MR. TITO: What Recent WWE Merchandise Sales Should Tell You About Wrestlemania 40’s Match Line-Up

As a wrestling analyst, I’m always analyzing viewership, attendance, and merchandise numbers collectively to measure fan demand for wrestlers or angles. It’s funny, as the online mob of self-hating wrestling fans always focus on anytime I discuss viewership, but they always seem to ignore the other 2 metrics frequently discussed with attendance and merchandise.

From early 2015 through early 2020, I argued that RAW went from 4 million viewers to under 2 million and the online mob would argue fans are watching shows elsewhere other than Cable. Even though DVR replays, YouTube, and Hulu numbers NEVER justified that idea, I could simply reply “why is attendance down?” or “why is merchandise sales down?” and I’d hear crickets. Through 2019, WWE began reducing the number of houseshows…

Since 2021, however, merchandise sales and attendance have both significantly improved for WWE along with stable TV viewership number (but their YouTube and Social Media views of their content are going through the roof). Thus, WWE is drawing again and have been since 2021. See how that works? An experienced and heel Roman Reigns, along with better booking particularly since 2022 (credit Triple H) has the WWE hot again.

Through various sources, merchandise sales are posted and it’s quite interesting who makes the list. The Wrestle Features X/Twitter account posted a list recently, and it mostly matches what other sources have posted. Allow me to give full credit to Wrestle Features for the following list of t-shirt sales through February 17th:

1: Jey Uso (Yeet, Black)
2: CM Punk (BITW 2011)
3: Cody Rhodes (Claim Kingdom, Blue)
4: Seth Rollins (Visionary)
5: Cody Rhodes (Claim Kingdom, Black)
6: Drew McIntyre (Gravestone)
7: Rhea Ripley (Mami On Top)
8: LA Knight (Let Me Talk To Ya)
9: Bray Wyatt (Legacy)
10: The Rock (People’s Champ)

Just as a heads up, I’m seeing other lists where The Rock‘s merchandise numbers are flooding the top of the list now… But I wanted a list BEFORE that Rock “bump” happens to help explain who is REALLY over in the WWE right now and how that helps justify Wrestlemania 40 positioning.

I like Jey Uso and am proud of how he’s doing as a singles talent. The “Yeet” lawsuit controversy helped spark sales, THOUGH I think much of the sales are legitimate. He deserves a good spot on Wrestlemania.

Look at CM Punk… Anyone here in 2024 want to argue that he’s not over? Furthermore, does any AEW fan want to argue about how they messed up using him as a talent, as your AEW merchandise sales have tanked without him?

Fans are showing up STRONG for Cody Rhodes… Any haters calling Cody’s fans as “crybabies” and running with it need to put those sales numbers in your pipe and smoke it. Granted, I’ll agree that much of his momentum is being anti-AEW from ditching the EVP job to return to WWE along with riding Dusty Rhodes’s legacy to want to become WWE champion, but those are 2 very strong pillars that must be respected. Plus, I think many loyal WWE fans have enjoyed Cody’s long-term storytelling by Triple H and want to see it paid off properly. I respect it.

Look who is at #4… Seth Rollins. Why, he’s the current World Heavyweight Champion. He’s a world champ and selling merchandise strongly… Why, he should DEFINITELY earn the Main Event spot of Night #1 for Wrestlemania 40, right? Seems like it… Being #4 on the list is quite impressive.

And, as my recent column indicated about Drew McIntyre, at #6, we have Drew and his recent character change is drawing. Thus, I’d have him win the Elimination Chamber for sure to co-headline Night #1 with Seth Rollins. See how this works? Both Seth and Drew are DRAWING MONEY for the WWE, and thus reward them with a big opportunity on Wrestlemania 40. Simple as that.

At #7 is a FEMALE World Champion and it’s NOT and I repeat NOT Iyo Sky. What?!?!? As indicated by another recent column, there is a mad push by the online mob of self-hating wrestling fans to force WWE to make Iyo Sky vs. Bayley to headline Night #1. But I don’t see either lady on the top 10 drawing chart here for t-shirts. Huh… But I see Rhea Ripley’s name. I think it would be a BETTER ARGUMENT to desire Rhea to headline Night #1 against whomever (Becky, Bianca, maybe both?) rather than Iyo Sky vs. Bayley.

“But but but but but but but Bayley won the Rumble Match and that’s advertised to main event Wrestlemania”… Oops, technicality and we’ll remove that from future shows.

Again, as I stated in my recent column, Bayley and Iyo not drawing like the other WWE superstars to earn that Night #1 Main Event spot. WWE has a serious risk of videos being posted with fans leaving EARLY to beat traffic because a weaker drawing female match is headlining a big show. However, if Night #1 is headlined with a match featuring 2 stronger draws, such as Seth vs. Drew or Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair and/or Becky Lynch, it will do well.

Sorry, online mob of self-hating wrestling fans, YOU’RE WRONG! The majority of wrestling fans do NOT want Iyo Sky vs. Bayley to headline Night #1 of Wrestlemania 40. If you get your way, enjoy seeing Philly fans leaving early because they know that traffic will be brutal getting out of that place.

Good for LA Knight making the list… Just keep giving him good opportunities and keep him handy, should the injury bug hit the guys above him on this list.

Happy to see the continual love for Bray Wyatt, especially as a portion of those sales go to his family. Keep buying them up, wrestling fans. Much respect to you for this.

Many of you might suggest “where’s Roman Reigns?” or “where is the Bloodline?”. Their shirts have dominated 2022 and 2023’s list and fans already have most of their popular t-shirts. Furthermore, this list is probably indicating recent t-shirt sales, probably for February or 2023 so far.

SEE HOW EASY THIS IS??? This t-shirt list literally just painted a picture of who should get high profile spots on Wrestlemania and who clearly should not.

(1) Cody is justified in co-headlining Wrestlemania 40.
(2) Seth Rollins is justified in also headlining Wrestlemania 40, likely Night #1
(3) Drew McIntyre found his character and fans are supporting him
(4) Rhea Ripley deserves much higher Wrestlemania 40 consideration than Iyo Sky or Bayley, and Becky Lynch’s past merchandise sales also justify that as well if she is Rhea’s opponent

Simple facts…

By the way, I’ve seen on other lists and on Amazon that Stone Cold Steve Austin stuff still sells really well… Think about that if you need some boost, WWE, to your current storylines and help us party like it’s 1999!

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