WWE’s list of top-selling talent merchandise compared to Wrestlenomics estimates

WWE Shop posted a list of “Top Selling Superstars of 2023”. The list isn’t numbered but is a list of ten, which seems to be in order. The title suggests the listing refers to sales year-to-date. Assuming the list (pictured above) is in top-down, left-to-right order, it goes:

  • 1. Cody Rhodes
  • 2. Roman Reigns
  • 3. LA Knight
  • 4. John Cena
  • 5. Rhea Ripley
  • 6. Seth Rollins
  • 7. The Bloodline
  • 8. The Judgement Day
  • 9. Rey Mysterio
  • 10. Kevin Owens

We’ve been reporting estimates of eCommerce sales for WWE, based on daily data collection and analysis of WWE Shop’s top-sellers pages under the “Apparel” section. In the interest of self-accountability, these are my estimated top WWE categories based on our data year-to-date (Jan. 1 to Nov. 14, 2023) for comparison:

  • 1. Cody Rhodes
  • 2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
  • 3. Roman Reigns
  • 4. LA Knight
  • 5. John Cena
  • 6. nWo
  • 7. Eddie Guerrero
  • 8. Rhea Ripley
  • 9. WWE
  • 10. The Usos
  • 11. Seth Rollins
  • 12. Kevin Owens
  • 13. Sami Zayn
  • 14. Bray Wyatt
  • 15. Jey Uso
  • 16. LWO
  • 17. D-Generation X
  • 18. Bad Bunny
  • 19. Scott Hall
  • 20. WCW

I list our top 20 here because there are items in the upper ranks here that aren’t in WWE’s self-published list. It seems possible WWE chose to include only active WWE talent, which might explain why Steve Austin, the nWo, Eddie Guerrero, and the WWE brand itself, aren’t included in their top 10. It could also be the case that WWE is including sales from venues in its calculation, and doing so might genuinely cause active talent to outrank inactive talent. It’s not clear to me whether the top-selling items listing we’re analyzing are determined by venue sales as well as eCommerce sales. I would guess those listings are driven only by eCommerce sales, but that’s just a guess.

Rey Mysterio stands out as someone in WWE’s top 10 that didn’t even make our top 20 (we have him as #31). I’d speculate Mysterio not making our estimated list might be due to mask sales, and our analysis, which is of apparel items only, is missing out on considering mask items. Excluding inactive talent and inactive brands, though, the top 5 for WWE’s order and ours are exactly the same, which is encouraging, if WWE’s top 10 list is more honest than not.

There may be differences in item categorization because of ambiguities when it comes to categories like “The Bloodline” and “The Judgment Day” in terms of assigning which talent or groups a given item is attributed to, which could account for why our estimate doesn’t have either of those stables in our top 20 but they are in the top 10 for WWE’s list.

Brandon Thurston

Brandon Thurston has written about wrestling business since 2015. He’s also worked as an independent wrestler and trainer.

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