MERCH FROM '92
We've looked at WWF merchandise over the years ago, but what about WCW? The fine folks from Atlanta had lots of their own merch to hawk back in the day...
You remember Wrestling Buddies, right? In the late 1980's, the WWF created a whole series of pillow-like figures that you could pretend wrestle on the couch, pose menacingly or, if you were so inclined, snuggle up in bed with.
If I recall correctly, there was Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase and (possibly) Ted Arcidi.
Well, WCW had their own version of Wrestling Buddies known as "Wrestling Champs", with fairly accurate portrayals of main characters Sting and Lex Luger, on sale in the WCW Merchandise Catalog for just $22 per.
The only knock on these knock-offs is that both Stinger and Lex look kind of.... bored. It's like they're saying "Yeah, kid; drop an elbow on me. Whatever. I don't give a crap."
Speaking of knock-offs and a bored looking Lex Luger... take a look at this satin jacket.
Devotees of wrestling around this time may recognize it as a complete ripoff of The Ultimate Warrior's satin jacket, which in itself was kind of a questionable fashion statement.
But dropping $44.95 for a bored-looking Luger wearing what I believe to be the WCW Television Title? I can't even see Lex wearing something like that.
This happy little fellow is described as a Sting Friction Toy, which sounds like some kind of sex device, but it's probably a small plasticky scorpion that someone found in the gumball machines at One CNN Center and decided to rebrand it as Sting's.
At $2, it's probably one of the biggest steals in this entire three-page "catalog", but I still can't imagine anyone actually sending away for this item via mail. Unless they're really horny.
WCW had several items of merchandise for sale for the extremely popular Steiner Brothers - Rick and Scott. One of the greatest tag teams of all time, it's no surprise that WCW would want to capitalize on their popularity.
Having said that, I'm not entirely sure why Scott doesn't appear to have legs or feet in this image - only Rick.
This also segues into a very popular theme for WCW merchandise at this time - cartoon-like images of the wrestlers rather than actual photos.
Lex Luger and Tom "Z Man" Zenk also got the cartoon t-shirt treatment this time around. And while neither rendering is particularly terrible, I have to wonder if this was truly the best job WCW could have done to sell their talents. A logo, perhaps? Oooh, Tom Zenk is trapped in a giant "Z" - that's gotta be worth 15 bucks.
One additional note: I don't recall ever seeing Luger wrestle in hot pink trunks and kneepads. Just saying is all.
Hey, look - it's a Johnny B. Badd t-shirt!
Not only does this shirt featue Badd's cartoony likeness, but it also has Teddy Long's! Can you imagine any other shirt ever being adorned by Theodore R.? Actually, I think there was also one from Doom back in the day, so I just answered my own question.
Still, with The Badd Man in his trademark frilly boa and his catchphrase "I'm a Bad Man!" written in cursive, I can't imagine WCW being able to keep this quality item in stock for very long.
I kid, I kid - but at least this has got to be the worst possible item in the entire catalog, right?
Come on now, no one liked The Rap Master P.N. News enough to drop $15 on him. Even his parents wouldn't want this!
I..... I'm sorry. I just can't get past the fact that World Championship Wrestling was suggesting that we wrestling fans enjoyed the wrestling (or rapping) of P.N. F'ng News enough that we would want to wear a cartoon rendering his clothing in public. Or in private.
Now THAT has to be the bottom line worst one!
WHAT THE HELL????
The York Foundation was an interesting little faction back in its day, but I'm struggling to understand the demand behind making Ricky "Richard" Morton (w/ mullet), Terry "Terrence" Taylor and Terri "Alexandra York" Runnels (w/ magical word processor) into a wearable item.
El Gigante was a complete and utter flop in WCW and reminding us of awkward and clumsy he was in the ring by stepping on the ring and breaking it, is a pretty good reminder of that.
The Freebirds were a cool team. But the poor illustration of Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin's heads probably didn't appeal to.... well, anyone.
As much as I appreciate his work now as Goldust, back around this time Dustin Rhodes was doing nothing by riding off his father's coattails, so he certainly wasn't "put asses in the seats" type draw the way this T-shirt predicts. Plus his face is screwed up. No, that's not the quality of my scanner, that's how his face looked in the picture!
True story - my brother once went to a WCW house show around this time and bought a Sting shirt in which three of the four faces were more or less scribbles. So he exchanged it for another one.
And a Big Josh T-shirt??? No comment.
In conclusion, I just have to ask: WHAT WAS WCW'S OBSESSION WITH CARTOON RENDERINGS??? YOU KNOW???