The Art of Wrestling – Adam Cole

corona_labelIt’s really easy to make fun of ROH so I’m going to do that while also highlighting one of their successes, Adam Cole and his t shirt. The part that I’ll make fun of is their website. We’re still a layout or two old in as far as a blog goes but then again we’re not owned by a broadcasting company. The page I came on to look at shirts is laid out like this which looks well enough because there’s only so many ways to list a bevy of items. The problem I have with it though is that the product that you are selling is the smallest item on the page. It should fill from break line to break line. If the wrestler is there to endorse their product, they should be wearing it. Why does ROH make the easiest jobs hard?

I like Adam Cole. He’s one of few people that would get me to come to an ROH event. It’s no surprise to me then that he has the best shirt in the company. He also follows a pattern that I’ve liked before, ripping off an iconic label and re-purposing it for his own means. In Cole’s case, he co-opted the Corona label and turned it into his shirt. To start at the basics, they use the same colors. Any good rip off has to at least follow the light and dark pattern that they evoke. The next part of the brand re-purposing is using the same text style as the original. In this case, Gothic lettering is used to say “Adam Cole”. To fill in the space below that, ROH put “Est. 2008”.

The crown is still used above the circle that bleeds into the yellow top of the image. The words “La Cerveza Mas Fina” means the “Finest Beer” at least according to Yahoo! Answers. Which is why I have a minor problem with this shirt. Instead of saying “The Finest Wrestler”, they put in “Key De Florida ROH” You have to brand your shirt but that’s a terrible place to put it. As far as I can tell, the back of the shirt doesn’t have anything on it so the ROH label should be there. Considering that Panama City isn’t in the Florida Keys, in fact is on the panhandle, they shouldn’t be using the word Key at all. This problem doesn’t wreck the shirt though. I just think it’s a missed opportunity.

The bottom portion of the shirt changes things up in a good way. Instead of the griffins flanking the button, they are using Palm Trees. It makes sense although one would think to stay in the creature motif and one that would invoke a tougher image that they could use alligator heads. Below that is more text “Imported From Panama City”. Considering that from time to time, ROH makes it still sound like it’s the territory days he could be “imported” from the same country. They have already used “established” though so you can’t reuse it. I don’t have a good solution except to eliminate it above, go with just the year and then use it below to make more sense.

Both of the problems with this shirt are minor. It should be mentioned again that there is nothing on the back of the shirt which makes this a wearable in public t shirt. Find a Sippy Time Beer, find a beach and export the money from your wallet for this shirt because ROH did something right. – Kevin

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

The Art of Wrestling – Insert Pot Joke Here

I wonder if RVD has his house Feng shuied.

TNA has been on the ball when it comes to new merchandise for their shiny “new” stars that they have brought in during the Hulk Hogan era. Too bad I’ve been slacking off as much as TNA’s writers. To kick off the new TNA reviews I figured I’d start with ‘Mister Monday Night’, Rob Van Dam.

On the back of the shirt, there are neon green Xs that flank a neon green yin & yang symbol. I’m not sure if TNA is aware, but the WWE has a long standing group called Degeneration X that uses both neon green and shockingly an X in their merchandise. What a bunch of morons. I know the yin & yang is not part of DX’s design but everything else is a rip off. They could have used a star with five points to draw comparisons to RVD’s Five Star Frog Splash and had the same exact design pattern then I (I can’t be the only one who noticed) wouldn’t have thought of DX even if they stuck with the neon green. There is an additional design in the background that looks like a mix between a biohazard symbol and a tribal tattoo. To me, that mixes up cultures since yin & yang is Chinese and tribal tattoos are Polynesian or North & South American in origin. I would think you’d want to stick with kanji which is the name of the Chinese characters used in writing. It would stick with the theme of the shirt better. RVD doesn’t have any tattoos either so he has no reason to want a tattoo inspired design on his shirt.

On the front of the shirt, TNA has the same exact design with one exception. They have inserted “RVD” in grey and white. The “V” matches the tribal background pattern which is a nice touch. The text has a nice funkiness to it that draws me in.

I’m not a big fan of having the same design on the front as the back because it makes one look like they’re wearing a sandwich billboard. They are marginally different but not enough in my book. The changing of motifs didn’t help the shirt. The blatant ripping off of DX is the worst part. I’ve mentioned the quality of the WWE riffing on old designs (John Deere among other shirts) but they altered it enough to not be the exact same symbol if if they carried through the same color pattern. Stop trying to be the WWE and make your own designs. – Kevin

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