Welcome to Cribs, WWE edition!
We wish that we could devote our lives to collecting artifacts of some brand of cola, or simply have a piece of merchandise that others might find weird but somehow define you. Over the years, the more we watch our favorite celebrities, the more we learn about their weird eccentricities – Quentin Tarantino collects board games based on TV shows, Tom Hanks collects antique typewriters, and Johnny Depp collects paintings of clowns (can’t get much weirder than that).
Wrestlers are just like celebrities and they all get paid a decent amount of money to pursue the kind of collections they want to have. Sometimes, it’s not a collection, but an item or a place that tickles a superstar’s fancy. Thanks to all kinds of documentaries, blogs, interviews, and the WWE YouTube series, Superstars’ Toyz, you can see a lot of these cool collectibles for yourself.
15. Outta Time!
— Coach (@CMPunk) August 10, 2012
CM Punk might be a rough and rugged (former) wrestler, and he might love his Cubs and Blackhawks more than he loves A.J. Lee, but the Straight Edge Iconoclast is actually a big uber–nerd at heart. With appearances on the Talking Dead, Nerdist, and various comic–cons, not to mention penning a few comic books of his own, it should come as no surprise that CM Punk has all kinds of fun things to geek about it. One thing the former champ has spoken fondly about is his collection of old Universal Monster stuff. But the zaniest thing in the future UFC star’s collection has got to be a Flux Capacitor from the Back to Future film series. The revelation had current geek king, Chris Hardwick, marking out. When interviewed by Complex.com, Hardwick remarked “This guy’s just like me except he could rip someone’s head off.”
14. The Excellence of Electrocution
Paul Jay’s documentary, “Hitman Hart, Wrestling with Shadows” takes a unique look at the legendary Bret Hart during one of the best times in the business–when Hart and the rest of the Hart Foundation were the biggest heels in the United States but everywhere else, they were the biggest faces. Jay lucked out while filming and caught some of the aftermath of the infamous Montreal Screwjob. However, one image in the film that sticks out is Bret at home with his ‘friend,’ a man writhing in pain while being electrocuted. In an interview with Slam!, he said this about the piece:
“That would be that stupid rubber man sitting in an electric chair in my basement. You hit the switch and he goes nuts, like he’s getting electrocuted. I never did know why I bought it but I did for some stupid reason.”
13. The Charismatic Enigma Catches Air Outside of the Ring
It is no secret that Jeff Hardy is one of the biggest risk takers in the history of wrestling. For the fans’ adulation, the Rainbow Haired Warrior has heaved his body off of scaffolds, rafters, ladders, cages, Elimination Chambers; pretty much if its high and a table with an opponent or two is there to break his fall, chances are Hardy’s going to dive. Thankfully (luckily?), Hardy has never hurt himself too seriously in the ring. As for the man’s motocross hobby–that’s a different story. The soulful and artistic competitor loves riding around on his dirt bikes on the course of his own design that he’s constructed in his back yard. In a piece for his WWE DVD, Hardy shows off one of his new bikes and explains that he once broke his collarbone when he was little. Footage is shown of Hardy leaping up and over the hills and valleys of his course, even an Evel Knievel-like plunge over fire. Currently, one half of the TNA tag team champions is rehabbing a broken leg he suffered while riding. For fans of Hardy, it’s a little bittersweet to see him take time off in pursuit of his music career and motocross hobbies, because if he focused solely on his in ring career, he’d be unstoppable.
12. The Champ Likes Cars
Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, and many other stars love collecting old cars. When you have the money, it’s a great hobby, especially when you look back at the history of American Muscle cars from the Motor City, which is what John Cena is an avid collector of. The champ has all kinds from all years. Even his ‘work’ truck is something special, a 2006 Dodge Viper truck. But he also has a 1969 AMC AMX in “Big Bad Green,” and in his WWE DVD, Cena explains that the American Motor Company is a very overlooked company when compared to the chrome that was coming out of GM and Detroit at the time. One of the better cars in his collection is a 1970 Mercury Cougar Eliminator, which if you don’t treat right, will eliminate you. Unfortunately, the Ford Mustang won over far more hearts than the Cougar, but that doesn’t stop the Dr. of Thugonomics from speaking lovingly about the car.
11. What? You Expected an Actual Meat Market?
Sabu, Tommy Dreamer, RVD, Cactus Jack, Terry Funk and just about every hardcore wrestler who ever bled for their art owes a great deal of respect to one of the original hardcore wrestlers – the Madman from the Sudan, Abdullah the Butcher! According to Mick Foley, the scars are so deep in Abby’s head, that he can store poker chips in them, and has done so! However, when he wasn’t making a name for himself as one of the most viscous competitors in the squared circle, the Butcher opened up a restaurant in Atlanta, which has always been a hotbed of wrestling fandom. The former home base of WCW still is the home of Abdullah the Butcher’s House of Ribs and Chinese Food. Similar to the man’s wrestling career, Abby’s is not in the best part of town, but not the worst either. The place is actually kind of like any takeout place you might see, kind of humdrum and utilitarian, until you look up and see the dearth of memorabilia detailing the life of the hardcore Hall of Famer. According to one review, the food is delicious, so if you’re ever in Atlanta, head on down to a unique piece of wrestling history, and, for your safety, the forks are plastic.
10. Kermit and Horny Sitting in a Tree…
As a former Cruiserweight champion, DX mascot, and even the Boss’ illegitimate son, Hornswoggle has had an interesting run with the WWE. As zany as Hornswoggle is, he’s got nothing on his favorite characters – The Muppets. His finisher, the Tadpole splash, is named after Kermit and his favorite Muppet is the insane Animal. The mini–man’s house is filled with all kinds of Muppet memorabilia, including T–shirts (his favorite is a Weezer themed Animal shirt, which Edge bequeathed to him when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame), statues and pictures of him with the loveable characters from when they hosted Raw. For movie lovers, the best part of Horny’s home is a room full of posters of every Muppet movie. However, the man himself is most proud of his tattoos, which he actually calls collectibles.
9. Guardian of the Lunch Boxes
Coming out of left field is the big bad man from Washington, as the former world champion has a renowned collection of…lunch boxes? Benecio Del Toro might play The Collector in Batista’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but it’s Big Dave’s obsession with lunch boxes that show he’s the real collector. From one of his newest, a custom made box with Drax’s visage from the Animal’s last film, given to him by Guardians director, James Gunn to a Star Wars lunch box, the big man’s got a lot of these metal tins. Batista started out his collection when he was given an E.T. lunch box years ago, but the man’s favorite is a 1967 box featuring the Green Hornet and Kato, played by the legendary Bruce Lee.
8. Do Documented Anger Issues and Ammo Mix?
These days, in the WWE, the Viper Randy Orton goes to that “special place,” when he’s firing on all cylinders and ready to strike with an RKO ‘outta nowhere.’ However, several years ago, that special place was more defined as a man who suffers from IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder) anger issues. In the Evolution of a Predator DVD, Randy and several others speak at great lengths about the handful he was to deal with in his youth. Perhaps these aren’t the best qualities for a gun enthusiast to have, but that’s exactly what the Apex Predator is – a gun nut and luckily not a nut with a gun. Orton’s collection has hand guns, rifles, and assault guns. Luckily the WWE is a PG environment, otherwise Orton’s hobby might be played into his character and we’d have another “Pillman’s Got a Gun” on our hands.
7. One Man’s Trash…
In most circles, the Mount Rushmore of wrestling managers is generally Bobby Heenan, Paul E. Dangerously/Heyman, and James E. Cornette. All three are supreme wordsmiths and arguably the biggest heels in their respective territories. All three also have brilliant minds for the industry as well. Unfortunately, Bobby’s in poor health, no one wants to put Heyman in a position of power, and Cornette doesn’t play well with others (true Heyman doesn’t either, but his bestie is the Beast Incarnate, so he gets to stick around). Besides the Midnight Express and discovering Chris Candido and Sunny, Cornette’s greatest contribution to the business might have been his decision to ask Jim Crockett’s janitor to let him know if Ted Turner’s people were throwing out anything wrestling related. One more bone–head move to add to WCW’s infinite wisdom was tossing out tapes upon tapes of matches like Flair vs. Steamboat (over ten years before their trilogy of classics), Harley Race vs. Dick Murdoch for the NWA Title, and a lot of Andre the Giant. Cornette spent a little bit of money in transferring the almost 40 hours of film to DVD, and unlike some of the collections on this list, you can share in Corny’s collectibles and purchase the set of Crockett house shows on his website.
6. Jolly Old St. Mick
We know that the Hall of Famer, Mick Foley is a happy guy – but the reason for his festive mood has got to be a profound love of Christmas. Foley loves the holiday so much, that he’s even got a Christmas room in his house. Foley has all sorts of memorabilia centered around the holiday and the fat man, Santa, himself. Nutcracker soldiers, Christmas villages, homemade scrapbook photos, and all kinds of paintings of Kris Kringle, including his own children’s book, a Most Mizerable Christmas, adorn Foley’s unique room. Foley loves Christmas so much that his daughter was named Noelle in honor of the Hardcore Legend’s favorite day. Foley even teamed up with documentary filmmaker, Morgan Spurlock. for a feature chronicling the lives of several members of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas (FORBS) when they’re not playing Jolly Old St. Nick. The Micker even decides to try his hand in the festivities and attempts to become a real Santa like the rest of the FORBS. It’ll be pretty funny when Mick, dressed as Nick goes for the cheap pop, “right here, in Santa’s Workshop!”
5. More Than A Man Cave, it’s the Kofi Cave!
For the first time in his WWE career, Kofi Kingston is enjoying being a heel as one–third of the New Day. On his downtime, he hangs out in his “Kofi Cave” with his ‘Collection’ of helmets from pop culture – Thor, Iron Man, Batman, the Rocketeer, and Doctor Doom, which Kofi points out was the inspiration for The Undertaker’s hood at Raw 1000. Besides the aerial competitor’s love of comic books – he also has real life helmets, signed by Tom Brady and Heisman Trophy winner, Doug Flutie. Getting to travel the world with the WWE, Kofi got the opportunity to acquire a helmet from Afghanistan with chain mail and goat horns. However, we think the coolest thing in Kofi’s collection is an old school Arcade machine.
Needless to say, the uber comic book fan has a tremendous graphic novel collection that he takes selected titles on the road with him, and is in the midst of reading every Batman book ever. To add to the geekdom is Kofi’s sword collection, featuring blades from Blade, Braveheart, and Final Fantasy. All that’s left to see now is a sword fight between Kofi and our next collector.
4. Even Real Life Superheroes Need Trusty Weapons and Rides
Kofi has a lot in common with the legendary luchador, Rey Mysterio – they’re both high flyers who have consistently wowed crowds with phenomenal displays of aerial assaults. But they both also have an affinity for headgear (Kofi has his helmets, Rey has his own masks). Mysterio’s sword collection is a similar to Kofi’s, with blades from movies like The Scorpion King. Rey also has a collection of his toys from his entire career, a custom skateboard, and even a space in his 6-1-9 home dedicated to memorabilia fans have gifted to him over the years. The San Diego native also has an affinity for motorcycles and all of his rides are custom detailed with images from Rey’s career – his name, his area code, the Aztec calendar, rosaries, and of course the mask of the future Hall of Famer.
3. The True Long Island Toy Collection
Zack Ryder is an avid wrestling toy collector and he has pretty much every wrestling toy ever, including a full set of Wrestling Buddies (which now feature a custom Long Island Iced–Z buddy), figures with mistakes (such as Razor Ramon inexplicably made with Bret Hart’s arm), a Royal Rumble ring, strange looking Squirt Heads, and a Ryder figure complete with a scale replica of the Internet Championship.
Ryder isn’t just a wrestling toy collector, as he’s a child of the eighties, which means toys he has plenty of toys from the Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters. The King of Long Island even made an appearance on the Travel Channel’s Toy Hunter series to acquire a Ghostbusters Ecto–Charger Pack.
2. Even Hulk Wants to Be Like Mike
Even though you probably never would have guessed this one, it seems rather fitting. After all, just about every single superstar of the past ten years has a debt of gratitude to Hulk Hogan and all he’s done for the business. Similarly, many basketball players from the past ten years or so all owe the same debt to Michael Jordan. Both men are considered highly influential and among the best of their respective fields. So why shouldn’t Hulkamania have an obsession with the Nike shoe line. According to Hogan, the obsession began when he met Fat Joe, another sneakerhead who lives in Florida. Its also probably due to his son Nick, who was a bonafide sneakerhead before the Hulkster started collecting. Some of Hulk’s collection are the King James, the Leopard prints, and Air Jordan XIII’s. You know somewhere, someone in the Air Jordan marketing department is salivating at the thought of a “Sneakermania” campaign.
1. It’s Good to Be the King
For over forty years, Jerry the King Lawler has been entertaining crowds from Memphis to Melbourne and beyond. He’s a slice of Americana himself, after all he’s the only man besides Elvis that could claim lordship over the city of Memphis (ask anyone in Memphis who Lawler is and they’ll tell you whether they watch wrestling or not). So of course, The King would hold court over a bevy of pop cultures from Americana itself. His home has a four car garage and instead of cars, it houses the King’s collection of sports, Superman, and Coca–Cola memorabilia.
Lawler has original bottles, benches, monopoly, clocks, and cans from all over the world. Basically if it has the Coca–Cola branding on it, it’s probably in Lawler’s garage. Coke even sent him a Certificate of Good Taste. But his obsession isn’t just for the soft drink; Jerry is one of the many fans of big blue himself, Superman. He even has a framed piece of the cape that George Reeves wore on the TV show. There’s a reason that the saying has endured for so many years, because with collections like this, it is damn good to be the king!
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