John Cena is perhaps the last, big male superstar created via the WWE “system.” With SummerSlam fast approaching, fans are clamoring at the idea of a potential return for Cena for a main event angle against Roman Reigns. This would be an excellent addition to the top of the card, but there is an intriguing parallel between the two men that would be more interesting to see for a long-term run. Imagine John Cena the heel. If that is too far of a leap, then the movie Fast 9 may help you get a sneak peek of what Cena as the bad guy would look like.
When Reigns returned to the WWE at SummerSlam in 2020, it was after an understandable absence because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. Reigns returned, and he did so in a way that quickly became the most intriguing storyline in the promotion. Paul Heyman was now his advocate and it was clear that Reigns was not here to smile for the fans but simply be acknowledged for everything he does for every employee of the WWE as the main attraction. It is a storyline that has worked out well by most accords in a time when storytelling is not a strong suit in the WWE.
Now, imagine that same booking philosophy applied to Cena. It has been more than two years since he has had an actual match, with his last appearance being at WrestleMania 36 where he faced his demons in a “match” with The Fiend. In the past, interacting with The Fiend has caused all his previous opponents to turn heel in some fashion and Cena could be the next individual to show this outcome. Again, long-term booking is not a strength of the WWE.
But what would a heel John Cena look like? His charter in F9, Jakob Toretto, oozed intensity every time he was on the screen – making it seem like he was prepared to snap someone’s neck at a moment’s notice. The Fast and Furious series is never about master cinema, but there are plenty of explosions, fight scenes, and fast cars. It would be interesting to see that version of Cena in the ring, but with the microphone abilities to dress down the other men and women that have failed to push the WWE to new levels while their competition in AEW continues to grow. A Cena that is angry at the wrestlers who have failed to continue with the torch that he is passed on to them would be something worth seeing.
As hated as John Cena was during the height of his run, coming back to the WWE would give the promotion a much-needed boost. Instead of seeing him come back as the same character, adding in the new wrinkle as a heel character would be something that fans have wanted to see for a long time and build to an interesting story if done right.