Over the past few decades, obsessed wrestling fans have become as dedicated a group of collectors as movie buffs and sports enthusiasts. The difference is that while cinema's greatest memorabilia and sports items from the greatest games ever have been preserved and put on display around the world in various museums and Halls of Fame, wrestling's iconic costumes and props have seemingly been largely discarded as junk by the wrestlers and promotions and have wound up in the hands of fans around the country. This where WWE's Most Wanted Treasures comes in.
The premise for WWE's Most Wanted Treasures (airing Sunday nights on A&E at 10 pm) is pretty straight forward: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon want to recover WWE's greatest props, costumes, and trinkets that have fallen into fans hands and they're going to send the related WWE superstar out to recover them. Do they want these items to finally display in a standing WWE Hall of Fame and museum that fans have demanded for years? That's not really explicitly said, but sure, maybe.
The focus of the debut episode is the hardcore legend himself, Mick Foley, who is tasked with hitting the road and finding three specific items from his career: an original screen-used Mr. Socko, one of Cactus Jack's screen-used flannel vests, and the original brown costume shirt that Mankind debuted in. He is teamed up with WWE Performance Center trainee, A.J. Francis, who will be road-tripping with a different WWE legend each episode to recover their iconic items.
Together, Foley and Francis meet three of the most passionate wrestling fans under the sun, each of whom has a collection of merchandise and ring-used memorabilia that would make any fan's eyes glow with wonder. Through bartering and sometimes even just paying them off, Foley is able to recover each of the items and bring them back to the huge WWE warehouse in Stamford, CT, where presumably Vince McMahon houses the Ark of the Covenant.
If you're a fan of wrestling history or a fan of nostalgia-playing shows like Pawn Stars, this show is for you. It is very enjoyable and definitely a nice trip down memory lane to some of wrestling's most iconic moments. But like most things with WWE, they don't quite understand the phrase "less is more". There are parts that are very obviously scripted and trying to get laughs, but they don't really work and even come off as painful to watch, such as the capper for this first episode, when Foley dresses up as Mankind to try and recreate Mr. Socko's iconic debut in Mr. McMahon's hospital room. This time though, it's in the very old and very grumpy Mr. McMahon's office in Titan Tower and he doesn't seem to understand the joke.
These parts aren't show-ruining though and for someone like myself who is a junkie for wrestling history and all that, it's actually pretty neat to see these items again and hear stories from the wrestlers about their creation and what went into it.
To check out WWE's Most Wanted Treasures, tune in to A&E on Sunday nights at 10 pm, following their Biography series focusing on WWE's greatest legends.