Former WWE Writer Recalls Failed Pitches To Turn John Cena Heel

Brian Gewirtz emphasized why John Cena didn’t want go through with a half-hearted heel turn. “He was like, ‘There won’t be none of that like, oh, he’s a fun heel, he’s a cool heel, he’s winking at the audience, heel.’ He is going to go full heel, that’s what he wants to do, which would have been awesome,” said the former head writer of “Monday Night Raw” on “Cheap Heat.”

When Cena made his intentions to go full-throttle heel known, Vince McMahon had a change of heart. “I think Vince was like, ‘John is basically captain of the ship here,'” revealed Gewirtz. He also addressed “the issues of who would [Cena] work with? Who would replace him as the top babyface?” on top of the “merchandise and everything else John does off-screen.” Seeing as the former WWE CEO “didn’t want to pull the trigger,” Gewirtz believes, “In [McMahon’s] mind, I think he’s like, ‘I made the right decision because John has been the standard bearer.'”

Gewirtz then drew the parallel between Roman Reigns and Cena through McMahon’s eyes. “[McMahon] was like, ‘I need Roman to be this guy.’ But, Roman is Roman, and John is John.” The writer also recalled that “two months after the Sufferin’ Succotash [promo],” there was an attempt made “to have Roman tell stories, because I was consulting WWE at the time, and when I saw Sufferin’ Succotash on the script, I was sending out flare gun signals like, ‘No, don’t have him say that.’ But ultimately, yes, they did pull the trigger on Roman … and he’s been amazing.”

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