On a recent episode of Grilling JR, Jim Ross talked about coming back to WWE to call WrestleMania 27 in Atlanta, Georgia. This event was historically known as the night WWE started to plant the seeds for The Rock and John Cena’s two-year run at WrestleMania main event matches against each other. On the night, we saw The Rock help The Miz to defeat John Cena in the main event and then the next night, both stars accepted a match for next year’s Mania.
Throughout the Rock/Cena storyline, Cena was heavily booed by fans, but was still kept as a babyface. Ross talked about WWE and Vince McMahon refusing to ever turn John Cena into a heel, saying it was something he never understood.
“The thing that’s always been funny to me is that Cena never turned heel,” Ross said. “There’s where my brain fart starts. Why didn’t we do that? Why was that not done? I’ve heard John didn’t want to be a heel, I don’t really believe that one. I just think that Vince felt like he was such a pristine baby face but if you listen to the audience, there was a long time there where he wasn’t a pristine baby face.”
Ross said the crowd was ready for Cena to become a heel just like they were ready for Roman Reigns to become a heel this year. JR said it was crazy to see how much Cena was being booed by the fans but they should’ve made the change on the fly.
“It was timely,” JR said. “The audience more often than not will tell you what they want to buy, they will tell you what aisle to go down with your shopping cart and tell you what is in your cart to take home, you just listen, listen to their reactions. I was always amazed that Cena got booed so much.
“Cena getting booed was a lot like Roman Reigns getting booed whenever he was just getting rolling, and now there’s a reason to boo Roman Reigns because thanks to Paul Heyman he’s become a significant antihero. He’s a heel, and he’s a damn good one. The Cena thing, I never quite understood why we didn’t pull the trigger on that deal.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.