Blet world problems

With the NXT UK Tag Team replica blet now officially on the radar and awaiting an adequate discount price away from me pulling the trigger on the one blet that I have been wanting for nearly three years, you’d think I’d be running out of blets that conceivably even want for my collection.  Sure, there are tons of blets in the independent promotions that might warrant a second look, but those would be a little too edgelord even for a snob like me.  And AEW, much like New Japan are taking their replicas a little too serious for me to even consider wanting to buy one (yet).  

I’ve gotten pretty much all of the old ECW and WCW blets that I ever wanted (which is basically all of them), blets to represent my interests in New Japan, Ring of Honor, as well as NXT and NXT UK, and I’m currently holding onto two blets for my daughters until they hopefully come to their senses and realize that they want their blets on their own walls one day.

So, at some point, there’s got to be an end to the madness of all the blets that I could even want, right?  Especially with the one UK Tag blet that I’d been pining for basically all but already mine at this point, what could possibly come next?

Well for years, I’ve had friends and acquaintances think they were being clever internet comedians when they’d be telling me that I needed to get a John Cena US Spinner title blet for my collection.  They all thought they were being funny, because the Cena US Spinner was a blet that was polarizing in the sense that most everyone hated it, and I admit that I wasn’t a fan of it either, originally.  But as time passed, and I occasionally actually looked at it beyond fleeting moving video of it on television, I kind of dug it.  Way more than the eventual John Cena world title he unveiled, which for this juncture in time, I still say that I wasn’t a fan of the design and maintain that any blet that was once held by Jeff Hardy doesn’t have much credibility in my mind, even if CM Punk did the lord’s work with it before the got all high and mighty and martyred himself into oblivion.

In the years that I’d been waiting for the NXT UK Tag to release where it never happened, there were all sorts of blets that crossed my radar in that span in order to satiate my perpetual want for moar blets.  It was in this window of time that I figured that I really should try to get my hands on a Cena US spinner, but as was often the case when I decided to go for certain blets, they were already no longer manufactured.

Figures Toy Company lost the rights to make WWE blets, and those that existed on the second hand market were priced to the moon, and I know what my limits are on a blet, much less one that I want more for a joke and irony than actual want.  I’d watch eBay auctions for legitimate ones whenever they’d show up, but then they’d all always soar past what I’d be willing to pay for it, and there were tons of Pakistani knockoffs of them that I had to make sure to not get duped on.

Eventually, I realized that the Cena US Spinner was a blet that probably had a high chance of getting re-released by the WWE Shop, seeing as how I’d observed a parade of older blets getting re-released instead of the NXT UK Tag, drawing my ire endlessly.  I figured the Cena US Spinner would probably see the light of day before the NXT UK Tag in fact, but I figured it would eventually be re-released at some point, because it seemed like all old blets were headed in that path.

Which brings us to today, just days after finding out that the NXT UK Tag blet was finally being replicated, I see a banner show up, announcing the pre-orders for the replica re-release of, the John Cena US Spinner blet.  

And just like that, after boasting about how the NXT UK Tag wouldn’t even be coming out of my blet money from surveys, the WWE Shop has to up and drop yet another blet that I had been casually keeping my eye out for, creating a scenario where I will eventually have to dip into my hard-earned blet money after all.

Also, I’m currently sitting at needing to mount three new blets to my wall.  The NXT UK Tag would make it four, and if and when I eventually get my Cena US Spinner, that’ll make five.  Which is a pain in the ass because then I’ll need to buy more wall snaps, which are only sold in packs of 25, which means I’ll end up with extra snaps enough for eleven more blets afterward.

I’ve basically given up on saying that I’ll ever be finished, because let’s be real here, there will always be new blets to come out, or a change in opinion, or a killer sale, that will result in me buying just about every blet there is out there.  

Such is the life, of a blet collector.

Three years later… FINALLY

I’m actually still in disbelief that it’s finally coming: WWEShop announces the upcoming release of NXT UK Tag Team Championship replica blets.

I’m not even kidding, I have had this tab open on both my browser on my laptop as well as my phone, for over two years, refreshing daily, hoping to one day see the NXT UK Tag Team blet available one day.  In that span, I have witnessed numerous tribute blets, reproductions of older WCW and WWF-era blets, and several individual specific blets of particular legends that have had gaudy $700+ price tags associated to them.

But never the NXT UK Tag Team blets, despite the fact that they were literally, the only active blet in the entire company, to not have replicas made available.  It was maddening to a collector like me, and no amount of complaining, or utilizing a sock-puppet Twitter account to troll the WWEShop online to shame them for racism against Brits or other ludicrous bullshit to just spread awareness of their faux pas.

I could’ve gotten Pakistani reproductions, but I remained hopeful that these would eventually come to fruition.  And then NXT was ripped out from under Triple H, and I had concerns that the NXT UK brand would be in danger, and then these blets would never see the light of day.  But with no other real choice, I just continued to wait, impatiently.

The funny thing is, after plunking down $500 for my Unicorn blet, I had this thought in my mind that, wouldn’t it be funny if fate thought it would be funny and trolling to me, if suddenly the NXT UK Tag blets I’ve been wanting for over three years, were to suddenly become available, after I’ve been rendered cash poor?

Well fuck you fate, the joke’s on you; the last freelance project I did in 2018, I literally set aside an estimated amount of what I figured this blet would one day cost, based on the general cost of blets on WWEShop was.  And much like those browser tabs, I have been sitting on this cash for over two years, waiting for this day to come, and it has, and not even burning a ton of my blet money on my Unicorn blet can stand in the way of getting this UK blet that I’ve been wanting since I saw its reveal in 2018.

I was actually at the vet with my dog, getting his annual shots, when while my dog was whisked away to the back for some testing, that I pulled up my phone to do my daily check, did I realize with wide eyes that the day I had been waiting for, for the last three years, had finally come.  The NXT UK Tag replicas were fucking FINALLY listed, and I texted at least three different parties with crying face emojis, that my day had finally come.

The funny thing is, in spite of how long I’ve been waiting for these blets to finally become available, I’m in no rush to pull the trigger on them.  At $399, it’s a little bit higher than what I had set aside for it, not that that really matters, but it’s because anyone who ever pays full price for a replica blet is only fucking themselves.  The WWEShop runs sales on blets on almost a monthly basis, ranging from 20-40% depending on the promotion.  I don’t know if these will make it to the likely Brack Friday sale they typically do, but even if they don’t, I’m not going to be in too much rush to purchase these.

I’ve waited three years for this replica to come into existence, so what’s a little bit longer to make sure I don’t play the sucker that pays full price on mine?

WWE’s Women’s short-strap blets bother me

I’m fairly sure it might have started with Sasha Banks after she won the Smackdown women’s title from Bayley a while back, but I didn’t notice it until she lost the blet to Bianca Belair at Wrestlemania last year: the strap was noticeably shorter.  It bothered me.

This was no more prevalent than during a “surprise” segment during the NXT show after Wrestlemania, when all three brands’ women’s champions all gathered in the ring to signify the whole NXT and NXT alum success thing, with all of them holding their blets, with Belair’s stumpy looking blue blet next to the red blet and the NXT women’s blet.

Obviously, it doesn’t take a genius to understand that the logic behind shortening the strap was likely due to the fact that Sasha Banks is pretty petite in stature, and a short strap allowed her to wear the blue blet without there being like a foot of excess hanging off of her.  I just figured the WWE would transition back to a longer strap on a need-be basis, but from what I can tell there doesn’t appear to be any long-strap versions of the blue blet anymore, or nobody with a waist larger than 20” appears to have held it to warrant going back to one.

To make matters worse, the red blet has been shortened now too, so now RAW is subject to having a stumpy looking women’s blet as well.  Yes, Becky Lynch has bounced back from pregnancy like a house of fire, and is probably slimmer than when she rose to the stars, but thanks to such a body transformation, now the red blet is all stumpy too.

I dunno, it just bugs me to see these blets looking all stumpy and shortened.  There’s something prestigious and traditional looking about a normal-length strap with all its rivets and snaps, and seeing it all shortened just makes them look lower-class and less prevalent.  Alexa Bliss would undoubtedly not be able to do her trademark pose with these new stumpy blets, which is kind of ironic considering she’s probably the most petite superstar there’s ever been, to hold a championship.

All I know is that if the WWEShop ever changes their women’s replicas to short straps, there’s a 0% chance that I’d buy them for my girls.  They look silly, and they would undoubtedly fuck up the aesthetic that I’d try to go with their own hanging blets.  These women need to stop being divas, and get back to traditional, classic, normal-length straps.

2 Under 2: the endgame for the girls’ blets (#069)

Not that I would’ve had any objection to have had a son, I low-key was hoping for a second daughter, for the explicit purpose that I could purchase a set of women’s tag team championship blets for my two daughters to become the lifelong tag team partners they were meant to be.

Anyone who’s seen the modest gender reveal video my wife and I did with a balloon filled with blue or pink confetti, when we popped the balloon and pink confetti rained over my kitchen, you better believe that within at least 3-4 minutes, my mind was already thinking about the tag team blets that I would have to inevitably get for my girls.

It took a few months, but I just so happened to be vigilantly on watch when the day came where the WWEshop dropped these specific blets to the price threshold I was awaiting them to hit before pulling the trigger.  I couldn’t have been more excited when they arrived, and not just because they made mythical wife’s eyes roll like Marble Madness.

Y’see, there actually was an endgame in mind for these blets, and I’m going to share it here, because it’s really going to be a toss-up if my brog lasts long enough for my kids to eventually read this, and that’s even if they’re even remotely curious to want read about dad’s online dear diary for the better part of what will probably be like 35-40 years old by the time they might be curious.

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The rando wrestling post

Looking through my queue of random notes of things I wanted to write some words down about, I realized that there was the opportunity to occasionally consolidate some things into singular posts, to both artificially suppress my imaginary queue of important things to post about, as well as not to bore my zero readers with too much rambling about specific topics that really I’m the only one who cares too much about.

Naturally, my brog wouldn’t be the brog without there being random observations about professional wrestling, and although I’m having a tremendously difficult time keeping up with the business these days on account of having, no time at all, I sometimes try to keep up by either watching the top 10 clips that show up on YouTube, or by watching episodes of WWE or AEW, by fast forwarding through most of it.

Seriously, when I do that, I don’t even watch the wrestling itself; I usually fast forward until when I think the match could be potentially come to an end, and just try to watch the endings to the matches, just so I can see what post-match interactions there are.  Also, promos, because I like to see the progressions of stories and not the actual wrestling product itself, in comparison.

Watching one of the more recent episodes of NXT two-point-oh, it’s evident of what the directive of the product is, and I kind of do really understand that Triple H’s NXT was still anchored by a bunch of older performers, when NXT really was designed to be a training ground of young, up-and-coming talent, and not a place for outside stars to assimilate into the WWE machine.  I can’t say that I’m at all that impressed with the transition, nor its obnoxious ADD color schema, but I do understand the end game with the repackaging of NXT.

But there was an ending to the show where women’s champion Raquel Gonzalez was jumped by a new stable of women, and I couldn’t help but get flashbacks to Takeover: Brooklyn III, where Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly jumped Drew McIntyre after he won the NXT championship, only to be joined by a debuting Adam Cole, and the three of them stood over the champion, signaling the arrival of a new faction.

When Gigi Dolin and Jayce Jane jumped Gonzalez and then were joined by a repackaged Mandy Rose, with the three of them standing over her prone body afterward, it basically felt precisely like the debut of the Undisputed Era, all the way to Rose grandstanding with the championship.  I mean, with the Era all but dead now, with two of them in AEW, why shouldn’t NXT just swap the genders and try the whole idea all over again?

Sure, Mandy Rose was never a stalwart in the ring, Jane is as green as ten Lex Lugers, and Priscilla Kelly Gigi Dolin will probably never let her whole arsenal be used, so I can’t help but bet that they’ll never reach the heights of the UE, but at least they had a cool debut and looked good in the process.

Moving onto the other company, I feel like I had a home run of an analogy of how the world of professional wrestling fandom kind of feels like these days:

AEW is basically like Sega, while the WWE is unmistakably Nintendo.

Continue reading “The rando wrestling post”

A fate worse than death

Over the last few months, among the few things that I still do pay attention to outside of my own little world, professional wrestling is still there.  Normally, I’d cite sources or link to the things that inspire my writing, but frankly the brog’s sense of time is pretty warped as it is, and my zero readers will have to take my word on the things that I’m talking or referring to.

But long story short, over the last few months the WWE has been firing an alarming amount of talent and personnel, AEW has been more than happy to pick up the crème of the crop, and there’s all sorts of panic and wild rumors flying around scuttlebutt and I’m taken back to 1999 when I wish wrestling chatter on the internet could all collectively stfu because it’s kind of ruining everything when everyone’s so astute to backstage happening.

Among the fallout, Triple H, whom most are aware is the head cheese when it comes to anything NXT-related, has been given the lion’s share of the blame when it comes to the fate of the short-lived Wednesday Night War, when an arriving AEW was met by a nationally-televised NXT.  After about a year and amidst a pandemic, NXT decided to move to Tuesdays, in a move widely seen as hoisting a white flag and surrendering.

And supposedly, Triple H is the fall guy in this scenario, and as a result of it, regardless of the corporat-ese used to describe it, has been basically demoted and alleviated of the reigns of NXT.  Vince McMahon and one of his lifer-stooges, Bruce Pritchard will take over the production of the show, which basically means that NXT is going to be run a lot like RAW and Smackdown, which for the better part of the last 2-3 years has been the very definition of mediocre and hardly watchable.

Needless to say, this is basically a fate worse than death for NXT, which is restructuring under new management, naturally accompanied by, a rebranding, complete with new and questionably horrid logo.

A long time ago, I read some adage about how fewer things attempt to smokescreen mediocrity more than a rebranding, and from the looks of things, this is going to be a textbook instance of something once good, headed down a very slippery slope, with the rebranding and restructuring of NXT.

Continue reading “A fate worse than death”

Thanks, I hate it

I like baseball.  I like wrestling belts.  You’d think a collaboration between the WWE and MLB to release team-themed replica wrestling belts would be a layup for a guy like me, right?

If you think so, you couldn’t be any more fucking wrong.

An obvious cash-grab for starters, but all I see when I think about the fact that there are going to be 20-30* belts that will be put into production starting in the 2022 season, all I see are 20-30 blets that stand in the way of the WWE getting off their lazy asses and actually making replicas of the only fucking WWE blet I want left, the NXT UK Tag Team Championship.

*why anyone would want a replica belt for teams like the Rays, Rockies, Reds, Marlins or Orioles is completely beyond me, but homers are homers for a reason

For the record, I don’t just hate these MLB-WWE collab belts, I hate every other belt out there that’s not an actual active or historic belt.  I hate all the shitty tribute belts that WWE makes that takes existing plates and slaps them onto some overly-designed shitty straps themed to a hall of famer, and calling it a tribute.  I hate Xavier Woods’ and Tyler Breeze’s shitty YouTube show belts that have come into existence ahead of the only active fucking belt without a replica available.  I hate when they take some shitty stinky brown leather and wrap it around an Attitude-era World championship and call it a Mankind tribute.

But both MLB and the WWE really like money, and it really is low-hanging fruit to make these and watch them sell a justifiable number of them to warrant the decision to produce them.  I can’t hate on the business of it, I just hate that these things are definitely going to stand in the way of what I actually want.

And frankly, given the news over the last months of NXT kind of being rumored to being shifted back into a true developmental territory, who’s to say that any of the NXT and NXT UK blets will even get to be sold for much longer in the future, especially if they’re deactivated and removed from television.

Only hardcore blet-heads like myself may have noticed that for about four days, the WWEShop released the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship Replicas that’s still listed as available in the Euro store, but was already taken down from the American site, which initially had me curious that they took it down in order to have a brand new blet available at promotional discount, but seeing as how it hasn’t been brought back, it makes me wonder if it’s more the possibility that the blets will be deactivated on television, and therefore not needing replicas to be sold online.

As far as the NXT UK Tag blets, I’m beginning to think that they’ll never even be made in the first place, because perhaps the division as a whole might get folded up, if the talking heads surrounding Vince McMahon in Stamford see them as a risky ROI.

At least I’ll have an Atlanta Barves blet available to me with the cash I’ve been sitting on for literal years, waiting for the one blet I actually wanted.