John Cena Should Retire The Rock

Mike Killam


John Cena Should Retire The Rock
By: Mike Killam

How many times does WWE change course on a specific character or angle? Is Randy Orton a heel or a face? Sheamus, king of the world. Sheamus, Bourne fodder. The Nexus is going to be the most dominant team in the history of sports entertainment. But first they’re going to get destroyed by John Cena and his boys at SummerSlam. Don’t worry…they’ll probably recover. When it comes to long term investments, the WWE only has two left: the Undertaker’s undefeated WrestleMania streak and John Cena’s face character. Everything else changes with the wind on a monthly, sometimes weekly basis.

The thing about an investment is it only really pays off if you let it sit. You have to put it in motion and walk away for a long time before it’s ready to be taken out and used for even bigger payoff. The WWE made an investment in John Cena at WrestleMania 21 when they allowed him to topple the “wrestling god”. They gave John the keys to the locker room and told him to run… And now the kid from West Newbury is the biggest thing since the Rock. Maybe bigger… But eventually Cena’s going to get older and a fresh face will captivate the kids in attendance. The fans who once cheered for Cena won’t remember why, and he’ll have a lot of trouble staying relevant, let alone popular. Granted, the downward spiral of Cena is still years into the future, but why wait? Why not take advantage of the biggest talent in wrestling while he’s still king of the mountain (sorry JJ)? I’m talking, of course, about turning WWE’s biggest cash cow into a full blown villain.

The idea’s been thrown around for years, but I don’t think Vince McMahon has really had the prime opportunity to do anything about it. Even if he wanted to turn Cena heel, what is he going to do? He could go through the motions and take out Randy Orton, but most of Cena’s fan base would just start hating the Viper again. I think they teased the idea already, and it didn’t work. As much as they want it to happen, Cena and Orton are just not the same as Rock and Austin. But I truly believe that if the WWE is going to make the move, now is the only time to do it. With Hulk Hogan spending all his time in TNA (and waging relevancy wars with Bret Hart), the Rock is the only giant draw left in pro wrestling. No matter how much Cena tries to get people on his side (and the rapping thing almost worked…), he just doesn’t have the “millions” wrapped around his finger like the Great One does. So why not kill two birds with one stone, and utilize the longevity of Cena’s character AND the return of the most electrifying man in entertainment? We can be real, the Rock isn’t going to be around forever. While my fingers are still crossed and my mind is open, he’s probably not going to be around much past WrestleMania. Once he’s gone, he’s gone and the WWE will be in the same place they were two months ago. I say ALL of this because I know that people aren’t going to be happy with my idea… Alright, here goes nothing.

The Rock is going to play some sort of role in the match between John Cena and WWE Champion the Miz at WrestleMania, right? Well, for starters Cena is going to need to defeat the Miz and win back his title. For most of you that’s probably where the issue is going to start. But wait, there’s more… After “the champ” has had time to watch Miz crawl to the back, you have the Rock come down and stand in the ring face-to-face with the new WWE Champion. And after almost two months of epic confrontation and dramatic build-up, you have the Rock extend the hand to John Cena. Allow the People’s Champion to be the symbol of peace and good-will this time. If you want to have the Rock pick up a microphone he can even tell Cena that by watching him win the title he grew so impressed that he’s willing to put the past behind him and “pass the torch” like a legend should do. The twist comes when John Cena levels the Rock in the middle of the ring at WrestleMania 27. The fans might not get it at first, and they may even cheer in favor of Cena if it happens (the kids anyway). But the prestige happens on Monday Night Raw the following evening. Can you picture John Cena coming to the ring and telling the fans that even though he’s been around for seven years giving his life for them, they throw it right back in his face as soon as the Rock comes crawling back? That he’s sick of everything he’s given for the company and for the Universe, when none of it matters when the “Great One” steps back into the ring. Can you imagine Superman John Cena, biggest true face in 20 years, telling the people he once loved that “they can’t see him”?

But why turn the biggest face in the WWE against his people? Because you can’t build a great face without a great heel. It took JBL to turn Cena into what he is, and it also took guys like Triple H and Edge to keep him going once he was on top. But who is going to take guys like the Miz and Dolph Ziggler to the top of the mountain. How will Drew McIntyre ever be the face of anything unless he has a villain to defeat? Heels are a dime-a-dozen in today’s industry, but GOOD heels are hard to come by. The type of heel that the fans just want to see destroyed is almost never heard of. They need to take advantage of the opportunity given to them and turn John Cena into the biggest heel wrestling has ever seen. Make him win the title, take out the Rock, and actually GO ON THE ATTACK when he’s in the ring. Make him put down Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio. Have Daniel Bryan try to bring him to justice, only to fail at the last second. For super-massive heal heat, utilize the Rock at SummerSlam in a “dream match” against Cena, with the Rock’s future in the WWE on the line. Give the man the exit he needs and put Cena on the map forever. You need to give the fans somebody to truly hate again so they have someone to truly cheer for again. Do you see why a veteran like Jerry Lawler is getting some of the best reactions on Raw? It’s not because fans today care about Lawler… Don’t get me wrong, the guy is one of the best, and his contributions to wrestling are still seen in the ring today, but fans today don’t give a damn. It’s because Michael Cole is one of the most annoying, evil jack-asses wrestling has seen in a LONG time. The Miz is good, but he’s not good enough to really HATE. Therefor, people don’t actually want to see Cena beat him at WrestleMania…That is a problem. Not since the days of Austin-McMahon have people hated a personality more. People love Lawler because he’s taking out Michael Cole! Who wouldn’t want to get behind that?

Yes, people will get beaten along the way. But it won’t be the same as Cena taking out a bunch of young heels left and right. Super Cena beating Wade Barrett just makes Barrett look weak and pushes him further down the card. But if somebody like Daniel Bryan tried and failed to defeat Evil Cena, the fans would have to get behind him. The idea is to make the fans support people they normally don’t get that behind, just because they hate the villain so much. JBL was absolute gold. He took Guerrero, Mysterio, and Cena to new levels of fan support. The WWE has an opportunity to re-capture that magic. If you want to make the Miz the “future of the WWE” you put him up against John Cena next year after he’s had a year of being an evil dictator on Raw, and you see what happens. People will be begging for Miz to take the belt of him… And when he does we’ll have a new face, a new era, and a new product. I’m not saying the idea is a perfect formula. I’m not saying it’s 100% proven to work. But the Rock is likely the only person who could turn Cena heel, and Vince may only have a short time to pull the trigger… People may be livid at the idea of Cena beating Miz at WrestleMania. They may despise the idea of Cena beating down the Rock. But just be lucky I didn’t go with my original idea… Can you imagine if a heel John Cena ended the Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania? People would be throwing garbage into the ring. People would be threatening Cena’s life. People would hate Vince, Stephanie, Triple H, and everyone ever involved with the WWE Creative process. It would be…wonderful.

You may now yell and scream at Mike by sending an email to You can follow him on Twitter @MJKillam as well.

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