TNA has been on the ball when it comes to new merchandise for their shiny “new” stars that they have brought in during the Hulk Hogan era. Too bad I’ve been slacking off as much as TNA’s writers. To kick off the new TNA reviews I figured I’d start with ‘Mister Monday Night’, Rob Van Dam.
On the back of the shirt, there are neon green Xs that flank a neon green yin & yang symbol. I’m not sure if TNA is aware, but the WWE has a long standing group called Degeneration X that uses both neon green and shockingly an X in their merchandise. What a bunch of morons. I know the yin & yang is not part of DX’s design but everything else is a rip off. They could have used a star with five points to draw comparisons to RVD’s Five Star Frog Splash and had the same exact design pattern then I (I can’t be the only one who noticed) wouldn’t have thought of DX even if they stuck with the neon green. There is an additional design in the background that looks like a mix between a biohazard symbol and a tribal tattoo. To me, that mixes up cultures since yin & yang is Chinese and tribal tattoos are Polynesian or North & South American in origin. I would think you’d want to stick with kanji which is the name of the Chinese characters used in writing. It would stick with the theme of the shirt better. RVD doesn’t have any tattoos either so he has no reason to want a tattoo inspired design on his shirt.
On the front of the shirt, TNA has the same exact design with one exception. They have inserted “RVD” in grey and white. The “V” matches the tribal background pattern which is a nice touch. The text has a nice funkiness to it that draws me in.
I’m not a big fan of having the same design on the front as the back because it makes one look like they’re wearing a sandwich billboard. They are marginally different but not enough in my book. The changing of motifs didn’t help the shirt. The blatant ripping off of DX is the worst part. I’ve mentioned the quality of the WWE riffing on old designs (John Deere among other shirts) but they altered it enough to not be the exact same symbol if if they carried through the same color pattern. Stop trying to be the WWE and make your own designs. – Kevin