Oh, how times have changed!
Just months ago, John Cena's character was stale, and it had absolutely no direction in place to evolve. He had been the same character with no dynamic outlook.
Cena would act the superhero role. He took beatings, acted the weaker role to heels throughout build ups, but he always ended up winning. When he did actually lose, due to seriously clouded circumstances, Cena always came out the next time smiling and brushing it off.
And why wouldn't he brush it off? He knew he was going to come out on top in the end. He lost his singles match at WrestleMania to the Miz because the Rock came in and caused him to lose, yet he came out the following night basically saying "I'll get him next time" (which he did).
However, that all has changed. Cena is no longer the unaffected hero but rather the emotionally wounded veteran. Cena has been hurt, but it wasn't by what Kane did to him, but rather through what Kane did to Zack Ryder.
The development has been perfect and made amazing sense within the canon of Cena's character. Just like Superman or any other immortal superhero, you can't hurt a superhero directly, but you can affect those he cares about.
In the classic villain role, Kane has come in to attack the big powerful Cena. His own motives are clouded. Kane says many things about it, but the words don't add up. He almost seems to be speaking in riddles.
It helps Kane that he can stand toe to toe with Cena physically. In fact, Kane usually seems to overpower Cena, but, as we all know, Cena never is beaten physically. He has defeated bigger, stronger and more clever wrestlers.
Rarely, though, have they taken to attacking someone else to get to Cena. Randy Orton did it when he assaulted Cena's father. This caused Cena to turn to a more aggressive persona, though, that hardly helped Orton.
Kane has attacked Ryder in order to find that aggressive persona. Why? No one really knows. It is almost as though Kane wants to be attacked, to lose. It's demented, crazy, and I don't where it leads.
However, it doesn't matter in the long term for Cena. What does matter is that Cena's character has shown that it can evolve.
He has assaulted two men now with unending ferocity and even laughed about it. This is not the old Cena we are seeing.
Many people have complained as I know I have that Cena needed a change that only a heel turn could save his character. WWE has different plans. They have given the universe a Cena who is able to evolve, one with more aggression and personality beyond corniness.
Sure, it is possible he morphs back after all this by "rising above the hate," but I still can't see that happening. Kane created a change in Cena that feels permanent at least until new changes influence him.
If that's so, Cena doesn't need to become a bad guy. He doesn't need to turn heel. He just needs to keep these developing traits that should make him gain back some fans after his time against the Rock.
This is the best possible solution for everyone present. A more dynamic face character that can still sell loads of merchandise but has flaws and attitude that accentuate his ability that made him a favorite earlier in his career.
Does Cena need to turn heel?
Of course, there is still more work to be done especially with inconsistent ring work, but Kane did bring out a good performance against Cena at Royal Rumble before the non-finish, which might even mean that it's already changing.
Does Cena need to turn heel? The indicates perhaps not. I would love to see Cena turn heel someday again, but at least we are seeing the development of a more dynamic character in Cena. Let's hope it stays that way.
Thanks for reading!
Leave your own thoughts on Cena, Kane and the angle in general.