The notion of turning John Cena from a babyface to a heel is one that frequently comes up. The weekly split reactions serve as a constant reminder. WWE teased that possibility a few times, most notably when John became a part of the Nexus. But it never came to be. I suspect this is more because of what Cena wants versus what WWE wants, though I admit that I have no inside knowledge either way.
As for why I’d suspect Cena is adamantly against a heel turn? This past RAW served as just another reminder-his passionate speech about the WWE wearing pink for breast cancer. If it’s not his work with Susan G. Komen, then you have his oft-mentioned Make A Wish efforts. It’s really hard to imagine him being the public face of WWE efforts for either of these charities if he becomes the company’s top heel. I commend him for his support, I do. But, perhaps he needs to take a step away from these. It’s not like we’ve never seen another superstar in a promotional bit for a charity or cause, even after he/she turned heel. Pretty sure that applies to Big Show, though when you’ve been flip-flopped as much as he has, it’s understandable.
In this case, I say make the clean break. Let a younger, newer face like Daniel Bryan, or Dolph, or Cody Rhodes-anyone, really-to step in, so you can take the turn so many feel you have to take.
The comparison I will make is the easy one. While I am not saying I see Cena at the same level as Hogan, he is this era’s closest to Hogan, in terms of how he’s put out there. From the titles to his endorsement deals, to being one of the top merchandise sellers and polarizing the fans, he is the WWE’s current Hogan-esque star. But, as we all know, even after a while, Hogan had to turn on all of his vitamin-eating, demandment-saying Hulkamaniacs because-stop me if this sounds familiar-it was good for business. Make no bones about it, the nWo angle was huge for WCW, and turning Hogan heel to push nWo into the stratosphere was a historic decision. He was someone who fans thought they’d never ever see turn. But, turn he did, and I doubt he lost many fans from that move. Besides, it’s not like he hasn’t put on the red and yellow tights since then and gotten huge pops….
So, why now? Why Cena? Ignoring the split crowd chants week in and week out, look at the WWE heel landscape. You have Orton, presumably the top wrestling heel, as champion, and he’s about as over as a dead fish. You have The Shield, and while they get heat and interest, they’ve been around a year now and I can’t see them rising to be the monster heels that will illicit the needed crowd response. Del Rio? There’s a reason why he’s not the title holder anymore. The Wyatts are legit heels, and they look to have a new program with Bryan and Punk, but until that progresses, there’s no way you’d call them the top WWE heels right now. Other than Orton? Your top heels are Triple H and Stephanie. And you really need a wrestler to be top heel, IMHO. Brock could be a monster heel, but he doesn’t want (or need) a full time schedule.
Turn Cena, and those split cheers will unify against him, he will have heat wherever he goes, and he will instantly become the number one heel in the company, without question. And, more importantly, it would give a fresh spin to so many angles and matches and just provide a breath of fresh air all around.
Will it happen? We keep hearing the rumors and the rumblings, but it hasn’t yet happened. I won’t ever say it’ll never happen, but I fear that it won’t. And for that, I blame John Cena being narrow-minded (with an honorable mention to Stephanie, Hunter and Vince, because surely their egos enjoy being the top heels without needing to wrestle). Someone in WWE creative just needs to get in Hunter’s ear and keep saying “its good for business“. Maybe, just maybe, it will sink in.