The Avengers don’t want that to happen.
Thanos has been the architect of almost everything that has happened in the MCU. A lot of the bad guys have been in the story because he sent them to do a task. The good guys always win and now Thanos is fed up and just wants to do things on his own. In order to stop him, the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy plus individual superheroes that haven’t officially “joined a team” yet like Black Panther and Doctor Strange will all come together and try to stop Thanos.
Check out the trailer if you haven’t seen it already.
2. Westworld Season 2
I’m so pumped for this. Westworld is the best TV show on the planet and season 2 is starting on April 22 on HBO. Last season ended with a bang and there are so many questions. They could have just ended it at one season and it still would have been the greatest TV show ever. I’m a little skeptical that they are now having to try and improve on the single greatest season of television ever, but I can’t wait.
Also, Samurai World.
Check out the season two trailer here:
3. WrestleMania 34
I’ve been in and out of wrestling throughout my life. I remember watching WCW back in the day and thinking it was the coolest thing ever, then switching to WWF in high school then not watching a single second of wrestling until I met my Midnight Meltdown co-hosts and then I’ve been on a roller coaster of caring and not caring every since.
However, the events I always come back for are the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania. WrestleMania 34 is this weekend in New Orleans and there are 13 matches on the card, as of now, and it’s always fun to watch. The fanfare of the event is almost as entertaining as any of the actual matches.
So while we’re talking about it – I’ll go ahead and give my picks for all of them:
1. Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal – Elias
2. WrestleMania Women’s Battle Royal – Sasha Banks
3. Cedric Alexander vs. Mustafa Ali (Cruserweight Championship) – Cedric Alexander
4. Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Nia Jax (Raw Women’s Championship) – Nia Jax
5. Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Asuka (SmackDown Women’s Championship) – Asuka
6. The Usos (c) vs. The New Day vs. The Bludgeon Brothers (SmackDown Tag Championship) – The Bludgeon Brothers
7. Cesaro and Sheamus (c) vs. Braun Strowman and TBD (Raw Tag Championship) – Braun Strowman and TBD
8. Randy Orton (c) vs. Bobby Roode vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Rusev (US Championship) – Randy Orton
9. Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn – Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon
10. Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon – Kurt Angle and Ronda Rousey
11. The Miz (c) vs. Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor (Intercontinental Championship) – Finn Balor
12. AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship) – Shinsuke Nakamura
13. Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns (WWE Universal Championship) – Roman Reigns
One match that hasn’t been formally announced, but is probably going to happen anyway is John Cena vs. The Undertaker. If that happens, The Undertaker wins. No reason to put Cena over right now.
4. NHL Playoffs Begin
The quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup begins after the regular season wraps up this weekend. The Nashville Predators have already won the President’s Trophy which is essentially the regular season championship. (By the way, I think every sport should have a regular season champion)
The Preds will start off with the winner of of Colorado and St. Louis who are playing this weekend. St. Louis actually has to play the Hawks tonight, but either way the winner will advance as the last wild card team.
Hockey is the only sport that gives the wildcard teams the same chance as everyone. Basketball just takes the top eight teams now ranked in order by win-loss record, the NFL takes two wildcards but top top two teams get byes, and baseball makes the wildcards fight each other for the final spot. Hockey gets three division teams from each of two divisions in each conference and the two wild card teams are just seeded as at-large teams in a standard 16-team bracket.
Overtime hockey in the playoffs is so nerve-wracking as it’s sudden death and the first goal wins. The first round was so great last year when the Preds barely squeaked in as the final wildcard team then dismantled the top seeded Blackhawks. This year the Blackhawks won’t even make the playoffs and the Preds are the best team in hockey.
Part of what I like about the first round compared to the rest is that there are always playoff games on every night. It’s similar to what makes the NBA playoffs fun in the first round and what makes the first round of the NCAA tournament so fun as well.
5. NFL Draft
The NFL Draft seems to get bigger and bigger every year, and this year, it heads to a place where everything is always bigger – Texas. Jerry World is set to host the draft this year, and we’ll see if they can top what Philly did last year.
The big story is where will quarterbacks go in the beginning. Many people think Cleveland is going to take some quarterback with their first pick, but Saquon Barkley is looked at as perhaps the best available person overall in the draft.
If I had to guess, I’m leaning in the direction of this for the first five picks:
1. Browns – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)
2. Giants – QB Sam Darnold (USC) or if Darnold is gone they might trade
3. Jets – QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)
4. Browns – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
5. Broncos – QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma) or DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)