Last week's news that John Cena will be out of action for several weeks has exposed something that the WWE probably does not want to think about but needs to address sooner rather than later.
Couple that with CM Punk's heel turn/alliance with Paul Heyman, and we really do not have a great deal of what we could call upper-card babyfaces who regularly appear on TV. Outside of Sheamus, who really is left that could be relied upon as an upper-card face?
Randy Orton? Not in the long term. Orton desperately wants to be a heel again, but that may not happen until he gets back from shooting the 12 Rounds sequel. Besides, he probably is on thin ice with WWE anyway following his recent 60-day suspension and getting caught flipping off a fan.
Rey Mysterio? Perhaps. He certainly has a huge fan following, especially among kids, just like Cena and Sheamus have. But there seems to be buzz generating that the WWE wants to turn him heel to build up a program with Sin Cara.
Undertaker? Sure, he belongs on this list, but his appearances are too limited. He pretty much is saved for special times, such as milestone TV events and WrestleMania. He's not the day-to-day face needed on the top card.
Triple H? Is he or is he not retired? He sure talked like he is, and he recently cut his hair a la Edge. But who knows? Does he have one more shot left in him? Plans may be in the works for him to eventually build up to some kind of run-up to next year's WrestleMania, so we might not regularly see him on TV.
What should WWE do to build up its upper-card face roster?
Dwayne Johnson or Steve Austin? They are top names, but they are like the relatives you only see on special occasions, like during the holidays or whenever WWE wants to raise its ratings. Once the holidays (or the ratings periods) pass, those relatives go home, and you do not see them for a while.
No, outside of Sheamus, there really is no one to step up and carry the top-card face flag while Cena recovers—and maybe even share that burden when Cena is back at full speed. That's why the WWE needs to build up its top-card face roster.
Perhaps the next few weeks could be looked upon as an audition time for some of the mid-card faces to show they belong on the top card. Or maybe it's time to turn a top-notch heel into a top-tier face.
Whatever the case, replenishing the upper-card face roster is something for the WWE to think about -- seriously.