Monday 11 March 2013

The Impossible Scenario

With the WWE championship match between The Rock and John Cena at WrestleMania XXIX WWE has an opportunity to do something many have wanted to see for years. They have the perfect chance to turn Cena heel.

It would be easy to do. What if Cena gives it everything he has, just as he alleges he did last year, and it's still not enough? Cena hits Rock with an AA. The champ kicks out. Cena scores with another AA, but Rock survives again. Rock comes back with a Rock Bottom, but Cena weathers it. An STF is locked in but ‘The Brahma Bull’ doesn’t tap. A Sharpshooter doesn’t make Cena tap. Cena connects with The Rock’s own Rock Bottom but the champ survives that too, sliding into position for his own, proper, delivery of the move as Cena yanks him to his feet, retaining his title.

Or, you know, something like that.

Falling to The Rock in the main event of the most high profile event of the year twice could legitimately send the Cena character over the edge and make him snap. The sight of him belting ‘The Great One’ with chair shots or AAing him through a table would get the majority of the audience booing.
The beauty of a Cena turn happening in this particular match is that no foreshadowing would be needed. The reasons for the turn are already established and the story behind it would take place in one match. It would be a swerve turn that actually makes sense.
Insert your own American snack food comment here
A turn would freshen up the company’s most stale character. It would also create plenty of fresh storyline options. Perhaps the best thing about it would be the level of shock it would cause: not only would WWE’s lead babyface go bad after near enough a decade on top but he would also lose. With everyone convinced 2013 is ‘The CeNation Leader’s’ turn to go over the surprise of The Rock winning would be huge.

Of course, this isn’t going to happen.

WWE are still heavily reliant on Cena for selling pay-per-views and merchandise as well as generating TV ratings. It would also make the (very worthwhile) work he does with the Make-A-Wish Foundation pretty difficult to pull off. There is currently nobody else who could step into this role. Nor is there anybody who may be ready to step into the role in the foreseeable future. Until there is Cena is going to remain a good guy. WWE cannot afford to lose him.

It’s also unlikely because of The Rock’s schedule. He’s likely to appear on the post-WrestleMania RAW but beyond that nothing is certain. It’s possible he’s going to work Extreme Rules. If he did then he could drop the title there. But doing so would involve the difficult booking trick of building up a pay-per-view main event without access to the champion.

Who could WWE use in that slot? The newly heel Cena could work, but having a heel carry a feud in that fashion would be hard to pull off. Doubly so with Cena, considering how clueless he is. Punk would be a better pick, as it would rehabilitate him after his three straight PPV losses. Both options are rematches though. That’s less than ideal. Yet there’s nobody else who could realistically be used opposite The Rock right now.

Like I say, the turn’s not happening so this is a moot point.

I expect the time for the turn will come whenever ‘The Doctor of Thuganomics’ decides to go part time or retire. That’s not a decision he’ll reach overnight, and it’s not a decision WWE management won’t be involved in. I imagine even now there are wrestlers on the roster that WWE wants to start moving into the Make-A-Wish mould.

Talk of Cena going heel won’t turn serious until that time comes. Because of the way the WWE business model is structured right now, they’re simply too dependent on Cena’s success and status. It would be great if WrestleMania XXIX saw Cena lose it and obliterate The Rock in a post-match rage but it’s a sight we’ll be denied.

Carry on waiting.

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