John Cena is set to return to WWE action on this Monday’s Raw in Green Bay and he was going to do so with some new merchandise. That’s no surprise because every WWE viewer knows that Cena likes to change up his merchandise every few months. However, this time he won’t get the new shirt that he wanted.
It’s all because of a tweet sent out by the Pabst Blue Ribbon beer company. They were made aware of Cena’s new shirt, saw the similarity to their design and tweeted out this.
— Pabst Blue Ribbon (@PabstBlueRibbon) May 27, 2016
The tweet got a lot of attention yesterday, but mostly from people in a joking manner. Apparently it’s not that funny to the PBR people because they think it’s too similar. Here’s a PBR logo by itself.
As you can see, the Cena shirt is a similar design although it’s not like it is an exact copy either.
According to a report from Pro Wrestling Sheet, WWE is aware of PBR’s thoughts and are no longer selling the new Cena shirt.
Here’s a statement from WWE: “As a content creator, WWE respects trademarks and intellectual property, and therefore will not proceed selling the merchandise, despite it being an original design clearly within fair use.”
After a quick search on Cena’s WWEShop page, the shirt is gone, so the story is true.
Don’t feel too bad for Cena. He’s made so much money off t-shirt sales in the last 14 years that he can probably buy an island and name it after himself if he wanted to. I just hope WWE doesn’t call him “controversial” because of this.
In an update to this story, there is new Cena merchandise on WWEShop that went up on Saturday afternoon. Here’s the link to the page as well as a screencap of what they have there.
It’s not that much different, but it’s probably enough to get PBR to back off with their “cease and desist” comments whether they were joking or not.