SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
As Being the Elite has grown from a YouTube series to the full-fledged All Elite Wrestling promotion, more and more collectors have been seeking out trading cards of the AEW wrestlers. Many of the wrestlers on the AEW roster were featured in the All In trading card set that was produced last summer and can still be ordered from Highspots.com. But there are lots of other cards for wrestling collectors to chase as well.
While a few AEW wrestlers have plenty of cards from their WWE days, many others have only independent cards or cards from other countries that can be much tougher to find. Thanks to the increase in independent wrestling sets over the last few years, several AEW stars can be found in sets like the Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Battle of Los Angeles sets from 2016 to 2018, the All American Wrestling Jim Lyman Memorial Tournament set from 2018, Limitless Wrestling cards and exclusive cards from Highspots.com. Some wrestlers don’t have traditional trading cards, but are featured in gaming cards from Filsinger Games (http://filsingergames.com/find-your-favorite-wrestler/) and SRG Universe (http://srguniverse.com).
If you’re looking to grow your collection of wrestling trading cards, your best bets are to search eBay regularly, join one of the many wrestling trading card groups on Facebook and check out sites like huskerhavswrestlingcards.com, which specializes in independent wrestling cards at fairly low prices. Highspots.com still has signed versions of the 2017 and 2018 PWG BOLA sets for sale for $99.99 each.
This article provides an overview of some of the cards that are available of top AEW wrestlers, and what you can expect to pay for key cards. This is by no means a complete list, but a way to help get collectors started.
Kenny Omega. Omega’s cards date back to 2011, when he was included in the BBM Legend of the Champions wrestling set in Japan. As Omega became the hottest star in wrestling in 2016, his 2011 BBM Legend of the Champions autograph became one of the most sought after cards in the hobby. However, because it is a Japanese card and limited to just 99 copies, it’s nearly impossible to find. One copy sold on eBay in mid-2018 from $300. Fortunately for collectors, Leaf Trading Cards included signed Omega cards in its 2017 Leaf Sports Heroes Metal and 2018 Leaf Legends of Wrestling sets. Omega is still one of the hottest stars among collectors, but his Leaf autographs can usually be found for under $50, depending on the serial numbering.
The Young Bucks. Matt and Nick Jackson’s first cards were as Max and Jeremy Buck as TNA’s Generation Me. TRISTAR included base cards and autographs of Gen Me in 2010 TNA products such as TNA: The New Era, TNA Icons and TNA Xtreme, but those cards aren’t quite so desirable because of the “Max Buck” and “Jeremy Buck” names. Fortunately, there are plenty of other Bucks cards out there. The Jackson brothers appeared on several Japanese King of Pro Wrestling (Kinpuro) gaming cards from Bushiroad, and they sell signed copies of those cards at youngbucksmerch.com. The Bucks’ top card is a dual autograph from 2016 Leaf Wrestling Signature Series. It can be quite difficult to find a good copy of this card, because on many of them, one Jackson brother signed his name, while the other just wrote “Young Bucks.” A dual autograph with both signatures usually fetches at least $40, depending on the color variation and serial numbering.
Cody and Brandi Rhodes. Topps produced plenty of Cody Rhodes trading cards from 2007 to 2016. His most desirable cards are a 2010 Topps WWE autograph, which usually sells for under $15, and a 2009 Topps dual autograph with his father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes; that card usually sells in the $65-$100 range. Cody also signed plenty of cards as Stardust, but those aren’t nearly as popular or as valuable. Cody also appeared in 2018 Leaf Legends of Wrestling, and his autographs usually start at about $10. Brandi can be found in the 2018 All In set, and also has some WWE cards as “Eden Styles,” including autographs and kiss cards.
So Cal Uncensored. Veterans Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky all found new life as So Cal Uncensored in 2018. Daniels and Kazarian appeared in several TNA sets from TRISTAR from 2008 to 2013. A dual autograph of the former Bad Influence partners was included in the 2013 TRISTAR TNA Impact Wrestling Live product, and can often be found for less than $10. But the coolest card of the three is their 2018 All In trading card, the first of its kind to feature all three members of So Cal Uncensored together.
Lucha Bros. Pentagon Jr. – as Penta el Zero M – is featured in 2018 Leaf Legends of Wrestling. Because the quality of his signature varies so much from card to card, prices can be very volatile. Clean, legible “Penta” autographs usually start at about $15, while sloppy signatures fetch less. Low numbered quality signatures can fetch as much as $100. Fenix and Pentagon both made their trading card debut in the 2016 PWG Battle of Los Angeles set, but those cards can be tricky to find. Their 2017 PWG BOLA cards are easier to find and more affordable.
Chris Jericho. No wrestler in AEW has more cards than Chris Jericho. The former “Y2J” has been featured in WCW sets from Topps, WWF/WWE sets from Fleer and Topps, the 2015 Panini Americana product and various wrestling, multisport and pop culture sets from Leaf Trading Cards. Because Jericho’s cards are so abundant – not to mention his terrible signature – you should be able to find a certified Jericho autograph for as low as $5.
Best Friends. Chuck Taylor and Trent Barreta are pictured together on card #26 in the 2018 All In set, but both men have several other cards as well. Barreta has several autographs from 2010 Topps and Topps Platinum, which can usually be found for under $10. Leaf also included signed Bushiroad kinpuro cards of Barreta in its 2017 Leaf Wrestling Buybacks product. Taylor’s cards are tougher to find and are limited to a few independent releases, including a Chikara card from around 2008, the unlicensed IPW set from 2015 and a rare card from the 2017 PWG BOLA set. Both men also have Filsinger gaming cards.
Jimmy Havoc. A veteran of Progress Wrestling, CZW, MLW, TNA and other promotions, Havoc has a few trading cards, but they can be difficult to find. Havoc has 2014 and 2015 cards from the UK magazine Resurrection. His best cards were produced in 2017 by Golden Stars, and a limited number are still available at http://golden-stars.kong365.com/en-gb/products/pre-order-jimmy-havoc-signed-bundle. The bundle includes a signed 8×10 and three different signed cards of Havoc, all of which are numbered to 15 with matching serial numbers. The bundle costs £24.95, or around $32 U.S., plus shipping.
CIMA. The Dragon Gate legend has been featured in several BBM sets from Japan from 2002 to 2016. Base cards are actually pretty easy to find and affordable at just a few bucks apiece on eBay. His autographs, however, are much trickier to find and often have very low print runs. His 2008 BBM Dragon Gate autograph, for example, is serial numbered to just 20. If you’re looking for autographs of CIMA or other Japanese stars, your best bet is to become more familiar with Japanese websites and auction sites and check them regularly.
Many of AEW’s young stars either don’t have any cards, or have a small number of recent independent cards. Adam Page, one of AEW’s most popular wrestlers, can only be found in the 2018 All In set, and also has Filsinger and SRG gaming cards. PAC has plenty of WWE cards as Neville, but his first trading card as PAC can be found in the 2009 BBM Dragon Gate set. Joey Janela and MJF are both featured in the 2018 All In set, as well as 2018 Limitless Wrestling. Sammy Guevara was featured in the 2018 PWG BOLA set. Guevara was also as a replacement in the 2018 BOLA tournament, and card designer Brian Ubben printed a limited number of cards that he distributed at the show. Guevara was not included in the original base set or the signed version from Highspots.com.
Aja Kong has plenty of BBM True Heart trading cards from Japan, including autographs, which can be found for reasonable prices on eBay. Britt Baker and Penelope Ford are both included in the 2018 All In set, and Baker has a Shimmer gaming card from Filsinger.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PRIOR COLUMN: COLLECTIBLES COLUMN: Collectors Continue to Find Stars in MWR Trading Cards
Michael Moore is a writer and collector living in Casper, WY. He has been a collector of sports cards and wrestling memorabilia since 1985. He has contributed articles on pro wrestling collectibles to PWTorch.com since 2011, and his work has also appeared in Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Tuff Stuff Sports Collectibles, Beckett sports publications and more. Follow him on Twitter @MMooreWriter, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.