Wednesday, August 24, 2016

2014-15 Panini NHL Stickers

I'm not much of a sticker person to be honest but a bunch of these packs were thrown in as a free gift from the same Dave & Adam's order that produced the Ghostbusters and Donruss boxes. There were eight packs taped together. I'm only going to open one pack here so this will be short and I probably won't have much to say about these.

Eberle was probably the best thing I got out of this pack. There's something about the western Canada teams I like, mainly because they're mired in relative obscurity since NBC doesn't carry their games. This must be some sort of insert or parallel, not really sure. Regardless, it'll go in my hockey binder.

Nothing exciting in the remainder of the pack with these cards. The players I know I kept and the rest went to my son so he can start a collection of them. I've saved the remaining packs for him as he really liked getting the stickers so it's a reward he earns when he's good. Overall, I wouldn't have gotten these but seeing as they were a free gift, I won't complain too much. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wacky Wrestling VHS Boxes #5

Tonight is SummerSlam, WWE's self-proclaimed biggest party of the summer. As is tradition here, anytime one of WWE's four tent pole events happens, I look at some old wrestling video boxes. For this installment, I'm going to go way back in the archives and check out some of the old non-PPV tapes that Coliseum Video released. Let's dive in!

Even More Unusual Matches (1987)

For the majority of their early releases, Coliseum Video issued tapes in these large, plastic clamshell cases, similar to what Disney would release their tapes in during the 1990s (Lion King for example). This particular tape was a sequel to one of the first round of tapes released by Coliseum Video and the WWF in 1985 and contains all sorts of crazy matches taped in arenas in Canada and the U.S., however most of the matches came from the monthly Madison Square Garden shows that were broadcast on the MSG Network. Some of the more fun matches on this tape include Randy Savage vs. Bruno Sammartino in a Lumberjack Match, a Bunkhouse Battle Royal, and a series of Texas Death Matches between Hulk Hogan and Harley Race. Personally, I like these older tapes more than the more common ones from the early 1990s as these are much harder to find in playable condition and just in general, they are a lot of fun to watch.

Inside the Steel Cage (1986)

Long before TNA Wrestling (or Impact Wrestling or whatever they're called these days) had their annual all cage match show, there was this tape chronicling some of the best cage matches from around the WWF. In particular, there are a few matches on here that haven't really seen the light of day much on current DVD and Blu-Ray releases such as Andre the Giant vs. Kamala from Toronto and a tag team cage match with Randy Savage & Adrian Adonis facing Bruno Sammartino & Tito Santana. Any tape from this era featuring a cage match also has to include the extremely overrated, at least in my opinion, Don Muraco/Jimmy Snuka cage match where Snuka dives off the top of the cage. As I mentioned previously, these older tapes are really a lot of fun to watch, if you can find them that is.

Andre the Giant (1985)

This particular tape I picked up years ago at the local flea market and I've watched it maybe once. For modern fans, this should look familiar as it was re-released in the late 90s on both VHS on DVD, which makes it the only Coliseum Video tape that wasn't a pay-per-view to be re-issued. The tape is only an hour long but there are a lot of things stuffed in here, especially an especially hard to find boxing match against Gorilla Monsoon from Puerto Rico. 

Wrestlefest '90

The Wrestlefest series ran for most of the Coliseum Video lifespan, debuting in 1988 as a release of a house show at Milwaukee County Stadium (which is a really hard to find tape by the way) and continued with this release. By this time, the switch had been made to the oversized slip covers from the plastic clamshells. I personally prefer the slip covers and the designs are much better. Take this for example as they've taken pictures, presumably from action on the tape, and laid them against a backdrop of the crowd from WrestleMania III. I'll admit, some of the matches on here like Ultimate Warrior vs. Dino Bravo are pretty boring, but popping in a tape like this should take anyone back to being a kid again sitting in front of the TV with a big bowl of popcorn ready to watch some WWF action.

Hope you enjoyed this round of wacky wrestling tapes! Enjoy SummerSlam and there will be more tapes coming up in November when Survivor Series rolls around.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A 2016 Topps WWE Blaster

I bought this on a whim during a Target run where the family and I had to some household items and a few odds and ends. This was the only blaster box of WWE cards they had on the shelf. It was sitting by itself in the dark, shunned away by the other baseball and basketball boxes because of what it contained. Like a lost puppy, I rescued it and brought it home.

I normally shy away from blasters as I've been burnt way too many times, but in my experience WWE ones usually have a good return on investment and provide a little more bang for your buck than a baseball blaster would. This particular one has 10 packs with 7 cards per pack and a bonus pack featuring a mystery relic card and a Triple H tribute card. Seeing as SummerSlam is coming up this weekend, I felt it was appropriate to rip into this. As you'll soon see, I got more than my money's worth out of this.

First up, some current stars. All of these will go in my wrestling binder but the four people I primarily collect in this group are Kevin Owens, Sasha Banks, Cesaro, and Paige.

The nice thing about the WWE sets is that they contain a good number of past stars and this blaster was no exception going from the mainstream of Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage to lesser known (at least to WWF fans) Barry Windham and Kevin Von Erich.

Of the 10 packs, I got six NXT insert cards. I'll admit, this crop isn't anywhere as great as last years group with Finn Balor but at least I got Samoa Joe and Sami Zayn.

It took me a bit to figure out what these were but after doing a quick bit of research, I found out they are bronze parallels. I got what amounted to one in every other pack in this box. 

In every pack there was either an "Anti-Authority Ring Report" or "Authority Database" insert card. I'm not sure what the difference is but seeing as it's the only Sting card I got out of the whole box, I'll take it.

The box also comes with two tribute cards, one to the Rock and another to Triple H. These are fine I guess if you're into collecting the whole tribute set of these. At least they have somewhat of a different look and feel to them from the mainstream and regular insert sets.

Bonus pack time ... you're guaranteed one memorabilia card per blaster. Let's see who it'll be, will it be a scrub or a superstar. It's ...

Samoa Joe! Holy crap! That's definitely not who I was expecting to be staring back at me in the bonus pack! I had this feeling that I'd get some lower card dude like Tyler Breeze or Stardust, not this! Joe is one of my favorites going back to his Ring of Honor days with his no-nonsense hard hitting style. Without a doubt, this is the best think I've ever pulled out of a WWE blaster box.

For picking this up on a whim, I'd say this was a success. If you're into wrestling cards, I'd strongly suggest getting a blaster of this (or any WWE product). It gives you a good sampling with some pretty fun cards plus each box guarantees a relic card. You can't really go wrong with this.