One of my favorite things about The Mandible Claw thus far is the celebration of some of the weird minutia that comes with professional wrestling fandom. If the Family Feud asked its panel to name something associated with pro wrestling, I highly doubt the survey says “bad entrance theme lyrics.” Yet there’s enough material in that topic alone for Brandon and Danielle to do three hours worth of podcasting on it! So for my first contribution to this very site, I’ll be looking at the weird world of the WWE Shop (formerly the ShopZone…it’ll always be the ShopZone to me!).
As someone who is gravely concerned about the future of this planet’s very existence, it often boggles my mind the amount of useless crap that is manufactured in the name of merchandising. Who thought it would be a good idea to make lawn gnomes dressed like John Cena? Stuffed teddy bears wearing Shawn Michaels’ shiny chaps? And who BUYS these? I understand t-shirts, hats, action figures, even giant foam fingers. But once in a while I’ll look around the Clearance section of WWE Shop out of morbid curiosity as to what they’re selling…or what isn’t selling. Let’s go the (virtual) mall! (Today!)
Superstar Piggy Banks
OK, these are kind of cute while also being disturbing…check out the creepy grin when you look at the Kofi Kingston bank head-on. And the Rock piggy bank has its own “motivational” wristband?
Rey Mysterio Backback
When Rey Mysterio made his most recent comeback, he wore tank tops from the Edward Nygma collection, probably because he’d put on a little weight and was self-conscious about it. I’m sure this backpack, where poor Rey Rey looks like a living giant sack of potatoes with a head sewn on top, is doing wonders for his body image. Also his little, sewn-on lips are kind of unnerving…the overall facial expression reminds me of those plush South Park dolls that came out years ago.
WWE Glow Stick
It seems that slapping the WWE logo on your average, nondescript glow stick ratchets up the price tag to four bucks…until no one buys it and it drops to 50 cents. I always did enjoy supply and demand curves in economics class.
Most things Hornswoggle-related are a bit disturbing and wrong, but this children’s t-shirt, where the Little Bastard has apparently been violently shoved through the wearer’s body, takes the cake. Not only is he emerging from the front like an Alien chest burster, but please note that his legs and butt are sticking out the back as well! If Hornswoggle pops out of that shirt and starts singing “Hello My Baby,” it’s nightmare fuel for months.
Tote Bag & ID Case
I’m guessing this pink-ish and purple bag is aimed at teenage girls? Who evidently would want a zillion WWE logos and the names/logos of various superstars plastered all over their Lisa Frank-tastic handbag?
Divas Championship Women’s Ring
All the current titles are now available as rings (for your finger, not the taking-bumps-in kind), but the oft-mocked “butterfly” Divas belt is just so garish and obnoxious and Mariah Carey-riffic. Why do I have a feeling this is the ring The Miz proposed to Maryse with?
WWE Shower Curtain
Why does CM Punk appear to be larger than the Big Show? Why did they decide to draw DC Comics superhero Firestorm instead of Sin Cara? Is Randy Orton trying to tear apart some sort of slime he has become entangled in? Would YOU want cartoon R-Truth making that face and watching you shower? (Does that make him a Peeping Ron?)
CM Punk Gnome Bench
Last but certainly not least, the CM Punk GNOME BENCH! That’s right, apparently a family of lawn gnomes have been collecting Punk merch from his different eras in the WWE and all decided to stand around on a wooden bench that they carved themselves (??), showing their support for the Best In The World. The yellow-clad gnome even went so far as to craft his own replica belt, with Punk’s logo on the front! The gnome in white also looks way too excited to drop a pipe bomb. Punk wanted to be on the collectible cups and covers of programs, but when he made that fateful speech in Vegas, was he really expecting the ‘E to create a family of gnomes that dress like him, which fans would then put out on display in their front yard?
There is also a John Cena Gnome Bench, but for some reason that makes perfect sense.
Joey O is a Radio Veteran who enjoys the Philadelphia Phillies, Chris Jericho matches and referencing both Ghostbusters movies. He can be found touting the musical virtues of Amanda Palmer and Against Me! on Y-Not Radio, but cannot be found Touting anywhere.