Possible reason why CM Punk merchandise never outsold John Cena's
Konnan, Court Bauer and MSL recently discussed some of WWE's merchandise practices on MLW Radio. MSL noted that WWE would manipulate merchandise so that CM Punk never outsold John Cena. You can listen to the full episode here, below is what he said (transcribed by Reddit user kingbigguy).
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 undershipping the CM Punk design on purpose. 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 because 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 purposely created a situation where it would be impossible for CM Punk to outsell John Cena.
We've told the story on the show before, years ago at Wrestlemania when WWE was struggling. It's Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in the main event going 60 minutes, people are leaving during the main event, you can check the video tape. People are leaving during the main event of Wrestlemania, and Hall and Nash have both told me that Vince said that night that he would rather have a half full arena cheering for the guy that he says to cheer for than a full arena cheering for whoever they want.