March 31: It’s Wrestlemania, brother!
March 31 — Today marked a major turning point in GenX entertainment history when Wrestlemania hit pay-per-view OTD in 1985!
It was a colossal undertaking for Vince McMahon and his nascent World Wrestling Federation. He’d taken over his father’s wrestling promotion just a few years before and managed to stop on more than a few toes in consolidating and growing it well beyond the gentlemen’s “borders” of the time. He put everything he was worth into this one main showcase. It would feature not the traditional “face/heel beats up some no-name” format but rather high-profile matchups of the biggest starts in the industry. And it would all be aimed at pay-per-view and emanate from Madison Square Garden. It was a tremendous hit, and solidified McMahon’s burgeoning empire on its rise.
“Heathers” hit theaters OTD in 1989, a dark comedy about a bunch of girls named — wait for it — Heather trying to survive a serial killer. Makes us wonder how many Heathers we know who would do such a thing … Heather, Heather, Heather, Heather, Heather … :D
The “Max Headroom Show” (1987) hit the air AFTER the main character hit his head. That is, the name of our hero is taken from the last image seen by the main character, Edison Carter — “MAX. HEADROOM 2.3 M” — before he’s knocked off his motorcycle and into a coma. The wise-cracking Max went on to a nice little career for a few years, even garnering a Pepsi co-co-co-commercial.
Bruce Hornsby re-released “Every Little Kiss” in 1987. Rare, odd, but good decision. The original release peaked at 72. This time it hit 14.
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Cake and candles …
Evan Williams (1972) made it possible for complete strangers to hate each other anonymously by developing Twitter, which released March 21, 2006. #TakeItBack
Ewan McGregor (1971) turns 50. With any luck, he’ll one day resemble the character he’s meant to be in his younger years, Alec Guinness and Obi-Wan.
Gabe Kaplan (1945), now 76, is no GenX’er. But who couldn’t wait for that next uncle joke during “Welcome Back, Kotter”! His acting career faded over the years, but he’s made a name for himself on the World Poker Tour.
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Tragedy visited Generation X OTD …
Brandon Lee died by accident in 1993 on the set of “The Crow” when a prop gun fired a dummy round that wasn’t supposed to have been in the prop. For a close-up scene, actual bullets — but with no powder or primer — were loaded into the gun to look authentic. For the scene in which the bad guys were supposed to shoot Lee, the rounds were replaced with blanks. Except that one of the bullets from the previous scene had dislodged and remained in the barrel. So the blank wound up serving as the propellant for the bullet in the barrel, and it struck Lee.
Rising Latina star Selena (1971) was murdered in 1995 by a woman her family had hired to run its fashion boutiques.
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OTD in NCAA Tournament history …
1986 — Louisville def. Duke 72–69 to win its second national champion in as many title games, and in its seventh Final Four trip. Louisville’s Pervis Ellison earned Most Outstanding Player.
1997 — Arizona went overtime to outlast Kentucky 74–69, knocking off the reigning champ. UK would recover nicely, returning for a third straight year, and a subsequent title, in 1998. Arizona’s Miles Simon was Most Outstanding Player.