Upper Deck is known by most as a creator of trading cards, perhaps known most of all for the 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card, the very first card in Upper Deck’s inaugural trading card set. Over the next three decades, Upper Deck produced thousands upon thousands of trading cards, but it wasn’t until the past couple years that the company created its first wrestling cards, with 2021 AEW Upper Deck. Upper Deck’s relationship with AEW didn’t stop with trading cards though, and fans of AEW can now purchase Upper Deck authenticated merchandise of many of AEW’s top talent from the Upper Deck website.
Most of Upper Deck’s AEW memorabilia consist of limited, autographed prints of AEW talent, such as signed 8x10s of Ruby Soho and Adam Cole. Depending on the size, rarity, and individual featured on the print, the prices vary. For example, most 8x10s are $199.99, but those of CM Punk, Kenny Omega, and Jim Ross, to name a few, are $299.99. Upper Deck are pretty consistent with who they feel fetches a higher price tag. For example, for the next print size up, the 16×20 prints start at $299.99, but those of CM Punk and Jim Ross are $499.99. Needless to say, no matter who the name is, these autographed, authenticated prints are far from cheap, but there’s one name, above all, who wears the crown of most expensive AEW star on the roster … It’s Sting!
In addition to the signed, limited prints mentioned before, Sting has three pieces of Upper Deck authenticated merchandise that bump him into the upper-echelon of AEW price tags. First, there’s a Sting Autographed “Up Close & Personal” 20×24 for $799.99. According to Upper Deck, “This up close and personal shot not only shows the pure focus in Sting’s eyes but also every detail of his legendary face paint. It’s printed on canvas and stretched to be ready to hang. This image printed on canvas is autographed by Sting with a silver paint pen. Sting’s signature was witnessed by an Upper Deck Authenticated representative as part of UDA’s 5-step authentication process. This item is limited to 55.”
Next up, there’s a piece from Upper Deck’s “The Show” collection for $1,999.99. According to the product description, “‘The Show’ is the largest Sting signature Upper Deck Authenticated has ever produced. His signature is the centerpiece of this unique UDA-designed piece of sports art. This image is printed on acrylic and laid on top of an autographed piece of p-velvet paper. It comes framed and measures 46″ x 20″ for a grand piece that will be the highlight of any wall. Sting’s huge autograph is signed using a thick black marker.” The description doesn’t state that this is a limited or numbered piece, so I think it’s safe to say that Upper Deck will sell as many of these that Sting is willing to sign.
And for the pièce de résistance, there’s a Sting autographed Tegata for $14,999.99! And what, exactly, is a Tegata? According to Upper Deck, a Tegata is a “traditional form of Japanese memorabilia that is reserved only for the most superior athletes,” most typically Sumo wrestlers, and this “collage look at [Sting’s] career offers a combination of remarkable images that define the greatness of Sting. Inside this collage is his iconic scorpion that has been the staple logo of Sting’s career. … Utilizing handmade Japanese Hamada paper, Sting has inked his right hand in black and included an authentic Inkan stamp that aligns with the traditional craft. This original art piece is autographed by Sting with a silver paint pen.”
For the price of roughly $15,000 (plus free shipping), one might naturally assume the Sting Tegata may be a one of a kind artifact, but there’s actually 25 of these available. You can order your very own Sting Tegata from the Upper Deck store here, so in the immortal words of the late, great Don West, “Be dialing!”