John Cena, your career is at a crossroads.
It's almost impossible to see Cena lose to The Rock for the second year in a row in the main event of WrestleMania. WWE is building him up as somebody who hasn't won the big one and needs nothing more than to beat The Rock for the WWE Championship.
That is a rather ridiculous sentiment considering everything Cena has accomplished in his career. He's won 12 world titles and multiple Royal Rumbles and took home the Money in the Bank briefcase last summer. Cena has won the big one at seemingly every opportunity.
What the company does with Cena after his likely win at WrestleMania XXIX is arguably the most interesting thing about this match.
Many fans have been begging for a Cena heel turn for so long that they've almost completely given up on the concept. If there was ever a moment it could happen—well, to paraphrase Cena's theme song—the time is now.
Cena has begun to grow incredibly stale. His promos are grating—possibly more so than they've ever been. He needs to add a different dimension to his character.
After Cena beats The Rock, what's left for him to do? He's already feuded with the main stars in the company at the moment, as well as The Shield. Keeping him a face means more months of jokey John Cena immediately turning into serious Cena to demand a fight right here tonight! That demand is likely followed up by a poop joke or something equivalent. Then he beats the heel to come out on top.
We've seen it all before.
Sure, he moves a ton of merchandise, and the kids love him. For that reason, you could see the company standing pat. Why mess up a good thing?
It's much the same as when Hulk Hogan turned heel in 1996. He had done everything possible in WWF, so he went to WCW and coincidentally got much more money in the process. Then, when he had beaten Ric Flair approximately 1,965 times, he turned heel as the leader of the NWO.
The move was extremely risky for Eric Bischoff, and it paid off in spades.
WWE could very do the same thing with Cena. He could turn out to be the leader of the modern-day NWO, The Shield. Or Cena could simply become a monster heel, beating every man who gets in his way.
Either scenario would be great in terms of enriching Cena's character. He's great on the mic when he gets serious. Let's not forget how good Cena was against The Rock in the buildup to WrestleMania last year and opposing Punk in the summer of 2011.
Money is clearly a motivating factor in keeping Cena as the mega face. It's hard to envision that the well would run completely dry, though, in the event he became a bad guy. Sure, kids wouldn't buy as many bright shirts, but he'd still be a merchandise machine.
Being a bad guy didn't stop Punk and Daniel Bryan from moving plenty of shirts. Granted, they did nothing compared to Cena.
The NWO was a huge moneymaker despite being made up of nothing more than dastardly heels. It's fair to expect the same thing could happen again should Cena become the evil leader of a similar group.
As great as this scenario would be, there's nothing to indicate WWE actually has the guts to make Cena a heel. However, it's now or never if the company is going to pull the trigger. If they don't do it in the aftermath of his inevitable victory of The Rock, fans should get used to seeing Cena as a face for the next decade.
Let's just hope you're ready for Cena to reignite that feud with Randy Orton or Sheamus or Big Show or Brock Lesnar or Chris Jericho. Lord, that's depressing.