It’s not unheard of for wrestling bad guys to not have merchandise. Chris Jericho used to not want WWE to produce shirts while he was working heel. He wanted fans to hate him so much they wouldn’t wear anything with his name on it.
Daniel Bryan wasn’t able to get the company to not produce anything with his name on it when he was a villain who wanted to save the planet. But he didn’t have to promote the merch. This was a guy who feuded with last year’s Royal Rumble venue over a gluttonous sandwich, after all. He couldn’t be seen as advocating for conspicuous consumption.
Now that he’s a face, he’s still worried about our collective future. But he understands fans of all ages might want to rep their boy D-Bry again. He just recently told My San Antonio about the whole situation:
Turns out it’s four plastic bottles, not five. But it wasn’t just empty talk, or a pipe dream. The Planet’s Champion came through!“In that whole run, while they did make a Daniel Bryan ‘Planet’s Champion’ T-shirt, I never wore one to the ring. One of the things I’ve always felt very guilty about is the amount of stuff that I’ve specifically sold to people, and I’ve never done it with the intention of, ‘Oh, I want to sell all these things.’ It’s just part of what you do. It’s like, OK, you wear your shirt to the ring, so that people see your shirt and buy it. Well, this was a good opportunity for me to be like, ‘Oh, no, I shouldn’t wear a shirt to the ring, because I’m the planet’s champion.’ And that’s one of the things that I can criticize other people for — they’re just out there for other people’s money.
Now that I’m a good guy again, they’re like, ‘Well, we’d really like you to wear a shirt, and let’s get back to making T-shirts for you again.’ I was like, ‘Well, I don’t really want to do that.’ And so now I’m working with them about that, and the next Daniel Bryan shirts are going to be made out of recycled materials. And I think five plastic water bottles will be used for every shirt. So they’ll be made out of plastic water bottles and recycled materials and that, to me, is cool, and that’s something that’s a good-guy thing that’s also kind of environmentally friendly.”
“Show your support for Daniel Bryan & help the Earth with this Eco-Friendly T-Shirt! It may look like any regular tee, but it’s actually made from organic cotton and recycled poly rPET blend that makes the fabric more durable and heavyweight. Each shirt saves at least 4 plastic bottles from ending up in a landfill, or worse. Helping to clean our planet will make YOU The Planet’s Champion. Say YES to this Eco-Friendly T-Shirt!”
Pretty nifty. And if you’ve ever worn much WWE merch, you know the recycled plastic really can’t make their shirts any more stiff, scratchy, and generally uncomfortable than they already are.
Good looking out, Dan.
Get yours here.