Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wrestling Cards Of Pure Imagination

We don't always get what we want. It's an old saying, even a song, and it rings true in every day of our lives. Nonetheless, sometimes our minds can produce images of those things that we want. In this day and age, it's becoming easier and easier to project those ideas into reality. 3D printers are fast becoming the latest Star Trek-esque technology to catch on in the real world. They can produce items from our minds into tangible matter in just hours. The ability to create items from our minds digitally has existed a lot longer. Today, you'll be going inside my mind (yikes!) to see an idea that I've described here a few times before...a new WWE Heritage tribute to the 1987 Topps WWF trading card collection.

Imagine, if you will, that Topps has indeed decided to celebrate thirty years of their 1987 WWF release. This would also coincide with 2017 being thirty years since what many consider to be the biggest wrestling event of all-time, WrestleMania III. Using only concepts that Topps could possibly use in the release as well as only names who have appeared in previous releases, this is what those cards might possibly look like...

The original 1987 release was made up of basic wrestler "name" cards, action cards with captions, "television set" cards with word bubbles, and a few cards featuring images from WrestleMania III. Stickers were also included in the original set, but since they were reuses of photos on the cards albeit with different backgrounds, I didn't include them in the "new" set. Just as I was careful to only include superstars who could contractually be used if the set were really released, I replaced the old WWF block logo where needed and even etched it out in one or two instances.

Like all Heritage releases, the wrestlers featured would be a mix of old and new. While Topps likely has its reasons, the photography in some sets has been reused several times in recent memory, so I attempted to use some rarer shots of many of the stars. Just as in the original 1987 set, promotional "posed" images of some stars would be used as they translate very well to the designs of the cards.

The captioned action shots are easily brought up to date, again with a mix of current WWE Superstars and Legends. The WrestleMania III cards would instead be replaced with a WrestleMania History subset, featuring one shot from each of the thirty-two WrestleMania events. Although it has been awhile since roman numerals have been used in the actual promotion of WrestleMania, each card would feature them here. There are plenty of newer WrestleMania moments that haven't had their proper due in trading card form, which can be remedied here.

The "television set" style cards originated in the 1985 Topps WWF card set and continued with the "sequel" released by O-Pee-Chee in 1986 and of course in 1987. Although the original cards generally had humorous "word bubbles" featured spewing from the mouths of the stars, I think that the set could also represent some of the more memorable moments in televised wrestling history whether the quote is funny or not. With many past moments on wrestling programs now being digitized into high-definition, I think that these shots could easily be plucked for usage on trading cards.

The set could feature the usual relic and autograph cards, but I would also like to see the first Heritage "cut signature" cards. For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, these cards feature autographs removed from other sources and implanted into the card. These cards are usually very limited and more often than not feature signatures of deceased stars. Topps WWE Undisputed sets of 2015 and 2016 were said to have featured some cut signatures. With the nature of the Heritage releases it only makes sense to carry the concept over.

Will a set such as this ever come to light? That's up to Topps and WWE. Certainly some or all of the concepts could turn into reality. Regardless, it's fun to take a look at what could be, and for me to transplant an idea from my brain to the infinite archive of the Internet... if the Internet needed any more demented minds!

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