The Spotlight On Camelback Resort’s Aquatopia 

  I recently got an opportunity to check out a sneak preview of Camelback Resort’s brand new indoor water park Aquatopia. It was a really enjoyable day for my girlfriend, her younger brother and I and we were all in agreement that the new park is a hit & an automatic must see attraction in the poconos. Let me get right into some of the highlights of Aquatopia. 

Highlights

  Fun After The Sun- If you’re a waterpark enthusiast like me than you are probably aware that the only drawback about water parks is that they often close pretty early. Most parks close, at the latest, 7pm & sometimes as early as 5pm. Well this isn’t the case with Aquatopia, because the park is in a weather controlled climate of 86 degrees at all times, the park stays open until 9am which allows you to take your time & stay until after the sun goes down. Furthermore, if you’re a resort guest or have purchased a combo ticket to both parks,  you’re able to make the smooth transition from Camelbeach (the outdoor waterpark located on Camelback Resorts) to Aquatopia if you still want more waterpark once it closes. 

  Fun for the whole family- One of the great things about Aquatopia is that there is something for everyone. This is a really large area for kids that features a number of slides, a basketball area, an aerobics maze & much more. If you’re more into thrill rides there’s some big water slides for both families, body flumes & tube rides, there’s a surfing simulator and a water roller coaster that has to be experienced to be believed.  On the contrary, if you prefer to go at your own pace, there’s a lengthy themed lazy river, a giant wave pool that allows you to lounge on tubes while you ride and even a hot tub. Our personal favorite though, had to be the pool bar for adults. These are often only found at Caribbean resorts & it was a nice touch for Aquatopia. What makes it even cooler is that adults can take their drinks right up to the side table where they can meet their kids who can be seated on the opposite side outside of the pool area enjoying a meal from the snack stand. 

  A Lot Bigger Than You Think- I’ll admit that when I first hear about an indoor water park I immediately think about how small it would probably be. Well this wasn’t the case with Aquatopia. Not only were we occupied with the rides that they currently have, it’s nice to see that their are a number of attractions that are still in the process of being made. Likewise, there is also a lot to do at the Camelback Resort other than Aquatopia. When we first made our way downstairs we saw a state of the art arcade that can only be described as a mini Dave & Busters. From there were a number of other indoor activities available such as mini golf, rock wall climbing, laser tag and a children’s play area. You can easily spend a whole weekend participating in all of the new activities in the inside of the resort.    Closing Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised with the newest indoor waterpark in the poconos, Aqautopia. From the people I spoke to at the resort, it also really pays to stay at the resort especially if you’re considering going to the outdoor waterpark, CamelBeach. Rooms are spacious  and reasonably priced at $200 per night which includes admission to Aquatopia for the length of your stay and a one day admission to the Camelbeach waterpark. If you’d prefer to make it a day trip, however, you can purchase a combo ticket to both parks for $60 per adult. 

In the end, I think my girlfriend said it best when she said to me that she couldn’t wait to stay at the resort during the wintertime when we can snowboard at camelback mountain during the day, and go to the waterpark at night. That is when CamelBack Resort wil really have a hit on their hands!   That’s going to do it for my review of Camelback Resort’s Aquatopia but I definitely suggest you head out their this summer. If you have any questions feel free to ask and if you do end up heading to Aquatopia this summer, Id love to hear about you’re experience. 

The Spotlight On WWE Live from Japan on July 4th

  On last night’s episode of NXT on the WWE Network, a major announcement was made by William Regal that on July 4th the NXT title will be defended at Sumo Hall live from Tokyo, Japan.  More interesting, this live event will stream live on the WWE Network.  It was made clear today that not only will the NXT world title match be on the network but rather the entire show will air live on the Network.  Furthermore, the rest of the card was revealed today and on top of Owens vs. Balor, the rest of the card is as follows: John Cena & Dolph Ziggler vs. Kane & Wade Barrett, Brock Lesnar vs. Kofi Kingston, Neville vs. Chris Jericho, The New Day vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro, Nikki Bella vs. Paige vs. Naomi, and the Lucha Dragons vs. Los Matadores.  I think airing this live event on the network is a great idea, let’s get into some highlights about why I’m so excited about it.

Highlights  More Original Live Content On The Network- I said it from the day the Network launched, it is such a great idea to put the live events on the Network.  For those who don’t know, WWE doesn’t only tape Raw on Mondays and Smackdown on Tuesdays, but they usually have non-televised live events each week from Friday- Sunday, sometimes on Thursdays.  Now while I don’t think it’s necessary to put every single live event on the network, airing some of the live events on the Network provide the paying customer with even more wrestling.  It also makes those paying for the network, feel like they’re getting to see live programming that they normally wouldn’t be able to if they weren’t subscribed to the network.  I hope to see more of these non televised live events live on the network particularly some of the bigger shows like the Superbowl afternoon show, Hulk Hogan Appreciation Night and the annual fan appreciation night. I don’t think WWE even has to make changes to the live event structure, save for adding commentators.  I don’t think they need to restructure television to promote these shows either.  I think a few mentions of the show either on commentary or through commercials should be fine.  It can literally be something like Michael Cole saying  “And the WWE will be returning to the TD Bank Garden live in Boston, Massachusetts on the final stop on the road to Wrestlemania and you’ll get to see Roman Reigns and John Cena team up to take on Seth Rollins and Triple H and you’ll be able to watch the show live on the WWE Network!” I mean at least I’m Sold! 

 Live Events Just Became That Much More Important- Airing live events on the network also make the actual live events seem like a bigger deal, at least in my opinion.  One of the reasons I’ve always preferred to go to TV Tapings over a live event is because of the idea that anything could happen.  With the exception of very few instances, titles don’t change hands for example but with these shows now being on the network, it feels like anything can happen once again.  It’s also good to have one or two matches on the show that mean something, like Owens vs. Balor for the title, for example, or maybe do a number one contender match with the winner getting a shot on Raw the following week.  This would make me as a fan, feel like I need to go down to this live event. 

 This show is stacked- Let’s not kid ourselves, this Sumo Hall show is also going to be a show worth going out of your way to watch.  First you have Kevin Owens defending the NXT Title against the number one contender, Finn Balor. With Owens now being a member of the main roster, I wouldn’t be too surprised at all if we see a title change here.  On top of this you’re getting the first non-pay per view match featuring Brock Lesnar since his return, in a unique setting no less taking on Kofi Kingston.  Then you also have a rare appearance by Chris Jericho who hasn’t been seen on WWE TV in about 9 months.  Jericho is also taking on Neville in something of a dream match that the Japanese fans are going to love. 

 Something Completely Different- One thing I’m really looking forward to about this show is that it’s going to be taking place live from Japan.  WWE puts on shows all over the world and up until this point I’m not sure they’ve ever aired a live showing of a Japanese live event in the US.  I hope this is only the start of seeing some of the live events from other countries.  I’m really interested to see the differences in the setup, the differences in the crowd and the differences in the performances of the talent.  I also love that this show is going to air live at 630AM on the network.  I will definitely be up, coffee cup in my hand ready to kick off my 4th of July with a WWE live event and that is pretty cool.

Closing Thoughts

At the end of the day, this is more live content on the WWE Network which is always a good thing.  I think we’re getting to a point where we can expect a Steve Austin Podcast, WWE Traditional Pay Per View, WWE Live Special (Elimination Chamber, King of the ring, etc), WWE 24 Documentary, and a variety of other specials on the Network each month and that is a great thing. It’s nice to see that WWE continues to make the Network the top priority and that’s one of the reasons I continue to be a subscriber, from day one.  That’s going to do it here but let me know your thoughts on the special and what other types of specials you’d like to see on the WWE Network in the future.

The Spotlight On Wrestling Podcasts- WooNation with Bret Hart 

  

Last month the world of wrestling podcasts continued to grow with the birth of the latest wrestling podcast on the play.it network. Joining the ranks of wrestler turned podcast host along with Stone Cold Steve Austin, Chris Jericho & Colt Cabana is the Nature Boy himself, the 16 time world heavyweight champion, Ric Flair! Five episodes into Flair’s offering, WooNation, and I’ve found the podcasts an enjoyable addition to my weekly podcast listening. I’m actually going to be taking a look at two different Ric Flair podcasts in the upcoming weeks but I’m going to start with an episode of WooNation from two weeks ago when Flair had 5 Time WWE World Champion Bret Hart on the show.  Let’s get into some of the highlights from the show.

Highlights 

 History Between The Two–  Something really cool about the show is that the producer of the show, Conrad, is there to basically make sure that nothing goes uncovered.  Since Ric seems to really respect Conrad he never objects or gets upset over anything that Conrad suggests talking about. Ric reveals first how much respect he had for Bret after Summerslam 1992 when he had his classic match with the British Bulldog.  He goes on to say that he and Randy Savage watched the match in their hotel room the next day on closed circuit and went to Bret’s hotel to thank him for putting on such a great match.  From here, I found that the discussion about the match between Flair and Hart from Sasquactchawan where Hart won his first title to be very interesting.  Flair explains that he found out that he would be dropping the belt to Bret a few days beforehand.  He went on to say that prior to this happening, he wrestled to the Ultimate Warrior and Warrior dropped him on his head which caused Flair to be disoriented.  Due to this injury Flair felt that he could have done better in the match with Bret. Bret on the other hand recalls that when Vince McMahon told him that he was getting the title,  he barely responded because he felt that it probably wasn’t going to happen.  Towards the end of the show, Conrad asks Ric and Bret about the issues between the two stemming from comments Bret made about Flair basically saying that if you’ve seen one Ric Flair match, you’ve seen them all.  Bret didn’t really back off his comments saying that while he respected Flair, he did feel that wrestlers in Bret’s generation used much more creativity than wresters in Flair’s generation.  What was really interesting though was to hear Ric agree with Bret’s comments to a certain extent.  He explained that in his generation there were only so many Ricky Steamboats.  He continued that many of the wresters back then weren’t in the good shape that wrestlers in Bret’s were so they weren’t able to have different types of matches, it was easier for them to have basic matches.  Flair even went so far as to say as great as Harley Race was, he was never in the gym.
 Bret Really Hated WCW– One of the biggest things to come out of this interview was just how much Bret hated WCW, in particular Hulk Hogan.  Hart explains that Hogan was completely unprofessional with Bret during his time in WCW.  He continues that Hulk would cross Bret’s name off of any big spots or plans that WCW had planned for him.  He explains how Hogan really ran the show in WCW and Eric Bischoff, in his opinion, was more just a puppet being that he was so star struck by Hogan.  Hart also confirmed that any stories that Bischoff has been saying about Bret offering to come to WCW with the WWF world title was completely false.  

Bret on Owen’s New DVD– The third highlight for me was hearing Bret’s unwavering support for WWE’s plan to release an Owen Hart DVD set.  Bret explains that he understands why Martha (Owen’s widow) would be upset with WWE but feels that at this point she should understand that at the end of the day Owen was a great wrestler.  He strongl believes that Owen should be celebrated and that Owen’s fans shouldn’t remember him because of the horrible tragedy that ended his life but rather by the great body of work that he put out throughout this career.  I feel that Bret’s support of the Owen Hart DVD project should put to rest some of the controversy surrounding the project.  I agree with Bret that this project should have taken place years ago.

Closing Thoughts

 All in all I felt that this was an absolute must listen to podcast.  The hour plus long conversation flew by and it was really nice to hear how at peace Bret and Ric were with, not only each other, but also with life in general.  I also found their insight into the industry to be so in congruence such as both of their rather surprising criticism of Steve Austin, that at times he really had to slow down.  Other highlights of the show included a discussion of Stu Hart, a discussion about the time both Bret and Ric bled at Wrestlemania 8 after being told that bleeding wasn’t allowed and the response that followed, and a breakdown of Bret’s Wrestlemania 13 match with Steve Austin.  Thus, I strongly suggest you check this episode of WooNation out and if you do, I’d love to hear some of your feedback. Be sure to also check out some of my other spotlight on wrestling podcasts as they continue to get updated weekly.