Posted by Jamie Welton
He’s the most controversial WWE superstar to grace the ring within the last decade. He generates a reaction like no other WWE superstar past or present can produce. He is loved my many and hated by many more. John Cena is a WWE superstar that the mainly male audience loves to hate. So would turning Cena heel solve the Cena Problem? I give my reasons for why he should and why he shouldn’t turn heel..
Clearly John Cena’s character needs a major revamp as he has become stale and same old same old every time we see him. He literally had a point where he was refered to as Super Cena, because the way he was booked it did not mater who was put in front of the man, you knew that Cena would come up the victor. Fans have grown bored of seeing this week in week out and I believe it is this that is the crucial factor that turned the WWE Universe against him. Following his loss to The Rock at Wrestlemania it looked like there was a change in where WWE were going with Cena, and they gave him a lengthy run without the title, but people still are not satisfied with that because now he has it back.
Would changing Cena’s character really help him in the long run? Whilst he doesn’t appeal to the adult male audience, his character appeals to kids and women. Whilst they may not be WWE’s target audience it really does generate a lot of merchandise sales for WWE, which is a key. My son loves Cena (Well, until he discovered Daniel Bryan anyway) and whilst he may not be a favourite of the male audience it would do a lot more harm to his appeal with this group of fans.
Would going back to his Thuganomics gimmick help Cena? There’s no doubt it gives Cena an edge that he has been lacking and would give him certainly more appeal to the male audience. If it means not having to listen to the often poor and cheesy promo’s he does now then personally I would be all for this change to his character. His return to the Thuganomics style during his feud with The Rock really took Cena to another level and I feel it helped get more fans behind him than perhaps would have been without it.
Ultimately, does Cena have to become a heel to become cool? We all know it’s seen as cool to hate on Cena, and a change to a heel character isn’t really going to change any of that for me. Yes going heel will bring a change to Cena’s character, but if you were in Vince McMahon’s shoes would you really change the guy who is your cash cow? You can argue Vince never changed Hogan, and yes the fans got bored of him until WCW turned him heel, and Vonce missed out on what generated a whole new character for Hogan. Could doing this to Cena have the same chain reaction? I personally don’t think people will throw trash in the ring or react anywhere near the same but I certainly think it would generate a reaction no one would forget. However, people will still hate on Cena because he will be the companies top heel.
The biggest reason you haven’t seen WWE turn Cena heel is pictured above – This man gives so much time to charity and kids outside the ring it blows my mind. If they turn him heel then it will lose WWE a lot of exposure they gain through their activities with Make A Wish and potentially other organisations. Cena probably has the biggest fan base in WWE, and the majority of the fan base are kids. Kids are going to want all Cena’s merchandise and at the end of the day, they matter just as much as the male audience does. You turn Cena heel and I think WWE loses so much more than if you keep him as super Cena. Cena brings exposure to WWE that no other guy on the roster brings. Charities want him, and this does nothing but give WWE a more positive image. If those wish requests dry up then the effects on WWE go further than just losing the charities.
So would I personally turn Cena heel? No I wouldn’t. For me, Cena does not need to go heel to become different. Yes, I would tweak his character and give him something new whilst doing something old by using the Thuganomics gimmick as a transition until I found something that worked. John Cena could no doubt go down as one of WWE’s all time greatest superstars, but whilst his character remains stale and going nowhere then he will continue to generate the reaction he does each and every night. I personally hope the program with Daniel Bryan will help change Cena’s character and perception with the WWE Universe, but no matter what you try to do with the Cena problem there are always going to be people who hate on the man.
I would love to know your opinions on what you would do with John Cena? Do you think he needs to go heel to help his character? Do you think a heel turn would be more hurtful to Cena? As always I look forward to seeing your comments below. For my next article I am going to look at Zack Ryder and his push that sort of started and then kind of dwindled off and ask if there is any hope for his future at the top of WWE? Until then, thanks for reading.
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