When John Cena arrived at SummerSlam for his WWE Universal Championship match with Roman Reigns last month, The Suicide Squad was wearing a brand new set of merchandise themed around the iconic Super Mario Bros. 3 cover. The hat, shirt, wristbands and armbands were immediately put on sale as part of a special merchandising opportunity that also included a limited-edition NFT and a John Cena Signature Series WWE Championship spinner belt. The package was sold for a whopping $1000, and in a recent appearance at Florida Supercon in Miami Cena revealed that only 37 were sold. He explained how WWE came up with the price point and didn't hesitate in calling the idea a failure he intends to learn from.
"WWE wanted to put together a once-in-a-lifetime fan experience," Cena said (h/t Fightful). "This kit is not just this kit, it's the belt, the clothing, an autograph picture, an autographed canvas picture, and an NFT. When it came up with the face value for what it cost, it came up around $500-$600 retail value and then threw in the value of the NFT. I talk a lot about failure. This idea failed. Why is it $1000? Because myself and the folks at WWE thought $1000 was a fair price point. We were wrong. We were absolutely wrong. (This shirt) is number zero of 500. I thought, 'with a value like that, the 500 will be gone.' We sold 37 of them. It was a catastrophic failure. I design all my stuff. I was super proud of this. I love the design. It's one of those instances where I put my heart and soul and did the design and was really close with the work and pieces and market research. 'Yes, it seems fair, I think it will be good.' It sucked. It absolutely failed. I took a chance and missed. I'm sorry because it's obvious that people like the design, but it's way too much."
Cena was on the losing end of his match with Reigns, then got attacked by Brock Lesnar once the cameras stopped rolling. His return tour, dubbed the "Summer of Cena," officially ended this past week when he competed in a dark match after Friday Night SmackDown inside Madison Square Garden.
Do you think WWE should keep trying these merchandise deals tied to NFTs? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!