Daniel Bryan WWE “YES! YES! YES!” T-shirt available at Hot Topic, punk kids rejoice (and stink)

No one who shops at Hot Topic is built like this.

I was walking around Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines, Iowa, the other day, you know, cruising for chicks, when I glanced inside Hot Topic, a store where I used to shop all the time in high school and college (where else was I going to get my Manic Panic blue hair dye and my copy of NOFX “Maximum Rocknroll”?), and what did I see hanging on the wall of overpriced T-shirts? The cotton-poly tee featuring the pro wrestling chant that’s all the rage: Daniel Bryan’s “YES! YES! YES!” shirt!

Now, let’s connect a few dots here: A Google search for Hot Topic yields this paragraph:

Hot Topic specializes in music and pop culture inspired fashion including body jewelry, accessories, Rock T-Shirts, Skinny Jeans, Band T-shirts, Music T-shirts, 

Yes, “skinny jeans” is one of their primarily sold items. (And what wrestling fan is going to fit into skinny jeans?) Now then, what about the Wikipedia entry for Hot Topic?
Hot Topic is an American retail chain specializing in music and pop culture-related clothing and accessories, as well as licensed music on CD. The majority of the stores are located in regional shopping malls.[4] The first Hot Topic store was opened in 1988 by Orv Madden, who retired as CEO in 2000 and was replaced by Betsy McLaughlin, who helmed the company until 2011. Lisa Harper assumed the position of CEO in March 2011. The company went public and began trading on NASDAQ in 1996. In 2006, Hot Topic was placed 53rd on Fortune 500‘s Top Companies to Work For list.[5]
No wonder this place is referred to by jaded 20-something borderline hipster punks as “Hot Profit.” I can tell you that, for a place that sells Rancid 7-inches and My Chemical Romance screenprint shirts, they aren’t afraid to put life-size Justin Bieber and “Twilight” cardboard cutouts in their store fronts.
So basically, Hot Topic is a store with an identity crisis, and somewhere through the cracks slipped a WWE-licensed Daniel Bryan T-shirt. As if one of these fat emo-goth chicks or acne-ridden not-punks would actually buy this shirt, what are the odds that, when they do, the receipt reads “John Cena”? -Eric

Sin Cara has a shirt. A penis shirt.

Now, I’m not nearly eloquent enough to put into words how I feel about this, so I am going to just let the picture do the talking. No, I’m not:

1. Sin Cara is a horrible professional wrestler.

2. That is a terrifically horrible shirt.

3. Sin Cara sucks.

4. How did that get off the production line? Somebody thought this was a good idea.

5. Isn’t Sin Cara Triple H’s baby? Strike one. – Dusty

The Art of Wrestling – Heart Failure

Digging the hearts out of the snow was part of the Hart Dungeon training.

Digging the hearts out of the snow was part of the Hart Dungeon training.

The pink and black attack has been back for quite a while now so the WWE decided to trot out a t-shirt for the Hart Dynasty. It is a head scratcher to me though considering the booking of this threesome. Natalya lost to Mickie James last week and I’ve stopped counting the times that some combination of this threesome has lost to Cryme Tyme or Eve. Yet another example of the WWE taking people out of ECW too early.

These articles are about the clothes though so on to reviewing the shirt. It’s not too surprising that it is centered on a maple leaf since it’s the main symbol of the Canadian flag. The leaf is pink with black and white trim which creates a great contrast for the main field of black. This color combination is of course a staple of the Hart Foundation. I have no idea why there is a sheen to the upper left side of the leaf though. The heart in the middle of the leaf has white and then black trim which keeps the contrasting colors separated. The black trim on the outside is also too thick which cuts into the trim around the leaf. The wings connected to the maple leaf are reminscent of the old Hart Foundation t-shirts which is a nice nod to the past. The Hart Dynasty text at the bottom of the shirt is a nice little touch. The text and the leaf have gaps in the pink which I don’t particularly care for because it doesn’t serve a purpose. If it were left solid like the wings, it creates more of a contrast with the black field color. The back of shirt is an after thought and should have been left off the shirt.

If you think pink is a manly color and like the lineage, I say buy the shirt because it’s a solid design that takes good nods to the past and doesn’t make you look like a tool like the Hart Dynasty does because of their booking. -Kevin

The Art of Wrestling – I Design Alone

If the WWE had a design department, this shirt wouldn't have gotten through it.

If the WWE had a design department, this shirt wouldn't have gotten through it.

Big, bad and still as bulky as ever Batista made a comeback recently from another injury. The WWE was ready with a new shirt and a DVD that will be released the 20th of October.

The shirt is black with white print. It just The words “The Animal” which are broken up for no apparent reason. Above and below the words are what basically amounts to tildas (~) that take their origin from Batista’s tattoos. The design department really took it easy. Considering that “The Animal” could entail any number of real or imaginary animals that could break up the letters with their paws, talons or whatever else would apply to give a reason for the pattern. I’ve also praised the use of peoples tattoos for shirts and other paraphernalia but the designers put no thought into which on of Batista’s tattoos to use that would make the design pop.

The back of the shirt suffers from the same problems. The WWE has just substituted “The Animal” with “Batista”. Below the tildas and lettering is Batista’s head up until his eyes, which are red for some again, no apparent reason. They have the room to put his whole head on there which would be fine since the half face is kind of a cool look.

The DVD cover is another display of sloth. Edge’s cover was equally boring yet just a simple grin made it show off Edge’s personality. Unfortunately for Batista, he doesn’t ooze charisma like Edge and can only show off his massive upper body. The least the WWE could do is highlight the tattoos that were used to inspire the shirt, which are on his left arm. I’m pretty sure he added ink on both arms while he was on the shelf so this picture was taken before his comeback.

The WWE took the easy route on the shirt and the DVD cover, much like Batista does in the ring expect when he’s wrestling the Undertaker. – Kevin

The Art of Wrestling – Extra! Extra!

It's good training for the cases of beer you'll be lugging around in college.

It's good training for the cases of beer you'll be lugging around in college.

Beer Money was one of the hottest acts in TNA until they got pushed under the bus and made unimportant by Team 3D and World Elite. So it’s a minor miracle that TNA decided to give them a new shirt.

I think Robert Roode might be the first wrestler to not make an ass out of himself when he’s modeling their shirt. They used a tabloid front page as their template. Considering that newspapers are on their way out, it seems like an odd model to use but I think it makes for a good look. TNA either never defined where Roode got his money or it came and went so quickly on their action packed show that I forgot. I would have suggested they use whatever business he owned for the template.

On the front of the shirt, in the upper left (as you’re viewing it) side of the shirt is the Beer Money logo with “The Daily Buzz” as the newspaper name. Appropriately enough they have put the ads in the “Money Section”. I am entertained that below it in between the red lines it says “The Hair of The Dog Edition”. The price tag is below the right hand side so it costs 50 cents. If TNA were smart, they’d distribute a small 4 page flyer updating Beer Money’s exploits in the ring and the financial district at the television tapings. The left hand picture shows Storm driving his beer cart while Roode appears to be pushing him down a walkway. The main headline is “Back On The Wagon” in white with another cheap but expected “Rollin’ In The Dough” subheadline that is white text with a square red nameplate. On the right hand side of the shirt, they have one of their main tag lines “Drinking while Investing”. Below that is an appropriate headline for the times with “Beer Money Goes Green” with the subheadline “Saves Water, Drinks Beer” which isn’t true since you need water to make beer. There’s another picture in the lower right side with Stomr and Roode being back to back and a tab to go to “Page Six” unfortunately neither of them are hot women with their boobs hanging out. There’s another line of text in the bottom but it’s too hard to make out.

I do read the headlines while in line at the grocery store.

I do read the headlines while in line at the grocery store. Thanks to the National Equirer for the picture by way of Google Images.

On the back, is another tag line “Makin’ Cash…Gettin’ Trashed” with the quote being from “Beer Money, Inc. 1 on 1” with the on being the Beer Money Inc. symbol. The back is simple, but it’s just over kill with all of the text on the front. If just the TNA logo were on there it’d be a better shirt.

Overall though it’s a good shirt that Jon Gosselin should be wearing. -Kevin

The Art of Wrestling – T-Shirt Night Delight

Just to compare billboards that are put up on buildings.

Just to compare billboards that are put up on buildings.

WWEshop.com has been reformatted, so my linkage to pictures will be a bit hampered. The site itself is better to both navigate and see merchandise so give it a whirl.

John Morrison’s new shirt got some air time last night on ECW so I figured I’d take a look at it. You have to go to the link to get an enlarged picture of it. The background is a decaying stucco building that has different layers. The most confusing layer is the black sleeve which draws attention away from the obvious focal point, the Morrison poster. The people eracting the poster could easily show up on other shirts in a similar vein like spray painting the Morrison symbol. It looks a little crowded with three of them but think that the scaffolding and ladders are an interesting and believable touch. Before getting to the poster itself, the “This Is Not a T-Shirt” tag is kind of funny (and hopefully referencing “This Is Not a Test“) but with the three people only helps to crowd the bottom of of the shirt.

The main poster is a good cartoonized version of Morrision stripping away is his face and highlighting is trade mark hair and sun glasses. I have no idea why they chose yellow as the color as the back drop since Morrison rarely wears yellow in either his tights or his ring jacket. Even if they kept the yellow color, I think it’d kick the shirt up a notch if that was velour like his tights.

The WWE decided to show very little of the back of the shirt but it does show the slogan on the back, “This Revolution Will Be Televised” which is in reference to the song “The Revolution Will Not  Be Televised” by Gil Scott-Heron. Morrison’s evolution has certainly been televised but I’m not sure he’ll be involved in any revolutions. I suppose you could count his recolutions doing “Starship Pain”. It’s a little confusing why the black didn’t form a square around all of the letters instead of being strips. It’d match the front of the shirt.

For all of the improvements that the WWE could have made, I think the shirt is still a delight. – Kevin

In memory of He-Who-Shan’t-Be-Named *cough*Benoit

Ill take ten.

I'll take ten.

Thanks, Robert Miqueli, for forwarding this onto us. This T-shirt was recently seen at the New Jersey State Fair. You stay classy. -Eric

The Art of Wrestling – Il(l) Padrino

Allegedly, this is a pillow used by Kurt Angle's children.

Allegedly, this is a pillow used by Kurt Angle's children.

Evidently TNA did get the gumption to come up with some new shirts. I’m going to start with the one lowest on the list which is for Kurt Angle. It is called Il Padrino which is Italian for The Godfather. He holds that position within the Main Event Mafia so it is quite fitting.

Unfortunately, they have made a shirt out of the stupidest saying that Angle has come up with to date. On the front is a rose, which refers to “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” by Poison or something equally fucktarded that Angle says. The picture is terrible since the lighting creates a shadow over top of the rose. You also miss the words “Il Padrino” scrawled in blood that I believe is supposed to resemble a stem. I don’t mind uneven designs but this one, especially the print, seems to go to far along the ribcage which makes it hard to see as the first picture demonstrates. The rose and pedals look fine but I’m not sure why blood is dripping off the leaves considering that the stem is what pricks you. The dark red on black doesn’t help either. The rose color or density (hard to tell which is the bigger problem) should have been transferred to the lettering.

On the back, we have another picture tht piss poorly shows the design. Luckily the third picture does a better job of showing it again. A rose flanks each side of the TNA symbol. Underneath that is the slogan “It’s Not Personal…” with the next line below it “It’s Family Business.” I’m wondering why the line I can’t remember it’s the one on the back. It’s the whole reason the shirt was created. The text lettering does evoke the lettering used in “The Godfather” movies which is a nice touch. The design on the back is fine though.

Since the front is terrible and I can’t remember the line that created the shirt, the designer needs to be taken down like Paul Castellano. -Kevin

The Art of Wrestling – Just Say Punk

Stunt Granny is hoping CM Punk didn't steal their sippy time beer.

Stunt Granny is hoping CM Punk didn't steal their sippy time beer.

It’s been too long since trotting out one of these articles but playing catch up on Pro Wrestling Ohio has been fun and allowed the WWE to come out with some new products since I was pretty current when I covered Edge’s shirt. I haven’t bothered to see if those slugs from TNA came up with something new. No one has been on a roll more than CM Punk in my book even if he lost to Jeff “Please sign a new contract, pretty please with a cherry on top, you’re our biggest cash cow” Hardy. For some reason, he didn’t wear his new shirt on last week’s Smackdown but it made it’s debut two weeks ago. I didn’t cover an earlier shirt, but they’re pretty similar.

The shirt is faded black with a brownish yellow graphics. On the front, is “cm punk” in faded gothic lettering. Considering that his stomach tattoo is gothic letter, it’s a good choice. There are faded lightning bolts are under the lettering and blacked out where they intersect with them. I’m not exactly sure why they brought in lightning bolts though because I can’t spot them in his tattoos and they don’t hold any significance for the straight edge community. Above the lettering it the four 5 pointed stars which strikes me as bad since his tights have four 6 pointed stars (Go to this link and go to the third picture). That problem can be easily changed so it’s an unexusable mistake.

On the back is something that is near and dear to the straight edge community which is the two fists with Xs on them. They originated in 1980 when the Teen Idles were going to perform in San Francisco but were almost booted from the club because they were under the drinking age. Management put Xs on their hands so that no one would serve them alcohol so they adopted it as a symbol. The Xs were later brought to more prominence by one of the all time great punk bands, Minor Threat.  The history lesson was needed because it makes sense why Punk uses the symbol for himself and helps to emphasize his recent stance against Jeff Hardy. The design is in the same faded brownish yellow graphics.

I usually preach about how simple is good but it can also go bad and this shirt is bad. They screwed up the stars, added lightning bolts for no reason and made the graphics an awful color. Unfortunately, I’m going to just say No to Punk’s shirt. -Kevin

The Art of Wrestling – Uneven Edge


Edge might be a Black Flag fan. Thanks to ryanadamsarchive.com.

While trying to figure out what to review next, I eliminated TNA because the Phenomenal Brand shirt can’t be made out even in the enlarged picture, Black Machismo’s shirt sucks so much it doesn’t deserve more attention than this run on sentence and the MMG “Bel Air” looks like it is pretty cool but again, the enlarged picture doesn’t help clarify the images. So then I went to WWEshop.com and saw that Edge’s Rise Above t-shirt was number seven. Of course as soon as I was ready to put in the link, the top 10 changed. At least we know the WWEshop.com keeps up to date. Even though I went through the Edge’s Father’s Day package (Part I and II) a couple of weeks ago, I want to give this shirt a whirl.

Edge’s ink is so nice that the WWE used it on another piece of merchandise, this time a t-shirt. I wish they had a better picture of the tattoo itself but multiple pictures in his gallery aren’t any better than the first link above about it.

I’ll go over the back since it’s been covered some in the previous post. It’s a red faded star with the Rated R box in the middle of it in grey. I think they should have kept the red as bright as the heart on the front to help create more contrast but otherwise it’s a simple branding on the back of a shirt.

The meat of the shirt is the front. The off center design works quite well because of the contrast between the light grey arm (It’s a shade lighter than the boxed R on the back) and the remaining black. The arm has veins, triangular finger tips along with the beating heart. The ghoulish cartoonyness of the arm locks in the evil persona of Edge. The light grey arm does get additional ccontrast between it and the heart since it is all buffered by a black outline of various sizes. The tattoo is highlighted in the center of the arm with also a contrast buffer with the black outline, layered next by red and popped by using white inside the banner. The text is a red and black combination and is separated by stars of the same color. The stars connect to the star on his shoulder and his other merchandise so it helps to tie everything together.

One could say that the WWE found “The Cutting Edge” with this shirt. – Kevin

PS – In case you’re like me, you wonder who the Memphis Three which is on the bottom of the Black Flag album.  Go to this link and learn something. Black Flag kicked ass even if you disagree with their stance for this cause. – Kevin

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