The modern era of WWE and TNA is what most people think of when they consider wrestling trading cards, but actually they've been around more for than a century.
Like many athletes, wrestlers began showing up on cards issued with tobacco products. They were often mixed in with other sports stars of the day in sets that were aimed at men and boys who followed their exploits via the newspapers and early sports periodicals.
The 1954 Parkhurst set was really the first set devoted exclusively to wrestlers. It was one of two sets they issued in the mid-50s.
Trading card giant Topps got into the game in the 1980s as pro wrestling--and trading cards--experienced a bit of a popularity explosion at the same time. Classic, Monty Gum, Pro Wrestling Enterprises and even Hostess Cakes came out with sets during this era.
In the 90s, Action Packed got into the game with its thicker quality cards but they lasted only a couple of years. Comic Images produced sets as did Merlin, Good Humor and others.
Over the years, it's safe to say there have been at least 100 companies or organizations that have produced some type of wrestling card.
Today, Topps and Tri-Star are among those committed to keeping the wrestling trading card industry going and with new stars, divas and other names constantly coming aboard and big events like Wrestlemania attracting attention, it looks like they'll be around for a few more years.
There are thousands of single cards, packs, boxes and cases of wrestling cards from every era. To see what's available on eBay now, click here.