Having already written about video game signs this year, Botchamania creator Maffew was asked to survey the field and determine the ten best wrestling/nerd culture cross over signs.
A lot of these signs are self-serving and irrelevant to the action happening in front of the wrestling which….is half the fun, but it’s nice to highlight a sign that manages to succeed in shoe-horning a retro gaming reference into the wrestler in front of them.
10. WOW, Really?
There were many, many signs hustled into the wrestling shows of 2021, most of which decreed their dislike for various video game franchises or politely requested certain fighting game characters be debuffed. But there was a lack of positivity and proudness in one’s choice of video game selection so I’m picking this sign-holder for #10 for still being proud of playing World Of Warcraft in the year of our Lord 2021 and not being ashamed of who knows it.
(Even though it’s likely by the time this article gets published they’ll have gone back to playing Final Fantasy XIV like the rest of them).
9. Domo Arigato, Mr. Comoroto
The Final Fantasy sign battles will probably carry on until every game in the series has had a cardboard fan opinion somewhere by 2022. But a special mention to Alexander Larkin who brought this retro-approving sign to the AEW October 16th Miami tapings.
However, Nick Comoroto did not appreciate the sign and tore it up (which was sadly not recorded for broadcast or by a phone).
Now I’d see this tweet and assume Nick was sick of these nerd signs coming along and getting more TV time than himself, but the Marstorius cosplayer later clarified he did it for completely legitimate geek reasons:
Or maybe he just couldn’t get past the Midgar Zolom.
8. BAN JAMES CORDEN
BAN JAMES CORDEN?
BAN JAMES CORDEN!
BAN JAMES CORDEN.
7. Goofy Opinions
Sticking this sign here because of all the black and white disasters to be forced onto people’s screens this year, this was the one that angered fans the most.
Like, I can understand coming for some of the less-loved Disney films but choosing the increasingly-loved Goofy Movie over Home On The Range or Fox & The Hound? You’re clearly trying to pull a Ralph and break the internet.
6. Phinal Phantasy IV
I haven’t played Phantasy Star 4, although Mega Machines Sega gave it a respectable 88% back in the day so I should probably buy one of the million Sega Mega Drive compilations to sample it. Instead, I picked this as one of the best signs of the year just because of how happy the guy holding the sign looks.
Or maybe he’s just remembered the antagonist of the series was known as “Dark Phallus” in Japan.
5. Ruh ROH
As I’m typing this, ROH held its potentially final Final Battle with the company having released it’s entire roster of contracted wrestlers.
So it was nice this bittersweet moment was underlined with the kind of subtly we’ve come to expect from fans this year with a sign comparing the sudden change in fortune to the once-mighty company to the console that like ROH, will live longer in our memories than it did on the shelves.
4. Xeno, Warrior Princess
Buying a big bit of paper, dragging it to a wrestling show and holding it up all night takes a lot of effort.
The man who attended Riot Fest clearly didn’t want to waste all that work on a brief appearance on AEW TV and decided to bring his XENOGEARS > XENOSAGA opinion to Living Colour’s set so everyone could enjoy it.
I haven’t played any of the Xeno series but Living Colour’s “Vivid” is good.
3. Disco Inferno
I’m including this on the list because when I posted a screenshot of it, so many accounts responded with “yeah that sign is right, you should play it” that it caused me to go out and buy it, giving me my favourite game of 2021 (that uhh came out in 2019).
So yeah weebs, go click some more FanFyte articles, then go hang out with your Ancient Reptilian Brain and drink with your tie.
2. Big Boss
A lot of these signs are self-serving and irrelevant to the action happening in front of the wrestling which is half the fun, but it’s nice to highlight a sign that manages to succeed in shoe-horning a retro gaming reference into the wrestler in front of them.
If you’re brave enough to reach the end of Streets Of Rage in two player mode, you have the option of accepting Mr. X’s offer of joining his organization, which results in a confrontation with your friend/family member before ending the game by becoming the boss of the evil organization yourself.
Hey, you know who else turned on her friends to become The Boss of the WWE? Sasha Banks!
So yeah, well done mate.
1. Earthbound and Down
And finally, my favourite nerdy wrestling fan of 2021 is the guy who managed to not only get front row tickets for AEW Rampage, but also bring a sign requesting Nintendo localise Mother 3 while also cosplaying as Ness from the game itself.
That’s a Triple Crown winner if I ever saw one. Hopefully being number one will ease the pain of the reality being Nintendo are more likely to allow Project M tournaments than localising Mother 3.
I’ve been Maffew, and whatever happens in 2022, I just hope there’ll be wrestling shows filled with fans eager for graps and getting their opinions across about Sega RPG villains.