WWE Raw: Could John Cena Really Be an Effective Heel Now?

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJuly 19, 2012

Photo: WWE
Photo: WWE

For the last couple of years there have been a very vocal group of fans who ask only one thing from John Cena—to turn heel.

His long run as a baby face has seen Cena climb up the ranks of WWE to be the most popular wrestler of the day as well as seen him fall to where he cannot predict what kind of reaction he will get.

WWE has done a few things to try and reverse this trend, but there are always going to be those fans who think the way they want it is best.

After being in this position for so long and building such a big reputation on his good image we have to ask the question: Could John Cena really be an effective heel now?

In order to be a great heel you have to have one important quality above all others—believability—and at this point Cena may have crossed the point of no return on that.

Let me state three undeniable truths for you to help illustrate my point.

  • John Cena is the public face of WWE including its charitable causes like B-A-Star and their involvement with Make-A-Wish.
  • John Cena is very popular among children.
  • John Cena is always portrayed as a man with high morals, hence his choice to announce when he intends to cash in his MITB case ahead of time instead of attacking a downed Punk.

These three things are not the only reasons WWE would be against turning Cena heel, but they are certainly big factors in that argument. Passing off the perpetual good guy as a heel would be hard with all of these points.

When Hulk Hogan turned heel in order to join Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in the NWO he did what many thought would be impossible, so it stands to reason that the same logic can be applied to Cena.

Cena is more of a baby face than Hogan ever was for the simple fact that today's heel and faces have less dividing them than in Hogan's day. The anti-hero is becoming more prevalent.

When we see guys like Randy Orton, CM Punk and Triple H perform their finisher on another baby face they will still get a face pop from the crowd.

In Hogan's day an act like that was almost an instant heel turn. Cena is not one of those guys. He is almost never known to attack another baby face, including one who he should be trying to take out, like Punk on Raw.

If there is a character in fiction I could most closely associate with John Cena it would be Sheriff Andy Taylor.

For those of you who have never seen a black and white television show, Andy Taylor was the Sheriff of the fictional town of Mayberry in the hugely popular sitcom The Andy Griffith Show.

Sheriff Taylor represents the ultimate good guy in American television because he is quite possibly the most moral person to walk the earth.

Sure, Taylor would turn his head when Otis the drunk would grab the keys off the wall and let himself out of his cell, but when push came to shove he was always there for his friends and family.

Cena is the Sheriff Taylor of today's WWE in so many ways, including the fact that both men seem to have haircuts that never need to be trimmed.

While a Cena heel turn may be hard to swallow at first, it would not be impossible. What WWE would need to do in order for it to work is have it be a very slow process.

For Cena to come out tomorrow and go off on the fans to turn heel would be a huge mistake. This needs time to simmer.

What WWE could do, and really the only thing they could do, is have Cena start slowly showing heelish traits while still playing the face.

Having him crack jokes about other faces, occasionally attack someone from behind and start to get frustrated with the fans' mixed reactions would set in motion the heel turn.

It seems less and less likely as time goes on that he will ever turn heel, though.

His level of popularity among WWE's target demographic is simply too high to risk the backlash they might get, which is evident from the sheer number of Cena shirts we see on kids in the crowds during shows.

Cena turning heel may freshen up the scene in WWE, but the powers that be may see it as a move that would have more negative impact than good.

What do you think: Would John Cena even be able to play a convincing heel at this point?