I’ve long avoided this release. It’s just never seemed to appeal to me. I decided to give it a shot this year, and it does end up being roughly what I expected. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it just may not be for me. The set contains 100 base cards featuring various events related to Raw, SmackDown Live, or 205 Live. Each of those comes in an assortment of parallels.
Alongside the events is a 50 card set with the WrestleMania roster. I noticed a distinct lack of women in the events portion, but they’re fully represented in the roster set. The only other inserts that seem to be in the hobby release are the Ronda Rousey spotlight set. The rest on the checklist appear to be from the different retail releases.
The box advertises 24 packs with 7 cards per pack. There are two hits per box, which includes one autograph.
The Then Now Forever release, essentially series two for the flagship release of Topps WWE cards, rounds out the year’s big four releases. It’s not just the base set that continues the same numbering as previous releases. There are also many tribute sets adding additional cards to earlier sets. These are usually exclusive to some store or type of pack.
The base set contains a mix of Smackdown, Raw, 205 Live, NXT, and Legends to round out the wrestlers featured. It features many debuting athletes, along with the flagship rookie card for Ronda Rousey. You also get the regular complement of parallels, to go along with insert subsets paying tribute to the 25th anniversary of Raw and Hall of Famer Rowdy Roddy Piper. Each box advertises two hits, including one autograph.
Much like the growth in the WWE Women’s Division itself, the trading card release is also getting a higher profile. In years past, we’ve seen a retail release, but now we’re seeing a full hobby release.
The set itself doesn’t seem to have changed very much, though,
with a small roster set, as well as a Matches and Moments set featuring Raw, Smackdown Live, NXT, and the Mae Young Classic. We also see insert sets focusing on the Mixed Match Challenge, Power Couples, and the first women’s Royal Rumble. We’ve also come to expect the usual assortment of relics from a WWE release, including pieces of the mat from various events, t-shirt swatches, and manufactured relics of the Women’s championships over the years. Each box contains 24 packs with 7 cards per pack and advertises 2 hits per box, one of which is guaranteed to be an autograph.
The 2018 Topps WWE release once again features superstars of the WWE on the current year’s flagship style release. The 100 card base set makes some interesting checklist choices. It’s clear they’re holding back some of the bigger names for the fall release. At least the superstars featured on the box are represented in the cards available. You will find superstars from Raw, Smackdown Live, and NXT, as well as announcers and others in this base set.
The release feels pretty light on inserts. There is one main insert set, Evolution, which shows various wrestlers over the years. There are also three tribute sets, exclusive to different types of releases. All the rest of the inserts are variations of hits. You also see a regular assortment of parallels.
This box advertises 24 packs of 7 cards each. Each box contains two hits, including one autograph.
This release again servers essentially as a second series for the flagship WWE release from earlier in the year. It is a 100 card set continuing after the earlier release as 101-200. We also get to see a familiar insert set in Finishers and Signature Moves, which we just saw in the recent Women’s Division release.
There is one minor complaint I have about the release, and now I
wonder if it may not be more common than I had originally thought and I just never noticed. The cover art for the hobby box/packs features John Cena, Finn Balor, and Alexa Bliss. They’re all very high profile names for the WWE, so they make a lot of sense, right? Well, they would, if they were included in the set. None of these have base cards in this release. Yes, Cena and Balor are both included in the common Finishers and Signature Moves insert set, but Alexa Bliss isn’t in that one, either. She is only featured in Kiss Cards, which are 1 in every 913 packs, and roster update cards, which are Walmart exclusives. It just strikes me as odd to put someone on the cover, who is very unlikely to be included in the box.