Thursday, May 21, 2015

Slamboree: A Legend's Reunion

In his various creative tenures, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes had some great ideas. War Games, Starrcade, and BattleBowl are just a few of the famous concepts to come from the mind of the Austin, Texas-born legend. Another came in 1993, just as Dusty himself was moving into retirement from action between the ropes. The event would be a WCW card interspersed with appearances and even matches showcasing the stars of yesteryear. This event would become known as Slamboree.

Newer fans may not realize it, but for many years WCW was the only major company to recognize the history of the business. From roughly after the end of Tuesday Night Titans (where history was often discussed) until the late 1990's, the WWF went to great pains not to acknowledge anything outside of its own umbrella. When a talent left the company, they were no longer mentioned. Period. WCW was different, and this show was proof of it. The company was happy to acknowledge its roots in both Mid-Atlantic and Georgia Championship Wrestling as well as its former stars.

The event lasted from 1993 to 2000, but it was the first three years that were something special. In addition to legends appearances, the WCW Hall of Fame ceremonies hosted by Gordon Solie were held at Slamboree. Matches such as Dory Funk Jr. vs Nick Bockwinkel, Terry Funk vs Tully Blanchard, and Dick Murdoch vs Wahoo McDaniel were among the legends bouts held over those first three years of Slamboree to accompany the stellar WCW roster of the time. Be sure to check these shows out on WWE Network as opposed to the Turner Home Video releases. The latter cut many matches and fun moments, such as the "Fabulous" arrival of a certain Queen of Wrestling in 1993.

In the first year especially, WCW took an almost WWF-like approach to the event with a weekend of festivities. Unlike the WWF, who would've showcased these events on television, WCW barely made note of them aside from brief mentions on commentary. Thanks to folks like fan/collector George Mayfield, video records of these happenings do exist. In addition to meet and greets, a dinner was held at CNN Center the night before Slamboree 1993. Fans could mingle with the stars and legends as the card the next night was hyped even further. It should be noted that Sting's mystery opponent (replacing Scott Norton) was announced as Nailz during this dinner. By the time of the match, he was simply referred to as "The Prisoner" for obvious legal reasons.

Some cool merchandise came from these early years as well.  An 8x10 photo set was produced for Slamboree 1993. Nine photos featuring thirty-four legends were produced. Interestingly, not every legend featured at the event was included in the photos. On the flip side, first-person accounts indicate that not every star in the photo set was available for autographs. It's a fun set, and even after the passage of over two decades, many of the signatures are still attainable.

In 1994, WCW took a different approach that turned out just as fun. In lieu of photos, a program was produced that ultimately folded out into a large event poster advertising that years matches (including the ill-fated Big Van Vader-Rick Rude main event). The inside also featured bios on the legends, many of which were autographed at the "Slam Meet" event which was also held this year. This turned out to be the last year where a large grouping of legends appeared. By 1995, the last year of the "Legends Reunion" theme, the superstars of the past were limited to those participating in the Hall of Fame ceremony and match.

Slamboree was one of the events that I was hoping WWE would eventually adopt, along with The Great American Bash, Starrcade, and War Games. As we know, only one of those came to pass with more unlikely for the future. Still, with old concepts returning to spice up the Network, would a few WCW shows really hurt? Surely something using the Bash name could be a fun summer event. Want to really make NXT fans squeal with delight? How about the first WWE-branded War Games match using NXT stars? Even the original Slamboree concept could be revisited. NXT has been using older talent. Have some up-and-coming stars battle the "new" legends. Dusty is already a force in NXT, it's time to bring some of his past victories full (squared) circle.

I was thrilled to make an appearance on the latest edition of The Bix Show podcast which dropped yesterday. Bix and I discussed lots of wrestling memorabilia, including many items that you've seen here on the blog, so I hope that you will all check it out. You can download it directly at davidbix.com or you can subscribe through iTunes. I hope that you enjoy listening as much as I did participating, and I hope to return to the show in the future!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

England's Latest & Cutest WWE Export Goes Elite

We've been through it before. "First Time In The Line," "Diva," and a cool accessory can be a recipe for disaster as far as finding a Mattel WWE Elite figure. Although the higher priced Elite figures never seem to be quite as challenging to find as "hot" figures in the Basic series, occasionally distribution and other factors can figure into it. So far, the hottest WWE figure of 2015 has proven to be the equally hot-looking Paige. The 22-year-old Diva made her impact on the independent scene, NXT, and has now taken the main WWE roster by storm in the past year.

Paige joins the Mattel WWE line as part of the Elite 34 series. It's a Helluva set, with "modern" Hulk Hogan, Rusev and Doink the Clown all making their Elite figure debuts. As I always note, the Elite female figures are built the same as the Basic Divas, although they include accessories. Those accessories are likely part of the popularity of the Paige figure, but we'll get to that.

Mattel seems to have gone all out with the design of Paige. In addition to many newly sculpted costume parts, I do believe that the midriff part is new with this figure. The outfit design is "classic" Paige and matches the image of her on the box as is usually the case with Mattel. I'm glad that a dark purple outfit was chosen rather than basic black. The detail on the studded belt really pops out and almost appears as if it's a separate piece. The skin tone is as white and almost porcelain as the real Paige, and it wouldn't have been acceptable any other way.

As far as the facial likeness, there is no doubt that this is Paige. From the cleft in her chin to the lip piercing to those dark eyes, Paige certainly transferred well into figure form. I had never before paid attention to the fact that she has an interesting hair style. As far as this figure goes, her hair is only long on the sides with it cut to her neckline in the back. Her hair flails around so much in matches that I wouldn't have noticed this, but it is a unique style to be sure unless Mattel took some creative license.

As I mentioned, Paige is packaged with some unique accessories. For only the second time in the Mattel line we are treated to a chromed and painted WWE Divas Championship. Previously only available with the Elite Kelly Kelly figure from a few years ago, the belt looks better with Paige holding it. It appears bulky around her waist due to the design of it and her own studded belt that is part of her attire. Also included is the NXT Women's Championship. This belt actually looks better than the real deal. The NXT Championships are rather basic looking. This is likely intentional since the original idea of NXT was, of course, to be a developmental territory that accentuated the basics. It's nice and shiny, but again looks a bit bulky around the waist of Paige.

While not my early runner-up for "Figure of the Year" (that vote would go to her Elite Series-mate Rusev), it's definitely a solid figure. It's also definitely a hot figure right now, but unless you want the "First Time In The Line" figure of Paige, you could honestly wait. Paige is probably the most popular Diva in the company with no signs of stopping. Unlike many of the Mattel Diva figures, we can safely predict that this will not be the last of Paige. She will see more releases, and I wouldn't be shocked to see another Elite release featuring Paige in her jacket down the line. As for the NXT Women's Championship, I would imagine that it will make another appearance a bit further down the line. Mattel isn't going to tool an accessory for one single release. It would certainly make a great accessory for a Charlotte figure in the future.

The former Britani Knight makes for a great action figure. Her unique look sets her away from the stereotypical blonde WWE Diva. That, in addition to loads of charisma and great in-ring skills, make me hope that she sticks with the business for the long haul. It's in her blood, and you can't get more devoted than that.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Signature Moves: Rediscovering Some Autographs Of Wrestling's Golden Age

It takes all kinds of collectors to make the world go 'round, and autograph hounds are no different. Some absolutely have to have everything signed right in front of them. Others may not have that option and, instead, buy their autographed items. Most, from my experience, seem to be a mix of both. While I do obtain most of my autographs in person, there are times when you see an item that you know to be authentically signed and just cannot pass it up. In other instances, the star has passed on and purchasing that signature is the sole way to add it to the collection.

A number of years back, I stumbled upon a small, inexpensive collection of vintage 2 cent postcards signed by various wrestlers. The original owner had obtained them as a child at matches not far from his home in Jersey City, NJ. He explained that there really wasn't anything else at the time to get signed, so he had these postcards autographed.

Like that collector from yesteryear, I similarly enjoy obtaining a signature on a blank index card when I'm able to. Although it's always nice to have items tailored to the wrestlers themselves signed, an autograph can often truly "pop" all by itself with a blank background. He was not the only collector from his era to do so, and many rare and classic signatures from all levels of celebrity can be found this way.

Before acquiring the lot, one signature jumped out at me above the rest. I gladly would have paid the nominal amount (around $10) that I paid for the whole lot just for this one autograph, but we'll get to that one in a bit. The cards themselves are a bit discolored with age, but the autographs are as crisp as the day that they were signed. Before the age of the Sharpie, ballpoint pen was king. I've occasionally had more modern day wrestlers sign letters in ballpoint, which adds an "old school" feel to the signature.

This vintage lot included twelve signatures spread out over eight different post cards. Some signed on one side, a few on the other, while a couple wrote on the same card in different directions. Autographs on cards like these are how modern trading card "cut signature" inserts are often produced. You didn't think that Benjamin Franklin, Jesse Owens, and Lucille Ball actually knew that those cards would be on the market in the future, did you? 

Names such as Gino Garibaldi, Luigi Scarpa, Len Rossi, Dan Miller, Aldo Venturi, Ted Lewin, and Jose Miguel Perez are a few of the recognizable names included. Many of these stars wrestled for Capitol Wrestling, which of course was promoted by Vincent J. McMahon and eventually became what we now know as WWE. Given that these were obtained in the New Jersey area, it's not much of a stretch to picture the original owner obtaining them just as he had said.

One name included that didn't immediately ring a bell was Gene DuBuque. Upon further research, it seems that Mr. DuBuque actually achieved some fame under another name a bit later in his career, Magnificent Maurice. Under the latter name, DuBuque did one of the original "effeminate" gimmicks in pro wrestling, paving the way for stars like "Exotic" Adrian Street, "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, and Goldust. His pompous smirk and well-built physique only helped the heel image of the character. Sadly, DuBuque's life was cut short in a 1974 plane crash.

There are three autographs from the collection that I still have not been able to identify. One has always seemed to me that it might be a foreign star, as the writing certainly looks like it may be in another language. The other two are very much like signatures of yesteryear, with distinct styles and flares. I'm sure that one day, browsing wrestling autographs from the past, I'll recognize the same signatures from this collection and finally be able to identify them. If you think that you recognize these three autographs, feel free to drop me a line! That top one sure does look familiar.

Last but not least is the aforementioned signature that drew my interest into the lot. While very little footage of the man seems to exist, he is actually still among the living. He is the former manager of "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, the one and only Bobby Davis. Those who saw his work say that he was one of the greatest wrestling managers of all-time. Various stories of his post-wrestling years have surfaced, with the most circulated being that he invested well in fast food restaurants. To my knowledge, his last wrestling-related appearances were in an Entertainment Tonight piece on the death of Adrian Adonis in 1988 and at the 1994 WWF Hall of Fame ceremony where Rogers was posthumously inducted. A picture of Davis at that event even appeared in WWF Magazine.

As a heel, Davis likely did not sign too many autographs. With him seemingly wanting to distance himself from wrestling, he does not likely sign many today, either. Although the rarity factor is there, the coolness doesn't end with it. As opposed to "floating" in some portion of the card, Davis takes up the whole thing. A very characteristic "Lotsa Luck" inscription was even added and tops off the bold signature that conveys the "brash and arrogant" character that Bobby Davis was said to bring to the ring.

This little collection is probably one of hundreds of thousands of similar sets of relics. Many have stumbled their way into the hands of collectors who, like myself, will save them for posterity. Others have yet to be found, still waiting in attics and basements waiting to be rediscovered. Who knows what all is out there? It's up to us, the passionate preservationists of the squared circle, to rescue them.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

WWE Eraseez Are Here To Build...& Erase!

When a new WWE licensed product hits stores, I will usually always take a look. You never know when some company will come up with an item that just begs to be added to the collection. When the item is fully enclosed in the packaging to the point where the consumer isn't fully sure what they're getting, my interest is piqued. When something is "blind bagged" (the industry term), it usually means that there is a collectibility aspect to the product. The manufacturer wants you to buy more and more packages until you "collect them all." Or until you get so many of the same ones that you give up.

Such was the case in a recent jaunt through Target. Near the trading card section was a peghook full of an interesting new bagged WWE product. The bag, illustrated with John Cena, The Big Show, and The Rock proclaimed that inside was a WWE Eraseez Collectible Puzzle Eraser. Nine different WWE Superstars were depicted on the back. The price, $3.99, seemed a bit steep for what appeared to be a disassembled eraser, but I had to see what these things looked like. Nowhere on the outer package is a description truly given.

Upon opening the bag, I pulled out a fold-out brochure depicting all nine wrestlers. Next out was a clear plastic baggie containing the pieces of everyone's favorite "Yes" man, Daniel Bryan. But wait, there was more to come. The final "lump" in the baggie was the disassembled body of "The Viper," Randy Orton. Now it made sense! Two of these eraser figures for $4. Not a bad deal in today's market.

Apparently I'm late to the party, but a quick Google search reveals that Eraseez puzzle erasers from Bulls-i-toy (sound it out) are made for licenses ranging from Angry Birds to My Little Pony. It's not shocking that WWE got in on such a collectible during a prime era for kids to be watching. Nonetheless, the kid in me was thrilled as soon as I caught a glimpse of these figures and realized, once again, that it was essentially a "Two For $4" type deal in each package.

The erasers are easy to assemble. The parts pop on fairly easily, although I don't think that I would take them apart very often. After all, these are made of eraser rubber. The likenesses themselves are realistic, but have just a tad of a cartoonish quality to them. Although the scale isn't quite the same, they remind me very much of the figures from the sorely-missed Mattel WWE Rumblers line.

Nine WWE Superstars can be "discovered" in the packages including Bryan, Orton, The Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena, Ryback, Sheamus, The Miz, and The Rock. With two per package, collectors are ideally going to end up with one duplicate when trying to complete the set, but likely will see far more. Surprisingly enough, eBay has not yet been inundated with buyers attempting to sell off their seconds. Either the product is too new or has been largely confined to childrens interests.

Longtime collectors may be reminded of a similar line of wrestling eraser figures from three decades ago. In 1985, Winston Toys produced a line of eraser figures from the Hulk Hogan's Rock N Wrestling cartoon show. This was essentially the only figure line to come from the show, likely due to the WWF's deal for regular figures with LJN. Interestingly enough, the erasers were a blend of designs from the cartoon itself and "shrunken," slightly modified versions of the larger, LJN counterparts. The erasers of Rowdy Roddy Piper, Junkyard Dog, and Wendi Richter have become holy grails.

Will the WWE Eraseez reach that level of collectibility? Most likely not, but you never know. Should sales prove to be poor and the line ends up fading into obscurity, collectors may be paying big bucks for that elusive "unscuffed" Daniel Bryan eraser somewhere down the line. If not, it's no biggie. We have a line of nine WWE Superstars Eraseez to add to the ever-growing lineup of figural wrestlers. No matter the size or intended use, they're fun pieces of wrestling memorabilia, through and through.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Take The Damn Money--The Merchandise of Harley Race

When Harley Race spoke, people listened. With a voice and demeanor like his, you didn't have much of a choice. You also knew that you were in for one Hell of a wrestling match. Harley would talk you into an arena and then back it up in the ring. Was he colorful? Not really. He didn't need to be. He made you believe. There was no question about it, Harley was truly destroying his opponent. Yet, many of his fellow all-time wrestling greats list Race as their favorite nemesis. How could that be? Easy. Harley was that good.

By the time that I was getting into wrestling, Harley was in the WWF as "The King." Though this was the beginning of the end of his career, I knew that Harley Race was something special. He may have looked a tad older than the average WWF superstar of the time, but he could take it to Junkyard Dog, Randy Savage, and Hulk Hogan without missing a beat. As Harley himself will tell you, he felt "The King" moniker was a very worthy gimmick for a man as accomplished as himself. I would have to agree. Harley wasn't taking the title at this point, but he would instead be honored for his years of championships and accomplishments all the while taking then-champion Hogan to the limit.

Interestingly enough, many stars who began in the '60s and '70s got their first taste of merchandising after aligning with the WWF, the champion of wrestling marketing. Harley Race, though a top star of that era, was a different story. JBL often states that if you could build a "sports entertainer" from the ground up, you'd have Randy Orton. Change "sports entertainer" to "professional wrestler" and you have Harley Race. It was that look and aura that put Race on countless magazine and program covers of the '70s. A champion regally displaying the World Heavyweight Championship? A bloody grappler in the midst of an hour-long spectacle? A wrestler slamming the unliftable Andre the Giant? Harley Race made all of those magazine covers happen.

Whether it be the famous blue and red robe, the royal purple "King" attire, or simply a championship belt, Race made for a great photo or trading card, as well. Thanks to his WWE Legends deal, he is frequently featured in modern day Topps WWE releases alongside fellow Hall of Famers such as Bruno Sammartino and Bret Hart. Classic cards of him include appearances in the Wrestling All-Stars, 1987 Topps WWF, Wrestling Legends, and the 1995 WCW Main Event series. The latter card features Race in another successful facet of his career, managing. Before injuries sustained in an automobile accident forced him to retire, Race was an effective manager to such stars as Big Van Vader and Lex Luger among others.

Being an all-time great with the ultimate tough guy look, Harley Race had to have some action figures. He was actually included among some of the very first wrestling action figures produced by Popy in Japan in the early 1980's. Race also saw both his '70s NWA look and his 1980's WWF "King" image produced by Jakks for their WWE Classic Superstars line. While these are all great items, one of my personal favorite wrestling figures of all-time is the LJN WWF version of Harley Race. Released in 1987, the figure is undoubtedly "The King," but with a possibly unintentional twist. The figure is clad in a jacket that looks like a perfect mashup of his WWF cape and one of his ring jackets from the '70s/'80s. Whether LJN was going for that image or not is anyone's guess, but the figure is pure Harley Race, regardless.

I first met Mr. Race over a decade ago. Although he's an extremely nice man and one of the most gracious wrestlers as far as accommodating fans, the voice still scares me. Now in his seventh decade, Harley is still one of the toughest men on God's green earth. No one will ever convince me otherwise. In the way that many fans today look at Brock Lesnar as "the real deal," Harley Race has held that position in many minds since his debut so many years ago. 1980 Race vs 2015 Lesnar...now there's a dream match of tough men, fighters, and all out beasts. My money is still on "The King!"

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Mattel & Target Deliver Hall Of Fame-Level Stratusfaction


In many ways, Trish Stratus was the modern day pro wrestling success story. Upon her debut, no one expected Trish to be more than a pleasant piece of eye candy who managed a few wrestlers and then faded into obscurity. The Canadian beauty made fools of all of us, and we couldn't be happier about it. Very few questioned it when Trish was announced for the WWE Hall of Fame back in 2013. She had earned and deserved the honor.

This year, Mattel revived their WWE Hall of Fame figure line as a Target exclusive series. Several years ago some Hall of Fame labeled figures were released through K-Mart, but were essentially repackaged Mattel Legends figures. This new series features four WWE Hall of Famers in new outfits and designs. Our lady of the hour, Trish Stratus, joins Sgt. Slaughter, The Ultimate Warrior, and Stone Cold Steve Austin in the first series. Stratus and Slaughter have proven to be the most popular.

To begin with, this is the first (and possibly only) figure of Stratus as a brunette. This is the hair color that she has kept since retiring from wrestling and utilized in her WWE returns and outside ventures. It makes the figure fun and different, while the unique Hall of Fame package design helps in that regard as well. The head is the same as the earlier Elite Flashback figure of Trish with tweaks to the makeup and, of course, the hair coloring. Her hair has had less of the "feathering" in her brunette years, but I'm not complaining. The makeup on the old figure which she has not worn in recent years helped make the face look more like Trish, but you can still tell that it's her without it.

The attire is based on her WrestleMania XXVII appearance. Her presence was one bright point on a rather abysmal show. Sadly, she was also saddled with Snooki. Who? Anyway, if you lift up the back of her long locks, you'll see that Mattel went the extra mile and applied her "Brunette Mafia" logo to the back of her shirt. Shortly after the figure was released, Trish herself commented on Twitter about the "cuteness" of detail on the figure, "especially the butt." Awww, Trish...

Included is the WWE Women's Championship accessory. Trish is the only figure to have included this belt so far, as it debuted with the first Mattel figure of her. It would have been nice had a small plaque been included with this figures as was with Bruno Sammartino, but I understand budgetary measures. Trust me, it's nice to have a Hall of Fame line at all.

The choice of attire makes this Trish figure a bit more flexible than the first. Her initial figure was based upon the almost bellbottom-esque pants that she wore around ten years ago. The more shape-hugging attire here allows Trish to perform the "Chick Kick" and other maneuvers with ease. I really like the gloved hands, as well. Trish looks a lot tougher here while maintaining her trademark sexiness. Look out, Ronda!

This figure takes me back to sitting in the Garden on the night that Trish delivered her speech. I thought that it was one of the best of the night and her use of props, which has since been copied, was a great addition to her career story. I may be in the minority, but I'd love figures based on some of the more unique Hall of Fame looks (Trish in her dress, bald Bruno, tuxedo Hulk), but then I remember that these are action figures and not...induction speech figures.

The Hall of Fame Trish gets a big thumbs up from me, but you may have to take to the secondary market if you haven't already found one. Plenty were produced, but Trish and Slaughter were very popular. Series 2 featuring Hulk Hogan, Eddy Guerrero, Yokozuna, and Tito Santana as well as a Four Horsemen set are on the way. Even though the idea of a "First Time In The Line" Diva figure in a store exclusive set is insanity, I'd love to see Trish's "Team Bestie" pal Lita in a future set. The Hall of Fame line might also be a good way to get some managers like Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan out, not to mention Paul Bearer who has only seen the Mattel light of day overseas.

In the meantime, we now have two different flavors of "Sweet Stratusfaction!"

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Endorse This!

Looking for an attention-grabbing celebrity endorsement? Who better than a professional wrestler? Larger-than-life personas and appearances that usually stick out like a sore thumb when up against regular folk. Wrestlers are used to pumping out rhetoric that will make you want to spend your money on what they're promoting, and they often don't need more than one take to get their message out. It's no wonder that wrestlers have been chosen to go outside the squared circle to promote toys, food products, clothing, and more in the past couple of decades. Often, those appearances have created some fun promotional items in their own right.

It's interesting that the biggest promotional crossover of the 1980's involving wrestling took place without the endorsement of the WWF, just as the company was branching out into similar avenues. Indeed, Sgt. Slaughter becoming the face of Hasbro's G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy line is the stuff that Madison Avenue dreams are made of. Although other real life names such as William "The Refrigerator" Perry and Rowdy Roddy Piper have become G.I. Joe figures since, Sgt. Slaughter is still the icon of the line. Many stories have gone around as to why Slaughter left the WWF as the deal was being done, but the one regarding a conflict of interest does make sense. Hasbro owned G.I. Joe while LJN produced the WWF figure line. Some LJN WWF figures made it into an ad for the mail-away 8 inch Sgt. Slaughter figure, but that was the extent of any crossover.

For not having as much merchandise as the WWF, the NWA held its own as far as promotional deals. My own personal favorite is the Mello Yello tie-in starring "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. Although several can collections were produced featuring a variety of stars, Dusty was front and center in the advertising campaign at both the store and television level. When the charismatic star urged you to "Make The Mello Yello Move!," you listened! Dusty was no stranger to endorsements, plugging Stanback Headache Powders earlier in the decade. Life-sized cardboard Dusty's made their way to stores, and it's hard to forget "The Dream" and his "million-dollar smile" in the tv commercial for the promotion.

NWA endorsements didn't end when "The Dream" departed the organization and Ted Turner took over. You may remember Jim Ross endlessly mentioning Roos Shoes on NWA programming, and the company name even appearing on ring posts. Although the shoes may be long out of style, some of the promotional materials are still very cool. Roos obviously took the endorsement of the NWA stars very seriously and got their moneys worth by plastering the likenesses of Ric Flair, Sting, Lex Luger, and The Road Warriors in shoe stores nationwide. A variety of posters and cardboard standees came out of the promotion, featuring a WWF-level of stardom for the NWA wrestling stars.

Of course, no wrestler endorsement discussion is complete without mention of the legendary line, "Snap Into A Slim Jim, Ooooh Yeah!" Made famous by "Macho Man" Randy Savage, the initial commercials actually featured The Ultimate Warrior. Other WWF Superstars such as Bam Bam Bigelow and Diesel would assume the role when Savage left the company, but none could compare. The "Macho Man" eventually carried the endorsement deal over to WCW with him, where his then-girlfriend Stephanie "Gorgeous George" Bellars also got into the action. Tins, coolers, and more plastered with "Mach" and the Slim Jim logo are available from the long running promotion.

With John Cena and Fruity Pebbles and WWE's new partnership with TapouT, these deals continue to fill advertisers pockets, store shelves, and our consciousness today and far into the future. Did you save that very first Cena cereal box? I did. It's a great reminder that the stars and faces of our favorite pastime can continue to place right up there with celebrities of other genres. Who knows what a wrestler will endorse next? In the meantime...wash those Pebbles down with some Mello Yello, slip on your old Roos, snap into a Slim Jim, and tune into an old G.I. Joe cartoon. Maybe Andre the Giant singing about Honey Comb will come on during a commercial break. Then all would be right in the (wrestling) world.