It’s definitely not a t-shirt company.
Yes, the Orange Cassidy t-shirt is iconic.
But amid a sea of tacky black shirts, perhaps even the most diehard AEW fan can admit that their t-shirt game is not the strongest. Still, as someone who has willingly shelled out on ShopAEW.com, I suppose we’ve got to sing praises where it’s due. Together with our artist friends, Nicole and Dom from the walrus and the dinosaur, let’s dig for AEW’s best of the bestsellers.
(For this list, the page had been sorted by Top Sellers of the Year as of February 4, 2023.)
(4) Scissor Me Santa Daddy – Christmas sweater (The Acclaimed)
Of course, we find here AEW’s bestselling tag team, The Acclaimed. And a double-entry, as well, tying the list but on the lower end.
First, we turn our attention to the “Scissor Me Santa Daddy” Christmas sweater. For Nicole, the design itself is nice, but (direct quote) “the words do drag it down.” And as an Acclaimed fan, I thoroughly understand. To the rest of the humans on Earth, this monumental catchphrase earns either a double-take or an explanation that will never hit right. The full name of this sweater is “Scissor Me Under the Mistletoe Santa Daddy.” It’s the epitome of wrestling merch that is nice in spite of itself.
Everybody Loves The Acclaimed (The Acclaimed)
On the other end of the spectrum, we have the “Everybody Loves The Acclaimed” pink-on-black shirt. While its appeal can depend on your appreciation for vintage/band tees, it’s a cool, context-independent design regardless. Overall, an aesthetic I find to be sorely lacking in our bubble.
(3) “The Wizard” Jericho (Chris Jericho)
In a bit of a wildcard pick, we’ve got Chris Jericho’s “The Wizard” design. It operates on the standard pro wrestling template of black shirt with loud text and designs. But in this case, both theme and imagery of “The Wizard” gimmick make the template work.
The design is a fireball-wielding skeleton, with long blonde hair, black gloves, and matching purple witch hat and spiky jacket. It has red orange and purple as base colors, as well as white lightning bolts and magical dust all around. And altogether, it doesn’t look half bad.
It’s a wacky Chris Jericho shirt. But if it’s going to be wacky, it better be the best kind.
(2) Hangman Ranch (“Hangman” Adam Page)
Adam Page’s “Hangman Ranch” sits comfortably on the top end of this list. I echo the sentiment of our artist friends, that we prefer a shirt that is friendly for those in and outside a fandom. Appealing in and of itself — and the Hangman Ranch design is exactly that.
It’s a beige shirt, with a simple deep-green and red color scheme. Mainly it’s got a cowboy on a charging horse. Sans context, this image and the weird slogan that comes with it are a vibe. Like children’s drawings that just make perfect sense.
(Bonus points for Page actually rocking the shirt pretty regularly.)
(1) Better Than You – button up shirt (MJF)
Say what you will about this shirt. Apart from Hangman’s Ranch and a few honorable mentions, this one has more character than all the other moneymakers.
Originally a dig at UFC megastar Conor McGregor, MJF’s version of the “Fuck You” suit might carry more overall impact. Dom observes how the shirt almost transforms people, depending on how close you get to them. As a black button-up, it still comes off fashionable if not amusingly petty. But knowing the shirt punctuates a tired exchange with pro wrestlers and MMA fighters — and that the pro wrestler’s catchphrase actually makes sense — is just a perfect storm.
When it comes to pro wrestling t-shirt trends, we might quickly observe that there’s not much variety in the way of color. While this formula can lead to oversaturation, our artist friends remind us it can also provide less restrictions in the way of designs. This MJF button-up is just one of the ways why the flexibility and demand of the color black isn’t such a reign of terror.
Orange Cassidy t-shirts
Orange Cassidy’s original yearbook photo tee is either always going to be #1 or an honorable mention; it’s already iconic. So let’s keep things interesting for a while. Every other OC shirt on the list (“Thumbs up” white, “Thumbs up” orange) gets consistent, favorable reactions all around. They may be funny merch, but maybe not $29.99 funny, plus shipping.
FTR’s “Living Legends,” Kenny Omega’s pink design, and The Elite’s silhouettes
All these shirts have good pops of colors relative to the rest of the pool. But good colors alone doesn’t top a list.
FTR’s “Fight Like An 8 Year Old Girl”
As I’ve mentioned in previous lists, I don’t really think I should evaluate products/content this personal. But I can’t not mention such a simple t-shirt, with such an amazing cause.