I would normally leave the wrestling pieces to the other Monsters of Geek, but at one point in my life I was a huge wrestling fan myself. I’ve still got tons of old wrestling memorabilia from the WCW and WWF such as this merchandise catalog from WCW featuring their “1996-97 Winter Collection.”
There is some pretty lame stuff in here but I can’t deny that I’d really like to have some of it. I may have to head to eBay and see what I can find on the cheap.
This book is pre-nWo so you won’t be seeing any merchandise from Hollywood Hogan (strangely there is no Hulkster merchandise at all) or The Outsiders. Instead we get some of the guys who would be held down in WCW like Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko along with some great tag teams like Harlem Heat and Public Enemy (ECDub!) and then some questionable wrestlers like Disco Inferno and Sgt Craig ‘Pitbull’ Pittman.
There’s some WCW shirts in this catalog that I’ve never seen anywhere else, but there’s also a few classics like the IV Horsemen t-shirt as well. That black Horsemen shirt is one of my favorites and seeing it here makes me want to dig mine out with hopes that it still fits.
Mongo and Deborah! Wow. I had forgotten about his undeserved membership in the Four Horsemen until I saw him here with his wife (pictured before she got with “Stone Cold” Steve Austin). And look, there’s Sgt Craig Pittman again. Whoever put this catalog together must have been a fan because the Pitbull got more coverage here than he did in any episode of Monday Nitro throughout ‘96 and ‘97.
There’s some cool WCW figures that look as if they might pair up well with the older 80’s WWF toys from LJN. I’d like to get those Nasty Boys figures and Harlem Heat as well. And of course our buddy, Sgt Pittman, got a figure.
I love the dark days of wrestling in the mid 90’s when neither company was booming. The colorful 80’s were over and the attitude of the late 90’s hadn’t been found yet, but both WCW and the WWF were filled with some wonderfully bad gimmicks and characters that I have grown to love. This catalog came out right before the nWo boom came along and it’s like a history book looking at what filled the gap between “Rock ‘n Wrestling” and the “Attitude Era.” It’s perfect to flip through and relive some memories of a time when Nitro was a hot new show and the WWF was producing In Your House pay-per-views.
[All Photos Below and Above were taken by Travis Giles]