The Art of Wrestling: Warhol Affliction

TNA thinks it's being creative. They're not.

jeremymaes: http://shoptna.com/velvet-sky-men-s-shirt.aspx
jeremymaes: http://shoptna.com/robert-roode—roode.aspx
jeremymaes: http://shoptna.com/roode—off-the-chain.aspx
jeremymaes: they are all the same damn shirt
jeremymaes: http://shoptna.com/wrestlers.aspx
jeremymaes: that makes it easier
difrango11: Why wasn’t Roode wearing these in the build up for BFG?
jeremymaes: shh, you make sense
difrango11: Yes, they’re all the same Affliction rip off shirt
jeremymaes: I mean just about everyone, save Jeff Hardy and Sting
difrango11: Jeff’s is even pretty tired with it being a Warhol rip off, which they acknowledge. When the WWE rips off designs, they alter them some and give it a different spin like Cena’s John Deere inspired shirt. TNA put Hardy in a stock Warhol painting
jeremymaes: dude, you know what is coming next.  post it. hell just that little thing here.
difrango11: I suppose they made it different since Marilyn Monroe’s face is on it and Hardy has his whole body in it. I was going to ask if you were bating me into a column
jeremymaes: yes I was but I noticed the same things

This exchange happened and finally got my ass in gear even though I started a column earlier this month about CM Punk’s Halloween package over at WWEshop.com. Jeremy said that I could just leave our chat alone, but I couldn’t. I feel the need to explain myself more. The anger of the issues presented here make me want to do this article more than the CM Punk Halloween package. I can break this column down to three parts.

Jeremy’s comment: They are all the same damn shirt. Click on the links, they pretty much are. They have some type ovular middle with wings of some sort sprouting off of them. Many people, like Steve Austin or Randy Orton, have the same theme over and over again. That is fine but they wait months in between bringing out the new design. Robert Roode has two of them come out at the same time. Let him wear the first shirt in the build up to Bound For Glory, which is so much of a no brainer TNA didn’t do it. After Roode wins the title, you have him wear the new shirt for a while then he busts out the new four months down the road. Of course TNA did the dumb thing, had Roode lose and then not even have him wear his shirt on the next Impact Wrestling. It’s mind numbingly dumb. Velvet Sky was wearing hers after her big title win (You got the meaningless title change right. Congrats!) as she should have been. It’s called advertising.

My comment: Yes, they’re all the same Affliction rip off shirt. For six of their top nine shirts as Jeremy helped clear up by pointing out the different style of Sting and Jeff Hardy’s shirts. It’s fine to have a template design like the Cena shirt mentioned above. Twist the design somehow by making Bobby Roode’s more about him. The first one doesn’t even have his name on it or a slogan of his. It is in no way identifiable as a shirt for him. Affliction can get away with doing that because they’re a brand of shirt. Roode is not a brand. He is a wrestler in the TNA brand. Roode got his name on the “Off The Chain” shirt but I don’t get the theme much like I was scratching my head when Randy Orton started using a gas mask for a symbol. Velvet Sky’s does have her name on it but doesn’t really make it hers. She has a fantastic assets that are curvy. One would think that you could use those to base your ovular design on but they didn’t.

My comment: Jeff’s is even pretty tired with it being an Andy Warhol rip off, which they acknowledge. I started to back track and I should have. I’m probably not going to ever argue that Warhol was the greatest artist ever. His paintings still have more depth to them than Hardy’s shirt does. Seeing as though Jeff fancies himself as an artist, I’m not sure how he’d say “That looks great!” unless he’s doing naughty things again. If you’re wondering about how I could say Warhol has depth with a lithographed painting, take a look at the painting of Marilyn Monroe then Hardy’s shirt. The images of Monroe are all different. On the left hand pair, her teeth are colored, her famous mole is the same as the background color and her skin color is consistent. On the right hand pair, her teeth are white, the mole is a different colored than the background and her skin color has different tones of the same color. There are other variations but I think you get the point. On Hardy’s shirt, the background color in the upper left hand corner is the highlight color in the lower right hand corner. The same is true of the upper right and lower left hand corners. TNA could have highlighted his necklace, earrings, hair or even his trade mark forearm socks to make it closer to authentic but they didn’t.

TNA ripped off Affliction and Andy Warhol with these shirts. Neither of these examples set the bar really high to be able to reproduce. TNA managed to still do a poor job of replicating them without putting a twist on them. Most people learn from their mistakes, TNA seems incapable of doing that simple task. -Kevin

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