On a Hypothetical Turn of Heel and Face for Cena and Rusev

After I tweeted my last post On Heels That Should Be Faces and Faces That Should Be Heels, Twitter user @StigsVegCousin asked me to explain how I would book a Cena/Rusev double turn — Cena to heel and Rusev to face — which I alluded to in my post. I appreciated the challenge because really I’m just a chick who shoots my mouth off over here, throwing out my literary ideas about wrestling to see if they float, and I’m rarely called to task to offer a practical booking idea. So I thought about it carefully. Certainly this wouldn’t work in the current carny-corporate climate, but here’s what I ended up proposing:

John Cena takes on the persona of a bitter, broken-down old wrestler. Maybe even wears a patch over his bad eye. “U Can’t C Me” becomes a source of ruthless jokes as Cena’s eye is the target of rakes and other cruelty. Meanwhile Rusev becomes ever the more hardworking immigrant (I credit @ahblackburn for this idea). Lana stops talking about Putin and becomes more classy — not that she’s not classy to begin with, but her skirts would be a little longer, and perhaps her bosom a touch less prominent. She should still be sexy, but in such a way that any slut jokes backfire and make Cena look like an asshole. Cena becomes such an angry old man, a shell of his former self, and says such dickhead xenophobic things to Rusev and Lana, he’s completely unlikeable and loses his stalwart followers. Once Cena loses face, so to speak, and Rusev garners sympathy, Rusev gives Cena the millenial crushing he deserves and the crowd cheers.

@StigsVegCousin didn’t think it would work with Cena and Rusev, but he did see think Cena was ripe for a turn based on his heavy-handed pandering toward kids and charities. What a painful turn it would be for Cena to own his phony, t-shirt based persona by turning heel on it! Someday I still want to write a long think piece about the complexities of the John Cena problem for posterity.

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