The WWE is a merchandising machine, and it doesn’t take long for a new shirt to be printed if one of its superstars says something the brand thinks will catch on. Folks might remember the iconic “Austin 3:16,” Hulkamania, and nWo shirts, and it seems like the WWE is trying to capitalize on something new with its Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. Unfortunately, they might’ve missed the mark on iconic, and churned out a product that is far more “wtf” than anything else.
A couple of new shirts for Roman Reigns recently popped up in the WWE Shop, and they seemingly reference Reigns’ recent segment with Theory on Monday Night Raw. Reigns informed Theory that “daddy” wasn’t around to protect him anymore, which was a jab at Theory’s storyline in which the now-retired Vince McMahon was his mentor. The crowd reacted to it with “Who’s your daddy chants,” which is the only reason I can think that the WWE merchandise team came up with the following shirt for $27.99 available in men’s sizes:
Roman Reigns’ “Acknowledge Me,” catchphrase was a hit for sure, but I’m not too sure “Acknowledge Your Daddy” is going to be quite as big for him long term. There’s also another shirt similar to that which also went up as well, which is available in women’s sizes for the same price as the men's shirt:
You could put a thousand things on a WWE t-shirt that wouldn’t surprise me but “Tribal Chief Is My Daddy” caught me completely off guard. Thankfully, there aren’t any children’s sizes available at this time that have a third phrase, but who knows if that will change if these sell like hotcakes.
These new Roman Reigns shirts are a more than a bit weird, and perhaps a misguided attempt to jump on a popular recent moment without stopping to let the idea marinate for just a bit. This is a shirt that might’ve worked for iconic Attitude Era superstar Val Venis, but maybe not something that’s suitable for the WWE’s “Head of the Table.”
Wrestling fans are busy praising the new head of creative Triple H for his reported decision to turn Becky Lynch into a babyface again, but I'd say that he should also take some lumps for this one regardless of whether or not he had anything to do with its creation. This is a truly weird shirt, and I’m just curious to see how well it’ll sell.
I might be surprised, as the WWE has had success selling odd things. Alexa Bliss revealed some time ago that replicas of her creepy doll Lilly often sold out. It’s also been said that former superstar Bray Wyatt was reportedly a top-seller for merchandise during his tenure, and pretty much all of his characters were frightening and weird. Roman Reigns’ “daddy” shirts aren’t quite as bizarre in the same way as those things, but there is a chance it finds a market. I guess we’ll know if Reigns continues to work the word “daddy’ into his promos, or if viewers start seeing shirts in the crowd on Monday Night Raw and SmackDown.
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Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.