For the current face of WWE, John Cena actually did not accomplish much before his face turn in 2003. John Cena did not hold a championship or any other sort of accomplishment until he defeated the Big Show for the United States Championship at WrestleMania XX.
Cena certainly had the look to be a top star and WWE was in need of a new superstar, so it came as very little shock when Cena became a fan favorite for the second time in his WWE career.
John Cena’s character did change over the years. When Cena turned heel, he developed a rapper gimmick. However, as we see these days, Cena’s character is different. Cena emphasizes hustle, loyalty and respect. Even more recently, Cena promotes rising above hate as well as cancer.
This brings me to my final point—John Cena’s impact on the WWE product. There is no one in WWE whose merchandise sells more than John Cena's and there is no one else in WWE who the fans want to see more.
Don’t get me wrong—I am not a John Cena guy. However, I will not deny the existence of the huge fan base John Cena has. Also, don’t forget the amount of time and effort Cena puts in outside of WWE TV, such as starring in films, appearing on talk shows and, of course, the Make-A-Wish foundation. John Cena’s face turn in 2003 has led to one of the biggest impacts, if not the biggest impact, in WWE history.
Many people may criticize me for giving the number one to Cena over Austin, but I decided to do this based on the criteria of the ranking. In terms of accomplishments and character, Cena changed much more as a result of his face turn than Austin. Stone Cold Steve Austin certainly changed WWE history during the time and era he was in. The same can be said for John Cena. Cena is part of a completely different era through no fault of his own. It is just the way the business has gone.
With that said, what do you think of my list of the 10 best face turns that changed WWE history? What would your list look like? What are some other memorable face turns in WWE history?
Seth Guttenplan is a teacher by day, writer by night. In addition to being a Bleacher Report writer, Seth is the Monday Night Raw reviewer for CamelClutchBlog.com, and a host for ProWrestlingPowerhouse.com Radio. To read more from Seth, follow him on Twitter (@sethgutt) and visit http://guttwrenchpowerblog.com