Have Children Made It Impossible for Certain WWE Superstars to Turn Heel?

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistOctober 8, 2012

CONCORD, NC - MAY 26:  Professional wrestler John Cena signs an autograph on pit road prior to the NASCAR Busch Series CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 on May 26, 2007 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

When you perform in WWE as a heel, the point is to get crowds to hate you. If too many kids are invested in a character, though, then that person has little chance of ever being a heel.

These days, it seems as if WWE is afraid to take risks with some of the top superstars when it comes to face/heel turns.

This is a sad truth for many fans who wish to see variety and swerves that surprise us. Guys like John Cena are the biggest example of how kids have made it impossible for some superstars to turn heel.

John Cena will probably go another few years before a heel turn is even considered because of how well-liked he is by children, and Sheamus is getting close to being in that same position.

Santino, Zack Ryder, Rey Mysterio and even Undertaker are also very popular among children, which is why they will likely not be heels for a very long time, if at all.

This mindset by WWE is as smart as it is shortsighted.

When it comes to giving fans what they want, WWE has to listen to what the audience says in order to know.

When children respond positively to a character, then WWE sees that as a success and pushes that character to an appropriate level.

Even though some fans would like to see a guy like Cena as a heel, there are certain logical reasons why WWE might not want to that make perfect sense from a business standpoint.

  • Cena sells a lot of merchandise to kids, and they could see some of that revenue go away if he was a heel.
  • WWE might assume some fans would stop watching altogether if Cena turned heel.
  • They might think it wouldn't make enough sense to turn Cena heel after how he has been portrayed as the ultimate good guy over the years.


Unfortunately, that is the blunt side of a double-edged sword.

The other side is that having a character remain a babyface simply because children like the character is going to alienate the fans that want variety.

Very few superstars have gone the length John Cena has with a babyface run while employed with WWE in the last 30 years.

Cena has gone an astounding eight years as a babyface. The last person in recent memory with a run like that was Hulk Hogan, if you can call him "recent memory."

When you have someone go that long as the same basic archetype, then that person will become stale. It is an inevitable truth.

It was different in the '80s. When Hogan was a babyface for a solid decade, we did not have a monthly PPV, and we certainly did not have 8.5 hours of weekly WWE television.

We had a few hours each week and a PPV event every few months at best.

Did you know there were 8.5 hours of weekly WWE shows now? If you count NXT and Superstars and add that to Raw, Smackdown, Main Event and Saturday Morning Slam, then you get 8.5 hours.

While it is not up to Cena to fill all that time, he is certainly relied on quite a bit in video packages and multiple times on Raw each week.

I miss the days when Vince Russo was in charge. I will explain after I recover from a seizure I just had typing that sentence.

When Russo was at the helm in WWE with Vince McMahon filtering his ideas, we had heel and face turns all the time.

If there is anything you can give Vince Russo credit for, it is being totally unafraid to try something new or risky. We need that mentality in WWE again.

Linda's election speculation aside, if WWE ever decides to go a little more towards the TV-14 rating again, then we could see more of that old "anything goes" mindset return to WWE.

Here is the truth: WWE is a corporation that is out for a profit, and if they think turning someone heel will harm that profit, then it will not happen.

We live in a time when the almighty dollar is more important than putting on the best product, and that is why children have made it impossible for some superstars to turn heel.

Until children stop controlling a big part of the economy, which will not happen, then we will not see guys like Cena turn heel.

Which superstars do you want to see turn heel?


Thanks for reading and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.