John Cena never properly turned heel during his full-time WWE run, and Matt Hardy recently shared a theory about why.
Speaking on his “The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy” podcast, Hardy talked about Cena always playing babyface. Cena was the face of WWE for several years, beginning in 2005 with his world title win at WrestleMania 21. Even though he was pushed as the top babyface in the company, fans grew tired of the act. Many clamored for a heel run for Cena to freshen up the character.
Hardy admitted that a heel run might have helped Cena’s character in the long run, but that it wasn’t in WWE’s best interests considering Cena’s charity work with Make-A-Wish. He said,
“There’s some times in WWE where those decisions are made because the real person is just such a tremendous asset to the company in so many ways. That’s probably why they would never pull the trigger on it. I mean, would it have helped him [Cena] in the long run? I think so. I think it would have, but I just feel like all the Make-A-Wishes, all the appearances, all the charity stuff he did, they just they wanted to keep him in that role. So that’s why they kept him in that same position, kind of like on cruise control.”
Cena returned to the ring on December 30th on SmackDown, teaming with Kevin Owens to defeat Sami Zayn and Roman Reigns.