World Wrestling Entertainment announced a bold new “brand control” strategy today, declaring that all ticket-holders to WWE live events will be denied entry unless they are wearing a t-shirt supporting top contender Roman Reigns.
Company chairman Vince McMahon announced the strategy at a press conference this morning, insisting it is a “robust strategy to synergize WWE’s marketing values with the collective fashion sense of the WWE Universe.”
The policy has sparked an immediate backlash from fans, however, who feel the company is once again attempting to stifle their individuality and freedom of expression.
Critics allege WWE has steadily been trying to exert control over what fans wear and say, such as a recent case of “cosplayers” who were allegedly told to remove their elaborate WWE costumes or else be removed from their ringside seats at a recent broadcast of Monday Night Raw.
WWE is also accused of censoring crowd chants that are not in line with the company’s promotional goals, confiscating signs that do not convey on-brand messaging, and publicly executing dimwitted fans who still chant for CM Punk.
McMahon, however, insists there is flexibility in the company’s new policy: “If members of the WWE Universe are determined to express themselves, it’s totally OK if they wear a John Cena shirt or boo Seth Rollins,” he said.
“Cheering for Reigns, however, is mandatory. ”