Friend of A1-Wrestling.com TH wrote a piece on his blog earlier today about why John Cena will never turn heel.
Rightly so, Tom talks about the incredible amount of fantastic charity work that Cena does, and points that out as why Cena wouldn’t turn heel.
I respectfully disagree.
This would be a valid reason “back in the day” when kayfabe actually mattered. During the “old school days”, faces and heels wouldn’t dare even ride the same bus together, or be caught dead having a beer in the same local establishment after a local show.
That was then. This is now.
These are the days of the interwebs. Everyone knows everything, and WWE (and pro wrestling in general) abandoned the idea of kayfabe 20 years ago when the industry admitted what they did wasn’t real combat, but more “athletic theater”.
These are the days of shows dedicated to supporting the troops. These are the days where heel Big Show makes hospital visits. Eve Torres, female heel, has done the same. So has every heel on the roster. A lot of them also do things for Make-A-Wish and other organziations. CM Punk is arguably the biggest heel on the WWE roster right now and I don’t think that he’s going to turn down a Make-A-Wish request because “he’s a villain”.
It’s not even a question of merchandise and money for WWE. John Cena moves a TON of merchandise. You can see it on hundreds of fans every night on TV, and there are those (even the panelists on our own A1 Podcast) that think it may be an issue of merchandise dollars being flushed down the toilet if Cena is suddenly a bad guy.
I’d like to remind everyone at this point that the biggest superstar in the history of wrestling – someone who everyone thought originally would be good guy for his entire career and couldn’t POSSIBLY become a villian, a little guy named Hulk Hogan – turned heel and helped form the wildly successful nWo. The nWo sold megatons of merchandise, and Hulk Hogan still made hospital visits, he still fulfilled Make-A-Wish requests, and continued to make hundreds of special appearances during his time as a villain.
Ever since Hollywood Hogan and the nWo, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and The Rock, it’s been cool to cheer the bad guy anyway. Once the death of kayfabe rolled around and the anti-authority figures became popular, all this talk should have been thrown out the window.
In this day and age, no one cares if you’re a good guy or a bad guy. If you’re still thinking that way, you’re stuck in the old days. Nowadays, it’s enough that someone is a giant celebrity to make these things happen and do the amazing work that they do.
He may have his five moves of doom (as Tom pointed out), he may be poorly booked, and he may be Superman at times, and the crowd is starting to turn against that. Because of some of these things, the crowd has slowly been starting to turn on Cena and you can hear the division in the crowd every night. Let’s face it – Cena’s character has not evolved in the last several years and that combined with the booking treatment he gets is making him a little stale.
But that’s a slight on John Cena the wrestling character who is a role on TV, not John Cena the person.
John Cena the person can continue to do all the amazing things he does out of the ring, while John Cena the wrestler can inject some much-needed new life into his on-screen character and give the wrestling world a shake up that it needs.