5 Reasons John Cena Should Go Full-Time to WWE SmackDown
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
John Cena has been the face of the WWE for nearly a decade now.
More specifically, though, he has been the focal point of Monday Night Raw since being drafted to the WWE's No. 1 brand way back in 2005. He hasn't left the show since then, and he's rarely appeared on the No. 2 brand, SmackDown, especially in recent years.
But it's time for Cena to go back home.
Cena started off his career on SmackDown, where he was able to rise to fame under his rapper gimmick before moving over to Raw—where, of course, he became the undisputed top guy in all of pro wrestling.
While Cena has obviously had a ton of success in the WWE and is still its biggest star, the time has come for him to go back to the WWE's so-called "B-show" after a lengthy run on its premier program.
Here are five reasons why John Cena should go full-time to SmackDown.
5. To Make the Brand Split Matter Again
The WWE's "brand split" has been essentially nonexistent for about a year-and-a-half to two years now—as evidenced by the fact that 2012 was the first year since 2003 not to feature a WWE Draft.
Many had called for the brand extension to end because it didn't matter much at the time, but now that it has ended, some are seeing that the death of the brand split may not have been such a great idea after all.
The bottom line is that the brand split kept things more organized, allowed new stars to rise to the World title picture (Christian, Mark Henry, etc.) and prevented stars from being overexposed.
If John Cena were to make the jump to SmackDown and only appear on that show (for the most part), it would be one step closer to making the brand split matter again. While there are both pros and cons to the brand extension, I think many of us have noticed that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Just look at which stars have held the WWE's major world titles since the brand split began to truly fall apart in late 2011: Alberto Del Rio (both belts), CM Punk, Sheamus (late 2011) and Big Show.
On the flip side, guys like Henry, Christian and The Miz were elevated to the world-title picture when the brand split actually meant something in late 2010 and early-to-mid 2011.
Should Cena be switched over to SmackDown and stay there, the brand split would undoubtedly mean something once again. Cena will be the top dog of that show, and the WWE will have to focus on building up a Cena-less Raw.
If there's one move that could bring the brand extension back into effect (and bring back all the good things that come along with it, too), it's moving Cena to the blue brand.
4. The WWE Now Has Enough Star Power to Do It
The WWE doesn't "need" John Cena on Raw anymore.
The company's roster is suddenly loaded with a lot of full-time talent which includes established, big-named veterans (Big Show, Sheamus, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Kane, etc.), a number of guys just waiting to break out (Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, Cody Rhodes, etc.) and a boatload of fresh faces who could develop into major stars one day (The Shield, Ryback, Damien Sandow, Antonio Cesaro, etc.).
When you throw in all of the WWE's part-timers who come and go (Brock Lesnar, Triple H, Undertaker, Chris Jericho and The Rock), you suddenly realize that the company is loaded with significantly more star-power than many people think.
You've probably heard the saying that "one man can't make or break a company." Well, Cena isn't going to break the WWE if he's on SmackDown instead of Raw.
A guy like Punk has proven to be more than capable of headlining the WWE's A-show, while major superstars such as Sheamus and Orton could easily fill in the gaps along with a plethora of uber-talented up-and-comers.
Some fans criticize the WWE for "lacking star-power," but they must be watching a different show, because I see a roster that, although not always properly utilized, features a ridiculous amount of talent.
And yes, Raw would have more than enough talent to make up for Cena being on SmackDown. The WWE has 10 or more guys just waiting to try to take his spot.
3. To Create New Stars
As long as John Cena is on Raw, it's going to be very difficult for anyone to truly surpass him or challenge him for the top spot in the company.
That was evidenced in 2012, when CM Punk, despite being in the midst of one the longest and most impressive title reigns in wrestling history, often took a backseat to Cena. It was often Cena, who despite having a really down year, found himself in pay-per-view main events and in the closing segments on Raw.
If Cena was on SmackDown, however, the WWE would essentially be forced to create new stars to make up for his absence.
With Cena on the blue brand, Punk would have a legitimate shot at the No. 1 spot in the company. Meanwhile, the likes of Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan, among others, would be much more likely to get pushed to the top of the card.
The WWE is at its best when it involves competition, and it's safe to say that Cena moving to SmackDown would create a huge competition on Raw, with a boatload of stars stepping up their games to try to become the top star on the flagship brand.
With Cena the top face on Raw for so long, it's proven to be really hard for anyone to legitimately become a full-time main-event star and a big-time world-title contender.
But with Cena on SmackDown, a big opportunity awaits for a number of talented superstars.
2. To Change Things Up a Bit
Anything that stays the same for too long can quickly and easily get stale and boring.
Even if you're married to a gorgeous woman, chances are that you'd get frustrated with her if she wore the same things, said the same things and did the same things week after week, month after month, year after year.
It's no different with John Cena.
He has been pretty much the same guy for nearly a decade now, changing little besides the color of his hats, arm bands and t-shirts. Beyond those minor alterations, it's been almost 10 years of Cena dominating Raw by doing the same thing over and over again.
It's time for a change—for the sake of Cena, the WWE and its fans.
No fans want to see Cena continue to do the same thing on a consistent basis. Cena himself has long been stuck in a rut because of it, and the WWE product has suffered as well, due to the staleness of Cena.
We need a change at some point, and besides maybe a heel turn (I'm not getting into this debate), the only other major move that might shake things up a bit is moving Cena to SmackDown.
As mentioned before, that would open up so many opportunities for so many other stars, and it would give the WWE the opportunity to freshen up both Cena and the WWE as a whole.
How can you go wrong with that?
1. SmackDown Needs a True Top Star
Over the last two years, the WWE has tried to push a few guys as the "face of SmackDown."
For much of 2011, that guy was Randy Orton. In 2012, it was Sheamus. Now, it's Alberto Del Rio.
The problem, however, is that the WWE hasn't really been willing to remain committed to any of those guys for the long term. Orton's stint at the top lasted for about six months before he moved back down (and has never really recovered), Sheamus' run lasted about a year (but he's fallen as well) and Del Rio's run may not last very long, either.
SmackDown needs a top "face of the brand," but none of these guys have cemented themselves as that yet.
Enter John Cena.
Cena is the one guy who could make the jump to the blue brand and instantly become its top guy. There would be little to no doubt that he was the undisputed top star on Friday nights.
SmackDown needs that.
Just like Raw has had Cena for the last eight or nine years, SmackDown needs someone people will identify as "the man" on SmackDown. If not Orton, Del Rio or Sheamus, then it should be Cena.
He's got the star-power and the skills to do it. Now, all he needs is the opportunity—an opportunity that still lets him shine, but also opens the door for so many stars to rise up on Raw.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!