Bummer, Topps …

Some readers of Wax Heaven may have noticed that in the few instances that I have been blogging, more often than not it’s about wrestling. You see, having had a baseball-loving wife for four years meant that I spent 99% of my time following the sport with her by my side. Now, it’s just no fun doing it alone so rather than follow my Florida Marlins and Andrew Miller, I’ve begun watching WWE and TNA wrestling to pass the time.

Unfortunately, it’s just not as grand as it once was when I was a kid or even young adult. Quite honestly, it’s brutally bad and embarrassing at times, especially the shows being pumped out by Total Nonstop Action, unless your idea of entertainment is watching your grandparents battle it out in a steel cage till one is left bleeding to death over a piece of jewelry (WWE Hall of Fame ring).

Anyway, it’s not all bad. There are some wrestlers who I enjoy following. For example, Ted Dibiase Jr. is now sporting his daddy’s Million Dollar Belt, which is not only awesome for nostalgic reasons but it also makes up for his lack of any personality and skills in the ring. In the 80’s, that was without a doubt the coolest of all championship belts, even if it meant nothing.

Chris Jericho is also still a blast, despite not being anywhere near as cool as he was in the late-90’s and early part of this decade. That’s what he gets for doing all those VH1 “I Love” specials. Randy Orton is perhaps my favorite heel (AKA bad guy) today but without a doubt the only wrestler that keeps me tuned in week after week is CM Punk and his Straight Edge Society.

Unlike most WWE creations, Punk lacks the size and cartoon-like muscles to be the main guy at WWE (although he came close) but that’s just fine with me. Currently he’s playing the role of tormentor to Rey Mysterio Jr. and what he did to his family on the birthday of Mysterio’s young daughter will go down for  me as one of the best promos I’ve ever watched in over 20 years of being a wrestling fan.

You can watch the whole thing here.

Anyway, Topps has released an early preview of 2010 Topps WWE and while the autograph checklist is a huge improvement over 2009’s list, I think it’s time Topps finally scraps those loud & obnoxious holographic stickers once and for all. Yes, the sound you hear is that of me beating a dead horse but you gotta admit he had it coming.

In the past the stickers have worked with some releases like the futuristic Finest brand but really, enough is enough. Look at what Tristar is doing with their stickers. For the first time ever I can honestly say Tristar is doing much better work than Topps when it comes to the wrestling licenses. Yes, I know stickers suck but if you are going to do it, at least find a way to execute it without destroying the work of the design team.

Come to think of it, why are these even stickers in the first place? Unlike football, baseball, and other “real” sports … wrestling has no off-season. These guys bust their ass 365 days a year and none will ever see the type of money that a prima donna like Alex Rodriguez will get so why not have these hard-signed?

Below is a preview of what is most likely CM Punk’s first certified autograph. Aside from the terrible sticker autograph and the fact that he’s been paired up with someone who won’t be around in a year’s time … the card itself doesn’t quite live up to the expectations of this Punk fan.

You can see a full preview of 2010 Topps WWE here.


13 thoughts on “Bummer, Topps …

  1. All I want to know is, “will there be a Sgt. Slaughter card”? He was my favorite back in the day. Maybe in the “History of…” insert set if i’m lucky.

  2. Hey Mario…glad to see your back in the ranks of watching “real sports” I LOVE CM Punk, he can cut a promo that makes you truly hate him and want to kick his a** yourself. The birthday party was so creepy!!!! I hope they keep the SES going for a long time. I hate to spoil things for you as well but Randy Orton should be turning face here soon. I like the Topps WWE stuff ok and usually get at least a blaster or two to get some of my favorite wrestlers. Bad thing is with Smackdown moving to SYFY this fall I won’t be able to watch on TV anymore because I don’t have nor will I get cable. Guess I’ll have to figure out something else.

  3. Hey Mario if you want some old school wresting and new check out justintv.com for streaming of lots of wrestling stuff

  4. Have you seen some of the matches by talent such as Generation ME, Motor City Machine Guns, Amazing Red and the other cruisers? They’re not main eventing, but it’s some of the best wrestling I’ve seen in a long time. Jeff Hardy and RVD had a great match the night that RVD took the belt off of Styles and that match was a good one as well.

    Check out this match and tell me anything that even comes close on WWE programming:

    You won’t see anything like that chain of moves at the 3 minute mark anywhere near a WWE ring. That’s wrestling.

    I don’t think it’s fair to bust on TNA for having older wrestlers when Wrestlemania was just headlined by Undertaker and Shawn Michaels in an extremely disappointing match that came nowhere near last year’s match. Triple H is getting up there and getting flabby as well.

    WWE is a fine show to watch if what you’re looking for is a male soap opera. They’ve got some decent storylines, but what good are those angles if the payoff in the ring is poor? Hopefully things will improve now that they’ve got ever good wrestler on the roster not named Christian on RAW. Right now the WWE is putting gimmicks over talent. They push their guest hosts and keep Hornswoggle on the roster while cutting people like Mickie James and Shelton Benjamin? How long until the WWE pushes the 500th reunion of DX down our throats?

    I won’t even get started on the joke of a women’s division in WWE. What a waste of airtime. The Knockouts on TNA can actually wrestle and hopefully Mickie James ends up there.

    One of the huge problems is the limits that the WWE puts on their wrestlers. They limit them to their finisher and a few trademark moves for the THQ videogame and that leads to boring matches. They’ve eliminated most high risk moves, piledrivers and chair shots to the head. Watch WWE talent before they’re in the WWE to see their real talent. John Cena (as Prototype) in UPW/OVW did things there you’ll never see him do in a WWE ring. There’s no way that CM Punk will ever do in a WWE ring what he did in both ROH and TNA. Jericho’s Liontamer was neutered in WWE until he busted it out a couple of times recently. His current finisher completely sucks. Check out Batista (Levithian) in OVW. The list goes on and on. The biggest surprise is what Big Show has done outside of the WWE. Moonsault anyone? WWE is full of slow paced matches with the same moves over and over again. It’s not really my idea of entertainment. Most times, it’s barely wrestling.

    Sticker autograph on wrestling cards make absolutely no sense. Topps sends one representative to RAW and one to Smackdown and you get the majority of the cards that you need. It just shows laziness on their part. It would be even easier for TNA because they do the majrotiy of their shows at Universal Studios. I know that the lead time on the New Era set was short and allowed for the inclusion of some really cool cards, but I really hope that TRISTAR switches over to on-card autos going forward.

  5. it would be cool if there were rare auto parallels where they sign with their actual name instead of ringname.

  6. Mario,

    I agree with you on CM Punk he is one of my all-time favorite wrestlers, and he is always money on the mic. This is not his first autograph release, his autos have been in WWE sets since 2007 with the WWE heritage sets.

    In regards to TNA…

    They have some unbelievable talent, but they also have some of the worst booking I’ve seen in my entire life. Their shows come off as corny, poorly paced, and have a lot of retreaded storylines with characters that did them 15 years ago.

    Also in regards to the “limiting” that WWE does to their wrestlers…

    WWE does what they have to do to keep their wrestlers safe. Do you know why they stopped having unprotected chair shots? Because they can cause brain damage. Anyone that complains about losing unprotected chair shots, apparently wants all their favorite wrestlers to ruin their lives, and ruin their brains just for their entertainment. We don’t need another Benoit. Many wrestlers autopsies have shown that Brain damage existed due to high impact shots to the head. It’s just not worth it. ROH has also banned chairshots to the head, and have fined four wrestlers for doing it.
    As for the move limitation, if they let guys do huge spots all of the time they lose their meaning. When you bring it out on a grand stage, or randomly some time else, it means something. Also there are moves that put a little strain on the body, that they could tone down considering their hectic and much harder schedule than that of TNA or ROH.

  7. I love wrestling.. Always have.
    That idea about wrestlers signing with there real names woul be awsome!
    Even the HOT ROD’s kilt on a card.. What!? Man I would be all over that too.
    I’m only a baseball card collector but some of these wrestling cards are nice.

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