The descent into madness of Alexa Bliss (kayfabe) has resulted in strong merchandise sales, polarizing as they are.
In a recent report by American Bookmakers, Bliss’ Lilly Doll was listed behind Stone Cold Steve Austin as WWE’s top-selling merchandise. Austin’s Legacy Championship Collector’s title tops the list with estimated earnings of $1,359,984. Bliss’ Lilly Doll came second, with $863,712. In fact, total sales of Bliss merchandise came in at over $1.6 million, trailing Austin ($3.7 million) and John Cena ($2.6 million).
Bliss cryptically tweeted a GIF of her and the polarizing plush doll yesterday, possibly in reaction to the story.
Bliss has portrayed a darker, infantilized version of herself since aligning herself with Bray Wyatt in 2020. Shortly after, the character was slammed by fans and critics during a bizarre storyline alongside Wyatt and Randy Orton.
“If you enjoyed this ridiculous story more than I did, then you probably enjoyed it a lot more than I did,” said Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net following a supernatural match between Orton and Bliss.
Last year, WWE rolled out the Lilly dolls as merchandise during SummerSlam week. WWE officials reportedly kept a watchful eye on Lilly doll sales during SummerSlam week to determine if the character would be sustainable in the future. This was clearly the case as not only does the character persist to this day, but the plush dolls would have sell.
“Lilly is available on @WWEShop!! Well…when she’s back in stock. Keeps selling out…damn [winking emoji]“Bliss said in a Tweeter respond to criticism of his reservation.
WWE’s Best-Selling Superstars (According To US Bookmakers)
- Stone Cold Steve Austin | $3,657,224
- John Cena | $2,649,836
- Alexa Bliss | $1,645,945
- n Wo | $1,292,561
- roman reigns | $1,164,253
- The Rock | $992,114
- jimmy uso | $885,930
- jeyuso | $862,130
- Ultimate Warrior | $825,841
- Eddie Guerrero | $704,436
Bliss’ Merchandise Empire reveals multiple uncomfortable truths about the wrestling business for both WWE and die-hard fans who monolithically hate Evil Alexa. For WWE, Bliss is one of a very small handful of active stars capable of moving cargo. Of the top-selling WWE Superstars, only Bliss, Reigns and The Usos are full-time performers. Reigns and The Usos are currently WWE’s top stars on SmackDown as The Bloodline, so essentially only two entities make the WWE Top 10: Bliss and The Bloodline. The remaining 60% of the Top 10 is made up of stars from past eras such as The Rock, John Cena, Steve Austin and The New World Order.
For die-hard fans, Bliss’ success under a new persona is an indictment of their fondness for “professional wrestling,” which takes itself so seriously it alienates casual fans. Modern pro wrestling attracting a strictly hardcore audience is a harsh reality that both CM Punk and Tony Khan recently admitted.
Alexa Bliss’ chart-topping merchandise sales suggest the interests of hardcore fans don’t match those of WWE’s paying customers. Although WWE’s viewership has aged in recent years, the promotion’s TV-PG product intends to market itself to families. Attracting a younger audience is one of main goals of the Nick Khan administration.
Bliss’ last live appearance teased a possible transformation back to her original persona. After Charlotte Flair defeated Bliss to retain the Raw Women’s Championship at WWE Extreme Rules, Flair tore the Lilly Doll apart, causing Bliss to launch into a tirade.
Bliss returned to television in a pre-recorded therapy vignette. While the introduction of a therapist might point to an exorcism bringing Bliss back from darkness, sales of Bliss’ Lilly doll might suggest otherwise.