The Cena Problem

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..

Cena

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.

Cena

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.

Cena

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.

  • Darren

    I would definitely turn Cena heel. If he turns he may not be able to do make a wish for a while but WWE certainly still can make a whole lot of money with a Cena heel character. How I would do it. I would have Cena rescue Drew McIntyre from the horrid 3mb. I believe the WWE universe is ready to get behind a face McIntyre. I would have Cena accompany to him to matches cheering him on. Drew would get a IC title match the paperview night of chanpions. Drew on his way to winning and Cena jumps in hits him with the AA costing him the match. That would do two things. Set up a new feud for Cena besides the typical Orton and cm punk feud. Also help elavate Drews game as the WWE universe gets behind him. Then the next night on Raw have Cena cut a promo. Not the thug character or rapping. I believe the fans will grow sick of that as well after a while. Just have Cena speak on how the fans nerver where behind him.

    • Jamie Welton

      I like your suggestion Darren, as I like you see big things for Drew McIntyre as I think the guy is wasted in 3MB. I think whatever you do with Cena people are going to be critical of it but I think using the fact that the fans were never fully behind him would really have an impact as it's a true situation

  • Charlie

    I think making cena go back to the thuganomics gimmick would be an entertaining change, but I just don't see it working out. I would be all for it, but as much as I hate to admit it, the little kids need a super hero. In the other side of my mind I'll say fu** the little kids and turn him heel so we can cheer him, but half the people that boo him are the ones that hate cena the person more than supercena, and the other half are just the opposite(myself included)

    • Jamie Welton

      I agree somewhat Charlie, I think people would get bored of the Thuganomics after a while, but if it was done as a short term solution then it would be better than nothing. There is always going to be "that guy" that the kids need to have, and right now Cena is the guy. Eventually someone else will step in to fill that void and you can guarantee we are having this same debate again. Turning Cena is a difficult situation, if you do it then it has to be done right

  • Chris Owen

    I don't think that turning him heel would be the greatest idea, but he does need to be re-vamped for sure, I think it would not be so bad if Cena lost cleanly sometimes. It won't harm him and show that he is not Super Cena. I think he has had a lot to do behind the scenes with charity etc and has a lot of influence. I imagine he feels he needs something to change, the programme with the Rock showed he could and would change if needed because lets face it he was the heel in that fight and it worked, the kids still loved him and the adults could see that there was a willing to change. Unfortunately he has gone back to the same old Cena. He can cut promo's with the best of them and I think the PG rating has actually harmed him. I do like Cena and the man can wrestle, It is not just about the fighting it is about telling a story! I can't remember the last time I saw him make a mistake in the ring. I know people have slagged him off previous superstars etc and yes his personal life has not been stellar but for what he does for the company and charity can not be matched. It has been said he is the first one in and last out…..People like Doane whatever his beef needs to take a look at Cena and look what he does and worry about himself. So in closing Cena does need to bring an edge back to his game and I think we will get it from him and Bryan. Do not change him heel and to be honest they can't. I think all the talk about Cena maybe changing will not happen, but they can bring the edge back and not change anything that will harm the company. I like Cena and have total respect, I would just like the edge and for him to loose cleanly more…..

    • Jamie Welton

      I agree with you Chris about the way Cena loses, it would be nice if it was cleanly sometimes, however you also have to consider the impact this has if he were to lose cleanly to someone who clearly isn't perhaps as strong as Cena. I think WWE has to take a lot of the blame for what happened in not carrying on after Mania with the character change as we have seen things go back to what they knew before. Not sure that I agree he can cut a promo with the best of them as quite often Cena comes across weaker on the mic for me, Rock literally ate him for breakfast early on. I hope Bryan brings out the edge in Cena his character lacks but I am not sure yet as I believe Bryan is going to show Cena up in terms of his work in the ring. The character needs a revamp and the match with Bryan is the point to continue where they left off with the work that started against Rock

  • proud

    I have never liked Cena even during his heel run… but I think the Bella Twins could help turn him and maybe see him in a successful tag team (maybe a young up and coming talent) as I think that could be a great change of pace for him, elevate the titles and he won't be the centre of attention when a question needs to be answered on WWETV which really annoys me.

    Any suggestions for his tag team partner?

    • Jamie Welton

      The Bella's could be involved in his heel turn if they played up his real life relationship with Nikki but this is unlikely. If I were to put him in a tag team you could put him with someone like Drew McIntyre or you could go Big. E Langston maybe of they break him away from AJ. Cena looks like he is in the main event scene to stay for the foreseeable future though

  • Numero Uno

    SummerSlam should start it. Have Daniel Bryan look like he's gonna win and have Cena get disquilified and run out.

    • Jamie Welton

      We will see the outcome numero uno – I personally think Bryan is going to beat Cena somehow, and if thats the case, you could still use Bryan as the catalyst for starting the turn

      • Numero Uno

        I think Cena will retain by getting disquilified. Leading to a Bryan v. Cena feud with the main storyline being Bryan worked so hard just to end up getting screwed over.

        • Jamie Welton

          It's looking like they may play up on some sort of screwing angle – Expect to see Vince involved maybe after Raw this week perhaps

          • Numero Uno

            After Maddox just cost Bryan a victory against Barrett, I think he'll win but have the decision reversed

          • Jamie Welton

            That's what I was thinking kind of Numero Uno, I see Bryan winning but the question is will he walk out champion

          • Numero Uno

            Unfortuantely not…but I'm insterested in Orton v Bryan to go ino HIAC

  • evonreese

    I wish Cena would just be more edgier not turn totally heel. I would love to see him jump in the ring and totally beat the crap out of someone. I like the fact he is putting Daniel Bryan over. I don’t think Bryan will blow this like Ryder. Cena is a great person but his character needs to be tweaked not overhauled.

    • Jamie Welton

      An edgier Cena wold help evonreese, and I saw some edginess in his promo on Raw for a bit, but then he resorted back to over the top and ruining it for himself. Cena can help Bryan a lot in this match, and Bryan can maybe help take Cena to another level too

  • Numero Uno

    After Maddox just cost Bryan a victory against Barrett, I think he'll win but have the decision reversed.