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John Cena – “Vince McMahon Toyed With The Idea Of Turning Me Heel”

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John Cena revealed that there was a time Vince McMahon toyed with the idea of a heel turn for the purveyor of hustle, loyalty, and respect.

One of the most polarizing figures in wrestling, WWE legend John Cena has not portrayed a proper villain since his early days in the company. After becoming a fan favorite in late 2003, Cena said goodbye to the dark side and would technically remain a babyface for the rest of his career.

However, many fans rejected Cena in his heroic role, showering him with boos during his various championship reigns. In fact, when he took on Rob Van Dam at ECW One Night Stand in 2005, fans refused to accept his t-shirt that he threw into the crowd and instead threw it back at the then WWE Champion. RVD would successfully defeat John Cena on that night after Paul Heyman counted the pinfall.

By the time The Rock returned in 2011, even more fans were tired of John Cena’s babyface image and boos resounded throughout arenas nationwide. Though it seemed impossible that the WWE Chairman would ever succumb to fan demand and turn his top star heel, Cena revealed in a recent interview on The Pat McAfee Show that Vince McMahon did actually consider the idea.

“I remember Vince toyed with the idea of turning me heel versus The Rock in Miami. I said, ‘No problem, I understand, I’ll do it.'”

However, Cena went on to remind the Chairman that if they took this incredible step in changing his character, there was no turning back and he would have to be all in on his newfound villainous persona.

Just remember that we are so deep in at this point that we can’t do it and then jump back because we’ll be sunk at both ends.’ If we do it, I have to be the opposite of virtue, I have to be pure evil and we go all in.’ From a believability standpoint, people always see me in uniform because I want people to know that what they see is someone they can relate to.

In the end, McMahon decided to keep John Cena in the babyface role, not just for his feud with the Rock but going forward indefinitely. Cena, however, has no regrets and loves the character he gets to portray for the WWE Universe.

He decided against it and at that point he said, ‘I don’t think we’re ever going to do it.’ I have the luxury of playing this character, but I always play this character, which is great because it got me to dive into nuances like the Firefly Fun House match where I was like, ‘what if I have a meta experience through all of my flaws, all my timeline,’ and do stuff like that.”

He has indeed remained babyface for the rest of his time in the WWE, whether it be during his regular tenure or during his sporadic appearances later in his career. Looking ahead to WrestleMania 38, John Cena recently spoke about the potential of appearing at the event amidst his multitude of other projects, including HBO Max’s Peacemaker.

h/t Fightful