Considering he’s the most famous and well-known wrestler they have on their roster, the WWE don’t really have to try that hard to sell John Cena merchandise. That said, the WWE has been known to utilise an obscure marketing technique called “lying” to sell Cena related items in the past.
In the oldest of Greek tales there’s a story about a King called Midas who wished for the ability to turn anything he touched into gold. After many hours of research, we’ve discovered that this legend wasn’t a cautionary tale or a simple fable, but a prophetic vision of the future about the WWE. The only thing the Greeks got wrong is that the WWE doesn’t touch things to turn them to gold, they just stick John Cena’s name and face on them.
The WWE sells a shit ton of stuff with bearing Cena’s likeness and the t-shirts, hats and other accessories he wears whenever he appears in a show are consistently the WWE store’s best selling items. And to be honest, it’s not hard to see why because kids love John Cena to the point he’s the single most requested celebrity children being represented by the Make-A-Wish Foundation want to meet and those guys could get fucking Batman if they really wanted to.
In other words, the WWE really doesn’t need to try to shift this guys t-shirts because they pretty much sell them-fucking-selves. Which makes it all the more bizarre that in 2005 the WWE felt the need to ask Cena to wear the stupidest looking t-shirt in the entire world.
Just look at that image and let it soak in that at one point in time, one of the most powerful commercial entities in the States thought it’d be a good idea to let their most child-friendly superstar wear that shirt. Unsurprisingly, in every show Cena appeared in wearing the shirt, it was clumsily censored so you couldn’t see what it said, though not for the reason you think.
You see, while it’s immediately obvious what the t-shirt is supposed to say, TV networks didn’t actually have a problem with it because they’re not rucking idiots and it didn’t technically break any fules. Not that they ever got a chance to actually see the shirt mind you, because the WWE censored it themselves before any TV networks ever got a chance to see it.
As it turns out, the WWE were censoring the image themselves as a marketing ploy so that they could sell the shirts as being “too hot for TV”, using that exact phrase on all of the advertising related to merchandise the slogan appeared on.
Apparently the WWE heard that controversy sells, but decided against actually doing anything controversial because who honestly needs that kind of hassle?
For more wrestling hilarity, why not read about how the CEO of the WWE challenged God to a wrestling match.