It was a daring move for Topps’ tradition-laced baseball sets, but in the wrestling sets it looks like a natural fit. The design features a smoky technique in the opposing top and bottom corners of the card, the kind of effect you get when standing near ringside. The action shots are crisp in most cases and slick looking.
A hobby box contains 24 packs with seven cards per pack. Topps is promising two hits per box. The cost of a hobby box should be in the $60 to $75 range, depending on the retailer. As I have noted before, Topps supplied me with a box to open and critique.
Kerry Von Erich is also a legends newcomer, although I can’t shake the image of the “Modern Day Warrior” wrestling in the NWA’s Dallas-area promotion run by his father, Fritz Von Erich. Sure, Kerry was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, but his time in Vince McMahon’s promotion was only three years.
The same with Sting. Do you connect him with the WWE, or with World Championship Wrestling, where he starred for years?
I do like the inclusion of “Superstar” Billy Graham, the Ultimate Warrior and Ted DiBiase, infamous referee Danny Davis and the Bushwackers (who once ran a restaurant in Tampa on South Dale Mabry Highway and were frequently seen roaming through the place to sign photographs). I still find it difficult to open a WWE set that doesn’t include Bobby “The Brain” Heenan or “Mean” Gene Okerlund, along with Gorilla Monsoon, Curt “Mr. Perfect” Hennig and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. If you’re going to pay homage to the past, include these guys — doesn’t matter if they’ve been in sets before.
Hulk Hogan is not included as one of the legends, most likely because of racist comments he made on a tape that got him fired last year.
It is nice to see Tampa resident Titus O’Neil included in the set, mainly because of his presence in the community, his charitable work and mentoring of students.
In the hobby box I opened, I pulled 97 of the 100 base cards; the only cards missing were Booker T., Corey Graves and Nikki Bella. Some rookie cards include Mandy, Tyler Breeze and Becky Lynch. There were 12 bronze parallels, falling one in every other pack, and a silver parallel of “Raw” commentator JBL.
Every pack in the hobby box had one NXT card, which showcases up-and-coming talent; there are 33 of these cards to chases. The Perspective subset takes 18 wrestlers and depicts each in an “authority” and “anti-authority” mode. The box I opened contained 13 Authority cards and 11 Anti-Authority cards
The Rock Tribute picks up where it left off in February’s WWE Road to Wrestlemania set, with 10 more cards honoring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The latest insert features cards 11 through 20, and there were four of these cards in the hobby box I opened. There will be 40 cards overall in this tribute set; look for another 10 when WWE Heritage is released in August.
The WWE set is slickly done and has a decent cross-section of competitors. I wish there had been others included from the past, but it’s good to see younger talent getting their due.
Now, what I'd really like to see is a card set commemorating the old Championship Wrestling From Florida promotion. I doubt it would ever happen, but I'd do my best to complete such a set if one were ever issued.