Archive for wrestling

Wrestling cards are bringing the joy back to collecting

Posted in Newspaperman, wrestling with tags , , , , , , , , on July 29, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

So here’s the deal, I’ve been a card collector since I was 7 years old. Baseball has always been my focus, but I’ve ventured into other sports over the years, including professional wrestling.

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I dug the 1980s Topps WWF sets; loved the 1990s Classic WWF sets; chased the ice cream man each summer to get some of the WWF ice cream bars that included a card in the packaging; always wished I had enough to buy some of the 1994 Action Packed WWF cards; and in the late 1990s and early 200s, I really enjoyed all the different WWF products produced by Fleer, which started to incorporate autographs and memorabilia cards.

I followed wrestling as a kid, and then stopped for a few years when I learned it wasn’t real. I then got back into it around WrestleMania IX (9) and watched pretty strong for about 10 years until I got consumed by college and life. I was away from pro wrestling for another 10 years as I got married and started a family.

But when WrestleMania XXXI (31) came to my hometown, I had to be there  — even though I was out of the game for a while, I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  And with my decision to buy tickets, my passion for wrestling was rekindled and it’s going strong again today, almost 18 months later.

Since my return to watching wrestling, I’ve started to buy some of the cards as it seemed like a natural extension of my hobby.  I bought some 2014 Topps and some 2015 Topps and Topps Chrome. And then later in 2015, Topps and WWE partnered to bring the hobby a high-end product in Undisputed, which made autographs and memorabilia cards fairly accessible to wrestling card collectors. Needless to say I was hooked.

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I bought into a “draft your box” break of 2015 Undisputed at Blowout Cards and wound up with a box that contained a Bret “Hitman” Hart autograph redemption. When the cards arrived I was floored by the quality.  Sure, I have owned many high-end baseball cards, but seeing the wrestling stars on this type of product was amazing.

I then bought more singles to add to my collection.  I’ve pretty much repeated the same pattern again here in 2016 and with the recent release of the latest Undisputed, it’s really put wrestling cards back in focus for me.

But here’s the premise under which I operate and why I chose to share this with you:

I know that wrestling cards will never have the prestige that baseball cards have. The factors that make a card rise or fall in baseball, or any sport for that matter, aren’t exactly there for wrestling. When a ball player breaks into the Bigs and takes the sport by storm, his cards experience a massive swell. In wrestling, the value of the card is really tied to the character’s following. In my opinion, this is a more realistic expectation for a collectible, and for the modt part eliminates the “risk” or gamble in collecting.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love baseball and baseball cards.  And I still love some of the stuff — not all — that has come out in the last decade. But sports cards as a whole have become such a damn gambling man’s business that at times it disgusts me. The joy is there, but it’s short lived at times because while we tell ourselves that we are collectors, the monetary “value” of  card is always there in the back of our minds because everything is so damn expensive. We have to justify our expenses sometimes to ourselves.

And yes, you can choose to collect low end, but we all know that the value of cards is usually somewhere in the equation because collecting baseball cards has become a game of “how much are they worth.” We can thank the collecting boon of the 1980s for this.

For me, wrestling cards have rekindled the joy in collecting. When I open a pack of basic wrestling product I’m not necessarily worried about “getting my money back” in a pack or box.  I enjoy looking at the cards, reading the backs and collecting the guys I like. And, the hits are fun and relatively cheap by comparison to other sports. And even in the high-end products, the packs are about $20 (boxes about $200 for 10 packs) and the hits in the packs are fairly evenly priced on the secondary market. This makes the risk relatively small and the ability to collect what you want so much more attainable. And really, isn’t this what collectors all want anyway, like this rainbow of 2015 Topps Undisputed Ted DiBiase cards or these autographs.

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This is my story and this is the way I collect. Some of you will get it; others will not. I’m interested to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below, or reach me on Twitter or via e-mail:

Two packs of WWE Undisputed 2016

Posted in Box / Pack Break, Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

I’ve caught the wrestling bug again in the last few years and along with my enjoyment of sports (entertainment) comes a love for related cardboard. In 2015 I bought a box through an online breaker of Topps’ first “high-end” wrestling product. I enjoyed it quite a bit. This year I decided to try my hand but on a lesser scale. I bought into two separate breaks.  Both were 10-spot hit draft style. Here are my results:

The first break I wound up dead last in the draft, so I wound up with these:
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The hit here is the Bray Wyatt relic, which isn’t a huge draw for many.  The remainder of the pack was OK quality wise.  The Ultimate Warrior is serial numbered /99.

In the second break I believe I placed 6th in the draft order and ultimately had to choose between packs containing a Nia Jax NXT Autograph or Xavier Woods Autograph. I chose the Woods, whom I actually enjoy and feel has solidified himself as somewhat of a social media star with his video game work.

 photo 8D69B5C6-5E5C-4FA6-96B4-34813932512C_zps80e1uxi1.jpgAside from Woods, it’s not a bad pack.  That Diesel/Shawn Michaels tag team insert is pretty sweet, you get two “King” in Macho Man and Wade Barrett, and of course the Jim Ross is serial numbered /99.

Do you see something you like here?  I’m willing to trade any of these — except probably Woods — for 2016 Undisputed Ted DiBiase base and parallels, or Tag Team inserts and parallels of Money Inc. (DiBioase/IRS) or Mega Bucks (DiBiase/Virgil/Andrew The Giant).

Reach me on Twitter at @cardboardicons or e-mail

My first rainbow is complete — 2015 Topps WWE Undisputed Ted DiBiase

Posted in Misc., Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 6, 2016 by Cardboard Icons

When Topps released WWE Undisputed last year I was absolutely floored by the quality.  And I was thrilled that the set featured cards of one of my all-time favorites, Ted DiBiase, “The Million Dollar Man.”

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I’ve got quite a few of the autos — that post will come later — but I have just concluded the rainbow of DiBiase’s base card, which is a feat that I never thought I’d complete.  A big thanks to Rich Layton, owner of Layton Sports Cards for hooking me up with the base gold 1/1 parallel. The Magenta printing plate arrived today via eBay.  The base card and the unnumbered red parallel are in my collection as well, but the serial numbered ones look more impressive.

Icon-O-Clasm: Wrestling Icon Autos w/ Belt (Hulk Hogan/Ric Flair) 

Posted in Icon-O-Clasm with tags , , , , , , on June 1, 2015 by Cardboard Icons


Thrift Treasures 84: Jesse “The Body” Ventura autograph, “error” WWE cards and SF Giants SGA set

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_9905Lately I’ve been getting back into professional wrestling.  Laugh if you want, but it’s always been that thing in the background that I’ve always found entertaining.  This is all makes sense because in about two weeks I’ll be attending my first WrestleMania. So it would seem fitting that this edition of Thrift Treasures is heavily wrestling-centric.

On Friday I made a trip to two thrift stores in the area and the first item I located for sale was a baggie of random wrestling cards for $1.49.  This baggie looked to have a stack of 2009 Topps cards and some other odd Topps WWE cards I’d never even seen before.


The condition of the cards was obviously not great, but I figured it was worth a trip down memory lane.

The base 2009 Topps cards were interesting.  There was an early Brie Bella release, a gold parallel (/500) Kane, a pair of CM Punk cards, and many more stars.

IMG_0418There were also some inserts …

IMG_0419And then these weird Topps Insider cards … Make sure you pay close attention to the last scan


OK, you’ve seen them.  Do you see the two errors? One is Brock “Lesner” instead of Lesnar, and the other is …

IMG_0427… um, oops. The only remote way this is ‘Triple H” is if we are calling him Hollywood Hulk Hogan, but he’s not even dressed that way, so …

The next item I located was yet another signed book for my growing collection.  This book is signed by a politician/professional wrestling legend Jesse “The Body”Ventura. Pretty neat find for the price.

IMG_0334 IMG_0335And the final item is a 32-card 2011 Topps Emerald San Francisco Giants Stadium giveaway set featuring second year cards of Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner, as well as a rookie-year release of Brandon Crawford.

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Total cost of these treasures: $7.47

To see more Thrift Treasures posts, click HERE