Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coming This Summer...In Wrestling!

Remember when the last months of the year, leading into the holidays, seemed like the season for spending?  I'm not sure that those months have anything on summer as far as lightening the wallet.  Huge meals for cookouts on "eating" holidays, blockbuster "popcorn" movies, and even "staycation" vacations can cost an arm and a leg.  And why shouldn't they?  I can remember hearing and reading the three-word phrase of "Coming this Summer!" ever since I was a kid in every medium you could think of.  Although those words carried a lot of excitement with them, they also meant that money was going to be spent on any and all fun activities.  All except for wrestling.

Many wrestling promoters traditionally did not like running shows in the summer.  It was thought that fans had "better things to do" than go to a wrestling show, though eventually The Great American Bash and SummerSlam ripped the misconception to shreds.

If you ask me, a true wrestling fan will be able to give up at least one night in Porchville to take in an evening of matches.  These days many fans do just that.  In fact, with all of the exciting releases and happenings in wrestling they may have to give up a few cases of beer in Porchville just to afford it all.  Collectibles, events, and even a milestone or two pepper this upcoming season of sunshine with tons of mat action.

TNA, that little company that many said wouldn't last a year, will celebrate their 10th anniversary this June.  Whether you think of it as Total Nonstop Action or the newer name of Impact Wrestling, the company has had more than a fair share of memorable moments over the past decade.  Their upcoming Slammiversary pay-per-view event looks to be serving as the official celebration of this milestone, and as always I recommend checking out one of their house shows if they come through your area.

One of the most valuable assets to the company, especially at the aforementioned house shows, is reportedly departing after ten years.  Don West, who began his career in the company as an announcer, is said to be finishing up his tenure shortly.  In recent years Mr. West has been credited with the company performing well financially in the merchandise department.  Anyone who has attended a live TNA/Impact show can attest to his tireless work and promotion for both the company and the countless wares.

Never to be outdone, WWE will be celebrating a milestone as well.  On August 19th, the company will hold the 25th edition of it's SummerSlam event.  This will be the fourth consecutive time that the event will emanate from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and if you plan on attending you may just want to pick up a program.  Not only are programs probably my favorite items to pick up at shows, but if you decide you want one in the future you'll be kicking yourself: programs from the last few SummerSlam's have been selling for as much as $60 in recent auctions.

Of course programs aren't the only new merchandise coming in the next few months.  Figures from both companies are on tap, with a new TNA series finally coming from Jakks.  The problem with the set is that no new characters are included.  Slated for an August release the set is to include Jeff Hardy, Velvet Sky, Bobby Roode, James Storm, and Mr. Anderson.  All figures will have new decor and while four of the five should be good sellers, at least one new name would've been nice.  Anderson, the one who won't sell, could've been freshened up by being released dressed as Sting.  Jakks has showcased Anderson as Sting prototypes in the past and comes across as lazy for not releasing one.

Mattel's WWE line continues to move along with continual new releases and new characters.  Their issue, as I've discussed previously, is the odd distribution of the new characters.  The company needs to learn that female figures WILL sell.  Limiting them only causes the prices to go up on the secondary market, something that Mattel is making no money off of whatsoever.

Sin Cara's return to WWE television could not have come at a better time for Mattel.  The first figures of the masked luchador are hitting stores now.  Being a popular character with kids, it isn't like the figure will need any help flying off of the shelves and it into toy rings everywhere.

For fans who would rather watch matches in the comfort of their air conditioned homes, plenty of new multimedia releases are on tap for the coming months.  WWE is planning new DVD and Blu-Ray releases for classic ECW matches and The Undertaker along with compilation sets for concepts like Falls Count Anywhere matches and Greatest Finishing Moves.  Just last week WWE reaped some gems in their vault with a best of the WCW Clash of the Champions which is hosted by "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and is available in both formats.

This summer will also mark a traditional company throwing its hat into the wrestling ring without a WWE or TNA affiliation..  Leaf Trading Cards is releasing a card set called "Leaf Originals Wrestling."  Each card is autographed directly on the card and there are five cards per pack.  Cost per pack?  Just $80.  While I appreciate any company producing wrestling merchandise, my opinion is that these will appeal more to card collectors than actual wrestling memorabilia collectors.  Each card has an artists rendering of the legend as opposed to a photo and I've already heard negative feedback on the depictions from collectors.  It has also been announced that due to contractual obligations (most likely from WWE) Shawn Michaels is already out of the set.

Great events, action figures, cards, and matches to watch until the sun rises in Porchville.  What more could a wrestling fan ask for?  Keep it locked here on the blog throughout the next few months for even more wrestling events, happenings, and swag that are...

                                 COMING THIS SUMMER!!!

No comments: