By Jamie Apps
One afternoon in late 2022, while watching AEW an ad splashed across my screen for the latest series of their trading cards. Little did I know this simple moment would spark the idea for Australian Wrestling Cards (AusWresCards), and thus alter my course for 2023 & beyond.
Before we delve into that story further I should take a moment to introduce myself.
My name is Jamie Apps, I am the owner & creator of AusWresCards. Anybody who knew me before launching this project would have already known that I was a lifelong wrestling fan, dating back to the early years of WCW on Austar/Foxtel.
In 2013 my fandom evolved from being a fan watching wrestling on TV to a dedicated Australian indie wrestling fan. This occurred when I made the trek up to Sydney from the South Coast for a PWA headlined by Madison Eagles against Evie (now known as WWE’s Dakota Kai). That show also featured a very young Toni Storm, Demi Bennett (aka Rhea Ripley), Shazza McKenzie, Jessie McKay, KC Cassidy (aka Cassie Lee). So as you can imagine I was blown away by the quality & depth of the talent this country possessed. From that show on I immediately fell in love with Australian wrestling & would regularly be seen at PWA & MCW shows. I even travelled to Los Angeles to support Robbie Eagles, Adam Brookes & Jonah (aka Bronson Reed) when they competed in the Battle Of Los Angeles tournament.
As my passion for Australian wrestling blossomed further I’ve been trying to find a way to give back to Australian wrestling for the many hours of entertainment they’ve provided. Over the years I’ve used my skills as a journalist to conduct interviews with wrestlers, promotors, gear makers etc to spread the word about Australian wrestling & just how amazing it is. But, that still wasn’t enough for me, which takes us back to the spark of creativity in 2022.
After seeing that ad for AEW trading cards I reflected on my experiences with Pokemon cards, PWG BOLA cards, & the NFL/NBA trading card boom. In researching the local market there had been small runs of trading cards by individual wrestlers such as Mick Moretti or individual promotions but there was nothing with an overarching approach for all of Australia.
I then set about developing a business plan that would benefit the wrestlers, & photographers just as much as it would myself. With my business plan formulated the next step was pitching the idea to talent, which was thankfully welcomed with much excitement. I will forever be in debt to those first few wrestlers who placed their trust in me & helped establish me as a reputable figure in the space.
The first set of AusWresCards was initially meant to only be 50 sets of 30 cards, split into 3 packs of 10 cards (Waves 1-3)
Preorders for that debut drop went live in January 2023. My initial thought was that it would take me all year to sell those 50 sets, but the response from wrestling fans was overwhelming. Much to my surprise the debut set was sold out by June.
Given the sell-out occurred much faster than anticipated I knew I couldn’t simply wait until 2024 to release more cards. Otherwise, I would have risked losing all of the momentum I had earned. So I quickly worked to build out a second drop of 50 sets or 30 cards (Waves 4-6).
This second drop was met with just as much excitement, with less than 15 individual 10 packs remaining.
Along the way, I’ve also had some incredible collaboration opportunities arise.
In our debut year, AusWresCards have worked with Impact Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling, Renegades Of Wrestling, Oceania Pro Wrestling, New Photography & PWDownunder on special sets of cards.
AusWresCards has also been welcomed into the wrestling family as a merchandise vendor at live events by Oceania Pro Wrestling, Newcastle Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Australia, Rock & Roll Wrestling, & Renegades Of Wrestling. Moments that have further exposed us to new fans & reaffirmed our passion for Australian independent wrestling.
As we now approach the end of 2023 I’ve already been deep into planning the 2024 set of AusWresCards. Next year will again see us releasing 6 waves of card packs, one every second month.
Looking at the roster of talent I’ve been able to secure for 2024 makes me incredibly excited for the future. Who do you want to see get #Carded next year?
Keep an eye out on our social media feeds in January for the 2024 presale announcement & the first set of roster reveals.