If you’re anything like me, you’re dealing with severe FOMO about not attending this weekend’s festivities in Chicago. So, of course, I’m processing this anxiety by doing a Merch Watch focusing on the slew of shirts that AEW’s been promoting recently, in the run up to All Out.
Many went on sale yesterday (Thurs., Aug. 28) at SHOPAEW.com. They’re also available (depending on inventory) at Starrcast III, All Out and the PWTees store in Chicago, the city hosting All Elite this weekend. And yes, a bunch of folks on the card didn’t make it - a shame, right?
Oh and apologies that a few of these images aren’t that sharp. AEW only shared some shirts in a 3x3 grid photo and I pulled those from that graphic.
Cody got a gem here
My biggest gripe about Cody’s shirts has been the over-emphasis on the AMURICA half of “American Nightmare.” This latest tee, though, reverses course. Now, the red, white and blue are trim to the darker content, and you even see that cigar because cross-promotion.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Tees — Sick in a good way.
Too much sparkle motion
Neither or these shirts are bad but looking through the shirts for this story, I noticed that both have those little faux lighting effects and star-burst graphics, like it’s a JJ Abrams joint.
Also, as someone who’s a bit familiar with both talents, I have to note that while both hit the mottos, neither feels right for the talent. Private Party’s shirt is too retro and the gradients don’t sit right for MJEFF either.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Tees — Yeah, they’re OK.
I hope you purchase
First points earned by this shirt come from two colorways — we love a wrestling shirt in another color. Next up, the whites (and reds) of Jimmy’s eyes are a great touch.
Then, of course, points for it feeling true to Havoc with the type treatment, which looks half gothic half brown liquor bottle.
Rating: 4 out of 5 blood-stained cracker barrels — Doesn’t reinvent the wheel but Havoc fans will definitely cop.
Cash is a flat circle
I get it, they’re the Young Bucks, and so two sets of antlers, and all the cash. But I can’t look at this design and not think about True Detective Season 1’s horned villain.
Rating: 3 out of 5 puns — So corny, so on-brand.
Made for the homers ... unless ...
I’m looking at these Chicago-made shirts that will be sold at PWTees, and I find myself split. The first two are solid generic “I was there” shirts with a little bit of local flavor, and third is the same but for the SCU crowd.
Those first two, though, tease my brain with the possibility that I dare not jinx. That CM Punk returns to pro wrestling, a possibility that I have zero reason to expect. A possibility that came back up when fans saw this clip here.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a horror movie? See Punk in The Girl on The Third Floor. I saw it at SXSW and it fucks.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Tees — Nobody would blame you.
Coexist bumper-stickers as a shirt
Kenny Omega is a really extra kinda guy. This shirt matches that feel, with Omega’s name, his finger-gun, the one wing referring to his finisher, a snake, a fighting game power bar, two OMEGA glyphs, multiple video game controller buttons, a TRON world-scape, a motherboard graphic and a crosshairs.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 huhs — You can’t say it’s inauthentic, but I can’t say I’d wear it.
Horror is Jericho?
Remember Jericho’s days in NJPW as bad Crow makeup uncle? Well, this shirt has him edging back to the creepy side with scratched lettering that ... I guess? ... is supposed to evoke how desperate he is for a thank you?
Or is he supposed to be the big bad that Adam Page will conquer?
Rating: 2 out of 5 Judas Effects — I would feel creeped out to see this in person.
So, Adam Page is a great name. Not sure why he’s gotta be Hangman, but this decidedly wild wild west design fits for sure.
My big gripe is how you need bifocals to read the phrase COWBOY SHIT, which should be his overall motto.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Cowboys — There’s some unseen potential here.
The throwback continues to callback
Mox’s AEW tee will remind WWE fans of an old Ambrose shirt and remind old Moxley fans of the man’s earlier years.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Moxs — On brand.
What do you think of these selections and ratings? Any great or especially horrible designs you’ve seen of late you want to discuss with the class? Comment away below, Cagesiders!