As we draw closer and closer to a promising 2011 in the professional wrestling business, we often forget about one of the greatest moneymakers for each and every franchise. I am, of course, speaking of officially licensed merchandise and memorabilia of your favorite wrestlers.
Whether you’re celebrating a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Crazy Kwanza, tip-top Tet, or a solemn and dignified Ramadan, there’s always something to go around for the wrestling fans in the family. So with that in mind, we’re not going to look at any awesome ideas. No, that would be to easy.
For this countdown, we’re going to look at the 25 worst gifts you can currently purchase for you and yours, and the best part is, I’ve provided links and descriptions that can make these limited items yours to own. That’s right. The criteria, other than being chock full of horrible gift ideas for even the most diehard of fans, is that you must be able to actually pick up these items.
So if you’re running out of ideas on just what to get your rabid wrestler in the house, I think we’ve got you covered for nearly every last resort.
Description: A brand new, black t-shirt featuring everyone's favorite over-selling, over-acting son of the American Dream Dusty Rhodes. On the front is the Dashing Cody Rhodes logo (which actually exists) and on the back, the text reads "Forget It. You Can Never Be as Dashing as Me."
Buy Me: Buy it here for $24.99. Comic Book Guy sizes also available for $27.99.
Buyer's Remorse: Just think of all the adoring looks you'll be getting when you're rocking out your new Cody Rhodes shirt. After all, nothing says "I'm a macho, heterosexual wrestling fan" like wearing the merchandise of a man who himself comes to the ring with a mirror glued to his spine.
The Cody Rhodes line of clothing and apparel may just be launching, but that certainly shouldn't stop you from making this shirt one of the WWE's top sellers. Just ask all those who purchased the shirt in size medium, which is currently sold out. Yes, SOLD OUT. Cody Rhodes = Profit.
Description: The first four-sided TNA ring released from licensing company Jakks Pacific, this ring includes all the decorative Hulkamania fix-ins as well as two exclusive figures: one of Hulk Hogan, and the other, much less notably advertised, of Sting.
Buy Me: For a nominal fee of $54.99 (!), you can own this piece of Hogan history from ToyWiz.
Buyer's Remorse: Honestly, do you really want the first TNA four-sided ring from Jakks to be this crap? If you're a wrestling toy collector of any sort, you likely bought one of the 8,000 Jakks rings from the WWE line, at least three of which were ALREADY Hulk Hogan themed.
That said, assuming you've been living under a rock and have the common sense of a spoon and are the world's biggest Hogan/TNA mark, then this boxed set has got to be for you, right? I mean you get the benefit of reenacting the classic Hogan/Sting encounter from Starrcade '97 (slow-counting Nick Patrick not included), plus you can use your imagination and rewrite the ending by having Hogan fly from the top rope like he does on the box.
Why IS Hogan on the top rope in this picture, anyway? He has less aerial offense than Ric Flair and The Great Khali combined. You know, I watched a huge Hogan fan walk down the aisle to "Real American" at his own wedding, and I'd be willing to wager that not even he would shell out the dough for this one.
Description: Released for the Game Boy Color during the Attitude Era, this game takes one of four WWF superstars (Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, the Undertaker, or Triple H) on a campaign to save Vince McMahon's daughter Stephanie from an evil kidnapper. If successful, the player receives a shot at the WWF Championship.
Buy Me: As eBay bids come and go, this one seems like good enough value at only $7.19. The price has inauspiciously been slashed from $8.99.
Buyer's Remorse:This video game leaves so many questions to the average wrestling fan that are just painful to digest. Why is this wrestling game not about wrestling AT ALL? Why would you try to save Stephanie McMahon from the perils of anything? Why play as anyone but Triple H?
Even the reward for completing the game is ridiculous. A world title shot sounds nice and all, but this process is more painful than any match could possibly be. I'd rather be forced to win two Elimination Chamber matches on the same night. I'd rather enter the Royal Rumble first every year. I'd rather sleep with Mae Young, assuming that got me to the top.
But perhaps the most important thing that we should never lose sight of is that this game might be really good. It isn't. It is one of the biggest sucks that ever sucked.
Description: A vintage WWF trading card of the Rockers (Not Pictured here) autographed by one half of that team, Marty Jannetty, in what appears to be silver Sharpie.
Buy Me: Back on eBay, this one is going for a slim $3.99.
Buyer's Remorse: As the owner of a Rockers hat autographed by this man, I can only feel some sort of obligation to include him in the countdown. After all, the name Marty Jannetty has become more iconic to wrestling fans than the wrestler himself.
Jannetty's autograph, complete with the always cool advice to "Keep Rocking" just doesn't seem to do the subtle awesomeness of this item justice. If you purchase this piece, you and your friends can stay up and debate the approximate time of signing on the card (before or after he was fired for the third time) and you'll even have to reminisce about the forgotten Rocker's greatest moments.
Jannetty Fun Fact: If you YouTube search "Marty Jannetty," the very first result is the defining moment of his career.
Description: An original and yet hardly-sold t-shirt from the late 90's WWF Attitude Era, this is the most notable J.O.B.Squad shirt produced exclusively for talents like Al Snow, Hardcore Holly, and the Blue Meanie.
Buy Me: Thanks to the folks at AttitudeTees.com, you can get yourself this one for $24.99.
Buyer's Remorse: At first glance, this might not actually seem like such a bad idea. I mean, the J.O.B. Squad and Al Snow were good in their time and this was always one of the better shirt ideas coming out of an edgy, smash-style of wrestling.
Now, remember that it is 2010 and that ship sailed a decade earlier. If you wore this out to the big event in your area, you'd likely receive only looks of pity and a bit of ridicule for identifying yourself as a smart mark clinging to what little integrity YOU think the company has left.You had a hard enough time making wrestling friends because of your high opinions and insider information. Now you just put a target on your back to emphasize the point.
That man in the full Jack Swagger costume sitting two rows in front of you looks less ridiculous than you do.
Description: Another piece of Nexus merchandise, this time in the form of a knit cap with miniature bill and logos on the sides.
Buy Me: WWE has been nice enough to offer this online for only $12.99. Not too shabby.
Buyer's Remorse: If you haven't noticed, there is a lot of Nexus merchandise making its way onto WWE television this year. The company may not be pleased with the sales on their Nexus-themed attire, but that hasn't stopped them from producing more and more of it as time flies.
That being said, the Nexus Knit Cap is close to the pinnacle of douchebaggery. Not only are you wearing one of those awful knit caps that only look good on women and Justin Bieber, but you're also confirming your insecure elitism with a piece of merchandise that will be topical and relevant for approximately six months.
The armband or original T-shirt? Not bad investments if you plan to keep them archived. This? For the same price you could buy a blunt instrument and club yourself until sustainably incompetent.
Description: An Alberto Del Rio action figure (before he was Alberto Del Rio) produced straight out of Mexico from his CMLL days.
Buy Me: This import is still on the up and up, retailing here for $14.99.
Buyer's Remorse: Generally, I can't find much to complain about when it comes to purchasing Lucha Libre action figures. This is mostly because I already recognize the incredibly poor quality and craftsmanship that went into producing them. I'm pretty sure that just looking at this figure causes the paint to chip and melt, and the card has to be worth more.
But if you want to be the first on your block to own an Alberto Del Rio figure (which this technically is), then you can look past the paint job by a five-year-old and the incredibly low detail. Standing at 5.5 inches tall, the best part of all is that this figure isn't compatible with any wrestling figure toy line to date. He'll tower slightly over your old Hasbro toys and get dominated by the Jakks and Mattel waves.
Description: A necklace and/or key chain of Goldust's face. Need a better description?
Buy Me: A seller of the rare and obtuse, HighSpots offers this piece for $7.99.
Buyer's Remorse: I know, I'm being hard on the Rhodes family today, but even the purest of Goldust fans has to find this to be a little more than bizarre. Packaged like one of those junk necklaces available at any Anime store or Sci-Fi Convention, this appears to be one of the less enticing pieces of WWE jewelry in some time.
I mean, it is the face of Goldust. I challenge you to name someone who would voluntarily wear it outside the house and escape mass ridicule. Even in his darkest hour (likely portraying Se7en), Dustin Rhodes himself wouldn't be caught with this embossed version of his face around his neck. Or in his pocket on his keyring, as the transfer may call for.
Description: Complete with more points of articulation than any Mattel series before, this Elite level Shad Gaspard comes with removable wardrobe and an authentic look.
Buy Me: Via WWE.com, this Shad Gaspard remains $17.99 despite not being marked down since his release.
Buyer's Remorse: If you're the kind of WWE toy collector that enjoys taking your guys out of the package and creating your own weekly supercards, then you absolutely have to have this Shad Gaspard figure. After all, he's in his Cryme Tyme digs and that alone is timely, right? Wrong. Fault.
Incorporate the fact that despite the highly detailed figure we have, your level of accuracy will be slightly askew since Big Shad no longer works for the Titan Towers. Double Fault.
Still, that shouldn't stop you from booking the ultimate card where the beefy and articulated Shad controls the ring (which costs less than the figure, by the way) and defeats what I am sure is your well worn-in John Cena.
Description: A baseball autographed by TNA's masked superstar, Suicide. Limited edition as one of only 36 autographed.
Buy Me: This limited edition collector's item can be yours through ShopTNA for only $62.96.
Buyer's Remorse: Where do I begin? Why would anyone want an autographed baseball from anyone who doesn't PLAY BASEBALL? The very idea that this item was even conceived to sell is just ludicrous. But it can only get better.
There are several TNA stars autographing baseballs these days, yet it seems like selecting the Suicide baseball is the worst choice you can make. After all, the translucence of the Suicide character brings the very authenticity of this item into question. Would you buy a hockey puck autographed by Doink the Clown? Or a set of tennis rackets autographed by the Machines?
Anonymity is imperative for the Suicide character, but for this out of place relic, I might as well have signed it instead.
Description: A pair of gray sweatpants with signature Rey Mysterio mask logo and 619 on either side.
Buy Me: Just $19.99! Order now, just $19.99!
Buyer's Remorse: For those of us wondering just what it will soon be like when Rey Mysterio's battered body finally deteriorates to a state of disrepair, these pants could be just the ticket. After all, the master of the 619 seems to be as fit and healthy as a geriatric on muscle enhancers.
I can only imagine what kind of looks you'll get when strutting around the house in these "Booyaka" sweatpants. The wife and kids can look at you in astonishment as your attempt to do the West Coast Pop shatters the end table. You can break a lamp (and likely a hip as well) when you 619 into the kitchen from the living room! Hours of pointless activities await!
Perhaps someone should send Rey Rey a pair of these themselves. Then maybe he'll get the message that being injured nine months out of the year just isn't cutting it anymore.
Description: Coming from back in the WCW/NWO era, this Kevin Nash head actually doubles as a coin bank and a coozie drink holder.
Buy Me: A real bargain on this one, it is available for only $2.99.
Buyer's Remorse: Now this is a hilariously apt piece of merchandise. When you think of all the characteristics that make Kevin Nash's career great, you'll likely remember his impeccable ability to stay back in rest and relaxation and get paid to do so. This nifty item actually provides both lifestyles as well!
Other than being a silly depiction of Nash's face and head (which are enormous to scale standards), you can be just like Big Sexy by depositing every little penny while also sipping from a beer as you do ZERO in-ring work because you broke your everything coming down the entrance ramp.
Come to think of it, this item is now a really, really good idea. Buy it for the lazy ass in the family as a constant reminder of their lethargic stature.
Description: One of the few Brian Pillman action figures produced by Jakks Pacific, this is part of a set of wrestlers doubling as covert operatives and military commandos.
Buy Me: Recently marked down and on-sale through Action Toys for $5.99.
Buyer's Remorse: Hindsight is indeed 20/20. But foresight? That could have helped immensely before the release of this entirely tasteless piece of wrestling memorabilia.
The very first set of the WWF's STOMP action figures was released at almost the same time as Brian Pillman's life tragically ended. Though he was a loose cannon, including him in this silly, themed set may have been poor judgment all-around. Just look: Pillman is packaged with his trademark accessories, which includes a hunting knife and massive red rifle. Seriously?
All of the STOMP sets were some of the stupidest the market had to offer, but no one figure is quite as horrific as this one. And to think, it actually gets worse from here...
Description: A black t-shirt featuring Chris Benoit on the front with the text "We Miss You" underneath.
Buy Me: StudioTees.com has a wide array of sizes to choose from starting at just $17.99.
Buyer's Remorse: Do you really need an explanation for why you SHOULD NOT BUY this?
Description: A 1/24 scale die-cast truck featuring the TNA logos and images of Jeff Hardy throughout the paint and body. The actual vehicle was driven by Hermie Sadler in a one-time marketing agreement at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Buy Me: Purchase this from TNA directly for the minuscule fee of $69.99.
Buyer's Remorse: Much like the aforementioned Suicide Baseball, this one is a real noodle-scratcher through and through. Why would you really, really want a Jeff Hardy NASCAR Truck? Those ideas just don't go together in any medium, and despite being not too awful looking in general, it just doesn't fit.
Making matters better, Don West provides up with a 10-minute pitch reel on the item that may actually sell LESS units after viewing.
"You will own something that nobody else you know will ever own." -Don West
Description: An older vinyl mask of a signature Diva from the Attitude Era, this Sable mask comes complete with faux hair extensions.
Buy Me: Things are pretty cheap on this end, retailing this item for $4.99.
Buyer's Remorse: I'm not gonna sugarcoat this one. At first glance, I thought it was a Triple H mask. No joke. This has got to be the manliest Sable or any WWF/WWE Diva (save for Chyna) has ever looked in any production.
The mask itself is a creepy, smelly material that feels like it will attach itself to your skin and never let go. The eye holes? Uber-terrifying. And just the overall sneer of Sable's lips makes you wonder why in the blue hell this was ever a good idea. There may not be a woman in the world who would look better with this over her face.
Description: Featuring nearly everyone of his greatest matches in TNA history, this 4-Disc collection chronicles the life and times of Jeff Jarrett. Yes, Jeff Jarrett.
Buy Me: Thanks to Amazon, you can own this collection for about $26.99.
Buyer's Remorse: I want to know that there is at least one person in the entire world who honestly believes they need not one, not two, not three, but FOUR DVD discs dedicated to Jeff Jarrett. That's 12 HOURS of Jeff Jarrett matches rolled into one groin-grabbingly good package.
I can only speculate as the the special features included on this collection when you're not busy watching Jarrett bury talents that had a better chance of being in the spotlight than he ever did:
-Jarrett's Greatest Hits: A Compilation of his 7,425 Guitar Shots to his foes
-Mountain Made: A look at the design and execution of one of the dumbest concept matches ever and its perpetual winner.
-Don't Piss Me Off: Audio commentary to make the man look like less of a control freak.
-It's Still Real to Me, Dammit: Bloopers and Outtakes from Jarrett's TNA Career.
To be honest, I'd be more motivated to buy it if those were included.
Description: A hand-crafted and made deluxe replica of the Divas championship complete with authentic logos and materials. Comes with optional nameplate fixtures.
Buy Me: The folks at the Figures Toy Co. have been making these belts for the last decade, and this one is their newest odyssey for $499.99.
Buyer's Remorse: Wow. Just wow. The Divas Championship certainly is an eyesore, but since Mattel hasn't been too fast on giving us a kiddie version for all the little girls (and some of the boys), we have to make due with this tricked out, top of the line model.
What a gigantic waste of time, effort, and most of all money. For that same price you could purchase a home entertainment system. Or make a few car payments. Or pay rent. Or just, save the money for a rainy day.
In fact, you could do pretty much anything with the $500 you're shelling out for this glorified, pink, metal butterfly belt that would be less offensive than actually making the purchase. Some people are collectors of fine and rare wrestling memorabilia and must only have the best. Some people are morons. Differentiating between the two is often an arduous task.
Description: Designed after the vintage staple of Martel's costume, this 3.5 inch button reads the exact text of "Yes. I Am a Model." in bold text of white on a blue background.
Buy Me: Cafepress is offering these beauties for only $5.50. Impressive.
Buyer's Remorse: Personally, I would have no remorse buying this item. In fact, I love Rick "the Model" Martel and would like to take this moment to say that his inclusion in this countdown is purely obnoxious. Everything about the Model gimmick was superb, and this button is just as superb.
In fact, I'd be hard-pressed to give you a reason not to by this. If you do, your immunity in the Royal Rumble match increases tenfold. You'll also notice an increased essence following you around known as arrogance. But beware! You may encounter a blindfold match with Jake Roberts somewhere down the road...
Description: An independent film starring Kurt Angle in his first big role on the screen as a murderer on the run from the law. Former TNA Knockout and Survivor Star Jenna Morasca co-stars in this epic direct-to-video release.
Buy Me: For only $9.98 on Amazon.com.
Buyer's Remorse: Just looking at the product description made me snicker.
"Vicious criminal Brad Mayfield (WWE star Kurt Angle) takes pleasure in kidnapping, assault and deranged murder. It is up to Officer Dan Burk to stop his lust for blood. The stakes of the game quickly rise when Burk becomes romantically involved with a beautiful woman who happens to be Mayfield's next victim. When Burk's girlfriend and his daughter are kidnapped, the case goes from just a job to a race against time to save his family."
What sounds like a cross between The Marine and at least two-dozen other bad action films is actually an even more true-to-life version of Kurt Angle's life. Of course, this is purely speculation, but with Angle's recent string of stalking his ex-wife and such, he may not be far off.
Description: For a monthly fee, you'll have access to every last video made by Matt and Jeff Hardy as well as their associates, Shannon Moore and Gregory Helms, via this streaming online service.
Buy Me: For a monthly fee of $24.99, you'll have full access to more than 130 videos from Hardy and company.
Buyer's Remorse: Stupid doesn't begin to describe this investment. If you willingly selected to purchase this package from your computer, your laptop likely sprouted legs and just kicked you in the ass.
More than 130 "episodes" of a deranged Matt Hardy, drugged-up Jeff Hardy, rejected Shannon Moore, and bitter Hurricane? What's not to like? After all, you get to listen to these four chronic underachievers complain and shoot on a number of topics as if they were your own dumb hick friends.
I'm not saying these gentlemen are bad wrestlers. Just horrible, horrible personalities that are certifiably able to lower your IQ and make you question your own existence.
Description: A Mr. Ass t-shirt from the early 2000's, the front of the shirt reads "24kt. ASS" in big, golden letters. The back reads "Flawless. Perfectly round with a slight crack."
Buy Me: On eBay once more, we can get this piece for $8.33.
Buyer's Remorse: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the perfect shirt to make you look like a total and complete tool. This Mr. Ass t-shirt brings out the very worst, at best, in the persona of Billy Gunn.
Not only is this a post-Bad Ass Billy Gunn or New Age Outlaws item, but the embellished characteristics of the buttocks are truly made a mockery of here. Where in polite society would it be okay to wear this? Even at a wrestling event with the most in-depth of fans, wearing a shirt that says "24kt. ASS" on the front of it is suspect.
Incorporate the fact that you're openly advertising that at one time you rooted for Billy FREAKING Gunn, and you're compounding a hail storm of hilarity like no other.
Description: John Cena stars in this allegedly heart-warming tale of forgiveness and amateur wrestling that also includes real actors Patricia Clarkson and Danny Glover.
Buy Me: Since the Blu-Ray format of this masterpiece is currently unavailable, you'll have to settle for the regular DVD for $18.99.
Buyer's Remorse: I want to know in what conceivable way this movie "Surpasses The Blind Side." Bad acting? Check. Sappy writing? Check. The official end of Danny Glover's career? Check. I mean, Glover had a huge role in the first Saw movie, and yet he found a better way to kill his career just a few years later by helping make this movie.
The debate rages on whether or not John Cena is a good actor. Hell, the debate rages on his wrestling abilities to this day. But at least his efforts in 12 Rounds and The Marine are mildly entertaining as cliched action pictures go.
I don't even get to count the number of times Cena is depicted jumping away from an exploding building in slow motion in Legendary.
Description: One ceramic mask molded from the face of Steve "Sting" Borden complete with wall mounting kit. Only 500 were ever made.
Buy Me: Thanks to a recent clearance markdown, this conversation starter goes for only $14.99.
Buyer's Remorse: What the hell is wrong with the folks in charge of TNA's merchandise department? This self-proclaimed conversation starter is easily the creepiest thing on the entire list to this point. After all, you'll be sending a fantastic message to all of your friends when they come into your home and see Sting's face hanging on your wall.
Sting's face. On your wall. Constantly grimacing at you while your friends do the same because you pissed away money on it. And you put a hole in your wall to hang it up and display the epic failure. Of course, we get another great Don West pitch reel, complete with some even stupider quotes.
"This is almost like one of those African Tribal Masks." -Don West
"It is an instant conversation. They walk in and they go 'Oh, how cool. What's that on the wall?' 'Oh yeah, check it out! It's my Sting Mask!" -Don West
I can't really thing of anything much worse than this...can I?
Description: Painted by artist Sandeep Kumar Sahota, this original piece of artwork features the likeness of Scott Steiner in brilliant colors and design. I think.
Buy Me: $200. Straight up.
Buyer's Remorse: Apparently, there is something worse. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you what is singularly one of the worst products I've ever seen in my entire life. This menacing portrait of the genetic freak will do more than get your loved ones to flee from the house screaming.
Revel in the definition of Steiner's bloated and steroid-infused physique as he frowns as if to keep a fart from creeping out. Observe the proportions of Steiner's muscle-bound mayhem as his arms and shoulders make his head look tiny and deflated. Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIS HEAD? He looks like a Macy's balloon that is slowly losing all of its air.
And the timing of the artwork is something magical too. When was the last time you remember thinking "Gee, Scott Steiner sure is a huge star right now." As a work of "art" and more or less one of the creepiest things on the internets, this one takes the cake as the worst gift imaginable this holiday season.
But alas, time is short and your wrestling fan may require all 25 stuffed in their stocking this year. Just prepare for the violent rage that follows and don't say I didn't warn you.