TRISTAR TNA IMPACT!
TRADING CARDS (2008)
While this isn't the very first trading card collection issued by TNA Wrestling (Spike TV issued promotional cards a few years earlier), this is certainly one of the first comprehensive collections that shows off the depth and potential of the promotion's roster at the time.
Case in point: Robert Roode, who was "Donald Trump with a bad attitude". Wow, that doesn't age well...
Speaking of things that don't age well... this.
Clearly, Kurt and Kurt Angle clearly weren't "Wrestling's Greatest Couple" at the time -- she was flirting with AJ Styles in storylines, and would soon begin dating Jeff Jarrett afterwards in real life.
It doesn't exactly paint them as couple of the year, you know?
For every AJ Styles and Samoa Joe TNA had at the time, there were also many.... let's say interesting characters at the time.
In addition to Black Reign (a bloated Dustin Rhodes) and Stone Cold Shark Boy, the company prominently featured Rellik, the former Johnny The Bull, whom the announcers pointed out every time was "Killer" spelled backwards.
This Tristar collection had a number of subsets as well, such as "Then & Now," a look at what wrestlers looked like as rookies and, in Sonjay Dutt's case, as a toddler. TNA certainly isn't the only card set to do this, but it's a nice little feature to throw in there.
There was also Muscles, Ink. a subset that looks at wrestler's tattoos and explains what they mean. This collection is one I'm not nearly as interested in, but I definitely see why it could be of appeal to others.
There's also Mike's Magical Moments, a subset of memories in TNA from Mike Tenay. These ones are generally well-written and give us a piece of history from the long-time voice of TNA.
In addition to these sub-sets, Kevin Nash has a series where he "shoots" on other talent such as Samoa Joe and the X-Division, and there are also screenshots from the TNA Impact video game and a subset called "We are TNA."
Overall, this isn't a bad little set, and certainly a great first try from TNA, a company that would go through all kinds of twists and turns in their career and even their trading cards.