The John Cena heel turn has been sitting on a tee, waiting to be knocked out of the arena for years at this point. The male fans don’t like him, the female fans give him sympathy pops and the kids (obviously) are still in love with the guy. That last demographic is the only thing standing in the way of what we all deserve — great television via a John Cena heel turn.
Cash is king, which is a big reason why WWE head Vince McMahon and company are afraid to pull the trigger on this one. With that said, let me ask you a couple of questions about heels. Was Stone Cold Steve Austin a face or did he walk that heelish line the majority of the time? We still see those “Austin 3:16″ shirts all over arenas. How about Chris Jericho? Did people stop buying his shirts because he started calling fans words they had to look up in the dictionary? Nope.
Perhaps the two best examples of this are Hulk Hogan when he went to the NWO way back when and more recently, Randy Orton. By no means is Orton a face, yet he’s one of those cool heels that can still move merchandise. Cena could be just that — add a little spice back into his character by having him take a more serious, heelish tone and see what happens.
IT’S NOT 1984 ANYMORE
The fact is, this is 2014. Heels don’t have to be loathed to the point where nobody would be seen wearing one of their shirts or supporting them in any way. King Kong Bundy probably didn’t move a lot of merchandise as a heel. Times have changed and people are warming to the idea that you can be a heel and still be cool. Look at how Bray Wyatt has caught on and remember that he was supposed to be 100 percent heel.
Now, we don’t want to turn Cena for no good reason. It would have to be a situation where both he and his opponent would be elevated. Having Cena turn just because the male demographic isn’t crazy about him would be a bit too reactionary for my tastes.
THE ANGLE THAT WORKS (HEELISH) WONDERS
I like the idea of the slow build for Cena, losing match after match, while growing increasingly frustrated over the lack of support from the fans. Cena would plead his case to the fans about this being his last shot and he needs all the support he could get. He’d go on a pseudo-babyface run where he picks up steam and starts rolling over everyone in his path. This would eventually lead up to a match against none other than Brrrrrrrock (h/t Paul Heyman) Lesnar.
The match begins with a stalemate, as Cena and Lesnar both try to show their power. As they circle each other, looking for the right moment to strike, Lesnar leaves the ring to talk to Paul Heyman. Cena panders to the crows to get into it and to help coerce Heyman to let Lesnar back in the ring. Lesnar re-enters the ring, only to see Cena step out.
The crowd eats it up, thinking Cena is simply playing mind games with Lesnar and Heyman. Before the 10 count, Cena gets back in the ring and gets ready to lockup with Lesnar. The two then stand straight up, smile at each other and both leave the ring, smiling and laughing the whole way. Both competitors get counted out and Heyman has pulled off the unthinkable.
What better way to have Cena turn heel than to make the fans think he’s got a legitimate chance to defeat Lesnar…then join him. If one right, the match would be a huge success and would elicit great reactions from the crowd.
You know what makes a ton of cash? Intriguing storylines that get people to tune in week after week, month after month and year after year. Raising the value of the company through the quality of the product is never a bad thing, even if it will cost the WWE some merchandise sales in the interim. Make the turn, Vince.