While many fans remember watching our favourite matches, they also remember the merchandise they bought. In this writer’s case, the green and black DX hockey jersey his parents bought him.
Wrestling merch has always been an essential part of the industry, whether it be indie superstars hawking their home-made goods from the back of their Honda Accord’s to the WWE printing thousands of “Austin 3:16″ tees daily. For the wrestlers, it’s a way to make extra income. But for fans, it’s a way to continue the experience once the show has ended and the lights have dimmed – to possess a small part of aura and excitement that these larger than life characters exude in the squared circle.
Over the last few years’ vintage pro-wrestling merchandise selling and collecting has been on the rise, with fans looking to get their hands on designs of their favourite wrestlers from their favourite, or any generation. And with the endless items, apparel and collectables out there, the search is on for the most niche of paraphernalia.
We caught up with “The King Of The Ring Merch” Ted Hirsh, who has one of the biggest collections of pro wrestling goods and an equally large following, to talk everything surrounding the world of pro-wrestling collectables and resell culture.
I have been buying vintage wrestling since 05, I got @wrestling4sale and the website at the end of 2015 and started posting a few of my items here and there and cool stuff I would find on eBay for most of 2016. Once I started buying people’s entire collections in the summer of 2016, I started selling my items exclusively and activated my website.
Ric Flair has the most consistent, great items from 1984-1998 (best run was 85-93 for his merch, four horsemen stuff included)
My favourite shirts I own are The Bash at the Beach 1996 shirt (for historic reasons), The Starrcade 85,86,87 Collection, The Wrestlemania 1-14 Collection, 1990 Macho King Shirt, The Royal Blue 1988 Miss Elizabeth shirt, 1988 Honky Tonk Man shirt.
Scarcity, design and fit. Obviously, I need to care about the wrestler, tag team or event associated with the piece.
Finals of the Wrestlemania 4 tournament, Wrestlemania 6 main event, Bret Hart vs Mr. Perfect Summerslam 1991, The start of the new world order at BATB 96.
A majority of wrestling fans are competitive and with that they try to be the “biggest fan.” I appreciate when fans just like what they like and accept the fact that people besides them are allowed to like wrestling. It really shouldn’t be a competition about who likes it the most…
Wrestling characters and/or personalities can be larger than life personas without consequence, because it’s entertainment. Chances are, in reality, if someone acted like the Steve Austin character, they would be in jailed or in rehab with several DUIs and fired from their careers for assaulting their bosses. Because we, as fans, get to live vicariously through these characters and watch them act out idealistic scenarios like beating up a boss, celebrating with beers and getting cheered by thousands of people at 8pm on a work night, we tend to want to be these characters in our daily lives.
Find more info and shop for your favourite vintage items here.