Better late than never, eh? Our family celebrates after the new year for a couple reasons, so I usually get stuff later. We had our Christmas last weekend, and so here is a recap of some stuff I got.
My nephew actually gave this to me on Christmas Eve. I don't collect a lot of action figures, but as I've gotten older, the ones I do get now I have sealed. This will go with the two Macho Man ones I have, and my Eddie Guerrero (I need to bring it down here). He knows I love wrestling, and I like this action figure.
One thing I will say is that unlike the early 90's, they put a lot of detail into figures these days. I don't think I would ever fully collect action figures, but there would be a few I wouldn't mind having. Maybe I should look for a Sting one since WWE is inducting him into the Hall of Fame.
My sister gave me some cool stuff as well. This first item wasn't really part of my gift, but was included in the package since she forgot to give it to me before.
I like getting Sports Illustrated when teams or people I like are on the cover, but usually they are off the stands by the time I get a chance to pick one up. Though I get many free magazines in the mail (and a couple I pay for), I've never subscribed to SI (though I did like SI for Kids I got for a couple years). Too bad I couldn't trade in 5 years worth of ESPN the Magazine for a year of SI. ESPN the Magazine is the worst thing I've ever read. For those curious of the gambit of magazines I subscribe to (again most are free), they include a few photography ones, Bloomberg Businessweek (wish I understood finance more), The Economist, Star and Us Weekly, Better Homes, ESPN (I think they send it to spite me now), and occasionally a few others plus some I know I forgot. I get them for my mom too, so its not just for me. At one time I subscribed to 40 or so magazines, but I've cut back on a lot of them not (so long Rolling Stone).
The rest of the gifts my sister mentioned weren't as cool as a signed George Brett card, but I was still quite impressed with them. I have already put them to good use.
Who couldn't use a soft blanket? I used it the moment I opened it, and it couldn't come at a better time when temps around here could reach single digits. I'm also not sure if she planned it this way, but it is mostly the colors of the Royals, which makes it even better. Though I must admit I won't replace my Cardinals blanket (it is so heavy and feels so warm best $3 ever spent at a second hand store), it does compliment it well, and I've slept better since using it. I'm not a guy that uses a ton of blankets, but I've thought about getting another one recently, so this saved me the trouble.
Next was this hat. She didn't know if I needed it, but I've exclusively worn my Royals cap the last year and a half, so having another option is a good idea (especially if I'm at Mizzou for a game). Sure I have other hats, but most seem a bit plain. She said she liked the design on this and I agreed. The "Tigers" is embossed so it stands out on top of the Tigers head logo.
There was another aspect or two I liked that she didn't pay attention to.
I love the mesh backing hats. It lets your head breathe and for some strange reason I like the way my hair feels as it sticks through it. The other big thing I like is its a snapback. I don't like the newer style fitted caps, I'd prefer the snapbacks any day. I would even prefer the velcro or the belt like back ones to the fitted ones. It just seems normal to have a whole in the back of the cap.
I think she was really surprised I liked it so much, and explained why I liked it so much. I wore it out in public today in honor of National Hat Day. Well, I planned on wearing one anyways, so I didn't need a reason, but if felt like a good time to do it.
Finally she got me some cards too. First was two packs of Dollar Tree packs. 6 cards in a pack, and some decent ones at that.
While the names may not be superstars, I must admit I lover those Score cards when I was a kid. I had the full set. I read the cards front and back many times. So pulling Albert Bentley and Rich Camarillo cards were pretty cool (nothing against Melvin Bratton, I just must not have read his card as much). I didn't have many of the Topps card, but had quite a few of the Pro Set cards. So this pack while lacking a bit of star power, brought back many memories.
This pack had less cards that I remember, but another Score card, this time a Ground Force of Bobby Humphrey, so that was nice. A solid name in Steve Wisenewski and George Seifert (maybe my only card ever of him), this set was also solid. I even got a bones Bostic card. Sure one was enough, but a bonus card is always good. "What do we do with this second Jeff Bostic card?" "Eh, just throw it in that pack, maybe the buyer will feel special." THANKS! Let me also say that the Pacific card I loved as a kid too. I can't think of a Pacific set I didn't really like. I've noticed going through some of my cards from the 90's that Pacific didn't seem to stray as much as Fleer and Donruss did in the late 90's. I may like Pacific more as a result.
Lastly, my sister got me a pack of wrestling cards. In the last couple years, I've tried to stop getting as many wrestling cards because I don't really need, them but their designs draw me back in. 2015 sets of WWE cards have been nice across the board (though the Road to Wrestlemania set is pointless). My favorite sets the last few years have been the Heritage sets.
LOOK AT THAT! Heritage cards! While some might consider it excessive, some of these guys fit in subsets I have. Kane is from Missouri, began his career in St. Louis and I believe even went to a college here (maybe Truman State or one of those in the northern part). Big Show played basketball at Wichita State, which for a while I had a mini collection. Show and Regal also was in WCW, so they were nice gets too. I don't watch NXT much if at all (no WWE Network as of now), but what I've seen of Sami Zayn, I've liked. Xavier Woods I've always liked, since the first time I saw him as Consequences Creed in TNA (alongside R-Truth as... Truth and.... you get it). Now Woods is killing it as part of New Day.
Round it out with Edge, who I didn't always love outside the ring, but his in ring abilities were second to none. He was a bright spot for WWE for a long time. Lastly is Sting. If it wasn't for Sting, I'd likely not have been such a WCW fanboy. He was my favorite for so long, and I'm glad he has a couple subsets in this years Topps sets.
More Sting cards, with the last one being a coupon for $3 off a box of Heritage cards. I might use it if I can find a box before it expires next month. I like the design of the set, and it would be a good birthday gift for myself. Plus it would gear me up for Wrestlemania, which with the announcement of Sting into the HOF, I might have to get the WWE Network for a month or two. Gives me a chance to catch up on other stuff too in the meantime.
The other card is a parallel card of Nikolai Volkoff and The Iron Shiek. Shieky Baby was one of a kind... he still is actually, so this was a nice pull. I like how they included Legends in this set. To be honest, this set is better than the regular Topps set from earlier this year.
How about more legends?
If you didn't like the Nasty Boys they would take you on a trip to Pity City. I never would want to go there. The Nastys I liked in the early 90's but by the end of the decade, they ran their course. Knobbs did transition decently into the hardcore division in WCW, but even then I had enough of him.
Bret Hart is another one I really liked. It didn't hurt that he had a cameo on The Simpsons either. I think that's why my sister remembers him more than some of the other guys. He was another legend in the same league as Sting (actually wrestling wise, he was in a higher league), but the latter part of the 90's ruined him. Jumping to WCW, the Montreal Screwjob, and most importantly the death of his brother Owen, really affected him. In addition to concussions and other injuries (which may or may not have happened in matches against El Dandy), and by 2001, he was done. A stroke a short time later finished his in ring career (aside for a Wrestlemania one off years later), but through it all, I always liked him, even if he didn't always seem like the nicest guy. Then again if I went through all that, I'd probably be sad and bitter a lot too. At least he made amends with Vince and WWE.
Earthquake to me was one of the most underrated wrestlers ever. I always liked him too. He was one half of the Natural Disasters in WWF, then moved to WCW where no longer Earthquake, he had a number of names that never stuck like The Shark, Avalanche and eventually John Tenta. He had good matches with Sting, and worked well in Kevin Sullivan's Dungeon of Doom, but never was a serious threat like in WWF. He later returned to WWF where he was in the Oddities, which doesn't deserve to be talked about. He passed away a number of years ago from cancer (I forgot what kind specifically, I think throat), but I heard a rumor he was trying to get an acting career going and was hoping to be on a TV show as a butler or something like a Mr. Belvedere show. I would have watched it in a minute.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan is something else. His gimmick worked well, but then it just got stale. The he kept doing it forever. Then he turned heel (which I actually liked until he started wearing stupid gym shorts) and supported Canada. Then they turned on him and he rooted for USA! USA! and swung his 2x4 again which was still stale. At some point he found the WCW Television Title in a trash can and started wearing it to the ring. WCW closed and since he has made sporadic appearances for WWE. He is a cancer survivor himself, and these days I'm not a fan like I use to be. I will say I did enjoy his time on Legends House, a WWE Network show which I'd love for them to bring back. Imagine the Real World but with WWE Legends! It had Roddy Piper, Tony Atlas, Hacksaw, Mean Gene Okerlund, and others. It would have worked if they pushed it better and found a TV network to show it before putting it on the Network. A new season should be tried again.
Junkyard Dog was a wrestler I didn't get to see a lot of, but what I did see of him I liked. I wish he got better runs in wrestling, but it appeared he did well for himself. He is another wrestler he passed away way too early, in 1998 at the age of 45. He died on his way back from his daughter's high school graduation. She would later represent JYD when he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004. A couple years ago she would pass away at the age of 31 in her home while talking to a friend on the phone who said she heard a loud thud.
Finally is The Dragon! Ricky Steamboat is another wrestler I wish I got to see more of, but due to injuries he retired a bit earlier then expected. However I remember some of his matches when they happened like his wrestling series with Ric Flair in WCW as well as his tag team matches involving a much younger Steve Austin. Most though will say it was his Wrestlemania 3 match with Macho Man Randy Savage that elevated him to Legend status. Many even say it was the best match of all time. I can see that argument as it was nothing short of spectacular. Ricky still works with WWE in various capacities despite some health issues in recent years. It was nice to see him in the WWE 2K16 game as well, especially in the Austin storyline from the WCW days.
So that wraps up the rest of the gifts I got for Christmas. My sister thought her gifts weren't up to par with George Brett, but I beg to differ. I mean I haven't tried to warm myself up using the Brett autograph unlike the blanket, but if that was an option, maybe I'd consider it.
Thanks for reading and have a great weekend. A delay in blogs this week and maybe next will be discussed in the nest blog, just working on my collection some and should have a progress report soon.