Hey kiddos! It’s that time of year again. We’ve tricked and/or treated, given thanks, and not gotten trampled to death in a discount frenzy. Thoughts turn from “oh my god, I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” to “oh my god, I can’t believe I have to buy presents.” We thought we’d try and help make it a little easier this year, and come up with an easy-to-share guide so you don’t end up getting that John Cena t-shirt that’s three sizes too big when all you really want is a baller Shinsuke Nakamura hoodie.
Click through for the Official 2014 With Spandex Holiday Gift Guide for where to buy the coolest wrestling stuff you’ll see this holiday season.
Yes, yes, I know. But listen: there are some real gems on there for even the markiest friends in your life. I mean, who doesn’t want a gingerbread man ornament of Luke Harper, or as my heart affectionately refers to him, the man who kicked Tim Donst’s face off? Until we get a Sasha Banks shirt, why not a Tyler Breeze phone case? A signed 8×10 of Sami Zayn making a weirdly aggressive kissy face? This Bray Wyatt ornament looks like every MRA who has ever McMahonsplained wrestling to me at a Ring of Honor show, and this Hulk Hogan ornament looks more like Guy Fieri as the Ghost of Christmas’s Terrible No Good Future, but come on – don’t you want to look like you scalped one of the Bella Twins and wore it proudly as a trophy? No, that’s not their intended purpose?
Well I’m way out of touch, then.
Some of you may remember Mike Kendrick from this Five Pro Wrestling/Disney Princess Mash-Ups We Wish Were Real post. While they may not be a real thing yet, there’s nothing to hold you back from proudly displaying one of his prints on your (or your super cool kid’s) wall. There are also wooden luchador toys, a wild El Generico velvet painting, and some super rad dinosaur stuff that’s not wrestling related, but oh man why wouldn’t you want super rad dinosaur stuff what is even wrong with you.
You may know Xeric Grant and Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist Box Brown from his fantastic work on the graphic novel Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. The Andre the Giant biography is loved by pretty much anyone who picks it up, except maybe that one guy from New England who gave it a one-star review. That guy is a bonehead, though, and Box Brown’s art is incredible. Pick up the graphic novel, or grab one of the prints he has for sale here.
Smart Mark Video
Trying to get a friend into indie wrestling? Have a friend who loves it, but aren’t quite sure what they’ve already seen? The good news is that Smart Mark pretty much has you covered. You can order DVDs, like Inspire Pro Wrestling’s In Their Blood, or the fable three nights of Chikara’s King of Trios 2012. There’s a veritable buffet of pro wrestling, from companies like CZW, St. Louis Anarchy, or Beyond Wrestling, to a company like Interspecies Wrestling (the above screencap is from the Food Fighters vs. the ever handsome Team Tremendous, maybe one of my favourite matches of the whole year). The best news out of all of this, of course, is that they also have gift certificates. Those are definitely the best choice if you’re not like me and just try to force everyone to love what you love as much as you love it.
Forcing everyone to love what I love like I love it really is my obnoxious and only-sometimes-endearing calling card. This is definitely one of those instances. I try to force a lot (everyone I know) into loving indie wrestling, but Olde Wrestling‘s “hotsy-totsy, bodyslammin’, hiptossin’, forearm smashin’, old fashioned, rambunctious romps” are really, genuinely fun. If you’re looking for something original that’s a little off-beat, has a great aesthetic, and also features Chuck Taylor as a bootlegger in a bolo tie, then this more than solves that oddly niche gift quandary. I also highly recommend picking up the accompanying “Wrestling Extravaganza!” photozine by photographer extraordinaire Zia Hiltey. Or just buy all of it. You wanna be rewarded with cool stuff and fun wrestling for supporting super indie promotions? This is the one.
I stumbled across these great pin ups by Japanese artist El Pino accident, but boy am I happy I did. Sadly they don’t come in t-shirt form, but I need that Cobra mug in my life pretty much as soon as possible. Like I mean yesterday.
Kyle Starks has written arguably the greatest pro wrestling comic of all time in The Legend of Ricky Thunder. I own it, I love it, and I would never lie to you sweet darling readers. Kyle Starks is a hilarious human who wrote the Matt Fraction fave Sexcastle, does amazing prints, and literally wrote the book on butts. His comics make me happy in my heart, and there’s a Joseph Park watercolour commission in my apartment that lights up my life in a way only Kyle Starks and Joseph Park can.
We’ve featured the pop culture-wrestling crossover art of the wicked cool Ramon Villalobos before. The great news is that his work can be printed on just about anything. Know someone who loves both wrestling and Game of Thrones? Super Mario? Jason and Freddy Krueger? Then man, you need Ramon in your life.
Puroresu Shop is kinda the best thing. The emergence of New Japan as the New Cool Thing to get into leaves indie shows riddled with “licensed” Bullet Club t-shirts, but this is the real deal. Before, getting NJPW merch was a pain in the butt, and involved a system of knowing someone who knew someone who could actually buy it in Japan and ship it over. Now it’s super easy, and totally worth it. And come on, don’t you want to look like Shinsuke Nakamura? Or be as cool as Nakamura? Or just kinda be around him all the time and hope that one day he thinks you’re pretty okay? If you don’t you’re lying to yourself, and I’ve already established that we don’t do that here. It’s worth noting that Japanese sizes run a little small, so make sure you consult the size guide. Or just buy all of the Mameshiba plushes (and then maybe send them to me thanksssss).