While I guess this is technically a new release, it seems to really be splitting how the long time flagship release worked. In years past, the main wrestling release featured all the current brands on cards using the same style as the flagship baseball release. It gave the wrestling release a big time feel, to be sure.
Those days are now gone. Rather than include all the brands, as in previous years, this set focuses on the Raw roster, along with 205 Live. It also uses a different design from the flagship baseball. This, coupled with the lack of some big names seems to hurt this release. We’ll see if it grows on me over time, but right now, it feels like a disappointing set.
The box contains 24 packs of 7 cards. Each box advertises 2 hits, with one of those guaranteed to be an autograph.
This is a little bit of a different release for me. I generally like the NXT brand and previous card releases, but this year it seems to be focusing on a much higher price point. It features two 50 card subsets, one concentrating on the roster, with the other looking at Matches and Moments from the year.
In previous years, you could find this release in blaster boxes at retail. This year, however, it is a hobby only release. At $200 per box, it seems like it may be difficult to find true value in this release, but it advertises an incredible 10 autographs per box. While NXT definitely has its following, this seems more like a prospects release where you really won’t know the full potential of some of these characters for a few years. Even the big names will probably get much bigger once they hit the grand stage of the main roster.
This box contains 10 packs, with 7 cards per pack, including a total of 10 autographs. This box contained:
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.
Topps WWE Heritage follows a similar pattern to baseball, but it is not quite as constrained. While baseball follows year by year, 50 years in the past, baseball seems to skip around a little bit not. In recent years, we’ve seen 1985 style, leading to 1986 and 1987. This year, however, they skip 1988 and go right to 1989. They even add in a little surprise.
While it was in the middle of the junk wax era, the 1989 Topps design is still pretty popular for it’s clean layout. It really brings something to this release. The base contains 110 cards, plus an additional 9 updated roster cards, found only in retail. The original design for team leaders is including as an insert set consisting of tag teams and stables. We also see a small insert set for 2017 Rookies. Perhaps the best part is an insert set I didn’t expect. The set features legends on the Topps Big style from that period. It really adds something to the set, with a design that doesn’t feel as overused as a lot of the others.