Tag Archives: El Gigante

It was as I began peeling away the plastic wrapper on the first of today’s packs that something hit me: I can’t take much more of this. I’m feeling my lowest, guys. I had a thought, back when I first came up with this sorta-daily bit, that this might happen. How little I knew, my friends.

Damn you, Ted Turner!

I haven’t organized all the cards I’ve gone through just yet, so I don’t know if I have a complete set here, but it’s certainly starting to feel like I’ve seen all there is to see in this series. This is a card set consisting of 162 cards, with only 13 individual wrestlers, 4 tag teams (making that a total of 21 wrestlers represented), and 3 non-wrestling talents (two managers and an announcer). You’d think they would’ve tried to do more than just make 13 individual Sting cards, but alas, here we are with 13 cards devoted to the Stinger.

Now, I did a little research, and using Mike Rotunda (Mr. Wallstreet) as a marker, I was able to figure out that the period of time represented on these cards must be between roughly June 1990 and January 1991. I came to this conclusion upon learning that Rotunda turned heel and became Wallstreet in mid-1990, and then left WCW for the WWF in early 1991. By January 1991, any WCW rosters I can find online do not list Rotunda or Wallstreet.

If we can go off of this, we can determine during the period of time represented in this set, there were between 36 and 44 wrestlers on the WCW roster. Guys like Junkyard Dog, the Iron Sheik, the Nasty Boys, “Mean” Mark Callous (the Undertaker), and Vader. If you have Vader on your roster, why the hell do you not include him in a card set? Were there legal issues involved?

Now here’s what throws my theory about the time period into complete disarray: Dutch Mantell doesn’t show up on a WCW roster until March 1991. Now, if I am to believe the rosters I am finding online (which of course is risky, since it’s, you know, the internet), that means Dirty Dutch and Mr. Wallstreet weren’t even in WCW at the same time! Fuck!

So I don’t know what the hell was going on with these cards, obviously, but for some reason they only had 21 wrestlers they could use. That does not seem like a particularly good thing if you want to put out a set of trading cards.

Impel could’ve done something they had previously worked into the Marvel Universe trading card series by devoting cards to famous matches, or perhaps big feuds or stables or even showcased more of the non-wrestling talent, but instead this is what we got.

So I’m feeling it, friends. I’m feeling my lowest. I’ve seen it all! And if I haven’t, I have yet to encounter a sign that I’m wrong.

I can’t look at another card of Ricky Morton’s sad, disheveled face. I can’t handle another poor attempt to make El Gigante seem like a serious competitor. No more, I say. Please.

But I must finish opening this second pack. I have to.

Folks, while the title of this blog series is a clever joke referring to smoking cigarettes, I have to tell you that I’d rather risk lung cancer than open this pack of WCW cards. But here we go.

First, let me make a sacrifice to the deadly Black Scorpion, so that he may bring me good fortune in this pack…

Where’s Robocop to save you now, Stinger???

Okay, pack opened… Nothing, nothing, nothing… wait.

Legolas! What do you elf-eyes see?!

It can’t be! It’s impossible!



It’s me, Gibson! It was me ALLLLL ALONNNNG!!!!

Dutch Mantell, you sonufabitch! You magnificent bastard! You dirty scoundrel! You and your glorious poncho have saved me from certain doom, just so you can prolong the torture? To what end? To. What. End???

I will play your game, Dirty Dutch. But to defeat you, I must learn your secrets! I must become you!

Hm, it appears I need to pluck my unibrow again…



Bonus stuff:

  1. Sting vs. the mysterious Black Scorpion
  2. Sting gets a helping hand from Robocop

Presenting my new almost-daily thing that I will do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I will open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you. I have nearly a whole box of these that I ordered off of Amazon (I started with a sealed box, but I’ve given away a few packs to friends), so this should be fun. Or it will be a total disaster. We’ll see.

2 packs! 24 cards! What treasures lie within???

Let’s look at today’s Top 5!

1. Best Photo

I present the return of the Dutch! I’m sorry! I swear I am truly sorry, but this guy is too glorious not to showcase every time he shows up on a card. Especially this card, where his hair and beard unite to create an ungodly mane of Mufasa proportions.

So last time we saw Dutch, the writers of these cards were unsure if he was the hairiest man in wrestling. Now it appears they’ve sealed it. The thing is, though… I am far more interested now in why he named his bullwhip “Shoebaby.” It must have been quite a big deal. I mean, WCW thought it was necessary to trademark the name.

2. Best Outfit(s)

Okay, who ordered the Confederate strippers?

Also, how did I not already know that Confederate strippers were a thing?

Man, I bet this is what Strom Thurmond saw when he died.

3. Best WTF Bio

I am beginning to wonder if perhaps El Gigante had a special card writer from his home country of Argentina, who was given the specific task of writing each El Gigante card in this set. That’s the only explanation I can come up with regarding WTF is going on here.

4. Who???

So who is Doom? Doom is a tag team consisting of Butch Reed and future World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons, who has sadly spent the past 20 years (give or take) since then being treated like a chump by both the WWF and WCW. Simmons and Reed started in the NWA/WCW as the tag team Doom, and garnered plenty of accolades. In this card set, it appears that they were intended to be enemies of Sting in particular.

Regardless, Simmons shortly went into singles competition after Doom had a reign as Tag Team champs, and he managed to earn a title shot via lottery to face Big Van Vader, who he actually defeated, making him the first African American world heavyweight champion in wrestling (according to the WWE). He held the title for five months, which probably makes his reign longer than most of the championship reigns in the later Monday Night Wars-era WCW. Hell, that’s longer than modern title reigns seem to run anymore.

And what happened? He later ended up in the WWF/WWE, where he showed up on the midcard, at best. He’s better known by wrestling fans today as the black dude who randomly shows up backstage and says, “Damn!”

Oh ,and Butch Reed? Oh, he only went a full 60 minutes with Ric Flair in a no-DQ match in 1985.

So yeah, Butch Reed and Ron Simmons? Legitimate badasses.

5. Worst Ric Flair Impression

I tell you, I am beginning to hate Terry Taylor. Who the hell is he kidding in that thing?

Presenting my new almost-daily thing that I will do just for the hell of it, Two Packs a Day! Every weekday, I will open two packs of WCW trading cards from 1991 and share my findings with you. I have nearly a whole box of these that I ordered off of Amazon (I started with a sealed box, but I’ve given away a few packs to friends), so this should be fun. Or it will be a total disaster. We’ll see.

2 packs! 24 cards! What treasures lie within???

Let’s look at today’s Top 5!

1. Best Photo (Tie)

I will stop picking the Steiners Bros. when I stop getting amazing Steiner Bros. cards. This one was a tough call, so I just picked both cards, BECAUSE DOGS ARE AWESOME.

Dogs make almost everything better. Beer commercials? Better with dogs, as proven by Spuds McKenzie. Christmas songs? Better when sung (or howled) by dogs. Superheroes? Better when they have dog sidekicks (Krypto is probably my favorite thing from Superman comics).

And wrestlers? Better when they’re accompanied by dogs (Except when the dog in question is actually a person)!

Fuck yeah dogs! Oh wait…

Thanks, WCW and/or Impel, for helping promote the bad image unfairly associated with pit bulls. Because, you know, pit bulls totally eat people. Dicks.

2. Best Outfit

I was feeling down after that last card, but then Ricky Morton showed up with his outer space pirate shirt to cheer me up! I’m glad to see he learned to accessorize since our last encounter, and he’s really nailed it here: nothing goes better with that strange assortment of rags than a puffy blouse made out of Apollo 11 astronauts.

I guess you gotta do what you gotta do when you look like Joel Hodgson’s less-talented white trash brother.

3. Best WTF Bio

I will tell you right now, every Mr. Wallstreet card is insane. This one is just the tip of the iceberg.

I don’t know what to focus on: the likely unintended sexual innuendo (he’s “plugged in to her data base,” *snort*) or the fact that he’s using the magic of computers to beat his opponents. I bet it’s really exciting to watch.

I bet it looks just like this. Just with less Penn Jillette.

4. Who???

No, that’s not Garrett from Community. That’s Tommy Rich, and I have no idea who the hell he is or why somebody thought we needed a trading card of him. Turns out, the guy was once, back in the early 80s, NWA World Heavyweight Championalbeit for only 4 days, as he dropped the belt to Harley Race, the previous holder of the title (in what Harley Race claims was a move by Jim Barnett to maintain some level of control over the NWA).

In what should be no surprise by now, Rich was actually quite popular in the Georgia and Memphis territories in the 70s and 80s, and by the time WCW brought him in he was an accomplished veteran (for those not in the know, WCW, owned by Ted Turner, was based out of Atlanta and worked to maintain the following it had built in the South by enlisting well known stars from the region). Sadly, he was quickly relegated to mid-card status as a member of the York Foundation (the same stable that was home to the aforementioned Mr. Wallstreet, along with Terry Taylor), and then was dropped to the bottom of the card once that stable broke up.

And now I am sad again. I’ll just watch this to feel better.

Feelin’ better already!

5. Best Use of Limerick

Considering how legendarily horrible the late El Gigante/Giant Gonzalez was in the ring, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ric Flair simply burst into flames when they faced each other.

That’s it for this week, see you all next week for more exciting WCW action!

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