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Merch Watch #3: Cursed Shirts, Weird Toys, Independent Brilliance and more!

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I’m not afraid of no ghosts, just hideous wrestling merch

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Hello, fellowing wrestling merch addicts. Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so I super-sized the heck out of it. Oh and I’ve got more than just shirts, bringing some hideous toys and cool enamel pins.

What in the name of Slimer?

Listen, I don’t know how corporate synergy actually works, I’m too low on the totem poles to be allowed in the room, and too fond of saying “late stage capitalism,” to boot.

I just know that these upcoming action figures are an abomination unto reality. The four ‘busters were never really anything close to allies, though they’re arguably a decent modern Mount Rushmore (especially for those of us who deny Hogan and have never been strong on Flair either). Taker, as the ghost to be caught? Kinda perfect.

The bigger issue, though, is that Cena and HB-shizzle barely resemble themselves, and Rocky ... isn’t that great either.

Mattel officially confirms WWE / Ghostbusters crossover figures at SDCC

Mattel officially confirms WWE / Ghostbusters crossover figures at SDCC

Rating: 2 out of 5 WTFs — built for the crazy ones out there

Darby Allin: Beavis & Butthead character

I don’t pretend to know who Darby Allin the human is (this industry is all about projected personalities), but this shirt is spot on in all of the worst ways.

Darby Allin - Hell Ride to the Holy Land | Unisex Tee | What a Maneuver!

It’s sending a message from Darby that says he’s an authentic Jackass-watching dude who is Beavis and Butt-head adjacent. This all undercuts his seriousness, his I’m not afraid of dying persona.

That all being said, let’s judge it on the merits: true to (some of) the character, available in multiple colors and a ton of different formats (a darby allin onesie, what world do we live in?). And utterly unique in the landscape.

Darby Allin - Hell Ride to the Holy Land | Unisex Tee | What a Maneuver!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Ts — hehehehe, hehehehe

Do you want to snuggle with Elias?

Sometimes WWE just makes shit to make it, and you get seriously embarrassing results. I won’t spend much time here, but those eyes look way too stoned.

Elias 10” Plush Bleacher Creature - WWE US

Elias 10” Plush Bleacher Creature - WWE US

Rating: 1 out of 5 WTFs — WWE stands for Watchlist With Elias

You didn’t even try, did you?

Were DX late confirmations for the Raw Reunion? That is the sole excuse for this non-starter. Almost as shameful as HBK taking that big bag of Saudi money to unretire for a terrible tag match.

D-Generation X “RAW Reunion” T-Shirt - WWE US

D-Generation X “RAW Reunion” T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 0 out of 5 Ts — I’ve already spent more effort on it than they did.

Chill for the summer

While this shirt is still in the early phases, I have to give a shout out to the master of the laricat, the wrestler who describes herself as “one thicc kitten” — who’s seizing on the White Claw craze, with this forthcoming design. The optional tye-dye tank top is a great option that more should be taking on.

Allie Kat’s Twitter

WHITE PAW VARIETY PACK (JUST THE TANK) | Allie Kat

Rating: PENDING out of 5 Ts — Let’s see how this turns out

Welcome to the sale bin, you’re gonna die!

The recent spate of Sami Zayn shirts, as I’ve said before, all feel like low-effort crap you see Hot Topic/Facebook ads. His latest, is no exception. Without the SZ logo, this shirt could be from anyone.

Sami Zayn “Toxic Society” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Sami Zayn “Toxic Society” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 1 out of 5 Ts — you hate to see it happen

Did Bray bang a Ouija board?

Okay, it nails the creep-factor of The Fiend side of the current Bray gimmick but the black fabric doesn’t really work for me. Dark, blood red, or the color of the graphic itself, would be a lot better.

Bray Wyatt “Yowie-Wowie” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Bray Wyatt “Yowie-Wowie” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 3 out of 5 Ts — Spoooky

Seriously, where’s Stokely’s CD Player?

As we saw in the recent Hardway IngoBartnables design, wrestling shirts are continuing to nod to the knockoff Simpsons shirts of the 1990’s. That’s where this latest tee from the NXT-signed wrestler once known as Stokely Hathaway comes in.

The 100 emoji is reminiscent of the EL BARTO spray-paint. Not only does it get his current get-up perfectly right, but the Zaxby’s cup in hand points to Stoke’s favorite fast food chain, which he’s prosthelytized while in Florida. And of course, a posted sign inquiring towards the location of his prized compact disc player, which has gone missing.

Then, you get the perks of selling at What a Maneuver, with 5 color options plus everything from tees to onesie to hoodies.

Stokely Hathaway - Tribute to Big Stoke | Unisex Tee | What a Maneuver!

Stokely Hathaway - Tribute to Big Stoke | Unisex Tee | What a Maneuver!

Rating: 5 out of 5 Ts — Someone call Big Dave, Stokely’s put out a 5-star classic.

Really, Seth?

First of all, this shirt should technically be a Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins shirt, considering that it’s defined by their relationship. Debuting for WWE Extreme Rules 2019, this lazy look is just ... as cringey as their on-screen relationship.

Seth Rollins “The Man’s Man” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Seth Rollins “The Man’s Man” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 2 out of 5 Ts — This ain’t it, chiefs.

Broken record, burning shirt

So, fandom of Dolph Ziggler may vary, but I need to commend this shirt for going for it. From the electric pink to the graphic that’s spot on to Ziggler’s never-ending crisis, it’s exactly befitting of the master of the zig zag.

Dolph Ziggler “Should Be Me” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Dolph Ziggler “Should Be Me” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 2.999 out of 5 Ts — I kicked out of buying this only because of I’m not a fan of Dog Ziggler.

Much better than their run as a team

I wondered why I haven’t bought this shirt already. It’s not because it’s pink (have shirts in similar shades from Keith Lee and Progress) and it’s not because I worry about the material quality as Shop.WWE lists it as a “Soft, lightweight 30 singles ring-spun cotton” that is OK for WWE (I’ve got the Johnny Champion shirt that uses the same material) — which has often used cheap, rough material. Also, the design is a really neat (if a bit oversized) collage.

Asuka & Kairi Sane “The Kabuki Warriors” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

No, in the end this shirt’s only failing its that it’s connected to a tag team who have had less televised matches than practically anyone on the roster. That’s not their fault, but it just ... doesn’t feel great either.

Asuka & Kairi Sane “The Kabuki Warriors” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Ts — quite great, just lacking WWE’s true backing

Look at this dorky nonsense

Roman Reigns and The Undertaker shouldn’t be a punchline, but that’s what happens when WWE shoves a dumb team name and goofy Big Dogs-level merch down our throats. The pair were never really a team in the traditional way of thinking. Still, it’s better than the political shirt that Taker’s been seen wearing.

Undertaker & Roman Reigns “We Run This Yard” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Undertaker & Roman Reigns “We Run This Yard” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 2 out of 5 Ts — Teenage boys should get this, nobody else though

They just had to brand it, didn’t they

Stone Cold Steve Austin didn’t destroy the Raw Reunion. It’s arguable that his speech was one of the moments that saved the show. Yet, his show for the much-hyped legends-obsessed show has one of his signature smoking skulls eating the Raw Reunion logo. It’s one of those cool shirts where if it had less damn WWE-ness to it, it would be a lot more palatable.

Stone Cold Steve Austin “RAW Reunion” T-Shirt - WWE US

Stone Cold Steve Austin “RAW Reunion” T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Ts — What’s cooler than being cool? STONE COLD!

This shirt goes hard

This amber-y color, that’s neither orange nor yellow is another great alternative to the black shirts you see most fans wearing. Also, it’s the same ring-spun cotton as the above Kabuki Warriors shirt. The one problem? For as much as the design is neat, I don’t want to walk around with a shirt that tells everyone around me to SAY YEAH, as WWE’s often unnecessary back-designs strike again.

The Revival “Say Yeah” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

The Revival “Say Yeah” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Ts — Very on the nose

Almost perfect enough to steal

WWE is getting into caps, and this one is just neat as heck to see. I only wish it used more of the horizontal space that is blank to the left and right of the center of the cap.

Eddie Guerrero “Latino Heat” New Era 9Fifty Snapback Hat - WWE US

Eddie Guerrero “Latino Heat” New Era 9Fifty Snapback Hat - WWE US

Rating: 4.999 out of 5 CapsSo close to the ideal

Wholesome and lovely

I love when I could see a shirt truly befitting its wrestler, as is the case with this tee from Chikara’s Boomer Hatfield. The circular design itself is baseball-esque, and the clean, easy to read type and “wrestling club” also makes it feel like a sporting team. Sure, it’s not especially striking or inventive, but it’s darn good.

Hatfield Wrestling Club T-Shirt - Light Blue | Boomer Hatfield

Hatfield Wrestling Club T-Shirt - Light Blue | Boomer Hatfield

Rating: 4 out of 5 Ts — Neato

When a great design meets a great shirt color, I feel the power

Custom wrestling merch maker Alexis Littlefoot is one to keep an eye on, and this bundle’s a great edition. This shirt uses a work from artist Lauren Moran (you know her drawing of Becky Lynch, the one where her face was broken and bloodied), and is the best version of it AF has released so far. I’m only docking points because I bought it on a black tee, and would have totally thrown down for this Berry-hue, a limited edition, bundle-only colorway, if I knew it was coming.

Alexis Littlefoot — Power to THE People...it’s a NEW DAY LIMITED EDTION Bundle

Alexis Littlefoot — Power to THE People...it’s a NEW DAY LIMITED EDTION Bundle

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 TsSo sick I wish I hadn’t bought its original design

D’OH HELL YEAH!

Do I even need to say anything? This enamel pin is one half Homer, one half Stone Cold. You’ve already smashed that buy button, like a pair of Steve-weisers, right?

SOB 3:16! – Lapel Yeah

SOB 3:16! – Lapel Yeah

Rating: 5 out of 5 PinsI’ve got mine already on the way

The perfect shirt for trips to CALIFORNIAAAAAAA

The official club, the original (not really) only club, ... well whatever WWE is calling AJ’s faction now, got the best new shirt revealed at Raw Reunion. And after I asked around, I figured that while it’s not for me, it’s probably it’s a great shirt because ... it’s very WWE-version of a Bullet Club shirt. It’s very “we were big in Japan.” It’s got a creepy samurai on it, and it feels like it got a decent amount of work put into it, and it’s just that aggressive hyper masculine vibe that The Club is trying to project.

The Club “OC” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

The Club “OC” Authentic T-Shirt - WWE US

Rating: 4 out of 5 Ts — the closest thing the main roster has to its own Undisputed shirt

He did it again

This is not the first time Zack Sabre Jr. has printed the whole damn name of his most labouriestly (yes, that’s a pun about the British Labour party) named submission finisher on a shirt, but it’s the funniest shirt he’s ever had, submitting an opponent in a manga-style illustration. And since it’s sold vis PWTees, you can get it on a lightweight Bella & Canvas tee. If only it weren’t only in black.

ZSJ’s Twitter

Zack Sabre Jr - Manga (Double-Sided)

Rating: 4 out of 5 Ts — ready to have someone read your shirt like it’s a nutrition label?


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!