For nearly two decades, John Cena has been wrestling for WWE, WWF early on in his career. He has since then become the face of the company and arguably the most popular and biggest star to ever set foot in a wrestling ring. Like every athlete, competing 20 years and at the age of 40 means that a full-time career is on its last leg. It is nearly inevitable that this will be his last run in the ring, at least on a daily basis. He is currently engaged to fellow WWE superstar Nikki Bella and both of them are considering cutting their full-time status and taking a long hiatus from the company for marriage and to settle down to begin their family.
Cena has accomplished nearly every thing there is to do in WWE, including headlining WrestleMania, being tied for most world championship reigns (16 time), winning the Royal Rumble, winning Money in the Bank contract, and become the face of the company for over a decade. Cena has had epic runs in WWE throughout his career and has battled the likes of The Rock, Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, and CM Punk. It is also a milestone that Cena is one of the only superstars in WWE to go through nearly two decades with going turning heel once- at the beginning of his career he turned on Billy Kidman after blaming them for losing their tag team title match. With such a historic career under his belt (pun intended), what is left for Cena to do with his likely last run in WWE?
There is one thing that Cena has not accomplished and it is something that the future first ballot Hall of Fame inductee needs to top off his career: a successful heel turn. For the last few years, the WWE Universe have tried to edge Cena to his tipping point by turning on him by taunting him every time he is in the ring. WWE has stated that there is no plan to turn Cena heel, as they feel it would interfere with his work outside of the ring. He is the most influential superstar and has done amazing charity work with the Make-A-Wish foundation. Turning the lovable character into a villain could hurt his charity work with the kids and feel it is best to do what is best for the fans. A heel turn, from a business viewpoint, would attract the audience into Raw to see something they have wished for. He already has the skills and status in the company to be a top heel and there are new feuds at his disposal that he couldn’t have as a face.
Another important factor to consider with Cena taking his farewell tour is the fact that he is tied for the most world title reigns with Ric Flair at 16. This angle could tie into a possible heel turn. After recent events, Ric Flair suffered a “multiple organ problems” and was in critical condition. He has since awoken from a medically-induced coma and is slowly recovering. Cena could be the true villain and go for the record-breaking 17th world title reign in spite of Flair. Again, this would be a strong move by WWE giving the life-threatening status of Flair just weeks ago. It would get Cena over as a heel though.
If Cena is cemented to finish his career as a face, then there are ways to make his latest run memorable. He can still break the record for world title reigns and be the top dog once more. One of his most memorable moments in recent years was when he was the United States Championship titleholder and issued weekly open challenges for his title. One of Cena’s best qualities is the fact that he put over talent tremendously. Sami Zayn, Zack Ryder, Kevin Owens, Stardust, Neville, and Ceasro looked amazing in their matches and many went on to get a decent push afterwards. If Cena wins the WWE Universal Championship, he could help put over the younger stars and possibly he eventual replacement as the face of the company. He could be the one that finally gets Roman Reigns over or launch The Miz back to main event status.
An issue that surrounds Cena at the moment is that fact that he is taking more and more time off for separate projects. He is the second most intriguing WWE superstar, besides The Rock, and many people want him on their program. Between award shows, films, and his own show American Grit, Cena’s momentum can get derailed in an instant with his focus on other projects. It would be ideal for him to put a hold on his other accounts until he wraps up with WWE. When Cena is solely invested in WWE, he is at his best.
A popular trend for WWE is to take advantage of their power couples: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, The Miz and Maryse, Mike and Maria Kanellis. John Cena and fellow superstar Nikki Bella are currently engaged to be married and her sister Brie Bella is married to Daniel Bryan and expecting their first child. When Nikki is healed from her injuries, she could return by Cena’s side again. In their feud with Maryse and The Miz, Cena and Bella were a great unit and had one of their best promos. The couple could take over the male and female rosters and it could also lead to a potential return of Brie and Daniel Bryan.
Cena has returned to Raw in time for some of the biggest pay-per-view events. If he doesn’t get a title before November, he could participate in the traditional Survivor Series tag match and be the last man standing. At the Royal Rumble, Cena could end up winning a third time and set him up for one last WrestleMania man event. WWE could make Cena the top dog on last time and let him go out in style, winning several of the biggest events of the year.