Look, I get it. You have the means to spend $100,000 on a million different Panini America and Topps parallel cards that all look almost exactly the same. Or in this case, you have a large enough bank account that $13,000 dollars isn’t really that big of a deal to you. More power to you, my friend. I wish I had that kind of money just taking up space in my bank account because then maybe I’d buy a box or two of 2019 Topps WWE Transcendent. Or, maybe I wouldn’t after all. All I’d have to do is look at the card below, perhaps the most coveted autograph from the entire set, to know that this shit just ain’t cutting it. Not for a “super-premium” product, hell, not even for a retail throwaway release.
Imagine you’re Vince McMahon for just a moment. You’re an icon, a billionaire and a legend in your field. You’ve revolutionized the world of wrestling and single-handedly killed off every one of your competitors one by one. You don’t give a damn about some nerdy “Comic Book Guy” type who spends his hard-earned money on trading cards. Hell, you’ve got Monday Night Raw to produce and millions of fans around the world to appease. Still, I am certain that Topps Company paid you real money to sign these cards, so what gives? Lazy wrestlers on your tv shows drive you insane, so why not look at yourself in the mirror for a moment because this effort is embarrassing.
Some collectors will probably come to the defense of the 73-year-old mogul by saying his signature has always looked this awful and in some aspects, you may be correct. HOWEVER, there are also examples online which shows Vinny Mac putting in a little more effort (and ink) into his John Hancock. I don’t care if you’re busy or tired, someone paid you money to sign hundreds, maybe close to 1,000 of these cards and this is the best you could come up with? Remember Vince, the same fools dishing out $13K for this product are the same fans paying to see your live events, buying up action figures, and spending money every month on your network. Clearly, Vince McMahon screwed Vince McMahon here.
But let’s move on from this awful autograph. Aside from this half-assed effort, 2019 Topps Transcendent has some amazing autographs in its product and each box will yield you over 50 of them. From retired legends like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Bret “The Hitman” Hart to Retired Unless Saudia Arabia Pays Me Big Bucks stars like “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels and Triple H, plus today’s superstars as well. You’ll get them all, plus an invite to a VIP Wrestlemania party and a replica WWE championship belt or title. Not exactly sure what they are calling it this month. I guess it all depends on what a “VIP Wrestlemania” invite is worth but unless you live in New Jersey, you’re gonna have to shell out for a ticket to the event, airfare, and a hotel.
No offense to Topps Company but this really isn’t worth $13,000. You can find a very good replica belt for well under $400 and all those autographs, legends and all, are pretty much dying in the world of “Best Offer Accepted” on eBay. Hogan’s Beach Shop in St. Pete had replica belts in the $300-ish range last year when I stopped by the store. Again, though … not even here to rip on the price of the product, the autograph checklist, or even McMahon’s awful signature. My main problem with 2019 Topps WWE Transcendent are the cut signatures, which have no business looking this bad for its hefty price tag. When you consider the price, these are much worse than the awful Tristar cuts from a decade ago.
Andre the Giant died in 1993, which believe it or not, was almost three decades ago. I can understand that his signature does not come cheap. I could maybe forgive Topps for not being able to fill a cut window. MAYBE. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, however, died in 2017. Even near death, the man was making money by signing at conventions. I’m sorry for the upcoming photo, which is very graphic, but it needs to be shown to prove a point. Simply put, there is no fucking excuse for Topps using an auto/picture that leaves almost 50% of the window open and in view. This isn’t my 3rd grader’s art collage project, this is a $13,000 dollar product that Topps put their name on. Surely, that still means something to them, right?
What’s crazy is that if you search on eBay for Bobby Heenan autographs there are currently over 100 items and doing a quick browse through them I found several examples which could have easily been used on the Andre/Brain card that would have made this card one of the greatest dual cut autographs ever. Unfortunately, it’s not just these two that get the shaft. I’ve seen disastrous cut autographs featuring “Macho Man” Randy Savage, “The Ultimate Warrior”, Sherri Martel, and many more to come I’m sure as there are many more suckers that will soon be busting boxes of this mess or at least joining in on group breaks.
Look, by all means, do what you want with your money. If $13K is nothing more than a drop in the bucket to you, I envy your position in life. But there has to be some form of quality control among collectors and bloggers because as it stands, it’s clear that these companies (sans Leaf Trading Cards) seem to care very little about our opinion. If you keep buying these products, and you will, I can see the quality continuing to drop. Again, not sure if this would be an issue if these were Topps WWE Heritage retail blaster hits but when you consider the brand and the price tag, surely you expect a lot more than what Topps Company has given the loyal army of WWE fans.