'Monday Night Raw' recap: John Cena, babyface or heel?
The latest episode of WWE's "Monday Night Raw" was one of the best editions in quite a while, but it opened the door to a decision that the WWE has to make, one that is fraught with pitfalls on either side.
Namely, is it time to turn John Cena from a good guy to a bad guy? For years, Cena has been greeted with a mixture of cheers and boos when he gets in the ring. Women and anyone under the age of 14 love him. Everyone else hates him. But Cena's merchandise (T-shirts, etc.) is consistently the best-selling merchandise in WWE, filling the company's coffers with cash. If you turn him into a bad guy, odds are the merchandise will stop selling. Kids might not ask their parents to take them to see WWE when it comes to town. But if you do turn him, there's a chance you could increase ratings and make WWE as hot as it was during the "Attitude Era."
The show started with Piper’s Pit. Roddy Piper said his career was driven by crowd energy and introduced John Cena. Piper confronted Cena, telling him that he needs to acknowledge that many in the crowd don't like him. That if he doesn't there will be no way he defeats The Rock at WrestleMania next April.
Cena said he knows some people don’t like him, but that's what makes WWE great. He said the boos will never get to him. Piper handed Cena his Hall of Fame ring, then said he would help Cena win and slapped Cena. Cena acted as if he was going to snap and beat up Piper, but then calmly handed back the ring and left.
But the most important part of the segment was the WWE planting the seeds for an eventual heel turn by Cena down the line. The question is, is that a good idea? Time will tell.
Oh, and by the way, John Morrison's contract expires Wednesday, and he isn't expected to sign a new one, which is why he was written out of the show by being taken out on a stretcher after being attacked by The Miz.
— Houston Mitchell
Photo: John Cena, left, and Roddy Piper in the ring Monday. Credit: WWE.