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: JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE BROWN BAG SPECIAL
If there’s one thing that encapsulates the unstructured anarchy of ShopTNA, it’s the Insane Brown Bag Special, as made famous by Don ‘YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A SELFISH PRICK’ West.
Just watch how beautiful his pitch video is:
Sadly, Don West doesn’t seem to be the man responsible for Insane Brown Bag Specials now, having been replaced by the infinitely less likeable Jimmy Jay:
However, I can’t resist a bargain, and with the TNA summer sale AND a coupon code to counterbalance the ridiculous shipping and handling fees, I was able to get an Insane Brown Bag Special for under $20.
What follows is a 100% factual representation of my experience. It gets pretty dicey at times, but man, stick with me. We’re in it together.
OKAY. So first things first, the Insane Brown Bag Special doesn’t come in a bag. Instead, it comes in a regular old brown box, but I guess Insane Brown Box Special doesn’t have the same ring to it.
t does come with a bag, but that’s packaged to the side. So, in order to get the true brown bag experience, you’d have to take all the stuff out of the box, put it into the bag and then take it out of the bag again. Which I did because I am a JOURNALIST.
There are five components to the Insane Brown Bag Special – four DVDs, an action figure, a t-shirt and a banner. I’ll start things safe by looking at the DVDs.
What were the DVDs?
THE BEST OF AJ STYLES VOLUME 2
I’ve been informed by our glorious leader that this is pretty good, and I guess it probably is? I dunno man, it’s hard to build up too much energy for AJ Styles in 2013 unless he’s impersonating evil Peter Parker from Spider-man 3.
WILL I EVER WATCH IT: Yeah, sure.
AGAINST ALL ODDS 2007
Stupid TNA gimmick match checklist:
- PRISON YARD MATCH!
- LITTLE ITALY STREET FIGHT!
- MOTOR CITY CHAIN MATCH!
WILL I EVER WATCH IT: FUCK. YES. Russo Era 4 life.
BOUND FOR GLORY 2009
I’m sure there’s some fun chaos with Monster’s Ball, Ultimate X and the TNA TLC rip-off all on one show, but Matt Morgan? Bobby Lashley? Blah.
WILL I EVER WATCH IT: Maaaaaaaaybe. Bits of it. Probably.
THE HISTORY OF TNA: YEAR ONE
So, this is the only one I’ve seen so far because wrestling documentaries are generally a pretty easy watch. This was strange though. Like, it’s not badly done, but the story of TNA’s first year isn’t particularly compelling. The order of events seems to be:
- Company starts.
- Everyone says they’re gonna go out of business.
- Ken Shamrock.
- They almost go out of business.
- Dixie steps in.
Jeff Jarrett is tough to take during it though. There’s a long stretch where he goes on about how tenacious he is and makes out that his never-say-die attitude is what saved TNA, but the doc makes it pretty clear that TNA would be dead in the water if it wasn’t for Dixie’s millions so yeah. There’s an enjoyable amount of Jeremy Borash though, so worth watching for that alone.
WILL I EVER WATCH IT: Bro, I just told you, I already did.
What was the action figure?
IT’S JAY LETHAL.
And I’m fine with this! I like Jay Lethal and the Black Machismo gimmick well enough, and it’s not a bad figure, though the head sculpt is… something.
What was the t-shirt?
Oh, cool, a grey t-shirt. I was expecting a black one, so this is a nice surprise. Anyway, let’s unfold it and see what’s on the front…
Look, I… I’m going to have to address this, give me a minute here to talk to customer service.
OKAY COOL. That’s that resolved, let’s try and move on.
What was the banner?
This thing is HUGE. Like, the size of a doorframe. At first, I had no idea who it was meant to be, though seeing a generic muscly dude in the shadows reminds me of the blank create-a-wrestler in WWF No Mercy 64 (before you give him Kurt Angle’s singlet, Kane’s mask and make his finisher a corkscrew 450 splash).
However, further investigation revealed that it is an active TNA wrestler. Can you guess who it is?
It’s Rob fucking Terry.
AND THAT’S THE END OF THAT. GRAND VICTORY. So, what have we learned from this experience?
- I miss Don West.
- TNA gimmick matches > AJ Styles.
- TNA will readily accept that Crimson and Rob Terry merchandise is UNACCEPTABLE and send you replacements if you are enough of a dick about it.
- Steve Worsham is MY KINDA PEOPLE.