There weren’t a lot of baseball or basketball boxes available to me in the BlowoutCards Black Friday sale since I was working that day and couldn’t camp out at the computer. I did take the opportunity to grab my fair share of wrestling boxes.
I thought the idea of WWE Heritage was an interesting one, but the boxes always seemed too expensive to me. I’m not a huge fan of the hits that you get in wrestling boxes and that seems to be what you are mostly paying for. I seem to remember the boxes not costing as much when Fleer was putting out the WWE sets, but I could be wrong.
The main design from this set draws from 1980 Topps as you can see here on John Morrison’s card. The former Intercontinental and Tag Team Champion is one of the more exciting stars to watch. He’s a less risky, more technical version of Jeff Hardy. His finisher, Starship Pain (a split legged corkscrew moonsault in the corner), is one of the cooler finishers in the WWE at the moment.
Wow, these cards scanned really poorly.
The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase was one of the bigger stars when I watched wrestling as a kid. He was known for his valet Virgil (who would eventually turn on him), the Million Dollar Championship, trying to buy the belt from Andre the Giant on Saturday Night Main Event and stuffing money into the mouth of his defeated opponents after putting them to sleep with his finisher, The Million Dollar Dream. Ted’s son, also named Ted, is currently wrestling in the WWE as part of Legacy.
The designed used for the WWE Legends is the wood grain from 1987 Topps.
Last, but certainly not least, we have the WWE Divas who appear on cards using the 1982 Topps design. Divas are all about looks first and wrestling ability 22nd. If the match doesn’t involved Mickie James, Natalia Neidhart, Gail Kim, Melina or Beth Phoenix then you aren’t going to see much wrestling at all. That’s why there’s a never-ending stream of pillow fights, bikini matches and other gimmick matches that try and hide the fact that most of these ladies just can’t wrestle. They’ve got good looks and implants and that’s plenty for many of the WWE fans out there. Me, I fast forward through most of the Diva matches that are on WWE programming. I’d never, ever fast forward if Mickie James and Natty Neidhart ended up facing each other in the ring though.
To me, this was the hit of the box. I absolutely love the Allen & Ginter WWE minis and this one here is the best of the bunch from Heritage III. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was by far the best thing about wrestling in the 80s and 90s. His quick wit and sarcasm added so much to the matches that all kind of resembled each other back in those days. He and Gorilla Monsoon were the main reason to watch Prime Time Wrestling which I would still watch over Raw, Smackdown, Nitro or Impact any day of the week.
Heenan has battled and beat throat cancer. While it has limited his public appearances, when he does speak you can see that wit and humor is still there. Here’s hoping that one day he’ll be healed up enough and has the desire to make a return to the wrestling world.
I also pulled Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Chief Jay Strongbow minis. According to the odds, I should have gotten 4 minis, but one of them didn’t make it into the box. I’ll forgive them for giving me The Brain because he’s easily worth two regular minis.
Jeff Hardy was at the height of his popularity when he decided to take a leave of absence from the WWE. Unfortunately, soon after he got into some legal problems involving some drugs which led to all kinds of speculation and rumors. Hopefully he’ll rest his body and mind for a year or so and return to the WWE. While in the Hardy Boyz, Jeff did some ridiculous things especially during big pay per view events. His matches were always worth watching because you didn’t know what insane spot he’d perform next.
I already have a Jeff Hardy autograph that I got in person so this card will most likely end up on eBay. A thirteen year old, female wrestling fan with stockings on her arms and black nail polish will appreciate this a whole lot more than I will.
I’m posting this card last because it will be remaining in my collection and because I have a story to tell. I made a trip to Wizard World Philly a while back to see Kevin Smith do one of his amazing Q & A sessions as well as get something signed by the man. Matt Hardy was also making an appearance at the convention so I decided to bring something to have him sign as well.
What I decided upon was a Jakks Pacific wrestling figure in the package. The figure came with a little boom box that played the wrestler’s theme music. Matt loved the figure when he saw it. He was playing with the boom box and having a great time. I was surprised that he wasn’t sent any figures by Jakks. He said that they sent him some of the first couple of figures that they did, but that was about it. He was a great guy and it was a fun interaction. Matt’s got a great autograph that you can actually read (unlike his brother) and the figure looks great. That will definitely get posted once it is out of storage and on display in the room.
While this was a fun idea for a set, I’m glad that Topps has gone away from the Heritage theme and is now using the current year’s design for the WWE sets. I got a complete set out of my box along with a stack of 20 or so extras. I give the set itself a C+. The legends are kind of weak in this set and I’m not a big fan of the design on the autographed cards. I’ve got to give my box an A+. I got two hits that are going to become great additions to my collection and one of the better autographs that can be pulled.