Professional wrestling fans have had a penchant for t-shirts of their favourite wrestlers since the boom of the ’80’s and it hasn’t slowed down one bit. Even your favourite local indie wrestler has shirts these days, and many wrestling fans boast wardrobes of hundreds of different shirts. Welcome to the first edition of a new recurring series calling Wrestling To A Tee, where we look at ten sweet t-shirts, some new designs coming out for your favourite stars, and some are a look at some recent favourites from the past year you may have missed.
NEW THIS MONTH
WWE unveiled a few new shirts this past month, including the first Goldberg shirt in over a decade, plus a rather bland James Ellsworth shirt. But this new one from Chris Jericho is pretty fantastic. Jericho has shown that character will always prevail over titles and getting over is bigger than wins or losses. His work this year has been some of the best of his career as far as the complete package. He even found a way to pay homage to one of his most memorable angles (“The List of 1,004 Holds”) by rebooting it into a new “List” and it’s only made him a bigger star than he already was (and he was pretty big).
With Bray Wyatt on a (slightly small) winning streak, The New Face of Fear has gotten a new shirt. Classic design with creepy artwork, without being over-busy, a nice slight change to his normal theme, that’s effective with his own character’s slight tweak.
ProWrestling Tees is a great website that features an online hub market for many of the world’s top indie wrestlers and past Legends, including carrying all of Ring of Honor, NJPW and TNA’s shirts as well. The best part of this site is that all the monies and designs go to the wrestlers themselves. Great way to show your support to your favourites on the indie circuit.
They recently unveiled some new designs as well, including this special edition “Chicago Cubs” tribute to one of “Macho Man” Randy Savage‘s most beloved promos, The Cream of the Crop. Even if you’re not a baseball fan (although Randy was and came from Chicago), it’s a pretty sweet wear.
A few years back, a Star Wars shirt featuring the many emotions of Darth Vader scored as a bit of a hit (each panel showing the same masked face for each), and Ring of Honor’s Mark Briscoe has released his own hilarious version. Mark has proven to be a solid worker that, while not as charismatic as his brother Jay, is a vastly underrated ring general.
iN CASE YOU MISSED THEM
There’s so many shirts released these days online, that it’s easy to miss some of the great designs. Here’s a quick look at some recent instant classics.
He was just recently seen teaming up with Lince Dorado on NXT in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, but Mustafa Ali has been wrestling on the indies for a while. Solid and powerful design on this one, called Battle Tested.
A few years ago, Candice LeRae and her tag team partner Joey Ryan faced off against The Young Bucks in a bloodied affair in PWG. LeRae left the match a bloodied warrior (after talking a thumb tacked Superkick) and became an indie wrestling superstar. This shirt of hers is simply bad-ass. Like her own bloody shroud of Turin.
The reason why WWE’s recent Ellsworth shirt is so bland, is that Ellsworth himself is selling far cooler stuff on his shop. This has a far more inspirational feel – almost like the little guy from the ad in the back of old comics (the sand in the face guy, not the guy he becomes). Whether you like his current plot positioning or not, it’s a great story that this guy’s appearance fees have probably swelled since this time last year…
Jack Jameson may not be quite the household indie name that most of the other names on this list are, but this shirt is sweet just the same. A protegee of former ECW, WCW and WWE Legend Lance Storm, Jameson is a regular out of Anarchy Championship Wrestling in Texas. Sweet throwback shirt to the Nintendo gaming days of yore.
Will Ospreay has had a hell of a year, with his Match of the Year candidate with Ricochet, which in turn created the summer’s best internet feud with WWE/WCW Legend Vader (followed by a match in the UK). While it’s a theme that’s becoming a bit played out (the red/blue sports logo design), it’s a solid capture of Ospreay in flight and the “Muthaf*cka” after the “Pip Pip Cheerio” just adds to the cheekiness that imbues Ospreay’s character.
It’s ironic that Brian Cage is the stereotypical hulked out beast that the WWE usually salivates at, but his insistence of not complying with the Wellness Policy is the thing holding him back from joining them. Regardless, he’s become an indie sensation with his work of late in both Lucha Underground and PWG. An older design, but it’s quite topical now with the recent release of the new trailer for Logan, Hugh Jackman‘s swan song film as Wolverine.
What’s your favourite shirt designs? Found some new designs that really caught your eye? Let us know in the comments below and maybe we’ll spotlight them in future Wrestling To A Tee articles!