It is the age old question brought up by wrestling fans. I'm pretty sure it is brought up every month and about 30 times a year by wrestling fans. It is the one thing we would love to see in the WWE, but it never seems to happen. And of course, that question is: Will John Cena Turn Heel?
There are pros and cons to this argument. Lets look at the pros first. Obviously, it would bring a new dimension to John Cena's character. Cena has been stale for about the last five years. He hasn't changed anything with his character. He has the same offensive move set he's had. He's added the hurricarrana to his move set, but he can barely pull it off. I'm not saying he would all of the sudden become a better wrestler by turning heel. But heel's can work differently in the ring compared to faces.
A John Cena heel turn would also get a lot of people talking in the WWE Universe. There aren't a lot of big things that happen in the WWE nowadays. The Brock Lesnar return last year was the last real big surprise that got people talking again. Turning John Cena fully heel would get EVERYONE in the WWE talking. It's a move that some fans have been begging for the last few years. Look what happened when WCW turned Hulk Hogan heel. It got the entire wrestling world talking and jump started their product for the next few years. It changed the face of the wrestling business. I don't know if a John Cena heel turn would do that, but there is no doubt in my mind that a lot of people would be talking when it happens.
Obviously there are reasons the WWE hasn't done this yet. The main reason being that John Cena is THE face of the WWE. Despite the constant criticism thrown his way, he is the man in the WWE. He's the wrestler the kids love the most. He sells more merchandise than anyone in the WWE and he is their top draw. Cena does a lot of charity work for the WWE and it would be tough for him to do it while he is a heel. Obviously there are ways it can happen and still have the charity stuff work out, but it would kind of be a blow to the WWE's good charity work.
Another argument has been that there is no one to take John Cena's spot at the top of the card for the WWE. While I don't know if the WWE has someone that has the drawing power of John Cena, I think they have a good enough nucleus of faces that they could do fine on their own. Sheamus, Randy Orton and Ryback are over with the crowd. I think Alberto del Rio can get there. And if you ask me, Dolph Ziggler could get over as a face. Of course, the way he is being booked now doesn't lead me to believe it could happen. But he works well enough in the ring that a face turn isn't out of the realm of possibility. If there was going to be a Triple Threat Match at Mania, I would have proposed a double turn with Cena and C.M. Punk.
Reports started to come out this week that the WWE is trying to find ways to have John Cena win the WWE Title at Wrestlemania and have it go over well with the fans. They apparently already have come to the conclusion that John Cena is going to get booed out of the building. So my question to the WWE is this: Why try to find ways to work around your problem? Why don't you just embrace it? There comes a time when everyone has to change things up, and it may be time for the WWE to do that with John Cena.
John Cena is one of the most interesting characters in WWE history. Kids and women love him, men hate him. We've never heard a crowd as split as we have with John Cena. It is a sign of the changing culture we live in. I fully believe that if we were to switch John Cena and Hulk Hogan, Hogan would be getting just as many boos as Cena is right now. Today's culture doesn't like the clean cut, high school all star that John Cena is. They like the rebels, the guys that are different from the norm.
So how does the WWE go about a John Cena face turn? If you ask me, the story has a lot of similarities to the Rock/Austin story from Wrestlemania 17. Similar to Austin, Cena is a man who needs to win the WWE Title. He HAS to beat The Rock. He will do anything it takes to get the WWE Title again. He hasn't held the Title for He hasn't held the Title for almost 18 months. But who would be the heel Cena would align himself with? The closest thing you would have right now is Paul Heyman. If there was a Triple Threat Match, my suggestion would have been the following. With all three men down in the ring, Heyman grabs the WWE Title. Punk asks Heyman to give him the belt, but instead he slides the Title to Cena. Cena takes out both men and wins the WWE Title. That can still happen in this one-on-one match, but you would just have Heyman come to the ring during the match. Paul Heyman is established enough as a heel that I don't think the crowd would take the move as a Heyman face turn. Not one bit.
So where would that leave everything post Wrestlemania? There would be a lot more interesting opponents for Cena as a heel then there are as a face. He's already had numerous matches with the likes of C.M. Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Big Show. With John Cena as a heel, he could face the likes of Sheamus and Ryback. A heel turn would also make past feuds with the likes of Alberto del Rio and Randy Orton feel different and fresh. Essentially, it changes the landscape of the WWE. You could turn C.M. Punk back face and then lead to a big match down the line with the face C.M. Punk trying to get the WWE Title back.
Now, I hate to be a debbie downer at the end of the column. But if I were to put odds on this happening, I would say that it is about 10,000:1. The WWE doesn't like to take big risk like that, especially with their golden goose. Instead, we are more than likely to get good ole boy John Cena having a lengthy Title reign, and us on the Internet probably moaning and bitching about it by the end of April. There are no more good stories to be told with the good guy John Cena as WWE Champion. It is played out and nothing can be done to make it exciting.
Wrestlemania is already getting flack this year for having rematches as their top two spots on the show. Part of me hopes they realize they need to do something different to make this show seem memorable. What else could that be other than turning your top star, the most stale wrestler in wrestling, and making him your top heel. I can't think of anything else.
Until Next Time,
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