So John Cena has won the Royal Rumble and now has the opportunity to face either The Rock or CM Punk at Wrestlemania 29, but let’s face it, he’s going to face Rocky. Things can always change and there’s always the chance that the internet wrestling community has got things totally wrong, but odds are Cena will battle The Great One for the WWE title a year on from their ‘once in a life time’ collision. I’m not here to complain about the outcome of the matches from Sunday’s Royal Rumble PPV. Much as I disagree with the idea of Rock/Cena II I was fully prepared to see it fall into place, watching it fall into place with one single elbow drop to the champion of 434 days was a little hard to take though.
This match has been on the cards for months and looks to be all but official now, but rather than complain about it let’s consider how this might actually be a good thing. This idea was brought to me by my friend Dave, but on hearing it I am really sold on the idea of John Cena finally turning heel in the not too distant future.
I could waste thousands of words explaining the positives of a John Cena heel turn, but I think most wrestling fans over the age of 10 are sold on the prospect of Cena as a bad guy so there’s no need to dwell on this point. It’s equally not worth going into the detail of why he hasn’t turned heel yet, it’s as simple as merchandise sales. Instead let’s look at how this could work.
Firstly there was a moment in this year’s Rumble match that reminded me of the Hogan/Warrior face-off from the 1990 match. When Cena went toe-to-toe with Ryback I got the impression that WWE were testing the waters for the proverbial torch being passed, much like with Hogan and Warrior. It is clear that Ryback is being groomed to join Cena as an untouchable babyface, but instead of a partner are WWE grooming a replacement?
A Cena heel turn would mean no more cash cow for WWE, in the direct sense of the word that is. His merch sales could take a hit, but think about what a heel Cena could do for a babyface Ryback? Fans of all ages would hate Cena, meaning any opponent of his would benefit from huge positive reactions. 2013 could be the year that an already well liked Ryback could chase a despised Cena to win his first WWE Championship. WWE clearly doesn’t care how much Ryback resembles Goldberg so why not follow the blueprint to the letter and replicate Goldberg’s first WCW Title victory over mega babyface turned despised heel Hollywood Hogan? This turned Goldberg from a hot prospect into a mega star; John Cena could do the same for Ryback. Obviously WWE would need to show more sense than WCW and book the match on PPV, and also not have Ryback’s title reign end courtesy of an alcoholic brandishing a Taser.
The internet wrestling community often fantasises about a Cena heel turn but I believe it is now or never. WWE needs new stars and John Cena is literally standing in the way. Instead of standing in the way, Cena could stand opposite them. Instead of John Cena brining in all the cash Ryback and other wrestlers would have the chance to grow and generate revenue, aided by the superstar rub that John Cena would provide.
Not only is it imperative that WWE creates new stars but the time is right to do it; Ryback has emerged now, not two years in the future. Also, Brock Lesnar has signed a new two year deal, The Rock is no longer a stranger to the WWE, more frequent Undertaker appearances are being predicted and Triple H can always step in. There are plenty superstar names to cover the loss of John Cena from the babyface team in the short term. Long term Cena would put rising babyfaces like Ryback over, increasing their star power and credibility, which would in turn reduce the reliance on the Attitude Era old guard.
Coming back to those precious merchandise sales, WWE has a couple of in built insurance policies. Firstly The Rock must sell a ton of merch so there’s always that option whenever he shows up. Also, if John Cena were the top bad guy that would eventually lead to CM Punk becoming a good guy, being that he is as close to a nemesis as John Cena has. I’m mentioning this because for a period towards the end of 2011 CM Punk actually out sold John Cena at the merchandise stands. With that said, when Hulk Hogan turned heel his merchandise sales didn’t exactly suffer did they?!
One final reason that I think a Cena heel turn is immanent is the prospect of another match with The Rock. If you take Rock/Cena II at face value it is just too predictable, even for WWE. How can they hope to get away with presenting the same match twice? Fair enough the outcome will be different, but if both men finish as babyfaces then it will leave zero interest in a potential third meeting, which I’m sure WWE are dying to promote already. Cena will obviously win at Wrestlemania because Rocky has movies to make and owes SuperCena a win. This is even more predictable than The Rumble, so surely there must be a twist somewhere? Cena will beat Rock, that’s for sure, but who says he will win clean? If Cena were to ever turn heel then it has to happen on the biggest stage possible. Look at how Steve Austin turned heel; in his second Wrestlemania main event with The Rock. The screwy finish ensured a motivation to book this match a third time at Wrestlemania.
Oh, and as an added bonus reason for a Cena heel turn, can you imagine the interest in Raw if Cena were to cheat in order to beat The Rock? Moreover, can you imagine how hysterical Michael Cole would get when looking at the Twitter stats for such a scenario?!
So there you go, my theory for a John Cena heel turn. I do have a plan B though. If John Cena hasn’t turned heel by April 8th 2013 we should all just ignore the tit! No more “Cena sucks” chants, just ignore him. In wrestling any reaction is a good reaction, so don’t give him a reaction. That’s my call to arms to all Cena haters; if he doesn’t turn heel we should just ignore him until he goes away!