A Mark’s Eye View is a weekly look at some of the things that made me a huge fan of professional wrestling.
Whatever your opinion of Vince McMahon and/or his sports entertainment company, there is no arguing that WWE knows how to pump out merchandise. From ice cream bars to iconic T-shirts, WWE products are some of the coolest wrestling paraphernalia of all time. The LJN WWF action figures of the 1980s were so awesome that even non-wrestling fans collected them. As was (and to an extent, still is) the case, other promotions began to copy Titan. Unfortunately for them, they did not have the marketing savvy of the then-WWF. It wasn’t just that other wrestling companies wren’t as good — they were just plain bad. Here is a look at some of the worst wrestling merchandise of all time.
Four Horsemen Vitamins
The Four Horsemen are an important part of wrestling history. They were involved in great matches, delivered amazing promos, and even had some sweet entrance music in the WCW days. Regrettably, they never had the merchandise they deserved. The Horsemen sweater from 1987 is not without its charm, but Four Horsemen vitamins are just weird. Undoubtedly, the benefits are awesome, but it all boils down to one question: do you really want to take pills endorsed by a professional wrestler?
With the help of Michael Jordan, Nike was able to start a sneaker craze that still exists today. It only made sense other companies would want a piece of the pie. WCW’s attempt saw them use stars like Sting and the Road Warriors shill athletic shoes with a pocket on the side. This went over as well as expected. The commercials were awesome, though.
Captain Lou Albano T Shirt
Who doesn’t like a cool wrestling T-shirt? They may not all have the mainstream appeal of the classic nWo shirt, but there are plenty of good ones out there. One thing I could never understand was managers having their own shirt. I like Bobby Heenan and Jim Cornette as much as the next guy, but I would never wear a shirt with their face or name on it. Albano’s was particularly awful. The shirt made the already difficult to look at “Guiding Light” downright frightening. This must-have for horror fans is proof that even the WWF gets it wrong sometimes.
Norman the Lunatic Teddy Bear
It was always a shame when the NWA tried to be like the competition up north. It made sense why they would want to — the WWF was the most successful wrestling company in the world. However, this led to crap like the Ding Dongs and PN News. Norman the Lunatic was not as bad — actually, when he debuted, he was a good scary heel. He disappeared shortly after his inevitable face turn. Nothing says geek like a cute teddy bear.
I hate all decorative ties. Holiday themed, sports teams, wacky faces — they are all ugly. I guess the idea is to be funny and cute, but I still have not seen one that doesn’t make me feel sorry for the person wearing it. Theoretically, a tie is supposed to add class and fashion, two things professional wrestling has always lacked. This tie is a special kind of bad that almost manages to go full circle to becoming wearable. Almost.
Next week: Stay in your lane.