Thursday, January 31, 2019

2016 WWE Topps Road to Wrestlemania Blaster

It is that time of year - the time between the Royal Rumble in January, and the big show, Wrestlemania in April. Every year, this is the big rev up to the show, and push with story lines, etc, to culminate in front of the big crowd.

So, what better time to look back a couple years with...

As always, for the first box we collect new packs for the unopened pack collection...

Before I get into this box, we actually have a start on this base set as I some how have a dozen and a half card of the 110 base card set, so may even get to about half way with the box.

With those out of the way, let's get right into opening the first of the nine remaining packs...keeping in mind my scoring - 3 points per new card, one for a duplicate base, all inserts are at points equal to odds per pack. With the long odds on real hits, not expecting to see much more than the typical inserts, but part of why I got these boxes was more to collect a good part of base sets than anything else.

Though the set is called road to Wrestlemania, I find the cards document a good part of the year, regardless of the direct lead up to Wrestlemania being part of the title.

I like the black border (except for the knicking that happens from a collection stand point). I appreciate the date so I don't have to remember when it happened, or what show. Also I like the back being a discussion of what it relates to. So more a set about events, than a set about the individual wrestlers - different, and appreciated for it.

Remember when Fandango-ing was a thing, and the sone was actually charting in the UK? Yeah, now I have a card to remind me of such times with Fandango dancing bronze...

These one per pack Wrestlemania 32 roster inserts are very nice. I will hopefully end up with about half of them, but might need to keep an eye out for the rest when I am done.

So with one pack in, since the odds on the inserts are one per pack on the Wrestlemania roster, and every other pack for bronze - we go...

1 pack, 7 cards, 21 points.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Boys of Summer in dead of winter

For our break between boxes today, we have a small repack box I picked up from I think Target in the US last August...

I picked it up for two reasons. First, I figured the red, white and blue pack would be something different for my unopened pack collection, and figured the one special card would be something serial numbered of similar that I could keep. Other than that, either surprise packs to open, or more adds to the unopened pack collection.

So what did I get?

Here we have my first ever Topps On-Demand card, this being the 2017 MLB All-Star Game Homage to '87. This card had a print run of 1,722, and now I have one. Not sure if I should think of it differently from a serial numbered card which can have similar numbers, or not, but I'll treat it the same.

Nice - not one, or two, but three packs to add to the collection. The 2014 Panini Prizm Red White and Blue Pulsar pack is not much to look at. The 2016 Stadium Club is the first, and I have 2016 Topps Series 2 packs, but not a 10 card - so that's a keeper as well.

The last pack...

Is one that is a duplicate so let's see what we have...

The cards are different, but I have no interest in collecting the set - though do want to eventually get the Jays cards, but no help on that here. I guess the one insert (the foil HBP symbol) of Souza.

Not a bad little box given the three pack additions. Next up...maybe another different wrestling blaster tomorrow...

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Some Rocky Maivia cards

Wrestling can very well be a family affair. One of the most famous families of course being the Samoan dynasty which includes...

Where Rocky Maivia got his original ring name before shortening down to The Rock. Nice getting these in the same pack too - even is no Rock tribute card in there as well.

It's a legend hot pack with Big Van Vader and one half of the evil tag team which I remember for matches against the likes of the Hart Foundation and The Bulldogs in Volkoff.

A nice Rowan parallel to go with the base version I got earlier.

Austin Aries Not a fan of his, at all. Am a fn of Jericho, and well...there's Enzo...

With that we finish the blaster with...

9 packs, 63 cards, 191 points. for an average of 3.0317 which isn't too surprising as the box ended up giving about what was expect, so two boxes in...

1) 2015-16 Upper Deck Portfolio 3.6067
2) 2016 WWE Then Now Forever Blaster 1 3.0317

Those sound about right to me. Next up, a small box from Target in the US, might be a day or two to go through that one before hitting another Dave and Adam box..we shall see...well, you can see to, come on back!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Feeling a bit bludgeoned

Rumble was fun as always - though I ended up worst between myself, my brother and cousin. Though respectable as no one won or lost big. Fun was had by all, and that was the key.

Interesting...first two cards out of the pack, and I get a tag team. Originally as the Wyatt Family, more recently as the Bludgeon Brothers, we have Harper and Rowan.

As for the rest of the base cards...

Can't go wrong with Shane McMahon. I don't know if it is simply the over exposure of Vince and Stephanie which make Shane's involvement wanted and exciting, or if it is because he is just crazy in what he will attempt, but he is my favourite "actual" McMahon - Triple H, who married into the family, has done more for the business from within, such as create and drive NXT.

Speaking of NXT, both inserts relate to it. Nia Jax has become a bigger deal on the main roster - she was good on NXT, but has really come into her own, while Bayley was a big fish in a small pond on NXT, but has been a bit lost on the main card. She has talent, and can be a female John Cena if they build her that way - but she hasn't been the priority given Charlotte, Rousey, Bliss and a few others.

8 packs, 56 cards, 170 points.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Royal Rumble Predictions

So last year, I shared some of my thoughts, I figure this year - go big or go home - let's share it all.

So a week ago, O send an email to my brother and cousin who come over and watch with me. We place small bets ($75 total pot) and each individually come up with who we think is going to win, whether it will be by pin or "other" and the time for the match bell to bell in case a tie breaker is needed. For the rumble, closest to each slot for an entrant wins (so if Bayley is out first, whoever had her closest to the first spot wins the bet).

Deal was we would be done and emailed by end of Wednesday - so no late dirtsheet reading to hedge bets.

Below is what we each came up with...though I have removed names for now (so I can take credit for the best one later...just kidding).

Brock vs. Balor Winner Brock Lesnar Brock Lesnar Brock Lesnar
By Pin Pin Other
Time 11:13 17:23 12:25
Bryan vs. Styles Winner Daniel Bryan Daniel Bryan Daniel Bryan
By Pin Pin Pin
Time 18:22 19:12 18:19
Asuka vs Becky Lynch Winner Asuka Asuka Asuka
By Other Other Other
Time 14:01 15:31 16:44
Rousey vs Banks Winner Ronda Rousey Ronda Rousey Ronda Rousey
By Other Other Other
Time 9:20 11:56 13:33
The Bar vs. Shane / Miz Winner Shane / Miz Shane / Miz Shane / Miz
By Pin Pin Pin
Time 12:40 14:43 11:50
Murphy vs Kalisto  Winner Buddy Murphy Buddy Murphy Buddy Murphy
vs Tozawa vs. Itami By Pin Pin Pin
Time 12:01 15:01 14:41
Men's Royal Rumble Entry
1 Mustafa Ali Rey Mysterio Andrade
2 Velveteen Dream Dolph Ziggler Apollo Crews
3 Cederic Alexander Heath Slater Ricochet
4 Jeff Hardy Kofi Kingston Mustafa Ali
5 Curt Hawkins Jeff Hardy Jeff Hardy
6 Xavier Woods Golddust Mojo Rawley
7 Matt Hardy Jinder Mahal Matt Hardy
8 Jinder Mahal Elias Seth Rollins
9 Abyss Apollo Crews Xavier Woods
10 Lars Sullivan Tye Dillenger Tye Dillinger
11 Baron Corbin Mustafa Ali Big E
12 Elias Bobby Lashley Baron Corbin
13 Pete Dunne Shane Strickland Dean Ambrose
14 Rey Mysterio Titus O'Neil Bray Wyatt
15 Andrade Randy Orton Kofi Kingston
16 Lio Rush Seth Rollins Elias
17 Apollo Crews Drew McIntyre Samoa Joe
18 Bobby Lashley Harper Kurt Angle
19 Ricochet Bray Wyatt Randy Orton
20 EC3 Ricochet Lars Sullivan
21 Samoa Joe Booker T Titus O'Neil
22 Big E Andrade Jinder Mahal
23 Titus O'Neil Matt Hardy Batista
24 Drew McIntyre Dean Ambrose Drew McIntyre
25 Bray Wyatt Xavier Woods Velveteen Dream
26 Randy Orton Big E Rey Mysterio
27 Seth Rollins Baron Corbin Bobby Lashley
28 Kofi Kingston Samoa Joe Dolph Ziggler
29 Dean Ambrose Shawn Michaels Kenny Omega
30 R-Truth R-Truth R-Truth
Last Elim. Drew McIntyre Shawn Michael Drew McIntyre
Winner Seth Rollins Drew McIntyre Seth Rollins
Women's Royal Rumble Entry
1 Ember Moon Charlotte Flair Naomi
2 Alicia Fox Natalya Becky Lynch
3 Bayley Ember Moon Dana Brooke
4 Alundra Blayze Sasha Banks Mandy Rose
5 Mandy Rose Bayley Lana
6 Liv Morgan Billie Kay Bayley
7 Naomi Alicia Fox Shayna Baszler
8 Ivory Maria Kanellis Billie Kay
9 Dana Brooke Ruby Riott Nia Jax
10 Toni Storm Zelina Vega Ember Moon
11 Nia Jax Dana Brooke Peyton Royce
12 Charlotte Flair Sarah Logan Liv Morgan
13 Sarah Logan Lacey Evans Maryse
14 Tamina Kacy Catanzaro Sonya Deville
15 Peyton Royce Liv Morgan Tamina
16 Ruby Riott Alexa Bliss Lita
17 Lana Lana Ruby Riott
18 Rhea Ripley Mandy Rose Alexa Bliss
19 Billie Kay Lita Sarah Logan
20 Io Shirai Candice LeRae Mickie James
21 Sonya Deville Sonya Deville Charlotte Flair
22 Zelina Vega Naomi Natalya
23 Shayna Baszler Trish Stratus Trish Stratus
24 Alexa Bliss Toni Storm Nikki Bella
25 Nikki Cross Tamina Brie Bella
26 Lacey Evans Brie Bella Zelina Vega
27 Mickie James Peyton Royce Lacey Evans
28 Natalya Alicia Fox Nikki Cross
29 Becky Lynch Nikki Bella Alicia Fox
30 Carmella Becky Lynch Carmella
Last Elim. Alexa Bliss Charlotte Flair Becky Lynch
Winner Becky Lynch Becky Lynch Charlotte Flair
First person interfering in a match Charlotte Flair Becky Lynch Braun Strowman
Yeah - 5 of the singles matches we called exactly the same with the times only being a few minutes abart on each. That's why we need the time tie break. Doesn't mean any of them are correct, but at least it means those matches will just come down to how long the match takes.

As for the rumbles, a little more all over the place, but some consistency in both Drew McInture and Becky Lynch expected to do well by us all.

Will I come to be embarrassed by how far off I am on the above, or will it be so bang on that I will gloat about it repeatedly....I don't know yet, but I do know, win, lose or draw, the three of us have a blast doing it and it's a fun time - also, no one ever leave ahead or behind more than $5 usually - so no harm done to the wallet either.

I guess I should have some cards posted here as well, so let's post some cards that came in so far from a trade (on TCDB of course). I am waiting for the last package, but here are the first two PWEs in my trade with mrmike...

Some older sets pre the Booket T, and newer Topps base sets after. A nice variety and all needs, so some nice fits to the growing collection - closing in on 2,000 cards in the collection, from about 100 a year ago, so not too bad.

Not quite dupes

I always find there is a good and bad to blaster boxes. The good is that they are done so that dupes are very rare these days. You get a good part of the base set and some of the expected insert sets started. Sure, you buy a couple blaster boxes, you will end up with duplicates, but you get as good a variety as possible - better than randomly buying a couple retail packs here and there.

The "bad" is, they seem a little formulaic, not as surprising at times. With 10 packs in the 2016 WWE Then Now Forever, you would expect 4-5 base cards each pack and 2 maybe 3 inserts or parallels from the go to sets like NXT Prospects, NXT Rivalries or WWE Rivalries. Then for the box as a whole, 2 Rock Tribute cards as they are one every four packs.

We seem on pace for exactly that so far...

At first, I thought I had a couple duplicates, but happily no, had pulled the bronze versions of each of these so far, now I have the base version as well.

Again, highlighting the really nice aspect of this set, so many legends...Jimmy Hart was so annoying as a manager in the 80s/90s. He wasn't on the level of bad guy as Bobby Heenan and the Heenan family, but he was still really good at his job of making you dislike him, and anyone he managed.

The shield explodes!

An NXT Prospect of half the Iiconics

We end with the second Rock Tribute card of the box, the introduction of the new belt (at the time).

7 packs, 49 cards, 149 points.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Break the pack down

Today we start with another legend, the man of 1,004 holds and apparently of many appearances for many different promotions too. Though I haven't seen his matches overseas, all the power to him to be able to simply do the wrestling he wants to and pick what he is involved in.

Bronze parallel Aiden. Not as good as getting an Eddie Guerrero or Undertaker bronze parallel, but I'll still take it. I miss the Vaudevillians as it was better than what Aiden has done since.

I guess it makes sense, the man of only 1,000 holds shows up in the same pack as

One who passed just last year, RIP - Natalya has done well by her daddy.

As seems to be the usual, two inserts, one a rivalry insert, one an NXT prospect. No Way Jose is just a character that suited mid card NXT and doesn't have legs on the main roster - similar to Adam Rose.

Samoa Joe and Finn Balor have done fine on the main roster, but I do wonder how much better Finn could have been positioned if it wasn't for the injury when he won the universal title.

These packs have been great for variety of wrestlers being highlighted - can't complain there.

6 packs, 42 cards, 127 points.

Before ending today - another Listia win share and TCDB share...

All of the Magic cards were single card wins. A nice variety, and in most cases, I already had one or two of, but again, since I keep for of each, still good pick ups. Nice to also see an Antiquities set card with the battering ram (Antiquities came out in the mid 90s, one of the earlier sets).

As for the Tony blue border card which is SN to 199 - this was a trade pick up from SeaKing. It was also a nice win as I was able to trade away about 8 base cards for it, which I would do any time to move cards and get any kind of Blue Jays SN card.