R.I.P. (1990-2011), John Cena a Heel?

Mark Madden


Who will sell the T-shirts?

Used to be, wrestling promotions didn’t merchandise heels. If a heel’s popular enough to move T-shirts, isn’t he really a babyface? If the crowd is full of people wearing the heel’s T-shirt, doesn’t the babyface look bad? That sort of logic has been swept aside by the notion that someone will actually pay $19.95 for a Miz T-shirt and no, I can’t believe it, either. Heels have T-shirts. Sell, sell, sell. Not hatin’. That’s reality.

But if a John Cena heel turn is, indeed, being mooted, that’s not just business. That’s BIG BUSINESS.

Cena moves merch like few before him. While a heel turn wouldn’t totally stem the flow of T-shirt dollars, you’d think the “Never Give Up” and “Hustle, Loyalty, Respect” gear might start to pile up at the warehouse.

By the way, does anybody own the official U CAN’T C ME pendant, let alone actually wear it? I can’t imagine…

Do Cena’s incredibly high merchandise sales make WWE hesitate before turning Cena? Yes, and they should. Doesn’t mean you don’t turn him. It does mean that you’d better be sure it will work, thus increasing overall revenues, before you throw back a sizeable percentage of Cena’s merch loot. It’s good business. Common sense.

Cena is a better babyface than a heel, and I’ve always respected him for staying the course character-wise when his ‘face persona gets booed. He could be a good heel now, but aligning him with Nexus would be ill-advised. Joining a group he’s feuded with by way of fulfilling a stipulation sounds intriguing, but it would turn out clumsy. There would be too many gaps in logic and anyway, Nexus has been diminished. Brought back to the pack. Why would Cena follow Wade Barrett? But if Cena leads Nexus, it would be like Steve Austin leading the Alliance. See? It’s all clumsy.

WWE should leave Cena ‘face for now. Sell those T-shirts.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh. Check out the Mark Madden page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark via wzmarkmadden@hotmail.com.


Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report? Submit it now!
monitoring_string = "851cc24eadecaa7a82287c82808f23d0"