Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Bad Guy Of Many Colors

“The Bad Guy” is one of those characters who will never fade away. He started in 1992 as a “Scarface” rip off and, due to the previously untapped charisma of Scott Hall, became one of the best loved WWF stars of the 1990s. It’s actually weird to think that Hall only portrayed the character for roughly four years. It certainly feels a lot longer. It’s also weird for me to think, after doing some research for this blog entry, that I own all but two Mattel figure releases of the character, those being one of two Basic releases and the original “purple” release in the Defining Moments line. Those are actually probably the only two Razor figure releases in all that I don’t own, but this isn’t about me. This is about a Bad Guy…or two.

Like the Elite Legends line, the Ultimate Edition Legends line is also exclusive to a certain bullseyed retailer, though we have seen plenty of Ultimate Edition legends figures released by other means. This is the first to have a proper “chase” figure. Personally, I feel that the whole “chase” deal is out of control in every corner of the wrestling figure world, even if it has yielded us some great alternative looks. I wouldn’t have reviewed this figure had I not had both to present to you. Since there ended up being an opportunity to grab the chase at retail price (remember folks, I’m not an “influencer,” these companies send me nothing), we’re gonna dive in and look at both.

The Ultimate Edition packaging has changed little since it was first brought out. It’s very functional for what it houses, but I just wouldn’t ever have the desire to get these autographed with hands and things just floating around. You get that with Elites occasionally, too, but it’s much more obvious here. It’s a great showcase for why these figures are supposed to be “ultimate,” I just don’t think that it lends itself to carded/boxed collecting. I actually feel a bit guilty when disposing of some of these Ultimate Edition boxes, but it isn’t my fault that there’s so much material there. I didn’t design them and, on the flip side, I have absolutely zero room to keep them.

The difference between the regular and chase editions is interesting. I’m guessing that the purple version is the chase due to the aforementioned purple Defining Moments release of many years ago. The reason I say that is that the regular version is so much more interesting. Though the look is totally authentic, I don’t recall the yellowish gold vest with red trunks ever being done as a figure before. The vest showed up in an early Jakks figure and the trunks on the iconic Hasbro, but together? As you can tell by my comments, I greatly prefer the regular version. This is the Razor I’d have displayed with Ric Flair for a ’92 feel, if I did displays. Don’t get me wrong, the solid purple is great, too, and of course takes us back to the Hasbro re-release.

In either release you get three different heads, four sets of hands (including the thumbs up hands that it felt like Mattel didn’t want to do for the longest time), the vest, the gold necklace and the Intercontinental Championship belt. The "Ultimate Edition" torso has never struck me as worth the extra cost, but considering Razor's broad shoulders it does work here. The logos are well done everywhere including on the backs of the vests. The heads are probably the best ones we've seen to date as, for whatever reason, Hall was a tough likeness to nail down as a figure. Most over the years turned out too cartoonish. These, especially the smiling face, are just right.

I have to split this one down the middle. Both are great figures, but unless you happen upon a chase I don’t think I can recommend needing to necessarily break any doors down to get this one immediately. Unless you’re a huge Razor fan, of course, which in that case commence breaking. We’ve had other great figures of him before and, to me, the “Ultimate” stylings don’t make a huge difference. The red dot retailer is known for constant sales both in store and online. With the higher price of these Ultimate Edition figures it’s sometimes better to just wait. The stores tend to do a lot of clearance, too, although there’s no real guarantee with that.

Just be sure that you take care of them. Why? Because… “Something happen to these figures, something happen to you, chico…”

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Eternally Sweeter Than A German Chocolate Cake…

Pioneering. Legendary. Controversial. I think that if I were asked for three words to describe Superstar Billy Graham, those would be the three. He was ahead of his time decades ago when chiseled physiques were not the norm in pro wrestling. He was sizzle over steak and made it work. While men like Hulk Hogan and Jesse Ventura took this style and ran with it, they always credited The Superstar. Had he come along a decade later it quite possibly would’ve been Graham to be the face of the national wrestling expansion. We’ll never know. But what we got is something that we’ll never forget.

Something that Graham isn’t often credited for, but possibly should be, is his ability to change with the times. Ok, so “Kung Fu” Billy Graham didn’t set the world on fire, but he did extend his career a few years with the gimmick. It’s very possible that the ‘80s, bald Superstar would’ve taken off well, too, had injuries not plagued him due to his years of abuse. Nonetheless, like Chris Jericho is celebrated for today, Graham did indeed know the art of reinvention. I’ve actually always preferred the ‘80s Superstar look despite the run not going as planned. It’s the first version of Graham that I remember and it definitely modernized the character into the ‘80s.

The camera loved Graham as did magazine photographers Bill Apter and George Napolitano. The Superstar was featured in the classic magazines from cover to cover. As the years went on he was also a big part of the late Scott Epstein’s Wrestling Training Illustrated, a magazine that was designed as a cross between wrestling and weightlifting. And while WWE may deny it in an issue well covered here on this blog, we can’t forget that Graham was the cover boy of the debut issue of the very first in-house WWWF/WWF Magazine, Wrestling Action.

Graham seemed like a natural for an LJN figure during his late ‘80s WWF comeback. I’m sure that he was in the planning stages at some point given the ballyhoo around his return. He did get a shirt, posters and is on the official promo photo for Hulk Hogan’s 1987 Survivor Series team where he was eventually replaced by Don Muraco. It wasn’t until around 2006, when we lived through what I consider to be the “resurgence” of Superstar Graham, that modern merchandise really began to kick in for him. He’d had an entry into the beloved Figures Toy Company Legends of Professional Wrestling figure line, but thanks to his return to WWE he now had Classic Superstars figures in several looks as well as a book and DVD. It was in fact at a book signing where I first met Graham. He was great to all who showed up.

I’ve never believed in sugarcoating things after people pass away, at least not fully. Graham had erratic behavior towards promoters, fans and even WWE for many years. It’s well documented and in today’s information era it won’t ever fully go away. After reading about so much of it, it isn’t something that’s able to be ignored fully. Instead, like many wrestlers and celebrities, I try to focus more on their body of work. Superstar Billy Graham was revolutionary in that respect and on many levels. I choose to remember the battles with Dusty Rhodes and Bob Backlund, the endless triumphant returns and the style and showmanship that was largely unheard of before his arrival.

Superstar Billy Graham


Thursday, May 18, 2023

The Isle Of Samoa’s Finest

Last year when they were first unveiled I knew that Mattel WWE Legends Series 18 was going to be something special. You had a “First Time In The Line” character, his partner not made in this look in nearly thirty years, a legendary manager being made in his initial guise for the very first time and the all-time legend, always a huge seller, finally coming to the actual named Legends line. Even if we do have to suffer through the pain of not one but TWO chase variant figures this time, it’s worth it in order to get one of the most figurally (new word!) underrepresented tag teams in an even earlier look. While Paul E. Dangerously and The Hulkster in WCW form are great, for the entry today we’re focusing on that very team. Whether you know them as The Samoan SWAT Team or The Headshrinkers, we’re covering all the bases here on the blog.

Once again a Target exclusive series, Legends 18 retains the packaging that we’re all familiar with. There is word that this will change in the future, though I’m not sure if that will be with the next set (Brother Love, D’Lo Brown, Kama Mustafa and The Undertaker) or not. From what I’ve seen of the new packaging it sort of gives me a Classic Superstars vibe. This is surprising in the day and age where manufacturers are falsely citing concerns for the environment in order to cut down on their own packaging costs (it actually backfired on Hasbro recently…), but the new design does seem to be more elaborate. Nevertheless, Samu, Fatu, Paulie and Hulk are all in the traditional boxes.

Usually you can tell where they scrimped on the budget for one or two figures in order to produce a more elaborate one in the same series. Aside from the disappointing torso (again) and coloring on Hogan, it’s pretty hard to tell how they fit all four of these figures into one series. Our Samoan boys are chalk full of accessories including spears (which detach in the center for easier storage), soft goods sarongs, ankle coverings and chest covers. Two sets of hands are included, too, and I think we may have gotten a third had there not been so many other accessories included with these guys. I’m not complaining about that!

Indeed, there are chase variants for both Samu and Fatu. The flowered tights variants are from their pre-Headshrinkers run as The Samoan SWAT Team and this is the first time that either have been produced in that look. I will say that packaged The SST are a bit off as they didn’t have the same entrance gear as they did in the WWF, but I’m certainly up to letting it slide. The Samu variant is easy to spot with the strikingly lighter hair on the figure. Likenesses for both guys are great, though Samu’s facial likeness has the slight edge. In most lighting they twosome actually looks frighteningly real. The Headshrinkers version of Samu is also passable for his earlier WWF run as Samoan #3 or Samula when he was associated with Afa and Sika.

The boys seem to share the same torso. It’s not too noticeable at a glance, but Fatu should be a tad thicker. Mattel did go out of their way to create a different gluteus maximus part for Fatu. Let’s face it, the man who eventually made “The Stinkface” known worldwide has always had a generous backside. Where Mattel got it wrong is a bit lower on the anatomy. Like some other Mattel figure offerings, the legs here are just a bit too thin, especially for Fatu. In many poses, and especially with the sarongs applied, it isn’t that noticeable, but it’s still something that could be improved upon. The great designs on either version also help cloud the visual of the thinner legs.

If you’re reading this I can’t imagine that you won’t want these. While they’ve not been impossible to come across, neither Samu or Fatu are in the situation of several of the chase variants in the Legends line where it seems to be a 50/50 shot of finding them. The SST versions are definitely more limited and The Headshrinkers versions, while equally as desirable for a fan, are starting to pile up. Honestly, I wouldn’t sleep on either set. I was surprised recently when checking on secondary market prices on some of the Legends figures that had little fanfare like Kevin Nash. The prices are going up. As always, if you see these guys just grab them. I could also see additions coming down the line to make them even more coveted. My most wanted is their partner Kokina. Seeing as that we’ve gotten other contracted legends in earlier guises, why not Yoko to celebrate his Samoan heritage? With Captain Lou Albano now part of the Mattel roster I could see a version of him to join The Headshrinkers being a possibility, too.

The Samoan Dynasty just goes on and on…

Thursday, May 11, 2023

JW’s Wrestling Memorabilia Vlog Vol. 2

You want more vlogs? You got em! This time the vlog is back with two vintage figure unboxing sessions!

Enjoy and, as always, thanks for watching!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Ram Jam!

Looking back at the past fourteen years, I’m really surprised that I’ve never done an entry on “The Wrestler.” I did do one on the very different 1974 version, which we’ll talk about a little here. I’m sure that, considering it was a very hot movie the year that this blog started, the Mickey Rourke version was mentioned somewhere along the line. There isn’t too much merchandise for the film itself, but it does have connections to other bits of wrestling memorabilia. It also happens to be one of my favorite movies of all-time.

I tell people who haven’t seen it that it really isn’t a wrestling movie at all. Wrestling is a theme and major backdrop, for sure, but really it’s a human interest story. I hate to admit it, but if it didn’t have the wrestling connection I probably never would have seen it. Also admittedly, I’d be greatly missing out. It’s a tragic, but very familiar, story interlaced with a lot of humor. Humor? Yes, humor. And I’m sure that I’m not the only one who sees a lot of the humorous bits. I find that it’s good to laugh, even when confronted with less than great prospects in life. If you truly sit down and take the film in, you’ll see it.

If you haven’t seen it, the film follows Randy “The Ram” Robinson played to perfection by Mickey Rourke. The character is an amalgamation of several wrestlers, notably Jake “The Snake” Roberts and Lex Luger with a dash of Hulk Hogan thrown in. The Robinson character seems to have reached the heights that Hogan did in the ‘80s, so his name has to be included. It also could viewed as somewhat autobiographical for Rourke himself. It takes place in a fictional world where “WrestleJam” replaces WrestleMania and the big wrestling group is referred to as “The Show” rather than “The Fed.” These details aren’t totally fleshed out and we don’t need them to be. This story is about the rise and fall of Randy the Ram from the ‘80s until the then-present day of the late ‘00s. Like many real life wrestlers, Randy struggles with the fall from grace, personal relationships, finances and the inability to give up the glory.

The show opens with a montage of pictures and magazine covers from Randy’s glory days. Rourke’s head is placed onto Luger’s body for photos of the wrestler in his prime. Per the producers, permission was granted from the magazine publishers to use many of the old titles and designs. You’ll even notice some of the old back page ads. The montage features voiceovers of Larry Zbyszko and, more notably, Chris Cruise “calling” some of Randy’s old matches. In the opening moments of the film a magazine is signed by Randy. The “fan” getting the magazine autographed is actually the writer of the film, Robert Siegel.

Throughout the film Randy drives a very worn old van to various shows and other places of interest. Early on, we see the outline of a figure mounted on his dashboard. It’s supposed to be Randy himself but anyone reading this blog would know that it’s actually an LJN Wrestling Superstars Randy “Macho Man” Savage figure. As the story goes, the Savage figure, which was likely customized to resemble The Ram, was lost during production. Later, in a very well-lit outdoor scene in Elizabeth, NJ, the figure was needed again. This time it’s a Jakks WWF Bonecrunching Edge figure. We also see a child playing with this figure later on. The Japanese magazine "Cinema Rise" features a great still showing the LJN in their issue covering the film.

That’s not the only figure which we see make a big screen appearance. One scene with a mix of humor and tragedy has Randy at a wrestling legends signing at a VFW hall somewhere in Jersey. While the majority of the other “legends” are unknown extras, the one parked next to Randy who actually gets a scene hugging our star is known to all of us: the late “Luscious” Johnny Valiant. It’s never clarified if he’s playing himself or not, but he has a boxed Figures Inc. Legends of Professional Wrestling figure on his table. Could it be “brother” Jimmy? There are other tables filled with merchandise at this mock show including magazines, shirts and Coliseum Videos. This is one scene that I often had to clarify for folks back then. The scene is meant to be a letdown for Randy in that the event is poorly attended. While situations like that did occur, I can tell you that the era in which this movie was filmed is what I call the “golden age” of the wrestling convention. In real life, conventions were packing fans in and overselling tickets to the point that you weren’t sure if you’d even get what you came for. That, however, is a story for another book…

It should also be pointed out that a working NES game was created for the movie. A mix of the real-life “Pro Wrestling” and “WrestleMania” games, Randy and his neighbor are shown playing “WrestleJam ’89,” a game created in story to reflect the biggest match of The Ram’s career. The producers took pride in that the game was made specifically for the and scene and was actually playable!

I still remember word going out as to where they would be filming. Heck, I even remember when Nicholas Cage was still attached to the movie. Due to plenty of other things going on at the time, there was no traveling for me to appear in any of the show scenes, though I do recognize plenty of faces. The truth also is that up until this movie, I’d never been too enamored with wrestling on film. I had no reason to think that this one would be any different. The original 1974 version of The Wrestler, a completely different film, is a fun watch but is by no means a great movie. It stars Edward Asner and Verne Gagne with memorable scenes with other wrestlers such as Dusty Rhodes and Dick Murdoch. It also contains a rare appearance by Vincent J. McMahon. It’s worth a viewing, but this is one time when something more modern is better than something from decades ago.

While I didn’t get to attend any of the filming, my jaw did drop several years later on a visit to Jersey. It’s become a personal tradition that the night before a trip out to The Garden State, always for a wrestling convention, I watch the film. It’s relaxing for me and has that gritty Jersey flavor. Not a flavor you want in your mouth, but it’ll pump you up for a road trip. In 2012, the Friday night before a convention, we attended an indy show with a mini-convention attached. I knew that we were going to Rahway, NJ and that some of the movie had been set around there, but I guess I never put it together just how much. As we entered the doorway/vestibule of the building I felt a feeling of déjà vu. I’d never been to Rahway before. How could this be? It was because Randy the Ram walks through the same door and into the same building for an indy show at the same venue, The Rahway Rec Center. Wow. Considering that both The Great Muta and Mil Mascaras were on the card that I was seeing that night? Triple wow.

I’m sure that this movie is streaming somewhere. A physical copy (always best!) is probably available for under $10. I don’t like when people give me viewing recommendations because I never end up getting around to them and I disappoint that person, but I’ll be a hypocrite: watch this movie. My favorite scene? The deli scenes. (‘A little moaaaaar…”) See, I told you this wasn’t a full “wrestling movie.” A word of warning: there’s enough adult content in it that I wouldn’t recommend it for kids, but that’s your decision. I will also say that, while this blog has always been family friendly, I must stray from my normal standards so that I can leave you with my favorite quote from the film…and then go and pop it in the Blu-Ray player…

“The ‘90s fuckin’ sucked!”

Thursday, April 27, 2023

A Real American, A Nature Boy, A Modern Day Warrior, A Dragon & A Hot Rod

Another five to complete the ten! I’ve accumulated plenty of goodies representing my top ten favorite wrestlers of all-time just as I’m sure you have with your favorites. I don’t care if they’re monetarily worth one dollar or one hundred dollars, what matters is what their value is to me. That’s where collecting has gone off the rails in recent years. It’s fine to have memorabilia worth money, but for many that truly seems to be the focal point. Grading? Please. I’ll tell you whether my autographs are authentic and what condition my items are in. Paying someone to tell ME and then lock them away behind plastic? I don’t know where some of you all lost it, but if you’re reading the blog you have at least some sense. Enough with grading! Enough with my soapbox! Onto some fun!

Who had more fun than The Nature Boy? If only he knew when to quit! Of my top ten favorite wrestlers of all-time, he’s the one that I wish I had never liked so much. His post-career behavior is mind boggling and nonsensical. It seriously gives me a headache as to wonder which contradictory statements are going to come flying out of his mouth next. Thankfully, I rarely if ever think about it and instead enjoy his career as it was. As NWA World Heavyweight Champion that was a career that took him all over the world including to Japan. Like here in the United States, Ric Flair and the championship together made magazine cover gold in Japan. Adding intrigue was showing Flair with the WWF Champion Bob Backlund and AWA Champion Rick Martel a few years later. 

One man who defeated Flair for that very championship was Kerry Von Erich. From afar, “The Modern Day Warrior,” later “The Texas Tornado,” truly seemed to have it all. If you could chisel a wrestler from granite I think it may very well have ended up being Kerry. Not to mention a homespun charisma and looks that drove the women wild. For that very reason Kerry was the quintessential Texas coverboy. I recently posted the picture that you see here on Instagram. I titled it “Coverboy Loverboy” and as you can see it was an apt description. Throughout his short life Kerry was the one that the guys wanted to be and that the girls wanted to be with. He appealed to all audiences and while his life ended tragically, there’s something about the work that he did leave behind that’s still enjoyable for many of us.

A wrestler who could also fit the bill of “the one that the guys wanted to be and that the girls wanted to be with” is Ricky Steamboat. As late as 2022, “The Dragon” was still breathing fire in the ring! You cannot meet a more affable wrestler and, considering that he’s thought by many to be one of the greatest of all-time, it’s always an all-around amazing experience getting to visit with Steamboat. His merchandise keeps on coming, too. Steamboat seems to have new action figures each year and has even recently joined the realm of Funko Pop figures. One figure that I’ve been wondering if we will see again is the Mattel WWE Defining Moments release. It’s the only Mattel figure thus far to represent the 1991 WWF run of The Dragon, complete with the full costume and “fire” stick. Seeing Mattel’s love for releasing Steamboat and re-releasing past glories, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this one show up again in some form down the line.

And speaking of great guys to meet, I’m not sure that they came any better than Rowdy Roddy Piper. I’ve discussed it in here before, but Piper greeted you like an old friend no matter who you were. I have a few hilarious Piper stories that I only share in person, but one that belongs in this blog is when he signed my GI Joe convention exclusive figure of himself. Yes, Hot Rod is a GI Joe. He “marched” it across the table towards me as if it were a toy soldier. It’s the little things like that. He was one of a kind. In the past few weeks I’ve noticed discussion on the net of a photograph which shows Piper hoisting both the WWF Championship and the WWF Intercontinental Championship up outside of the classic blue steel cage. There has been some conjecture as to the origin of this photo. This photo was actually the first signed Roddy Piper item that I ever owned. Those days are long gone, but I still treasure it like all of the rest.

If you’re talking Roddy Piper you have to be talking The Hulkster. Though Piper was not the giant-style villain that Hulk Hogan usually faced, he may very well have been his greatest adversary. Even the WCW Hogan-Piper revival feud, which I didn’t care for at the time, rings of nostalgia now. That was, of course, when Hogan was in the midst of his legendary “Hollywood” heel run. The roles were indeed reversed with the ‘90s version of Hogan vs Piper! The latest Hogan autograph in my life comes on his Mattel WWE Superstars figure. The line, which is meant to resemble the classic Remco AWA figure collection, greatly lends itself to autographs with a nice big plastic bubble to sign on each one. The classic yellow and red Hulkster is joining the line later this year alongside, you guessed it, the Hot Rod himself!

You’ve once again been subjected to my top ten. Come on, you enjoyed it. With men like Rhodes, Harley and Steamboat how could any wrestling fan not? The legends live on…

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Two Kings, A Dream, A Texas Bronco & A Living Legend

I feel like whether they’re alive or dead, a lot of my top ten favorite wrestlers of all-time have been on the minds of many fans as of late. Seeing as that my top ten is made up of ten wrestlers who make many such lists worldwide, it isn’t too much of a surprise. Still, a lot has to do with the time of year. We’re hitting the fifth anniversary of the passing of Bruno Sammartino, what would’ve been the 80th birthday of Harley Race and I don’t even have to tell you why everybody’s been talking about the patriarch of wrestling’s other royal family. Of course Jerry Lawler has been in the news with a health scare, The Hulkster pops up everywhere and The Nature Boy never knows when to shut up. All things considered, I thought it would be fun to write about my top ten again. Over the next two weeks, in no particular order, we’ll take a look at an item from each. Some you may own, others may be new to you, but it’s never a dull moment when looking at the memorabilia of the all-time greats.

I still remember where I was when I’d heard that Bruno Sammartino had died. As big of a deal as it was worldwide, it hit especially hard here in Pittsburgh where Sammartino made his home for most of his life. It was hard to believe that there would ever be a time when Bruno wouldn’t be out making appearances around the Greater Pittsburgh area. It was just five years later when I, along with thousands of other fans, got to see him take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame right in the hallowed halls of Madison Square Garden. “The Living Legend” was physically gone but, I’d said back then, in many ways he was immortal. News broke of the passing of “Number One” Paul Jones on the same day. Once a huge star in the Carolinas, many fans my age more remember Jones as a manager. In an odd coincidence, both Sammartino and Jones shared the cover of the February 1977 issue of The Wrestler. Nikolai Volkoff is the victim of a Bruno armbar in the cover photo. Sadly he would also pass away later in 2018.

Jerry “The King” Lawler thankfully seems to be on the mend from a recent stroke. He appeared, via videotape, at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony this year as part of the induction of Andy Kaufman. I spoke to him just last year when he signed an amazing poster that I’d picked up. It was a celebration of all those great Monday night shows at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis. Lawler himself had drawn the poster back in 1994. We discussed the stars depicted and who was still around and who wasn’t. Since that discussion we’ve lost Jerry Jarrett. Thankfully, The King has pulled through once again. Long Live The King!

Speaking of royalty, this month would’ve marked the 80th birthday of Harley Race. For as gruff, rough and brutal as he was in the ring, Race certainly seemed to enjoy and treasure the fans. I can even recall him excusing himself to the restroom during an autograph signing but assuring the fans that he’d be right back, in case they were concerned that they wouldn’t get to meet one of the all-time legends of the ring. He continued to make appearances well into his battle of the illness which took his life. When I think of a real, hard fought wrestling match that could make anyone a wrestling fan for the sheer realism alone, it’s a Race match that I think of. He gave it his all. As we’d discussed here earlier in the year, The King is returning to the Mattel WWE line soon, but both the WWF and NWA versions of “The Greatest Wrestler on God’s Green Earth” have been represented well recently in the Micro Brawlers and Pint Size All Star mini figure lines, respectively.

Speaking of those grizzled old veterans, God bless Texas and God bless Terry Funk. If there’s anyone out there with a negative story about The Funker I don’t think that it’s ever been told. If you’ve seen or heard him talk outside of “kayfabe,” that’s exactly how Funk is. No pretenses or falsehoods, Terry Funk is just a genuine person. Widely reported health issues have obviously slowed The Funker down into retirement, but rest and relaxation in his later years have certainly been well earned. We all hope that he can enjoy that retirement as best as possible. Funk reinvented himself so many times over the years that it’s often hard to pick your favorite “version” of the legend. He was certainly immensely popular in Japan where he had the moniker of “Texas Bronco.” In that country I’m sure he signed many of what you see here: a shikishi board. Hugely popular in Japan, these boards are used for art, calligraphy and collecting autographs.

From The Texas Bronco to a son of a plumber, who hasn’t been thinking about Dusty Rhodes as of late? From the trials and tribulations of his son Cody in WWE to the recent A&E Biography, The American Dream does indeed still last. Anyone who knows me knows that it’s hard for me to narrow it down to just any one Dusty item. They all have that individual quality of Stardust magic. No, not the more recent Stardust. We’re talking about that common man from Austin, Texas who was chasing the end of that lightning bolt and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. One of the biggest moments in that chase was on August 3, 1980 in Tampa, FL. In fact, it was billed as “The Last Tangle In Tampa.” Rhodes challenged Race in a match that ended in a sixty minute time limit draw. Someone back then may have shown their support with the bumper sticker that you see here. Wrestling in the territorial days had a lot of bumper stickers. They were cheap to produce and fans ate them up. I’ve always wondered if there was a Harley counterpart sticker…

In the next entry we’ll visit with five more legends and five more pieces of memorabilia created in their images. Iconic, fun and desirable, would you expect any less from the legends of wrestling?