Hustle. Loyalty. Respect.
It’s been a very long time since the original “face that runs the place” took on a bad guy gimmick. Remember the early days with the thick chain and padlock around his neck? The “Dr of Thuganomics” gimmick that created John Cena was the last time we ever saw him raise a hand towards a baby face with malice in his heart.
He’s Mr. Make a Wish having granted more wishes with the foundation than anyone else on the planet.
So how in the world could you turn a guy like that heel?
Well, recently on his podcast, The Ross Report, Jim Ross (or “Good ‘ol JR” to us wrastlin fans) thinks turning Cena heel would be best for business. But how could it work? How could it go over not only with the fans but with Cena, himself? JR says it should happen against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando on April 2nd. While no match between the two icons has been confirmed – it still could happen and there’s no one in the WWE Universe that would object to a match of that caliber on that stage.
The phrase “every great hero needs a great villain” comes to mind. How about flipping the script a bit to “every great hero must become a great villain?” No? Maybe you prefer “you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.” Yeah – let’s go with that one. That one would absolutely define a John Cena heel turn and it would only make sense at WrestleMania against “the Phenom” himself.
The stipulation, according to an article on sportskeeda.com, could be putting The Undertaker’s career on the line. How much does Taker have left in the tank? How much longer can he really go? He’ll be 52 years old in March and aside from a surprise appearance on Smackdown Live right before Survivor Series, he hasn’t been seen since ‘Mania 32 v Shane McMahon. This could be the best way to send Taker out. Losing…yes losing…to a heel Cena to end his career with just two loses on the grandest stage of ’em all. To turn Cena heel and have him lose to Taker wouldn’t make sense and would absolutely ruin the angle altogether. Especially since there isn’t a whole lot of time to build this up if, in fact, it’s the route the company decides to take. It would need to happen before the Rumble and with Cena expected to return to TV on next week’s Smackdown Live – the writers have a chance to tease at a program with the two future Hall of Famers.
It’s been said that the WWE needs to do something drastic to win back the fans and help tip the scales back in a positive direction in the ratings. They’re in decline right now that hasn’t been seen in 20 years. What more drastic angle could there be than to drop the bombshell that would be turning the ultimate good guy into the most dastardly villain in the company? If you can think of one better – by all means let me know.
Some of the best angles in the company’s history happened when they turned a white hat black. Look back at Ric Flair turning on Sting back in 1995. Chris Jericho turning heel on HBK in 2008. Maybe one of the greatest turns of all time – HBK turning on his Rockers brother Marty Jannetty in 1992. Who can forget Hulk Hogan, arguably the greatest wrestling icon of all-time, turning heel in 1996 and teaming up with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash at “Bash at the Beach.” If done right – it works and can change a career forever.
John Cena is a 15-time WWE World Champion. His career is already cemented as one of the greatest ever. It wasn’t that long ago this year that Cena was promoting himself as the man who was gonna catch Flair’s long standing championship record of 16 World Titles. That didn’t happen nor would fans have welcomed that feat. However, an angle that I believe fans would absolutely be okay with and that could stand as one of Cena’s greatest moments would be retiring “the Phenom” at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando – as a heel.
Funny enough – the same place where HBK retired Ric Flair back in 2008.
WWE needs this. John Cena needs this. But more importantly in my eyes – the fans deserve this. It’s been way too long since the WWE did something so crazy and jaw-dropping that it rocked the foundation of the company for the better. This could absolutely do just that.
Get it done, Vince. It’s time you listened to the fans, again.