Do not fear, this is not the latest in a long line of articles demanding that John Cena must turn heel.
Whether you desire the heel turn or not, it will not happen in the foreseeable future. Cena brings in too much money as the perennial baby face, and as we speak, no one else is ready to fill the void if Cena was to turn heel.
However, just because it is unlikely he will be turning heel does not mean his character cannot be tweaked or enhanced.
As I alluded to in a previous article, John Cena’s character lacks any consistency. Who is John Cena? One week he is a comedian, the next he is the lovechild of Vanilla Ice and Marky Mark and then the next he is a battle-ready brawler.
It cannot be argued that these are merely facets of the same character, as Cena switches from one to the other on a whim. Such a lack of consistency prevents the audience engaging with Cena on the necessary level required for the face of the company.
The frustrating thing is that John Cena is immensely talented and almost tailor-made for his current position. The most damaging thing to Cena, his career and his legacy is the illogical direction his character is given by the creative team and himself.
As a way of getting in the WrestleMania spirit, I’ve been watching clips from recent WrestleManias such as 22 and 23. It was through watching promos and matches from these events that I remembered how good John Cena once was.
From 2005-2007 Cena was the soldier with a street edge. He did not care what the fans thought; he just went out and took care of business. Sometimes he would spit a rhyme, other times he would play a prank, but everything was done in moderation and blended in to the overall Cena character.
We now get a continually emotional John Cena, who is ostensibly a manic depressive. One minute he is pandering to the fans telling awful jokes, the next he is pandering to the fans blowing up his own blood vessels shouting about how he will seek vengeance on whatever heel he is currently feuding with.
I wish Cena would watch clips from 2005-2007 and recognise the benefit of returning to the old Cena character. It is a completely subjective interpretation, but since WrestleMania 23, John Cena has regressed in most ways. There was something admirable about Cena when he was staying true to himself irrespective of what the fans thought of him.
Nowadays, Cena is just annoying.
When Cena responded to The Rock’s return promo through a rap, it worked because it matched the tone of Rock’s initial promo. However, the misguided nature of Cena’s character was perfectly illustrated this past Monday when he responded to one of the most heartfelt and passionate promos in recent memories with another rap, this time less effective and poorly delivered.
There is a case to say that the “old” Cena would have matched The Rock’s passion with a passionate promo of his own. Currently, Cena cares too much about not coming across as the bad guy in this situation.
The kids will still love Cena if he reverted to the Cena that embodied “Hustle, Loyalty and Respect.”
Whether these changes will be made remains to be seen, but this gimmick intervention will only benefit John Cena and WWE programming in the long run.