Author's note; Finally got around to creating a blog to officially revive my old sub-column from Inside Pulse Wrestling as it appeared in the old Monday Night Rabble. I commented rather long on an article there today and decided it was as good a rant as any to start up a wrestling opinion blog with. So here it is.
I think there's only one way for a Cena heel turn to work. Because he's acknowledged the fan split many times and still continued to be a man of admirable character while glibly saying those who boo him have every right to do so, for HIM to become a heel rather than just a face that half the audience boos, you have to give HIM an organic reason to change his attitude, one that's believable that those who love Cena will buy. And that reason will be based on WHY half the audience boos him.
I've repeatedly said I think the bulk of Cena's haters in the audience are guys who resent how much their kids and wives/girlfriends love him. Yes there are a few guys in the IWC and the Smark audience who hate him for more logical reasons, like his overpushing and Vince's watering down of his character, but most of Cena's haters hate him purely out of jealousy.
So to turn Cena truly heel, play on that. Do something to finally get him pissed off enough to actually insult fans and make them believe he's genuinely bitching.
Have him shown on cam, signing autographs for kids. Have one kid ask him "Mister Cena what's a "Douchebag?". Cena of course will be puzzled and ask him why he wants to know. The kid will reply because his Daddy said Cena was a douchebag because he and Mommy like Cena so much, or something similar. This plants the seed. Cena is fine with guys booing him, but teaching their kids to hate because of a personal opinion? That will morally offend him given the kind of man he is.
Now what happens next, in a logical world, would cement him as a face, but WWE fans tend to be assholes. They cheered Mae Young going through a table after all. So what happens next will succeed in making Cena himself an actual heel in the eyes of those fans who like him.
Cena comes out to the ring and cuts a promo about that kid's dad. He loudly vents his disgust that any responsible parent would teach his kid words like douchebag because he's so insecure that he can't handle his family cheering for Cena. This gets boos not only from said insecure douchebags in the audience (because deep down they know he's right), but also the wives and kids start to boo a little because Cena is insulting their husband/dads. Kids, even if they have a shitty disfunctional family, will defend that family. So kids will be mad that Cena is insulting their dads, and wives/girlfriends will be pissed that he's calling their men irresponsible douchebags, even if they ARE, under the "I can insult my man but YOU sure as hell can't" mentality. Cena gets even more pissed off that the wives and kids are defending their mens' deplorable behavior and lets a little rage finally slip, and now he organically shifts to insulting the defenders, the way some people play blame the victim when a battered wife still defends the man she's terrified of. Granted that's an exxageration but the root principle is the same; Cena sees these men doing something that anyone with common sense knows is shallow and wrong, and can't understand why his fans are defending his haters. He outright calls the kids and wives stupid for defending the shallow garbage, and now no one is still cheering him. Cena is outright pissed-off indignant justified heel now. The only kind of heel Cena can convincingly be given the kind of man he is; the one with the moral high ground that you boo because you know deep down he's right and you hate him for it, the kind who points out character flaws you never want to admit you have. And the more justified and true his rants get, and the more vehemently he delivers them, the more the ENTIRE audience hates his guts.
Of course that scenariop requires logic and proper storytelling. So we all know if the E ever does turn him they'll do it in a two week program by having him suddenly snap for no logical reason and beat Rey Mysterio into a pulp, then say he's just sick of half the audience booing him.
But my idea is better. It makes logical sense and is organic to the character Cena plays which is pretty much who he really is. My idea makes perfect sense. Which is of course why it will never happen. The 'E HATES making sense.