Why WWE Doesn’t Turn John Cena Heel, Meet Ric Flair

Partial Source: The Wrestling Observer Newsletter

— As we’ve reported several times here on the website, WWE has always been hesitant to turn John Cena heel due to how much merchandise he sells and also how over he is with children. For what it’s worth, Cena is obviously the leader in sales and sells five times more merchandise than the number two top seller in the company.

— As noted last week here on the website, CM Punk is still under contract with WWE. He has not been released, suspended or fired. His merchandise is still being sold at WWE live events and on WWE.com. Punk is being paid a large sum of royalties for the merchandise, as he is the #2 seller in the company behind John Cena.

— Also as previously reported here on the website, Triple H suffered a muscle injury during his match against Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30. The injury is said to not be too serious, but there was noticeable bruising after the match. This is why Triple H’s leg was taped up on the post-WrestleMania edition of Monday night RAW.

— WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is scheduled to sign autographs on Saturday, May 3rd at the Frank & Son’s Collectible Show in City of Industry, California. He’ll be there from 12:30PM until 3PM and is charging $49 for a simple autograph. If you want a photo with Flair, you’ll need to pay $59. If you want both an autograph and photo, it’ll cost you $99. What a deal …. ?!?!

100% DIRECT LINK (PHOTOS): Layla Selfie-Pic In **HOT WORKOUT** Clothes!!!

  • Anthony Moore

    News Flash: Most TRUE WWE fans are sick and tired of seeing Cena #1 in merch and STILL considered the #1 guy in the company. Sure he isn’t booked that way right now, and Bryan is RIGHTFULLY being pushed as that guy, but fact is, you ask any casual fan on the street, they will STILL mention Cena first, which is bogus. His “time” has passed, and the fact they won’t do what would actually be BEST for ALL the business and for the fans who would want to see something fresh after 10+ years (sorry to all the kids who ain’t been around that long to know just how dull Cena has gotten) and turn Cena heel because they’d piss off a bunch of kids and wow lose a few shirt sales? I’m sure that any heel shirt of Cena’s would sale if done right. I mean come on, Punk is the #2 seller and he isn’t even there and some of that is based on his rep AS A HEEL. So sick of the Cena praise and the dullness that comes with him and the excuses for him because he sells to the MINORITY of the true WWE audience. There is a REASON that a MAJORITY of the audience is cheering for BRAY over Cena. WWE has finally started getting things right, now how about you make another bold move with the times and turn Cena heel. Enough of the kid crap, isn’t that what Daniel Bryan is for? Isn’t that what Cesaro and all these other younger guys you should be pushing for? Stop living 10 years in the past just because 7 and 8 year olds buy every color of Cena shirt they can because he’s all over TV selling cereal and because he attempts to bury the fresh talent with his dumb jokes, ex: his Wyatt family jokes. If there was any time to turn him heel, it would be NOW. Cena rant over.

    • Shawn Grimes

      Obviously you failed to read the article. Cena merch sell 5Times more than whoever is in second place. Let that sink in for a second cause it aint the kids who buy this stuff, its the parents of the kids with the money, and they see Cena as a role model for their kids. This is all about money and no matter the “Cena sucks” chants and online twitter bulls***, Cena again sells 5 times more merch than second place. He will go heel when that changes, not to mention the amazing good mainstream PR press he brings the WWE brand via the Make A Wish foundation and trips to shows like The View, CNN, GMA, and the Today show. Look, I enjoy the Sheild sand thr Wyatts and Brock and CM Punk more than Cena, but he’s earned his spot in and outside the ring and as the face of the company its no question the status qou isn’t changing anytime soon. No one brings in more money or good mainstream press than John Cena. Your Cena rant is invalid.

      • allan

        no cena rant is invalid

        • Jeff Rittenour

          that one was – as is ANY comment by you lol

      • Guest

        Actually, the Cena rant is valid because honestly, how much more money does WWE really need? They could fire John Cena and still rake in billions from other superstars, the fans and hordes of other internal and external sources. Who are you kidding? It would be nothing to them to bring up a new #1 in the company. It might take the crowd a little while to acclimate to the changes but eventually, they will fall in line just like they did with Cena and ever other #1 before him. What you wrote is not a reasonable explanation, it’s a ridiculous excuse. Seriously, WWE is nowhere near hurting for money. It’s more to it than what you mention.

    • Michael Delfino

      Vince McMahon’s job with WWE is quite simple, make the brand as profitable as humanly possible. He has done an amazing job with that. Profits are at an all time high. Are ratings? Obviously not, but ratings are only one of MANY different ways a company like this makes money. The simple truth is he doesn’t care about the diehards who will buy every PPV, subscribe to the network the first day, etc. He cares about the casual viewer, because that 70% of his base probably accounts for around 90% of their business.

      • allan

        why? y is important to make the brand as much money as possible they already make alot ,why do they have to destory other companies and make as much as they can appealing to whoever buys stuff Y Y Y Y Y!!!! because wwe isnt a wrestling company is a corp i stupid heartless corp

    • sirhceth

      I can see the whole merchandise thing as a reason to not turn him heel, but at the same time. There’s a very obvious reason that he’s selling 5 x more merchandise than the #2 guy, and that’s this… he HAS 5x more merchandise than the #2 guy! haha. Even just this past year, how many different shirts has he had? not even just shirts, that’s the big part, but arm bands, headbands, hats etc. I know I’m only speaking for a percentage of the fans out there but as a fan I’ve gone and bought merchandise at a house show and they simply didn’t have enough merchandise of any other superstar than John Cena. It’s totally how they market, if they come up with that much merchandise for bray wyatt for example, shirts, straw hats, blow up rocking chairs i dunno anything… but if they match the number of merchandise items with Cena then we might see a difference. At least right now anyways. I know that unfortunately Bray Wyatt in the main event picture is probably a short term thing, at least right now, but I’m just saying whenever the company wants to push the next guy they have the formula to do so.

    • allan

      well mabye those true wrestling fans should buy more crap from real guys cause as long as there kids watching wrestling cena will be number 1 forever

    • HC Duran

      Cena won’t be around forever. And when he does retire or has an injury he can’t come back from in 15 minutes, How will WWE survive, since it has failed to try to build any additional “role models” who can sell merch and PPVs like Cena? There’s nothing wrong with him serving the role he’s doing for the WWE, but there is something wrong with having utterly failed to develop anybody else to that status in 10 years. How many more Wrestemanias will be dominated by matches featuring Cena, UT and HHH before the company ever turns the page? Do we really think Cena is the only guy on the roster who can be developed into a merchandise selling phenom?

    • Jeff Rittenour

      I’m glad you’re a TRUE wwe fan – cuz those people don’t know s***. WWF 4 Life. Everything you wrote was nonsense and if you were in charge you’d bankrupt that company.

  • perfect1

    Bryan sucks! Same 5 moves

    • allan

      look up his history hes got 1000s of moves its just hard to do to giants lol

      • Sean

        and dolph ziggler and cena and orton are so heavy

    • Jeff Rittenour

      yes he does, I hate Bryan. I thought Hornswoggle and El Torrito were the only midget wrestlers in wwe..?

  • allan

    IM SORRY BUT WHAT DO U PEOPLE THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN WHEN HE GOES HEEL.. HE ALREADY GETS BOOD , U WANT TO TAKE AWAY THE PROFITABLE PARTS OF CENA SO HE CAN PLAY A BAD GUY LOL HE WILL STILL SUCK IN THE RING AND THERE A PG SHOW NOW SO DONT EXPECT ANYTHING GOOD.

    WE DONT NEED CENA HEEL OR FACE WE NEED NO CENA ITS BEEN 12 YEARS OF CRAP I PERSONALLY THINK EVERYONES MAIN EVENT CAREER SHOULD LAST A FEW YEARS TOPS THEN THEY SHOULD RETIRE OR BE PUSHED TO THE SIDE

    RANDY ORTON REALLY NEEDS TO GO. HES ONLY WHAT 32, AND HES BEEN ON TOP FOR 10 YEARS I MEAN DO WE REALLY HAVE ANOTHER 10 YEARS OF ORTON!

    • Jeff Rittenour

      You are SUCH a moron… Remember a guy named Hulk Hogan. He was being booed towards the end of his face run too…what happened then? He went heel and and people got mad (after already booing him – wtf?) and he re-started the interest in wrestling AGAIN just like in the 80’s. If it weren’t for Hogan turning heel and the nWo there’d be attitude era and wwe might not even EXIST today… So Cena going heel COULD possibly be what they need…but who knows. All I KNOW is that Thuganomics Cena was miles more entertaining then Marine to nowadays Cena.

      • Jon Palmer

        Hogan leached on to Hall & Nash’s good idea. He only ever looks out for himself. If not for Hogan sabotaging people like Jericho and Benoit so he could stay in the main events and give us boring matches, WCW would have stayed in business.

  • FrostyRSIFX

    It’s simple. There’s no competition, so Vince doesn’t have to give the fans what they want. He can ruin ECW, he can pump out crappy PPVs, and he can have Cena smash Flair’s World Title record, despite the fact that he has NEVER gotten over as a main-event face.

    • Jeff Rittenour

      No NEVER gotten over…LMAO. Cena wasn’t pushed to the top he actually was PUT THERE by the fans…Wordlife.

      • FrostyRSIFX

        Well, I know they just wasted two years of The Rock’s life trying to get Cena over as the main guy, and the fans still don’t accept him. They still prefer CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt. Hell, I think they prefer Fandango

      • Jon Palmer

        …..by the UNDER 10 YEAR OLD fans.

    • Jon Palmer

      Even if he does beat Flair’s record for number of world titles he will still never beat Flair as “The Greatest of All Time”!!
      Flair’s title reigns were measured in years. Cena’s are measured in months

  • fmdof

    Vince should read the forums, cause obviously you guys have all the answers on what they should do. I never realized there are sooooo many experts on pro wrestling that have never been involved with the product more than just being a fan. Even more so, experts on a publicly traded billion dollar company. Damn. I feel out of place now.

    • Carter Williams

      People have opinions and this is the place to voice them. You don’t like them, don’t read them. You can’t sit there and honestly say you’ve never criticized a team, company, etc and voiced your opinion on how they should have done something even though you had nothing to do with it. Maybe Vince and creative should read the forums, the man is a genius when it comes to the business but even he doesn’t get everything right. It’s always a good idea to keep a thumb on the pulse of your base. There can be some really good ideas on forums like this that can make them big money and they wouldn’t even need to pay someone to think it up.

  • Fast Eddie

    John Cena is the man. I can understand all the haters. But regardless, John Cena is the man!

  • MrNineofif

    I don’t get the charging for autographs and whjat person pays for autographs.

    • Jon Palmer

      Lots of people pay for autographs. There is a whole industry of buying and selling autographs and other sports memorabilia. Paying for an autograph is an investment for the future if it is from the right person. Flair would definitely qualify.

      • Guest

        That’s crap. Don’t give that lousy excuse! I don’t care who it is, nobody’s signature is worth that much money or even a fraction of it. If people are dumb enough to pay for that then that’s their problem. Signatures are forged all the time and that “investment” is no guarantee. If you’re trying to suck money out of your fans (the people who already pay to see YOU perform and not to mention invest in your merchandise and support you in the crowd) for a simple autograph, that’s not right. Who does that?

        • Jon Palmer

          I was just stating a fact. Whether it is crappy or not, it is still something that happens. That’s exactly why there are signature forgers. Also, why people have to be careful in that trade.
          As for who does it; enough people that it shouldn’t be some shocking revelation to anyone.

  • Jeff Rittenour

    Cena is the man!

  • mike

    history repeating itself? I remember back in the 80’s i couldn’t stand hogan..just like cena…hogan sold a lot of merchandise…like cena….after his time in wwe was up…a cooling off period if you will….comes back…crowds cheer…turns heel…crowd still cheers…but even louder and wrestling is interesting again….cena’s heading down that same road.