WWE SummerSlam (2019)
I haven't reviewed many of what I'd consider to be "current" trading card sets in Card Corner - not because I'm not still an avid collector, but more because I tend to skew more retro most of the time.
But given that we've been profiling SummerSlam-related material all throughout SummerSite, I figured, why not give this newer set some love?
The base set includes 50 "profile" cards of people who were at the time top stars in WWE. Mind you, not a ton has changed over the last year -- only Kurt Angle, Ronda Rousey, Sarah Logan and maybe a couple of others are no longer with the promotion, while the roles of AOP, Ember Moon, Liv Morgan and Titus O'Neil have diminished somewhat. I'd also note that Bray Wyatt isn't yet shown as The Fiend (a look he debuted, ironically, at SummerSlam 2019) and there are no NXT stars featured (which is different than many of the Topps sets these days). None of this is particularly surprising, given the turnaround time necessary in publishing these card collections.
The front of the base cards all have a similar look and feel, sporting SummerSlam-style colors, and the card backs feature interesting information about each of the Superstars.
The next part of the base set features 50 cards that show what happened on weekly WWE programming between The Greatest Royal Rumble and SummerSlam.
This is similar to Topps' Road To WrestleMania series and while there's nothing technically wrong with this process... I'm not sure I necessarily to have Drew Gulak being named # 1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship, The B-Team (remember them?) winning a match on Raw, or a random tag team match featuring AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy against Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura, all being immortalized in trading card format.
To me, it's like.... save these cards for major moments (e.g. title changes or feuds ending during this four-month period) or else add some more profile cards, given WWE's roster was absolutely massive at the time and there were more than a few folks missing.
There are also SummerSlam-themed sub sets included as inserts in the collection. This includes SummerSlam All-Stars, which includes Bret Hart, The Undertaker, The Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect and John Cena. And then there are SummerSlam's Greatest Matches and Moments, both which we've handily captured for our readers (and much more comprehensively) here and here.
Having said that, these are great additions to the collection and emphasize the long, storied history of SummerSlam.
There are also subsets of the greatest Rowdy Ronda Rousey moments (which feels a bit thin to me, but I do understand why they would have created it, given Rousey's massive crossover appeal) and a section for some of the greatest Intercontinental Champions... which includes Kane, for some reason.
Getting back to the SummerSlam theme of this SummerSlam card set... there are four SummerSlam posters (spanning the events from 2014 through 2018) that can be found as random inserts. This leads me to believe this may not have been the first SummerSlam set from Topps... but possibly the first one available locally in my area.
To which I say.... meh. These aren't bad trading cards, per se, but nothing in here that makes me jump for joy. Even the Road To WrestleMania sets from Topps feel bigger and more important. This was just more... noise while waiting for the next big collection to drop.