John Cena: Why Turning Him Heel Could Be a Revolutionary Move by the WWE

Seth GrausContributor IIIMay 10, 2011

If I asked you who the biggest ‘face’ in professional wrestling is today, the answer I would expect would be John Cena.

With a very dedicated following, it is easy to see that that Cena is the biggest superstar in the WWE today (when looking at the active roster).

The discussion regarding Cena and his position as a ‘face’ or a ‘heel’ has been beaten to death. I, however, would like to reignite this discussion by looking at it from a different perspective.

Before I begin though, I have to make it clear that I look at Cena as one of the greatest talents in the WWE today. He is a great mic worker and wrestler, and he has an amazing ability to connect with the youth. While my younger brother tries to support whoever I am pulling for as a victor in a match, I could tell that he was secretly hoping that Cena would come out on top in the cage match at “Extreme Rules”.

So why turn Cena heel?

The main event of Wrestlemania will pit John Cena against the Rock, in what will surely be one hell of a revolutionary match. That being said, it will be very difficult to position Cena as a face in that match.

It will be very hard to have a “face vs. face” match in Rock’s hometown, as Cena will most likely get boo’ed. If the plan is to solidify Cena as “the new face of the WWE”—something he has been for quite a while—, having him win against the Rock while being showered in hatred will not be the way to do it.

Whether or not the WWE like to acknowledge it, it is quite hard to get behind a guy that will win against all the big guys and ‘never give up’ for five straight years.  A heel story could work in many ways, when looking at this feud.

But aside from that, there is an even bigger reason to turn this guy.


I cannot deny that the “Five Moves of Doom” done by Cena, as well as a few other main eventers, are my biggest pet peeves in the business today. Now, imagine a heel Cena doing those same moves.

Imagine just how golden the reaction would be, as well as how much it would tick off someone ‘wanting Cena to lose’. If the WWE solidified Cena as a ‘heel’ against the older fans that don’t like him anyways and the kids that loved him, I would see it as a very successful and revolutionary turn.

Think about it.

Cena will get boo’ed against the Rock. As a heel, it would give him one solid reaction, an interesting character, and a new and fresh way to look at his match. While the people that hate him would be glad to boo against him, a Cena with a little more depth would eventually win over the older fans. An edgy Cena would win back the kids, and could even be more popular than Cena’s current character.

Kids will grow up and eventually not see Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect as “cool”. And as easy as it is to assume that a new generation of kids will take over. Things are never that simple.

A heel turn could push Cena even higher, and could actually be a short-lived way to turn Cena into an even better face than before, with an edgy character that retains his “never give up” personality in a believable way.

A flawed character naturally turning good is a lot better than a superhero sometimes.

The best comparison I have regarding this is Stone Cold. He was “The Ringmaster” for a short period of time before his rise to the top. The interesting and edgy “Stone Cold” persona was not only one hell of a heel, but an even better face when he followed a natural progression that turned him into a fan favorite, following an iconic match between him and Bret "The Hitman" Hart. While I do enjoy Cena’s character at the moment, and I do acknowledge that it is insanely successful, the gimmick needs to change before it is universally hated.

The WWE need to realize that even superheroes have their flaws, and that, above all, is what gives them our support.

In a nutshell: The John Cena that we know today will get boo’ed when facing the Rock. With a heel character, a new and exciting way to look at Cena will be born. By being “different”, it wouldn’t be long until Cena would be able to win over the fans as an even bigger face than he is right now. As well, his absence from being a ‘face’ character would help other wrestlers rise to the occasion.

Feel free to comment, whether you agree or disagree with my suggestions. Thanks for reading!