WWE: Why John Cena Should Never Turn Heel
Much like fire to a dried up Christmas tree (appropriate for the holiday season), the debate about whether the face of WWE, John Cena, should finally break bad and turn heel continues to burn ever so intensely. Well, I’m here to extinguish the flames on any Joh-Cena-bad-guy talk.
But I’m not going to tell you that Cena will never turn heel; that argument has been beaten into the ground worse than a victim of the Five Knuckle Shuffle. I’m declaring that Cena should never turn heel. Here are the reasons why.
Cena's Merchandise Sales Will Tank
It’s safe to say the majority of fans who purchase John Cena merchandise are women and children. I hardly ever see middle-aged men rocking those “Rise Above Hate” t-shirts (although, that all could change with the newest Cena tee).
But let’s focus on the kids for a second. The thing with young wrestling fans is they never support heels, mainly because they believe wrestling is real.
If WWE turns John Cena bad, they can kiss all of his merchandise sales emanating from this particular segment goodbye. That’s because kids don’t wear the t-shirts of a bad guy.
In essence, WWE would alienate a major portion of its merchandising market by turning Cena heel. From a business standpoint, that would be downright stupid.
There's No Turning Back
Pretty much in every arena, half of the crowd already boos John Cena on a nightly basis. If Cena were to turn his back on that other faithful half, I don’t think he would ever be able to win their loyalty back should he hypothetically become a face again afterwards.
The real hatred combined with the kayfabe hatred may prove too much for Cena to overcome in the event he tries to revert back to the WWE’s top goody two-shoes.
All of His Positive Publicity Outside the Ring Is Rendered Useless
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I hope those who root for a John Cena heel turn realize that, if he turns bad, he can no longer represent the company as their top wrestler outside of the ring. Surely, some of Cena’s appeal with the Make-A-Wish foundation will diminish with Cena as a bad guy.
And there would be no more stirring Cena speeches given to the armed forces at the Tribute to the Troops shows; heels don’t get to make those speeches. Having WWE promote a heel John Cena in mainstream media would be like Nike pumping up a Devil-loving Tim Tebow in commercials. It would be marketing suicide.
Giving in to the Hate Will Weaken His Image
I’d like to think John Cena’s new “Rise Above Hate” credo is genuine, not simply some marketing gimmick. If so, then having Cena succumb to the hate as opposed to rising above it would effectively end his days as a role model for WWE’s youngest fans.
Because if Cena turns on the fans, he’s likely going to acknowledge the boo birds and become bitter towards all of their hatred, a complete 180 from rising above it. And what kind of a role model gives in to his naysayers? Not a very good one, I’ll tell you that.
Seeing Cena swept under the wave of vitriol will seriously damage his credibility in the eyes of Cenation.
He Could Be a Terrible Heel
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Everyone saying that a John Cena heel turn is a given is probably assuming that changing characters is as seamless as changing socks for a wrestler. But what happens if the Cena heel turn doesn’t stick?
Sure, anyone can be the happy-go-lucky good guy, constantly smiling and pandering to the fans at every turn. But not everyone can be an effective heel, one who can cleverly patronize fans on a consistent basis.
Very few WWE megastars in this era have had the ability to be equally solid faces and heels (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle and CM Punk are the best in recent memory). John Cena may not have the chops (or the heart) needed to be the bad guy.
What's the Point?
In case you haven’t yet realized, John Cena is basically already a heel. After all, he gets booed in basically every arena he sets foot in. Heck, sometimes he gets more heat than actual heels!
That’s why a John Cena heel turn would be utterly pointless. He’s already disliked by so many fans that little would change with a change in character.
Face or heel, those who hate Cena are going to always do so. They may as well just let Cena at least enjoy performing for the minority of fans out there who actually appreciate what he does for WWE.
He Shouldn't Give His Naysayers the Satisfaction
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It’s quite noble of those John Cena detractors to suggest he should become heel. They say it will be a good way for him to spruce up his stale character, a way for him to earn everyone’s respect.
To me, this rhetoric is nothing more than a steaming pile of garbage. There’s only one reason why the haters want Cena to turn heel: so they can boo him without feeling guilty.
It’s quite shameful that so many hate someone like Cena. The man goes out there night after night—sometimes in the face of minor, nagging injuries—to perform as the face of WWE. Of course, Cena’s not the only one to perform injured, but he has the unenviable task of doing so in the face of widespread and genuine animosity. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
He Shouldn't Give His Naysayers the Satisfaction (continued)
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Cena has stayed classy in the face of the anti-Cena rage, is a model representative of WWE outside the ring, has never failed a wellness test, is a great supporter of America’s armed forces and is one of the most-requested celebrities for the Make-A-Wish foundation. Do you want me to go on? Because I can. In essence, Cena is the guy you’d want your daughter to date.
So it probably makes those who hate Cena a little guilty knowing they’re bashing one of the good guys in the business. And if they don’t feel guilty, then they probably have no soul. OK, that last bit was pretty harsh.
Nevertheless, Cena shouldn’t give his critics the satisfaction of booing him as a heel. Instead of trying to cater to those fans, Cena will continue to excel doing his thing for those out there who support him just the way he is.