WWE over the Limit 2012: Cena Returns to the Ranks of the Consensus Babyface

Alfred KonuwaFeatured ColumnistMay 17, 2012

John Cena's show-ending faceoff with John Laurinaitis saw Cena embody everything that makes him such a turnoff to older audiences.  This time with the volume turned up.

Foregoing his usual fifth-grade humor comedic arsenal, Cena opted for something a bit more potent as he relied heavily upon his third-grade playbook to cut down the unipolar General Manager. 

Nine times out of ten, this type of behavior would elicit as many boos as cheers, if not more, judging by the median age of the live audience. 

But all the stars have forcibly aligned to make John Cena a non-polarizing babyface for a change. 

John Laurinaitis has officially made the complete evolution from awkward, unlikeable television character to full-on heel. 

Judging how much a heel is booed when he goes against the oft-controversial John Cena is quickly becoming the benchmark for potency among bad guys. 

A commonly flawed belief among the wrestling community is that once a heel becomes cheered for his actions, he has done such a good job in his role that he has no choice but to turn into a babyface. 

I beg to differ.

Being cheered for heel actions is an indication that one is failing to execute the heel mission statement of being disliked; fans are no longer buying into their otherwise heinous motivations and antics the way that they're supposed to.

Suffice to say, it will be a long time before John Laurinaitis is ever cheered for anything.  That's what makes him such a strong heel. 

RAW peaked with a brilliant segment designed to make the already despicable GM come off like a detestable rat, and the Big Show was Oscar-worthy (by WWE standards) as the 500-pound block of cheese. 

After reducing the suddenly sympathetic and tearful giant to his knees in an effort to keep his job, only to fire him anyway, Laurinaitis had ascended (or descended) into such a high-ranking villain, that longtime Steeler enemy Ray Lewis could have been embraced by the Pittsburgh crowd if positioned as Big Johnny's opposition. 

Instead, this advantageous task was bestowed upon John Cena, a currently embattled WWE superstar who had been preceded by a week of dirty laundry analysis in the form of a pending divorce from his high-school sweetheart. 

A hot crowd like Pittsburgh usually cannot wait to eat Cena's "cookie cutter" act alive.  But given the circumstances and Cena's current opponent, the Pennsylvania faithful took it easy on the boos.  

It's certainly refreshing to see a program where fans cheer and boo according to the script.  This makes it easier, and much less uncomfortable, for the WWE to book their storylines fluidly without outsmarting themselves a la the Daniel Bryan incident at WrestleMania XXVIII.  

Adding a stipulation of firing John Laurinaitis should he lose will be added motivation for fans to get behind John Cena come Sunday at WWE Over the Limit.  

As crazy as it sounds, this could be the groundwork of the most stable babyface run for John Cena in years.  

Big Nasty and Justin LaBar are back debating who Brock Lesnar should face next!  Check it out, and follow Big Nasty on Twitter @ThisIsNasty.