Wrestling companies make merchandise. It’s usually pretty bad, but sometimes, it’s terrible. Welcome to The Merch Table.
Every so often, @TomBlargh will look at some of the awful merch that someone expects you to buy. Up this week: WWE SLAM CRATE SPECIAL
Everybody loves a mystery, and while things like Loot Crate, the Funko Pop boxes and assorted other bi-monthly collections of random bullshit are a relatively new phenomenon, wrestling promotions have a proud history of taking advantage of their fans being idiot rubes – just consider TNA’s infamous Brown Bag Special, as previously covered here on The Merch Table.
So, it was inevitable that WWE was going to get into this and they teamed up with LootCrate to do their own mystery box of nonsense called the WWE Slam Crate, which goes for about $30, plus another $5 for shipping. I am a professional merchologist, so I was delighted to sign up to see what kind of stuff they’d send. SPOILERS: I hated it!
OKAY. So, as advertised, it comes in a crate. Kind of?
It’s technically just a box, but whatever, they’re the same shape. It has that classic “black on black” style so it’s close to impossible to read the text.
When you open it up though, you’ll see that there’s a surprising amount of crap in this thing!
WOW WHERE TO BEGIN. I guess with the bigger items? Let’s see how that goes.
Enzo and Big Cass t-shirt
So, to start with an aside, Enzo and Cass frustrate me. I think they have a fun dynamic and seem like nice boys, but they have a tendency to take their promos in a pretty lame Attitude Era-lite direction. Like, calling Luke Gallows “The Big Gal”, that’s pretty weak stuff, right? Despite that, I would PROBABLY wear an okay Enzo and Cass t-shirt…
…but this is not an okay Enzo and Cass t-shirt. While the colours are alright, the overall design is lame as hell – it looks like a rubbish strip club slogan.
Another issue is that even though it has the red tag that the regular “WWE authentic” shirts have on the bottom hem, it’s definitely not the same quality – the authentic shirts have their own problems, but this one feels really thin and crappy. Even worse, the stitching is already pretty messy and loose. All in all, a load of shite.
WILL I EVER USE THIS: No.
The New Day unicorn statue thing
This was one of the items that they announced beforehand, and… I dunno, it’s heavy, at least?
Like, there’s a real weight to it, if that’s the kind of thing that impresses you. The problem is I have enough tat littering my apartment that there’s not really space for me to put this anywhere. Also, the representations of The New Day are… troubling.
Is this problematic? Is it problematic to question whether this is problematic? I just don’t know.
Ultimately though, since The New Day now have their own Funko Pops, all other cute collectables featuring them have been rendered entirely useless. Put it in the bin.
WILL I EVER USE THIS: No.
Sasha Banks sunglasses
Like the ones she wears in her entrance and IMMEDIATELY tosses away, because they are TRASH. Except they’re blue! Oh!
They also have her name on the side, in case there was any question as to whether this was official Sasha Banks nonsense.
WILL I EVER USE THIS: No, I am a grown man.
Winged Eagle Title pin
So it’s like the old Winged Eagle title, but in pin form.
This is probably the nicest item in the box, I guess? However, it’s not something I’ll ever do anything with. Like, why would someone wear this? To prove that they’re a TRUE FAN who remembers the ’90s? Why does anyone wear pins? WHY DOES ANYONE DO ANYTHING?
WILL I EVER USE THIS: No, but I don’t resent it, so that’s something.
I guess this is for all the people who still watch the NXT weekly show and want to make sure everyone knows about it? I dunno.
Like, as logos go, it’s fine, but I don’t know what they’re expecting people to do with this. Maybe iron it onto a regular track jacket to make it into an NXT track jacket, and then use that to sneak into the Performance Centre so Albert can shout at you?
WILL I EVER USE THIS: I will not.
Austin Aries trading card
What? Gross, no.
Apparently some of these came signed, though mine wasn’t. I know, I wasn’t lucky enough to receive the autograph of a wrestler who I find entirely unlikable, what a shame.
WILL I EVER USE THIS: Austin Aries is in his late 30s and he gave his girlfriend a promise ring.
Mitch the Plant Kit
Now, this seemed like one of the more interesting items.
I don’t really like Dean Ambrose at all and the Mitch the plant phase was especially painful BUT this is a sort of clever idea? I like the idea of trying to grow a plant, at least.
Look at all those steps though. I have to place, add, wait, add, remove, break, plant, add AND keep?!? Come on.
WILL I EVER USE THIS: Hypothetically yes.
There was one last item, which seemed exciting! It was wrapped in paper AND placed in a little plastic bag AND it was made in China, so clearly a quality product.
Look at it! What could it be?
It felt heavy and metal, so I unwrapped it and… oh.
Dean Ambrose belt buckle
It’s a Dean Ambrose belt buckle. Look, it’s his stupid pretend anarchy symbol. Look. Look at it. They expect me to put this on my belt for people to see.
WILL I EVER USE THIS: No, fuck you.
Anyway, that was it for items. Another thing included in the box was a fold-out guide to this month’s loot.
It came with a Xavier Woods interview on one side (featuring Xavier’s exciting opinions on Loot Crate, amongst other things – you’ll be shocked to learn that he bloody loves it!)
On the other side, it folds out to a big ol’ poster of Shinsuke Nakamura thrusting his crotch out while making a face.
So, I guess that’s pretty good for all the crotch aficionados.
All in all, I don’t really know who this is for. Like, there’s a surprising amount of stuff, so that’s something! However, it’s a really weird mish-mash of crap that’s all of questionable value. Having said that, while the quality of most of it is a little weak, it’s not like the stuff you’d find on WWE Shop is much better, so I guess it’s sort of decent value if you’re the kind of mad bastard who buys things like Dean Ambrose belt buckles and Sasha Banks sunglasses.
I do like that there’s some weirdness like the Mitch the plant thing, but none of the rest of it really does anything for me. Maybe I’m too old for it? Too cynical? I dunno.
Regardless, even though I didn’t like it, this story still had a happy ending:
I got my money back, hooray! Thanks to eBay and to Craig for buying it off me, hopefully you never see this and learn that I took pictures of everything before I sent it you.