John Cena is Vince McMahon’s wet dream come to life; he is the biggest wrestler in the world, no question, and possibly the most polarising figure in wrestling history. Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks – it’s as simple as that. It’s been a constant in WWE for years, and it isn’t going away any time soon. But there’s always been a section of the Cena Sucks collective that have cried out for the face that runs the place to turn heel – “When is John Cena going to turn heel?”, “John Cena needs to turn heel!”, “Top 10 Times WWE Should Have Turned John Cena Heel,” you’ve heard it all. Personally, I don’t think Cena needs to turn heel as he has such an important role in WWE, and the fan reaction he receives is so unique that it doesn’t have to be tampered with – I even wrote at length about it in a previous article. However, there is still a part of me that’s curious to see the fifteen-time world champion switch to the dark side. So if WWE are ever going to give in to temptation and do the unthinkable, now is their perfection opportunity.
The potential heel turn has been building up for over 10 years; Cena’s mottos have been invading our ears, and his good values and never give up attitude have been pushed in our faces for the entirety, therefore if Cena is going to completely abandon everything he stands for, it has to be for something monumental. But it can’t just happen straight away; the ambassadors for the leader of the Cenation’s heel turn have spent years anticipating and speculating over the man in question’s change in attitude, yet if it is going to take place, fans will need to wait a little bit longer. If something this important and historic actually occurs, it needs the time and attention it rightly deserves in order to build it and set it up perfectly. Also, there must be a motive, a vital driving force that propels Big Match John to abandon his ways, and what could be more appropriate than the greatest championship record in wrestling history, that is clearly on Cena’s horizon.
Ric Flair’s sixteen-time world championship record; it’s been intact since the year 2000, and it’s the ideal reason for Cena to turn heel. John has made it clear already that he wants to match it, or even beat it, and overtime, he needs to become obsessed with it. However, the impending heel turn should never be made obvious – Cena cannot show that he’s completely obsessed with beating the record, but instead must occasionally mention it and drop hints about wanting to break it.
The build-up has already started with his clean loss to AJ Styles at Summerslam, and his recent clean loss to Dean Ambrose on Smackdown. This unfamiliar losing streak must continue: losing multiple WWE championship matches; losing clean against up-and-coming stars; and even a big loss at Wrestlemania. At points, the face that runs the place needs to seem like he’s about to snap or beat himself up after a big loss, yet he still remains calm, and stays loyal to his Cenation. This string of bad luck all leads up to one big match at a flagship WWE pay-per-view (e.g. Summerslam) – a big moment deserves a big platform. Cena has to beg for a title shot, yet Bryan and Shane refuse to give him it because of his recent win-loss record. John begs and begs and begs, threatens to move to Raw, and does whatever he can get to that shot, until eventually they give him a chance, under the condition that if he loses, he will never get a WWE Championship match again.
Going into the match, he acts like the same old Cena; his “Never Give Up” rallying towel is held up high and proud as he enters the arena. His moves are all the same, his mannerisms, everything is typical John Cena. However, part-way through the match, the ref is ‘accidentally’ knocked down, at which point Cena low blows his opponent, wraps his old Thuganomics-era chain around his hand, smashes it into his opponent’s face, and then covers him for the three count, and his sixteenth world title reign begins. John holds up the same “Never Give Up” towel used in his entrance directly to the camera, spits on it, throws it to the ground, and stamps on it as he holds up his newly won belt above his head.
The wrestling world would be turned on its head; fans would be shocked, members of the Cenation would be betrayed. Some would love it, some would hate it, but it would be historic. Cena will have achieved the ultimate goal for any champion, and he would do so by turning his back on everyone and everything he believed in.
I’m not saying that the Cena turn needs to happen by any means, but if it does come about, it needs to be done right, and it would create some extremely interesting events. I’d be fascinated to see what a heel Cena would do; personally, I’d to see him form a stable, imagine the kind of heat he would get if he teamed with the likes of Anderson and Gallows, or the chemistry he could have with The Usos now that they’ve turned to the dark side.
Although it is still very unlikely that it will ever happen, if the Cena heel turn is ever going to take place, in John’s own words, the time is now.
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