First things first: I know that merchandise is generally the realm of Someone Bought This!, but today’s write up is a bit more extensive than what we generally cover there. Besides, that particular column actually originated thanks to large inductions wherein I would look at magazine inserts and catalogs such as this, so consider this a blast from the past in more ways than one.
Also, must mention that today’s imagery comes courtesy of the fine young eggs over at WCW Worldwide, a fantastic site posting oodles of items such as what you are about to see. They’ve given me their blessing to do a full induction of this one. Would not shock me in the least to see further interaction between our two sites in the future, so do yourself a favor and visit them after you’re done here, won’t you?
And now, on with the show!
And by show I mean “catalog”.
We open with standard WCW Nitro merchandise. Don’t want to be pegged as a Hulkamaniac, Little Stinger, or a Glacierite? This is the stuff for you. We have hats and cups and stuffed bears and belts. Usual crap. However, let’s look a bit closer at a few of these fine items.
The very first item is a Monday Nitro “Warning” Shirt. I shall quote said shirt thusly:
“Warning: Excessive viewing may cause psychotic outbursts, extreme paranoia, deranged behavior, severe schizophrenia, incoherent mumbling, and foaming at the mouth.”
Truer words never spoken. Pretty sure I went through all those stages as I watched that show, especially starting about 1999 where the whole thing just fell off a cliff. I can say without fear of hyperbole the number of my psychotic outbursts have never been higher, I was extremely paranoid that the company’s death was upon us, which led in part to the deranged behavior of starting this website, schizophrenia in the form of wondering if that was a good thing, and then mumbling incoherently as I researched all the inductions I penned.
Hmm, I didn’t foam at the mouth. Guess the shirt is inaccurate.
But hey, speaking of foaming at the mouth…
Nitro Grill gear! Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!
During the wrestling boom, both companies thought it would be a good idea to go into the RESTAURANT BUSINESS. Vince and Co. decided to put one smack dab in the middle of the most expensive property on planet earth, Times Square. This was a bad idea.
Actually “bad idea” is not an apt description. “Bad idea” brings to mind stuff like TL Hopper or The Goon. Characters that were on television for a few weeks then vanished. Red Rooster? Bad idea.
The restaurant was a monumentally horrible idea that cost about a gazillion dollars. Think the WBF was bad? This thing lost way, WAY more than that, to the tune of like $36 million. To put that in perspective, let’s put 0’s on it – $36,000,000 lost on a restaurant!
In comparison, the Nitro Grill, located at the Excalibur Casino in Las Vegas, was modest in its reach. Featuring a wide array of standard bar food (including the Booker T-Bone!), it seemed like a fun little place. I say “seemed” because when I went there, it looked neat but there were absolutely no other people there.
On a Monday night.
Year was 2000.
THUNDER HATS AND SHIRTS!!!!!
For the record, if I could get a THUNDER shirt, I would not only buy it, but perhaps wear it every single day the rest of my natural life. In fact, I may wear it in my casket, hoping that when I come face to face with Jesus, he would look, laugh, and slap me on the back, saying, “Remember that episode where Nash and DDP just stared at that overhead light? Let’s go watch it.”
Then we’d go hang out in his man cave and relive the fun on an 85′ jumbotron.
Yet more generic WCW stuff awaits on page 3. I know a lot of folks hated that new WCW logo but if you didn’t, this is your ultimate shopping rack. You could even buy a $40 watch with it on there!
And not all of it is expensive. Seriously, a mug for $5. That’s a pretty darn good deal. Looks like it may be a solid gold paint, too. At least I’d like to think it is. And, again, it’s only five bucks! Five 1999 bucks I should add. Not sure what that would be worth today. Let’s find out.
~Google Search “Inflation Calculator”~
Ah, here we go.
Yes, now that same fin is worth $2.14 more. What could we get for $7.14 today on say, WWE’s Shopzone I wonder?
~Surfs to Shopzone.com~
Oops, totally forgot. It’s WWEShop.com now.
~Goes to wweshop.com~
Why look, a hideous WrestleMania 30 Plush Bear for under $3!
Three 2014 bucks!
That means we could get like 2.39 of those ugly things!
That mug looks like quite a deal now, doesn’t it?
Let’s see, what else on this page. QUOTES. Yes, throughout the catalog are “quotes” from your favorite WCW wrestlers. Such as this one:
Yes, Scott Steiner is a HOOK UP for “killer stuff” for us. I am not one to cast aspersions on anyone, but take a look at this man:
When you see him, and you think “hook up”, is a MOUSE PAD something that springs to mind?
Four pages in, and we start getting somewhere, namely with the company’s hottest star, big Bill Goldberg. Goldberg was WCW’s last great hope, and even now years I am still baffled they didn’t screw him up from day one. Even little stuff like this, giving him prime catalog real estate, seems like something they’d have botched. But they didn’t. First star in the book.
Standees are pretty much par for the course, always a popular item. I like that in this pose, Goldberg is pointing at us. You know what would have rocked? If it had a word balloon saying “Pull my finger”. That or give Bill a top hat.
Money. And before you doubt that, consider the fact that allposters.com has no less than 345 Uncle Sam items you can buy.
Uncle Sam is hot, baby.
Uncle Bill? That’s either a guy that sells overpriced poodles (and I would know, that’s where our old dog Raleigh came from) or the dude from Family Affair.
Anyone remember Family Affair?
Uncle Bill, Mr. French, the two kids, and that hot Sissy?
Anyone still reading this?
More Goldberg stuff on the next page. Watches, shirts, plastic mugs, bulldogs…and GLOVES!
Yep, you could get your own gloves with cut out fingies emblazoned with Goldberg right on there. Excellent. No idea what the heck the hand model in this photo is doing. I thought these may be like weight lifting gloves or something, but I’ve been to the gym pretty much five days a week for the last two years and have never seen a weight bar where you’d do something like that.
I’d guess maybe he is climbing a rope ala Batman up the side of the building in 1966, but sadly I’ve used up my “images from TV Shows from 35 years ago or more” quota for this post.
Curse you, Family Affair!
A tank top is also available, and it somehow looks exactly like SPACE GHOST. I was going to say I couldn’t use that either, but Space Ghost made a reappearance in 2006 as the host of Space Ghost Coast to Coast so that means he is in fact available.
Ironically, he was also available to WCW, as he was under the Turner umbrella.
I bet cross promotion would have sold at least three more of those shirts, at least two of them to me.
Maybe more if it had Zorak and the Original Way Outs on the back.
The Stinger gets pub next. Posters, earrings (??), and stupid looking hats are all competing for your hard earned bucks. And in case you don’t have any hard earned bucks…
…there’s also this mask. I like that you can now “look like Sting every day of the week!” Especially Thursday when you go in and knock over the local Circle K whilst wearing it!
Following Goldberg and Sting, we get WCW’s next top star: PERRY SATURN!
Seriously, he’s on the next page.
Not making this up.
No offense to Perry, as I always liked his stuff, but putting him as a headliner in a catalog when the company really needed money would lead me to opine “reason number 78,128,227 that WCW went out of business.”
Available courtesy of the Perry Saturn page is a pennant featuring Bret Hart as an ape of some sort. I know Vince always said he looked like an old hound dog, but here he looks like Mighty Joe Young’s lost brother.
Next up we get collectible pins!
Now before you scoff, I am steadfast in my belief that the Disney corporation funds all its movies, networks, and new properties in Florida on the profits generated by pin sales. People are obsessed with these, and will pay top dollar to get the rare stuff. Got a spare $3,500 burning a hole in your pocket?
On the plus side, it has FREE SHIPPING.
But while that one gets free shipping, I don’t think you get a free one if you buy three of them, which is what you get here. And really, who wouldn’t buy all ten of them? I’ve been working on this induction for three days and I can’t quit looking at the Flair one.
Also, Kidman looks like Rocky. Not Balboa, the kid from Mask.
Why do we reference that movie all the time? I’ve never even seen it!
Halfway through the catalog, the Hulkster makes an appearance! Posters, teddy bears, and the exact same pin that was on the page before it. You know, in case you missed it. Get used to that, because they show those pins over and over.
The highlight, though, would be this shirt:
That’s right – a Hulk Hogan Skull shirt! My fingers almost tapped o “smoking skull”, because that is what I always think when “skull” and “wrestling shirt” are combined in a sentence. Not saying that Hogan was ripping off Austin here, but…yeah, I can’t really come up with a way to end that sentence.
And then he basically steals from Ric Flair too.
Kinda surprised it doesn’t have a giant “Wooooooooo!!!!” at the end.
A page of, well, Page awaits us next, as we get DDP and a few others. Interestingly, this is the sole appearance of the Nitro Girls in the catalog. You’d think they’d have marketed tons of posters to a primarily young male target audience, but instead we get…
WCW hot sauces!
DDP likes pineapple, Buff is a crushed cayenne, and the Stinger likes garlic. Maybe he could have used it in his feud with Vampiro.
You may have scoffed at my suggestion of cross promotion with Tad Ghostal’s alter ego earlier, but sho ’nuff, we get that with BUGS BUNNY on a DDP shirt. I’m not the biggest Looney Toons fan, but I have to say that is kinda awesome.We also get another hideous pennant. No idea what was going on with these, but they are all very, very strange looking to say the least. Here is DDP looking like…I dunno. A homeless guy?
I mean, more homeless than he usually looks.
Oh, we’re just kidding, DDP. You know we love you.
(Even if you do look homeless.)
Another scatter shot of personalities comes up on page 11. Seriously, they’ve somehow merged the Konnan, Rey Mysterio, and the FOUR HORSEMEN on the same spread.
Oh and remember when they took Rey’s mask to make him “more marketable?”
Here he is, back to us, not showing his face.
We also learn that Konnan is dead (seriously, an RIP shirt???)…
…and that WCW believed that horses had paws.
You said it Sven!
To be fair, the next page teaches us that they ruined wolves as well.
Seriously…there’s no joke I can make there that doesn’t involve, well…you know.
Next page, please.
More Wolfpac junk is upon us on the following page. It’s funny, when we did the first book, folks apparently buried poor Bryan with hate mail about how we didn’t discuss that group.
Seriously, folks wanted more WOLFPAC talk.
I mean, it was another stupid nWo knockoff out of like 50 of them.
Maybe there were just a lot of folks that listened to the preaching of Lex Luger, who knows.
Anyway, in the new book we listed all 437 nWo knockoffs. Hope you’re all happy!
Back to the hodgepodge we go, with Buff Bagwell, Nash, and Scott Steiner.
And yes, we get another bizarre pennant, this time with Scott Steiner as…I was going to say “bobble head”, but it’s more of a “bobble head plus torso”.
You know, now that we finally were able to chat with Fred Ottman on The RD & Blade Show, I think that maybe WCW Pennant Designer is now tops on my “want to interview” list.
Tons of VHS tapes are here as well.
Make no mistake about it, WrestleCrap was born of old VHS tapes.
Back in the day, I had pretty much every wrestling VHS tape, because there was no YouTube to run to generate the screen grabs and sound clips for the site. All VHS baby. So I am pretty sure I had all these. That Best of Halloween Havoc? Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal AND Chamber of Horrors? Even in clip form, that’s money well spent.
More Kevin Nash than you can shake a stick at is on page 15. Nash video? Check. In fact, let’s make it two. Nash title belt? Check. Nash shirts, pins, you got it. Nash in TYE DYE? Sure, why not.
Nash looking like a lion or cat or something?
Like WCW Pennant Designer would let us down?
And on it we get…
…the exact same shirt and pennant as we got the page before!
Why not some pins?
We’ve only seen some of those like three times already!
Still, my favorite item in the entire catalog would be WCW GIFT CERTIFICATES.
Sure hope folks didn’t wait to use those!
WCW Pennant Designer don’t work for free, you know!