COMMENTARY | One of the recurring wishes of many adult professional wrestling fans is for the WWE to turn John Cena heel. I have written on this topic more than once and I believe it would shake up the industry much like Hulk Hogan's heel turn did in 1996. However, I am resigned to the fact that the WWE will probably never turn Cena heel because it would be catastrophic to merchandise sales and Make-A-Wish requests.
Of course, if John Cena is to remain a face, then he needs a heel or villain with which to feud in the WWE. Lately, Ryback and Mark Henry have stepped up to challenge Cena. Ryback was getting over with wrestling fans as a face, but as a heel, he failed to defeat Cena for the WWE title at multiple pay-per-views and house shows. Henry will face Cena at "Money in the Bank" on July 14 after a hilarious promo on Raw in which he faked a retirement speech.
In my opinion, these heel opponents just aren't disliked, feared, or hated enough to inspire WWE fans to emotionally invest in a feud with John Cena. Of course, there are still several episodes of Raw and Smackdown to air before the next pay-per-view and by then, WWE fans may be horrified by more of Henry's dastardly deeds. However, I believe there is another wrestler on the roster who has already proven he can be the WWE's top heel.
Randy Orton closed out the June 24 edition of WWE Raw by helping Daniel Bryan deliver his weekly wrestling instant classic. What was most surprising was that Orton and Bryan shook hands after the match. Two faces shaking hands after a match is nothing new in wrestling and shouldn't cause Attitude Era fans to pull their hair out. But it just doesn't fit with The Viper's heel character that the WWE spent years developing.
Randy Orton's two violations of the WWE's Talent Wellness Program are not a secret. In fact, as you can see here, the WWE's own website announces these infractions. Orton's status has to give the WWE creative team cause for concern when they consider future storylines. But Orton is wrestling in a high-profile angle with Bryan at this time and he would be much better in it as a heel.
I remember a time when wrestling fans actually debated whether John Cena or Randy Orton would be the next WWE star. Of course, much of why Orton is not at the top of the WWE is of his own doing. But pro wrestling is a business and as long as he is still a WWE wrestler, Orton could help the promotion so much more as a heel. Orton's character can be vile and sinister and a renewal of his WWE feud with John Cena would be epic.
In the past, Randy Orton has hinted on Twitter that he wouldn't mind portraying a heel wrestler again in the WWE. Orton isn't a golden goose of merchandise sales or a genie granting hundreds of Make-A-Wishes in his current role. So there don't seem to be the barriers blocking a potential Orton heel turn that are preventing Cena's. We just have to wait and see if Vince McMahon and the WWE creative team feel the same way.
Patrick Michael lives in New Orleans and has always been a big fan of pro wrestling. Patrick's favorite wrestling promotion was Mid-South Wrestling back in the 1980s. Patrick's favorite wrestling angle of all-time was the NWO and his favorite wrestler is Roddy Piper. Follow Patrick Michael on Twitter at patmichael84.
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