NFTs are all the rage at the moment as everyone from famous actors right through to pro wrestlers are getting in the habit of minting their very own ranges of NFTs, so that fans can invest in specially branded digital merchandise.
While the jury is still out as to whether NFTs will be worth anything in the future, or if the millions of dollars spent on them so far is money that has just gone down the pan, we give a broad overview of wrestling NFTs, to see which wrestlers and which wrestling franchises are cashing in on the craze.
NFTs have come hot on the heels of cryptocurrencies, using the same blockchain technology and promising to revolutionize the art industry
What Exactly Are NFTs
Before we launch into the vagaries of wrestling NFTs, it is important for readers to have a firm grasp upon what exactly an NFT is. Many supporters of these digital assets view them as the future of art, whereas detractors see them as a bubble that is likely to pop and leave millions of investors out of pocket.
NFT stands for non-fungible token, which basically means an NFT is a digital asset whose existence is logged on a blockchain, so that there can be no disputing who owns a particular NFT. The blockchain network exclusively used in the case of NFTs is Ethereum. This is essentially a new kind of copyright system, but one that functions completely apart from the conventional ways that arts rights and permissions are traded and enforced.
NFTs are also designed to make it easier for digital artists to sell their works, with many of them having been frozen out of more mainstream auction houses, which are quite elitist in their outlook and how they operate.
There are questions as to how people will truly be able to enforce and prove that they are the true holders of a properly minted NFT. There is, however, no doubt that NFTs and the marketplaces that allow them to be traded are truly disrupting the art world on a major scale.
WWE Already Minting Its Own NFTs
A franchise always looking to maximize value from its brands and athletes, the WWE was one of the early adopters of NFTs in the entertainment and sports industries. This was evidenced in 2021 when the franchise, controlled by Vince McMahon, released its very own John Cena NFTs in the lead up to SummerSlam.
As well as a one-of-a-kind NFT, bidders at the WWE NFT auction were also in the running to receive VIP packages for WrestleMania, showing the versatility of NFTs for brands that wish to harness their full capabilities.
Unfortunately for Cena and the WWE, the auction for these NFTs did not go as planned, with less than half of them being sold. This was in stark contrast to a similar NFT campaign led by the Undertaker, in which every NFT sold out in a matter of seconds. We’re not sure what this says about the popularity of Cena!
It is still unclear as to whether NFTs will make for shrewd investments in the future, but they are certainly trading for eyewatering amounts on online auction sites
AEW Stars Also Getting in on the Act
WWE wrestlers are not the only ones dabbling in NFTs. AEW’s Paul Wight recently signed up to be part of an NFT drop, but not one that will be exclusively targeted at fans of wrestling. Instead, Wight’s NFT will be part of a science fiction NFT drama series called GenZeroes.
The difference with this NFT series is that it will be a dramatic production, set over the course of 10 episodes. People who purchase a GenZeroes NFT will be able to tune in and watch the series. It will include other well-known entertainers such as Richard Harmon from The 100, Kandsye McClure of BattleStar Galactica fame, and Aleks Paunovic from Marvel’s Hawkeye.