The WWE's complex relationship with now-former wrestler CM Punk is well documented but today brought more accusations which, if correct, prove just how uneasy the organization felt with the Chicago native's success.
Speaking on his regular MLW Radio podcast, former wrestler Mister Saint Laurent appeared to expose an example of the WWE's manipulative ways regarding Punk.
Keeping a good man down
With CM Punk recently claimed to have, in his prime, been more popular in merchandising terms than Vince McMahon favorite John Cena. With Cena the face of the company, MSL's story below appears to show the quite frankly staggering lengths McMahon and co were willing to go to ensure Cena wasn't usurped by Punk in the official count.
Per the transcription first brought to the WWE Universe's attention via Reddit:
"When CM Punk was red hot and started to outsell the John Cena merchandise, I know people that work in the company in the merchandise department, I know people that work the arenas and sell the merchandise, and 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 under-shipping the CM Punk design on purpose."
Article continues below
MSL continued his exposé which goes to show that, no matter how successful and popular CM Punk was a couple of years back there was absolutely no way he was going to be able to outsell John Cena due to circumstances out of his, and WWE fan's, control.
"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. So every 10 shirts in the arena, if 9 are Cena, only one is Punk.
"Punk is going to sell out right away 'cause 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 puprosely created a situation where it would be impossible for CM Punk to outsell John Cena.
Manipulating the figures
With Vince McMahon known to be very particular on the brand he wants to create this certainly isn't the first time, and it won't be the last, where we see the WWE CEO effectively refusing to accept the fan base's opinion (that CM Punk was the most popular wrestler) in favor of ramming hope his own preferred outcome to the masses.
It is unclear if CM Punk ever knew this was going on as all we have to go on is MSL's story. If he did though, it would only have added to his discontent at the organization.
Many WWE Superstars rely heavily on merchandise sales to boost their income and so, for the WWE to purposefully manipulate and limit Punk's sales, it would have seriously restricted just how much he could make on a weekly basis.
What do you think WWE fans? Does Vince McMahon have right to control everything in the WWE, or is this another example of him telling the WWE Universe how to act? Let us know in the comments section below...