There were two Wrestling All Stars sets, each with 36 cards in them, released in 1982 but while Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and other legends had cards in them the sets didn’t cover all of the best wrestlers of that era. The 1983 Wrestling All Stars set has the first wrestling cards of many other famous high-flying superstars, body-slamming giants and future WWE Hall of Famers. Fans of wrestling managers also get quantity and quality in this set. A full checklist is below.
The 1983 set is a bit easier to find in higher grade than the first two issues. PSA has given out the perfect 10 grade to about 200 cards from 1983 Wrestling All-Stars as of this writing. For Series A and B from 1982, you’ll see about 70 fewer in a 10 holder.
If you can find a 1983 Wrestling All-Stars set still in the sealed cello wrapper in which it was originally sold by Pro Wrestling Enterprises, expect to pay $350-400. Complete sets of ungraded cards can usually be found for $100-150. Originally the cost of the set was $5, including postage. The sets were ordered with a form in The Wrestling News, which called itself “The Official Magazine of Wrestling”. The advertisements would point out how these wrestling cards were the same size as baseball cards but were a “rare limited edition”.
Jimmy Hart, Fred Blassie, Captain Lou Albano, The Grand Wizard and Sheik Al-Kaissey are some of the most famous managers in the history of wrestling and all appear in the 1983 set. They were also some of the managers fans liked to boo. During his long wrestling career, Hart has managed everyone from Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart to Hulk Hogan and The Honky Tonk Man. Albano often managed the meanest and nastiest wrestlers but during the 1980s would change his ways and become a fan favorite. He was part of the the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection and appeared in Cyndi Lauper music videos. Today, you can find nice NM/MT Albano graded cards from the 1983 Wrestling All-Stars set for around $20. In 2014, a PSA 9 sold for $499, illustrating how difficult the cards can be to locate in high-grade.
A wrestler who showed others how to leap from the top rope (or the top of a cage), you’ll find Jimmy Snuka in the set. “Big” John Studd, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Superstar” Billy Graham and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan are here too.
1983 Wrestling All Stars features two famous names of Japanese wrestling: Antonio Inoki, who was a legend in Japan with the Japan Wrestling Association and New Japan Pro Wrestling and Tiger Mask, one of the first Japanese wrestlers to appear in Madison Square Garden for the WWF. Other famous names in the set include Lou Thesz, Rocky Johnson, Buddy Rogers, Tully Blanchard and Austin Idol. All the cards could be considered rookie cards, but the Curt Hennig card in 1983 Wrestling All Stars, represents the early stages of his career. It would be five years after this set was released that Hennig would become much better known as “Mr. Perfect”.
Some of the other names in the set of 36 cards are Gino Hernandez, Sgt. Jacque Goulet, “Iron” Mike Sharpe, Mr. Olympia, Dick Slater and The Super Destroyer.
1983 Wrestling All Stars, along with 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series A and 1982 Wrestling All Stars Series B, cards can be considered to be the start of modern wrestling card collecting. They are historic sets filled with future WWE Hall of Famers and champions of the WWF, NWA, AWA, WCW, Stampede Wrestling, Mid-South and many other important wrestling organizations of the past. While a lot of collectors are aware of the Wrestling All Stars sets, bargains can be found and there are still enough cards around for a new collector to embark on a quest to complete a set. The 1983 Wrestling All Stars set should be the easiest of the three sets to collect.
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