Toy Review – WWE Elite 63 Dusty Rhodes from Mattel

Seeing as Independence Day is this Thursday I thought it would be a great time to take a look at the American Dream!

Dusty Rhodes is one of my favorite wrestlers.

We all know he could talk. Every time you see anything about Dusty he’s got a mic in his hand. I became a Dusty fan thirty years ago when he pulled Sapphire out of the audience and made her his manager. Those two were pure joy. I don’t remember a single Dusty match from that era, but I sure do remember Dusty and Sapphire dancing and Dusty cutting white-hot promos on Randy Savage.

It wasn’t until WWE started releasing their excellent DVDs collecting old AWA/NWA matches that I truly started to appreciate how incredible Dusty was. His work rate was amazing. He didn’t move or work like a big fat guy. He fought as hard and looked as good as any of his opponents, keeping pace with the likes of Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Harley Race, and everyone else.

That was when Dusty became one of my top guys and a part of every wrestling conversation I would have from then on.

In the years before his passing, Dusty cemented his legacy and became one of the most important figures in professional wrestling through his work with the young generation at NXT, WWE’s evolving developmental territory. To this day every wrestler who passed through NXT during Dusty’s time there credits the Dream as being key to their success.

As soon as I finished writing my Mattel WCW post, the first figure I tracked down was the American Dream.

If we’re ever lucky enough to get a Dusty/Sapphire two-pack I will buy that for sure (someone tell Bill that November 25th is the anniversary of Sapphire’s entry into the WWF), but this version is the Dusty I had to have and fits with my sort-of-strict WCW Elite collection.

Is Mattel a hit-maker and a record-breaker or are they in the midst of some hard times? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Elite 63 Dusty Rhodes from Mattel”

Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel

I mentioned in my Mattel WCW post that I am only collecting three types of modern wrestling figures at the moment – Retros, the WCW roster, and the Women’s Division. Retros because they’re fun and nostalgic, WCW because that’s my favorite era of wrestling, and the women because they’re more visually interesting than the men and they are providing the highest level of entertainment on WWE TV these days and have been for a while.

Mattel can’t get a Lacey Evans out soon enough.

Ronda Rousey was a big part of the Women’s Division being so superior. Her current status might be inactive and her future might be in  question, but in my opinion she took to the business in a way that no athlete from an outside sport has since Kurt Angle. She had a believable, engaging charism that was unique on the roster and every match she had was at worst very good.

During Rousey’s brief tenure in WWE she was the proverbial Human Highlight Reel, with her every action being notable and a discussion-worthy part of that week’s action. Part of it was a very carefully cultivated program by WWE’s creative team, but even the best-executed writing will fail without a competent Superstar to carry it out on screen. And thanks to whatever magical combination of talent and execution occurred, Ronda Rousey was WWE’s biggest star in 2018-2019.

She might have hit the occasional bump, but this was her first year in the business. I can’t even imagine what she could be capable of if – hopefully when – she returns.

Due to the brevity of Rousey’s tenure and the nature of the action figure business Mattel has only released three Ronda Rousey action figures to date – one Basic, one Elite, and today’s Ultimate Edition. I passed on the Basic, but the Elite was a very good figure for what it was. I’m not the biggest fan of wrestling figures who aren’t in ring gear, but Mattel did such a great job with Rousey’s likeness that I had to grab that one when I saw it.

This Ultimate Edition is an all-new concept from Mattel. Replacing their Entrance Greats line, it is an attempt to deliver everything that wrestling fans might want from an action figure – entrance and in-ring looks, multiple hands, multiple portraits, and ultimate articulation. The first two releases were Rousey and – obviously – Ultimate Warrior. I mean, they had to, right?

Is this Rousey truly the ultimate and a ten dollar step above Mattel’s Elites? Read on and find out! Continue reading “Toy Review – WWE Ultimate Edition Ronda Rousey from Mattel”

Needless Things Podcast 259 – WrestleMania XXXV Pre-Show

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-jehrn-acea1f

WrestleMania XXXV is this Sunday and the Needless Things Irregulars are gonna cut some promos about it!

Dave talks to our pals Arian “The Saltmaster” Gulick and “Howdymania” Mike Gordon about the upcoming Showcase of the Immortals! What are they excited about? What looks terrible? How successfully has WWE booked and promoted this event versus previous years?
Listen in as Dave, Mike, and Arian grapple with WrestleMania on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast.
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

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Needless Things Podcast 258 – Plastic Legends: The History of Wrestling Toys

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-7iih6-ac1a0e

We are on the Road to WrestleMania and it’s high time the Needless Things Irregulars talked about their favorite wrestling toys, brother!

From LJN to Hasbro to San Francisco Toymakers and beyond, there have been a huge number of popular toy lines based on the greatest sports personalities of all time. Most of the best-known wrestling federations from the last four decades have had toy lines that have seen some level of success.
In today’s episode Dave talks to Rich from Nerdy Laser and Chris from Figures Toy Company about the history of wrestling toys in their lives. Which line will go down as the best in the history of Our Great Sport?
Listen in as Dave, Rich, and Chris throw their toys into the squared circle on the newest episode of the Needless Things Podcast.
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

“Procrastibate” by LeSexoflex.com

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Needless Things Podcast 251 – Sting & Ric Flair LIVE from Dragon Con

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-i8bhu-a722ef

This episode of the Needless Things Podcast was recorded in front of a packed ballroom audience at Dragon Con 2018!

The man called Sting is one of the most decorated and celebrated heroes in the history of professional wrestling.
The Nature Boy Ric Flair is an unprecedented sixteen time World Champion and is generally regarded as the greatest professional wrestler of all time.
These men have faced each other – and hundreds of other opponents – countless times through the decades. And now, moderated by your Needless Things host, they will share tales of battle and glory LIVE from Dragon Con!
Listen in as Dave takes the stage with two of wrestling’s biggest legends!
Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation for this week’s episode! Let us know what you think!

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WWE – SmackDown Roster Rundown 2019

Way back in November of 2015 I wrote a post about the entire WWE roster at the time and what I thought about each Superstar. I just re-read it and I mostly feel the same way about everyone I covered. Plus I actually enjoyed reading it, so I reposted it here. You might find it fun to compare my thoughts then to my thoughts now.

Roster-wise the WWE is in a golden age. They have never before had so much to-notch talent. I struggle to think of more than a few Superstars that I actively dislike. At the very least I can imagine angles in which almost anyone would be entertaining or appealing, even if WWE isn’t necessarily using them in the best way.

How WWE uses talent is really more of a problem than anything. With such a stuffed roster it’s hard to give everyone the time they deserve and it’s often difficult to become as engaged in modern WWE because a Superstar you like could get lost in the shuffle while someone who may not be to your liking gets the spotlight.

But at the end of the day, it’s all wrestling and there’s no denying that WWE is the gold standard for what is now known as Sports Entertainment.

Read on and find out how my opinions from 2015 have aged and where I stand on the huge amount of new talent that has appeared since then!

I posted my thoughts about the RAW roster last week. You can check that out here.

For your convenience, Superstars that were not around for that 2015 Rundown are listed in BLUE. Tag teams will be listed together unless I feel the individuals need singling out. Continue reading “WWE – SmackDown Roster Rundown 2019”