I never thought that anything I’ve done warranted being recognized on a trading card. I’m a librarian, I’m a parent, I write for Slam, and I occasionally scribble out a poem or short story. I’m proud of my work, but none of this ever screamed out to me as something to celebrate on cardboard, so imagine my surprise when, back in September 2023, I received an invitation to be added to the second series of the Wrestling Card Price Guide’s Wrestling Card Collector Series.
The Wrestling Card Collector Series started early last year as a fun way to acknowledge prominent wrestling card collectors and other names associated with wrestling collectibles. According to WrestlingTradingCards.com, the set was “a joint partnership between The Wrestling Card Price Guide, WrestlingTradingCards.com, Wrestling Guy Store PHX and KÄGÉ GFX,” and the cards themselves were designed by Adrian Brown (KÄGÉ GFX). It’s obviously a niche set of cards with a very specific audience in mind, but the 100 sets released sold out in less than 48 hours, so clearly there was a demand.
In addition to the base set of 50 cards in series one and two, each pack of cards includes one metal version of a card of one of the people featured in the set. For series one, there were two metal cards of each card in the set, but for series two, they increased the print run, upping it to 150 complete sets of 50 cards, with three metal cards of each card in the set, which they charged $40 for each set of 50 cards plus one random metal, and yes, they sold out once again.
While the individuals featured on the checklist might not all be household names, I’ve written about or referred to several of them in my previous wrestling card writings, such as ARW’s Pete Lynch and wrestling card designer Beau Jay. Series two even includes notable wrestling talents and co-creators of the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast Matt Cardona and Brian Myers, as well as wrestling referee Brandon Tolle.
Obviously, much of what’s fun about this set is that it features a group of people who aren’t accustomed to seeing themselves on a trading card (with the exception of Cardona and Myers), and after the release of each series, wrestling card social media is full of collectors receiving their sets, proudly showing off their cards, and trading with each other. With each pack of cards only coming with one metal card, the odds of receiving your own metal card aren’t great, so the only way to get one is to trade for it (or buy it), from somebody else who pulled it, but thankfully, most collectors are happy to trade for each other’s metal cards.
As of this writing, I have my set of cards in hand, including my very own “rookie card,” and I’m about to send the metal card I pulled to a fellow Michigander who goes by Kyle the Collector. I haven’t heard if anybody’s pulled either of my three metal cards, but I hope I eventually do. I’d like to give one to my mom, because even though I may have quit baseball freshman year after smashing my left middle finger while attempting to bunt, my face is still on a trading card.