In 1998, WCW was at its peak with mega stars like Goldberg, Sting, Hollywood Hogan, Ric Flair, and Kevin Nash along with a great roster filled with other people like Bret Hart, Lex Luger, Diamond Dallas Page, Eddie Guerrero, Rey Mysterio, Ultimo Dragon, and Chris Jericho. Topps put out a set in 1998 with 72 cards featuring some of the biggest names in the promotion and lots of the people on the undercard.
I've got all but one of the cards in the set, the only one I'm missing is card #41, Jay Leno. So to kick off WrestleMania week, I wanted to show all the cards in the set I have and comment as I go.
Most of the top names on this first part. Of these, Giant is the only one who is still currently active. You can also see three different designs. These cards had to have come out towards the end of 1998 as there were two different nWo factions depicted.
Getting into some of the second-tier guys now, along with fading stars like Roddy Piper.
More lower card guys. Hey, what's the British Bulldog doing in there? He was only around for about a month or two and still managed to get a card in the set? Rick Rude would make history during the Monday Night Wars appearing on both Raw and Nitro at the same time on the same night.
Mostly cruiserweights in this batch. If you look on the back of the Eddy Guerrero card, his last name has four Rs in it, not three. Nice to see Jimmy Hart get a card.
One of my all time favorites, Meng (or Haku for you WWF people) is on top right. If you've never seen any of his matches, the dude meant business in the ring and just beat the crap out of everyone. The announce team also got a card. I always felt that Tony Schiavone was a really underrated announcer. I think finally, with the advent of the WWE Network, people are going back and discovering old WCW stuff and finding out how good the guy really was.
There's a Ric Flair sighting! Unfortunately, it's stuck in the middle of the pack. Wait, Gene Okerlund gets his own card but the rest of the announce crew has to share one? And how did Jim Neidhart get a card? He was around less that the Bulldog!
The last few base cards and moving on to the Nitro Girl inserts. The Nitro Girls were basically cheerleaders that would come out and dance during broadcasts of Monday Nitro and during pay-per-view events during this time to help energize the crowd.
More inserts. I really like the idea of having inserts showing the current champions when the cards came out. The Goldberg and DDP cards on the bottom are actually stickers.
Finally, the last batch of stickers.
Overall, this is a pretty fun little set and provides a nice glimpse back in time to when there was a viable alternate to WWE. Only a few short years later, the assets of WCW would be sold to WWE for less that $3 million. I highly recommend reading the book "The Death of WCW" for the complete story of how they reached tremendous heights in the mid-90s, only to have in crash down in the span of a year and a half.
Come back tomorrow for more WrestleMania week goodies! This is just the tip of the iceberg of the fun stuff I've got lined up!