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Why Roman Reigns Turned Heel and John Cena Didn't

Posted By: Ben Kerin on Feb 13, 2021

Why Roman Reigns Turned Heel and John Cena Didn't

During a recent episode of The Masked Man Show podcast, former WWE creative writter Brian Gewirtz explained why Roman Reigns turned heel and John Cena didn't:

“When it came to Roman [Reigns], the model was John [Cena], right? Because there were plenty of times when the writers would come in and be like, ‘Can we just turn John heel?’ With the, ‘Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks. Can we do it? Can we pull the trigger?’ And it was something Vince [McMahon] never wanted to do. He considered it, he always considers all ideas but ultimately he didn’t wanna do it and I think in the end he was like, to put it bluntly he was like, ‘Thank God I didn’t listen to you,’ as far as turning John heel because John was the standard-bearer and made a ton of money for the company and Make-A-Wish and merchandise and everything, you know?”

“It wasn’t, ‘Let’s go Cena, Cena sucks’ with Roman. It was pretty heavily boos even if you’d always get the reports from the live events and it would be like, ‘Oh, the crowd popped for the finish and they popped on his entrance and yeah, there was a section of people booing but blah, blah, blah.’ At some point, obviously that mindset of, ‘We gotta keep Roman babyface, we gotta keep John Cena babyface’ shifted and in this particular case, it’s like similar to when [Hulk] Hogan turned heel in WCW. It’s like that was the right move to make and teaming him with Paul [Heyman], that essentially established it.”

“Do you remember that time where he was a tweener where he’s like, ‘I’m not a good guy, I’m not a bad guy, I’m just THE guy’ and it was neither here nor there in terms of what he was supposed to be. It’s like you come down with Paul Heyman and you just — again, it’s all about commitment and you commit to being a heel, that’s gonna have such a more highly effective way to convey that character than just kind of, ‘Let the audience decide.’ Sometimes, we need to decide and kind of plant the flag in the ground and let the audience react to it. So, I’m so happy for Roman to be able to be a heel now and thrive like that because you’re seeing it, he’s loving every second of it, you could tell. At least that is what it seems like.”

Thanks to PostWrestling.com for the transcription.

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Tags: #wwe #john cena #roman reigns
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