Hey, remember when CM Punk beat John Cena in merchandise sales? You should, CM Punk certainly likes to bring it up. Punk had just won the title in Chicago at Money in the Bank, and the new shirt he debuted at the show was suddenly the hottest thing since the heyday of the NWO and Austin 3:16. It didn’t last long. Within a couple months, talk of Punk topping the sales charts dried up, and Cena was back on his throne, despite Punk still being the most popular act in the company.
What happened? Are Cena’s primary colored shirt selling powers just that strong? Or was something more underhanded going on? Well, according to the latest edition of Konnan’s MLW podcast, which has outed plenty of accurate information in the past, WWE intentionally rigged the system to get Cena back on top.
“I can tell you exactly what WWE did: As soon as John Cena started getting outsold by CM Punk, they made 3 additional John Cena designs, they refused to make a second CM Punk design and they started undershipping the CM Punk design on purpose. For every CM Punk shirt they would ship to the arena, they would triple John Cena shirts and they would do 3 John Cena designs. Punk is going to sell out right away because they didn’t send enough and at the end of the night they’re going ‘Oh John Cena quadrupled Punk’s merchandise.’ Of course he did! Because you’ve purposely created a situation where it would be impossible for CM Punk to outsell John Cena.”
Why would WWE do that? Well, pretty much the exact reason you’d think.
“Vince […] would rather have a half full arena cheering for the guy that he says to cheer for than a full arena cheering for whoever they want.”
Really, it’s hardly shocking, and lines up pretty closely with my experience. I never, ever saw a CM Punk shirt for sale in the wild during his 2011-12 hot streak, and even though it was iconic, they did stick with that one Money in the Bank design for way too long. That said, I’m not sure I believe this was a malicious thing. The machine was built around Cena, and continuing to push Cena was easier than switching to somebody new. When in doubt, laziness is usually the answer.
What do you folks think? Believe the allegations, or were Cena’s Hubba Bubba wrapper shirts just too much for CM Punk to surmount?
Via SB Nation