NOW MAKING HIS WAY TO THE RING … MUSCLE BEACH MASSACRE!
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.
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…
Okay, pack opened… Nothing, nothing, nothing… wait.
It can’t be! It’s impossible!
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!