Wrestling companies make merchandise. It’s usually pretty bad, but sometimes, it’s terrible. Welcome to The Merch Table.
Every week, @TomBlargh will look at some of the awful merch that someone expects you to buy. Up this week: CZW SPECIAL.
I don’t get CZW, but I feel like I should. There’s a couple of ways ways I could go about rectifying this – the first option is to go through their back catalogue and making a concentrated effort to understand and appreciate this much maligned company (as opposed to just watching Botchamania’s annual compilation of their best-worst moments):
However, that’d take time and energy, so instead I’m just going to scroll through their online shop and make snarky comments about merchandise for wrestlers I’ve almost no familiarity with! YEAH.
Will I come out of this experience with a greater appreciation of The Dub? ANSWER: Probably not! LET’S GET STARTED.
DJ Hyde t-shirt
I thought I had a decent understanding of the kind of guy DJ Hyde was, but now I see he has a shirt with an irony-free reference to the James Franco-starring Wizard of Oz prequel, I’m questioning everything. Thankfully, the guy writing the descriptions for the CZW merch site doesn’t get it either:
DJ Hyde: a mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a stupid t-shirt.
David Starr t-shirt
Look at what? What is ‘it’? David Starr, what are you asking of me here and why do I feel so deeply suspicious?
Oi4k foam finger
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate any indy wrestler or company that produces foam fingers, especially now that the WWE seems to have mostly lost interest in supporting this nation’s dwindling foam industry. The hand gesture’s not the most original, but hey, at least they’re trying.
BONUS FACT: Apparently, Oi4K stands for ‘Ohio is 4 Killers’. Okay then!
Lucky 13 Alpha Predator sticker
Another wrestler I’ve never heard of! OOPS SORRY. However, I immediately love him thanks to this sticker where he’s drawn to look like a ’90s comics anti-hero. Assault rifle? CHECK. Bloody sword? CHECK. Poorly drawn feet? CHECK. This guy’s an 8.9 on the Liefeld scale!
Once again, the guy writing the description’s on top of things:
DO NOT WEAR THESE SHIRTS IN PUBLIC
Nothing good can come of wearing these authentic CZW garments outdoors, so please don’t.
There’s no good reason for anyone to refer to themselves as ‘dirty daddy’, so please don’t think that you can convince me otherwise. Chris Dickinson is apparently the dirty daddy that this shirt is referring to.
Chris Dickinson, I don’t think we can be friends.
It’s another David Starr pink t-shirt with a sinister invitational slogan! Is that a good thing or a bad thing in the world of CZW? I just don’t know!
YEAH, TAKE THAT SOCIETY.
No, it’s not. High five on ripping off the ECW font though.
Is this meant for any specific wrestler, or is it just a shirt in general support of the legalisation of marijuana? Is that enough? What’s going on?
My sources tell me that this is a reference to when there’s too much blood on the canvas and they have to get a garden hose to spray it down. SEE-ZEE-DUB! SEE-ZEE-DUB! SEE-ZEE-DUB!
Nation of Intoxication Hockey Jerseys
I’m weirdly impressed by these. You don’t see a lot of hockey jerseys in wrestling anymore, which is kind of a shame because they were once some of the more iconic pieces of merch – I’m mostly thinking of the black and green DX ‘SUCK IT 69’ jersey and the white Y2J hockey deal.
$45 for one seems like kind of a lot, but $99 for all three is… kind of a bargain? Could it be that CZW is winning me over?!?
Sami Callihan t-shirt
Some of the more interesting designs are for Sami Callihan, though none of them are available for sale because he’s signed by WWE now. However, they’re still featured on the CZW merch site because no-one could be bothered to take them down in the 10 months since he left.
Hey, here’s an idea! Let’s see what old Sami’s getting up to on NXT these days:
CZW track jacket
WOAH, WAIT, THIS IS ACTUALLY PRETTY NICE. What’s more, if you unpick the CZW logo and get your mum to sew in ‘Toni’, you can convert it into being an Antonio Cesaro track jacket (a piece of merch which the WWE STILL hasn’t mass produced because apparently Vince McMahon hates money).
Nick Gage t-shirt
Yes, Nick Gage is actually in prison and yes, he’s still selling merch. THAT’S A TRUE WORKER, BROTHER.
FINAL THOUGHTS: CZW is still baffling, but I’m kind of in love with the guy who writes their merch descriptions and that track jacket’s pretty rad, so let’s call this whole thing a success. Until next time, friends!
– @TomBlargh WILL return with another new Merch Table at some point in the future. Until then, be sure to tweet him @TomBlargh or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any terrible merch scoops. Want more Merch Table? You can check out our archive of past Merch Tables here. Tom is also the chairman of the WCW Comic Book Reading Club, if you want to read his thoughts on the greatest comic in the history of our sport.