DIGITAL DABBLINGS #21 – November Review & SDL Champions Top Cards

By William M. Noetling, PWTorch Specialist

November was yet another huge month in Topps Slam, maybe the biggest number of new cards issued thus far.  It including two full waves of the huge digital exclusive set “Excellence”, a tent-pole PPV set in Survivor Series, a smaller special set for Starrcade, two full waves of Boom Comic covers, plus various daily releases, one-offs, and way more than any collector can really handle.  
New Sets:
  • Excellence – 2 Waves (40 base, 5 sigs, 5 undertaker, 1 superstar insert per wave)
  • Topps Picks
  • Triumph Wave 1
  • Women’s Division Finishers and Signature Moves (17 cards + Award)
  • Boom Comics Wave 5
  • Heritage 2017 Wave 2
  • Survivor Series 2017 (Base, signatures, NXT poster, Teams, Posters, NOW)
  • Boom Survivor Series What If
  • Jeff Hardy Artwork (9 cards + Award)
  • Boom Comics Wave 6
  • Infinite Wave 3
  • Thanksgiving Bundle Cards
  • Starrcade (Base, Signatures)
  • Black Friday Bundle Cards
  • Steel Base (48 cards)
  • Signature/Kiss Cards
  • Cyber Monday Bundle Cards
  • Apps Tuesday Bundle Cards
Live Signatures
  • Stephanie McMahon/Triple H
VIP Signatures
  • Kairi Sane
  • Kurt Angle Special Signature (500cc)
Base Variants
  • Purple Kurt Angle, Becky Lynch, Bayley
  • Gold Rush – Iron Sheik, Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar
  • PPV Logos #15 – Backlash, Award #3 – Royal Rumble 96.  Overall Award TBD (Set Compete)
  • Taglines #6 – 9, Award #3, Overall Award  – John Cena, Bray Wyatt, Neville, Ted DiBiase, Kurt Angle (Award #3), Ric Flair (Overall Award) (Set Complete)
  • Headlines #3 – 7 – Kairi Sane, Rusev, John Cena, Elias, Pete Dunne
  • Fuel #3 – 6, Award #1 –  Mark Henry, Corey Graves, Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, Jake “The Snake” Roberts (Award #1)
  • NXT Series 2 #1 – 5, Award #1, Montez Ford, Sonya Deville, Tino Sabatelli, Liv Morgan, Adam Cole (Award #1), Alexander Wolfe  
New Insert Set Checklists
Topps Picks
  1. Naomi
  2. Shinsuke Nakamura
  3. Seth Rollins
  4. Finn Balor
      Award – Asuka (1052cc)
Triumph Wave 1 (5000cc)
  1. Bobby Roode
  2. Aiden English
  3. Bob Backlund
  4. Drew Gulak
  5. Jimmy Uso
  6. Tyler Breeze
  7. Samir Singh
  8. Sin Cara
      Award – Trish Stratus (2344)
Boom Wave 5 “WWE #3”
  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Edge
  3. Bayley
  4. Ric Flair
  5. Royal Rumble
  6. Dude Love Action Figure
  7. Raw Women’s’ Championship Title Belt
Boom Survivor Series “What If” (500cc)
  1. What if Bret Screwed Shawn?
  2. Brock/Goldberg
Boom Wave 6 “WWE #11”
  1. Roman Reigns
  2. Ricky the Dragon Steamboat
  3. Ted DiBiase
  4. Royal Rumble
Signature/Kiss Cards (250cc)
  1. Becky Lynch
  2. Liv Morgan
Infinite Wave 3 (2 variations)
  1. Dash Wilder
  2. Nikki Cross
  3. Triple H
  4. Becky Lynch
  5. Zach Ryder
  6. Jack Gallagher
  7. Mandy Rose
  8. Velveteen Dream
      Award – Undertaker
Thanksgiving Bundle Set
  1. Roman Reigns (650 Diamonds)
  2. Bayley (2200 Diamonds)
  3. Jeff Hardy (4400 Diamonds)
  4. Alexa Bliss (11000 Diamonds)
  5. Seth Rollins (22000 Diamonds)
      Award – Ultimate Warrior Signature
Black Friday Bundle Set
  1. The Miz
  2. Drew McIntyre
  3. Trish Stratus
  4. Dean Ambrose
  5. Charlotte Flair
      Award – Sasha Banks Signature (36)
Cyber Monday Bundle Set
  1. Naomi
  2. Asuka
  3. Bobby Roode
  4. Braun Strowman
  5. Brock Lesnar
      Award – AJ Styles Signature (22)
  1. Naomi
  2. Rhyno
  3. Andre the Giant
  4. Dana Brooke
  5. Shawn Michaels
  6. Andrade “Cien” Almas
  7. TJP
      Award – Samoa Joe
Apps Tuesday Bundle Set
  1. Adam Colea
  2. Ric Flair
  3. Becky Lynch
  4. Lita
  5. Macho Man Randy Savage
      Award – Shawn Michaels Signature (22cc)
The major releases of the month were clearly “Excellence” and Survivor Series.  Excellence, as aforementioned, is a “digital exclusive”, it even says so on the back of the cards.  Each wave had a base set of 20, signature set of 5, an Undertaker tribute set of 5, and a single poster type release (Finn Balor in Wave 1, Bobby Roode in Wave 2).  There were FIVE variations of the base set, with the most common black and green being available for coins, and orange, purple (500cc) and gold (100cc) being behind the paywall.  Signatures were available in three variations, black at 1250, green at 750 and purple at 150.  Some Wave 1 signatures did not sell out prior to the entire wave’s deadline, so they were inserted into Wave 2 packs, and in fact as of this writing purple sigs are still available.  Wave 1’s sigs offered nothing new, while Wave 2 held first single sigs of Ruby Riot(t), Ember Moon and the “legend” Junk Yard Dog.  Single purple sigs topped out at $25, but can be had for much less, while Greens never made it higher than $8 apiece.  

Survivor Series is the second set for this annual major show, and just like last year, it was huge.  Over 80 base cards split between the NXT and Main rosters, were issued in four variants, black and blue being available in coin packs, with red and purple (500cc) behind the paywall.  The same four colors were used for the signature sets with black uncapped, blue at 1250, red at 750 and purple at 250.  The signature set of five cards included two dual sigs from the main roster (Alexa/Charlotte and The Miz/Baron Corbin) and three from NXT (Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas single, Undisputed Era & Sanity Triples).  The award was a dual sig of Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles.  The purple dual of the two women champions almost made it to $25, while the NXT triples and the male purples didn’t go much higher than $15.  Reds topped out at $10, but were on average much lower.  
The two hottest cards of the month weren’t even in a major release, they were the first ever “Kiss” cards in the game.  Single cards of Becky Lynch and Liv Morgan were issued a couple weeks ago and sold out their 250cc print run in minutes.  Lots of both cards have gone as high as $45, with Becky alone selling for $20 to $35 while Liv goes for $20 to $25.  
Gold Rush always send the player base into a whirlwind of activity, until those 50 cards have actually traded hands a couple of times and then they settle down into obscurity and become “grails” for player collectors.  Brock topped out at $15 and is currently available for $12.  Chris Jericho also topped out at $15 and is available for $12 right now, but has sold for slightly less in the past.  The legendary tweeter The Iron Sheik maxed at $10 and was as cheap as $5.  
Over 40 of the standard base set was released as a “steel” variant on Black Friday with a 250cc limit.  They sold out in minutes as usual.  Singles for superstars like Alexa and Finn went for as much as $8 apiece, despite there no award being offered.
The Topps cash grab went berserk over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with bundle cards being offered for different diamond bundles each day for Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Apps Tuesday.  Each six card set had a signature award card, and none of them ended up more than 36cc total.  Cards for the $50 and $100 bundles are in extremely short supply.  
Heritage returned for a second wave of more of the same, the most exciting part of which was the first sigs of Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano, who used to make up the DIY Tag Team in NXT.
Boom Comics accounted for two and a half sets this month, including their first all-paywall set, the two card Survivor Series “What If?” set which is still available for 900 diamonds for 1 or 1500 diamonds for both cards.  Boom cards continue to be popular with traders who overvalue them upon release, they don’t realize that almost immediately upon release full sets are available for under $3.  
The December VIP Signature care was actually worth chasing this month, as it was the first sig of NXT newcomer and the winner of the Mae Young Classic Kairi Sane.  Of course, it sold out in a few minutes unlike previous months’ chase cards.  Singles are selling for between $7 and $10.  

Smackdown Live Top Stars Top Cards
So I meant to write this up over a month ago, but as I really didn’t want to write about Jinder Mahal and Natalya, I decided to wait, and of course we were all rewarded with new champions right before Survivor Series.  This frankly saved the show in my humble opinion.  Despite losing to Brock, AJ really showed that he is the top guy over on Smackdown.  
A.J. Styles Top 10 Slam Cards as of December 5, 2017
2017 Off the Panels NYCC Variant
2017 Cyber Monday Award Signature
2017 Undisputed Triple Sig w/Dean Ambrose & John Cena
2017 Live Signature Green
2016 Undisputed Silver Signature
2016 Survivor Series Gold Signature
2017 Royal Rumble Black Dual Award w/John Cena
2017 Battleground Gold Award
2016 NOW No Mercy
2016 Summerslam Orange Dual Signature w/John Cena
So far Topps has given AJ as the award for completing a set a massive 31 times, many of them being PPV award due to his sheer amount of time as WWE Champion.  He has 5 different award cards under 100cc, four of them being sigs.  He has 13 sub 100cc PPV cards.  Also he personally inscripted 10 1/1 Live Signature cards.  I haven’t done a full analysis, but I wouldn’t be surprised if AJ still holds the record for most sigs in the game and most individual cards in the game.  
Clearly AJ is popular with fans and in game.  Fully 7 of the top 10 are 59cc or less, and only 3 cards have him featured with another performer.  Dollar amount wise he’s amongst the top men in the game in terms of value, but his cards don’t really make fans salivate with a “must own” type mentality.  He’s certainly no “Demon King”.
Charlotte Flair Top 10 Slam Cards as of December 5, 2017
2017 NOW Roadblock Relic
2017 Undisputed Triple Sig w/Becky Lynch & Sasha Banks
2016 Live Signature Relic
2016 Summerslam Orange Award Dual Signature w/Sasha Banks
2017 Black Friday Bundle
2017 Survivor Series Purple Dual Signature w/Alexa Bliss
2016 Live Signature Purple
2017 Excellence Purple Signature
2017 Hell In a Cell Gold Award Signature
2016 NOW Team Raw
So you thought that AJ Styles had a lot of awards?  Charlotte has more with 33 different award cards.  Of course she had her very own dedicated set and was champion for a longer period of time than AJ.  She also got her very own Live signature set early on, and it was the first one to have a relic added to the mix.  Speaking of relics, the Queen’s top card is her 25cc Roadblock NOW Relic which broke the $100 mark more than once already.  If you look at who owns copies of that card it’s a veritable who’s who of the whales in the game.  
There’s a big difference in quality between the top 5 on the list and the bottom 5 on the list.  Other than Undisputed Triple with Sasha and Becky, the top 5 cards are all 55cc and under, while the bottom five range from 141 to 250cc.  There’s a big drop off in quality too.  That said, Charlotte has more “money” cards in the game than most women due to her being on top of the Women’s division for over a year and then there was that dedicated set.  The set had a card-exchange mechanic where you could trade in multiple copies of the low end cards to get a card exchange exclusive.  The award for that variant sits at just 89cc and doesn’t sell very often.  

As with AJ, most of Charlotte’s high value cards feature her by herself, though the Undisputed Triple Sigs show up yet again proving those cards can hold their own in the market.  She’s nowhere near as popular as Alexa Bliss, or arguably even Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch or the recently returned Paige.

Don’t forget you can find me in game at GRENDELSEN, and I’m always happy to trade or answer any questions you might have.  Leave questions or concerns here and I’ll see you next time.

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