In late-July 2021, Upper Deck announced it had signed All Elite Wrestling to an exclusive trading card and memorabilia deal. Not only would these be the first AEW cards ever produced, but this was also the first time that Upper Deck would be creating sets solely dedicated to professional wrestling.
Since that news release, we’ve had only one set drop: 2021 Upper Deck All Elite Wrestling, which draws many similarities to Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey as a flagship product with its inexpensive price point and photo-heavy aesthetic. As of this writing, the second product, Spectrum, has also been announced. Though an official release date hasn’t been revealed, the product promises to be a premium option consisting of one seven-card pack per box.
Other than that, we haven’t seen what else UD has in store for AEW, so today we wanted to share a wish list of three things we’d like to see in upcoming wrestling offerings.
A ‘90s-Inspired Set
Wrestling fans love nostalgia, and what better way to mix a new company like AEW with a trip down memory lane than by releasing something with an old-school vibe like Skybox Metal Universe? Over the last two years, we saw the full product brought back in the hockey form with a great base design and beloved inserts from the ‘90s like Jambalaya, Platinum Portraits and the universally adored PMGs.
Bold On-Card Autographs
On the flip side, I’m also a fan of SP Authentic’s clean look, especially when it comes to its on-card autographs. Each year hockey collectors look forward to Future Watch autos. As AEW grows its talent, I could see wrestling fans having that same kind of energy. As a collector, when I want to add a card to my PC, I prefer a minimalist design with an on-card autograph since we see so many athletes’ signatures running off the sticker, which immediately turns me away from the card.
The Return of Exquisite
While it may be more likely we see Premier or Ultimate Collection down the road, I’d add a return of Exquisite Collection to my wish list. We still see Exquisite cards inserted into products; however, it’s been years since it’s been a standalone item. Wrestling fans love comparing the WWE and AEW, so there will certainly be the same competitive spirit when the “Upper Deck vs. Panini” discussion comes up. As Panini has given UFC an Immaculate release, you can count on seeing a high-end product for WWE, too. Upper Deck and AEW could counter with Exquisite, a top-shelf set that card collectors have been missing.
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