Oi Polloi

The Antiques Clothes Show: Shinya's Wrestling Tees

Published: Thu May 25 2017

For this instalment of The Antiques Clothes Show, Shinya from Battenwear explains his love for wrestling-themed t-shirts. Take it away Shinya…

When I was a kid, I was very into professional wrestling. I used to watch matches on TV every week, and every time there was a wrestling event in my neighborhood in Tokyo, I used to go there with paper and a pen to get autographs.

Dynamite Kid was my biggest hero at the time. I heard he has serious health problems now after a large number of injuries, but in the 80’s, he used to come to Japan often for wrestling matches. The most unforgettable fight of that era for me was Dynamite Kid vs Tiger Mask. His diving head-butts and use of the “Superplex” move (a suplex from corner top) were very shocking.

Ever since then, I have been interested in fighting sports, especially wrestling. In the 90s and 00s, I was a big fan of the Russian King Kong, Alexandr Karelin. I used to enjoy watching his wrestling matches in the Olympic games. His suplex was phenomenal!

After I got married and had kids, I stopped watching fighting sports, but deep in my mind I cannot forget about what I experienced when I was a kid. So every time when I find a wrestling T-shirt at a vintage clothing store, I buy it. I cannot stop collecting them. Football, baseball, and basketball are the major sports in America, but believe or not wrestling is also a hidden popular sport in the USA!

You can easily find T shirts with logo such as “University Wrestling Team” at vintage clothing stores, but it’s harder to find the ones that come with a graphic. I found all of these ones in the US. The NCAA one is my favourite. I like the drawing a lot. Looks very speedy and real — nice tackle!

I used to wear these a lot, but I haven’t recently… I gained weight.