The star power of Stone Cold Steve Austin is alive and well according to recent WWE merchandise sales.
The Texas Rattlesnake, 57, retired from professional wrestling 19 years ago but he is still WWE’s top merchandise seller – and by some distance too.
According to US Bookies, Austin raked in $3.6 million in merchandise sales for WWE in 2021.
A whopping $1.35 million of that money came from the sale of a special edition Stone Cold Steve Austin replica belt that retailed at $850.
John Cena is next on the list with earnings of $2.65 million. The highest full-time star on the list weighs in third and that honour goes to Alexa Bliss.
Bliss earned $1.6 million overall and over half of that came from sales of her ‘Lily’ plush doll. If any of you WWE fans thought that angle wasn’t great, there’s the reason it has hung around! Still, it’s less than half of Austin’s haul.
Some very interesting information regarding WWE merchandise sales for 2021 from US Bookies.
Stone Cold tops the list, bringing in over $3.6million in merch sales. Alexa Bliss is the highest active Superstar on the list, bringing in over $1.6million in merch sales last year.
— Louis Dangoor (@TheLouisDangoor) January 13, 2022
A host of legends like NWO, Eddie Guerrero and The Rock comprise the top 10.
The next full time star is Roman Reigns, who earned $1.164 million, $406,000 of which came from The Bloodline shirt that also sees Jey and Jimmy Uso ranked highly on the list.
Reigns is fifth overall and after him the next full-timer is Drew McIntyre down in 16th with just shy of $308,000 earned in merchandise sales.
Austin’s incredible star power will likely never be replicated in professional wrestling. When he was on top of the business from around 1998 to 2001, pro wrestling has never been hotter.
Arenas were sold out, TV ratings were sky high and pay-per-views were bought in record numbers. It’s a different climate today, but the fact remains nobody grossed more money in the history of wrestling than Steve Austin.
The adulation for the Bionic Redneck remains, but that’s become part of WWE’s problem in recent years as they rely on nostalgia as opposed to building new stars of the same calibre.
That’s easier said than done, of course, but with Reigns and Bliss thriving at the top end, they at least have promising signs.