Posted by Kendra Bunyon
Welcome to the newest addition to WWENews. Myself and Jesse Sherwood will debate a hot button topic in the WWE each week. This week we’re debating whether John Cena should turn heel or not. This is one of the most highly questioned and debated topic in the WWE these past couple years. Everyone has an opinion. Who do you agree with?
After Monday’s Raw, one has to wonder if John Cena is turning heel before our eyes. I have to say yes, as we have seen an intensity and anger that we haven’t seen in a long time. Just the attitude he gave The Rock with the hand wave, the lip curling into the hateful grimace, and the flat out rage behind his words at times showed that he is being drawn to the dark side. And it is about time too! He has grown so over the top that even the casual fans are turning on him. In the last 5 years we have seen no progression on his character, and there has not been anyone who can truly challenge his dominance in the ring, except the Rock. And now without his steadfast base of women and screaming children backing him, why not let him turn to the darkness?
I really don’t think that Cena’s ‘steadfast base of women and screaming children’ have stopped backing him, I think they’re just more drawn in by The Rock in this feud. The same thing happened with the fans last year at this time, but Cena bounced right back from it when The Rock went back to Hollywood. I will admit that Cena was skating much closer to that edge than we’ve seen from him since he turned face in 2004, but that doesn’t mean that he’s turning heel. I have to stand with Foley on this subject – Cena can’t turn heel because of what it will mean to the children. Cena does so much great work with Make-A-Wish, an organization very close to my heart, and if he was to turn heel, it could virtually put an end to that, and I can’t see Cena letting that happen.
No, Kendra, I don’t like the idea of it happening either, as I hold a great place in my heart for any charity. But this would also open up a whole other side to Cena’s fanbase, the longterm fans. The fans who hate every fiber of John Cena’s being, as he represents everything that is wrong with this company! Think about the marketing side to this. You can get the fans coming and going with the merchandise! Kids will buy the Why, John, Why shirts, and the adults would buy the new merchandise, as they would have a new found respect for him. On top of that, you mention that Cena has been a face for 9 years. That is an incredibly long time in this industry, and I will give the devil his due for lasting this long. But do you know who else had a run this long without any progression? Hulk Hogan. And look where it ended him up at. This could very well be Cena’s game changing moment, the one that we have been waiting the last 5 years for. The only question is, who would fill Cena’s void? And I even have an answer for that one, Sheamus. Like Cena, he is quickly becoming an over-the-top face. He has granted almost 100 wishes for children himself, so he is also filling in that void. And Sheamus pushes a great amount of merchandise. And with Cena out of the face picture, it is only a matter of time before you would start to see all of the faces getting better merchandise sales. So Cena turning heel isn’t just the right thing for the IWC and the fans, it’s good for the boys in the back, too.
Yes, Hogan was stuck in the same loop, but most of the kids who fell in love with wrestling because of Hogan had grown old enough that they wanted something new. Further, I don’t think Hogan was unloved by the fans because of his stagnant character, but for the steroid trials and that he was out of the WWF. It also didn’t help that he was making noxious movies and TV. For Hogan that heel turn came at the right time and was almost a whole new character for a whole new era, but this isn’t a new era for Cena, and he still has a huge following of very young fans. His young fanbase is continuing to grow where Hogan’s had just grown older. And if we really want to talk about wrestlers who have been face for a very long time, why not look at Rey Mysterio? He hasn’t been heel since before he came into the WWE, and he’s just as loved by the fans as he was then.
While I see where you’re coming from about other faces picking up more in merch sales, but do you really think Cena will let that money slide through his fingers? It’s not just McMahon who is making serious money off Cena’s merch, it’s Cena as well, and Cena might be a wrestler, but he’s also a business man who plays the backstage politics. He wouldn’t be where he is now if he didn’t. I will agree that Sheamus has become a goody-goody face in Cena’s image, and he has the backing of Triple H, but I’m not sure the WWE could support a carbon copy of Cena right now, even if Cena was to turn heel. I think the fans would turn on him faster than they did on Cena.
While some see this as a way to move just Cena forward, I hope that people can see where a heel turn would benefit everyone involved in or with the company. While I will praise Cena’s body of work, as just about anyone else in this industry could not make this work as long as he has, Cena’s time as face is up, and his time as a heel is now. Let’s just hope that The Powers That Be feel the same, as they could lose their only effective chance here and we could never see the true extent of what he is capable of.
Until recently I really thought Cena should turn heel, but Foley got me thinking of the majority of Cena’s fanbase, especially the children who are ill who have so much faith in Cena being such a pillar of strength and great guy they can all depend on. Beyond that, Cena is the cash in the bank that McMahon can depend on. I don’t see McMahon having the top two guys in his company both being heel at the same time. Both being face at the same time is no biggie, but both being heel might chip away at what goes into his wallet, and McMahon is all about the bottom dollar. I’ll believe Cena turning heel when I see it, and even then it might take a couple weeks before it sinks in.
KB & Jesse
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