John Cena believes that WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns’ ascension into a “very marketable and definitive star” has opened the window for him to turn heel in the future.
In a recent interview with Chris Van Vliet, Cena was asked if him portraying the antagonist in Fast and Furious 9 is as close to a heel turn that fans will see.
“I think this is the beginning to showcase the fact that it’s possible,” Cena said. “As WWE invests and builds its roster, it has a wealth of talent and truly has many anchors to the ship now. Certainly [with] Roman being a very, very marketable and definitive star.”
Cena felt that unlike in the past, WWE might be more willing to turn him heel in 2021.
“I think the reason for me not to explore that side is because WWE didn’t feel confident they had any alternative [as the top babyface],” admitted Cena. “And I respect that business choice, I really do. But now with them really laying their foundation for the future, setting up life for the next decade or so, maybe… maybe. I don’t know.”
During the interview, Cena more or less confirmed reports of his WWE comeback next month. When asked how excited he was to experience the roar of fans again, Cena said he was more thrilled for his peers, especially someone like Reigns who “found out who he is” during the pandemic era.
“I think that’s a selfish question, I’m excited for the WWE performers,” Cena said. “I know how hard it’s been for them [without fans]. I don’t think I would have done well in this atmosphere.
“I also think this time has allowed performers like Roman Reigns to unobstructively mold his character. If you send him from city-to-city, there may be some audiences that don’t care what he has to say, and just want to boo or cheer him. But without that [obstruction], Reigns has absolutely needed this time, and in it, he has developed his personality, his character.
“Reigns has found out who he is. So, now, when he goes back to live audiences, they are not confused. He spent this 15-month block to define who he is. And he’s the one who could benefit the most from it. On the other hand, established performers like myself would have had a difficult time with no audiences.”
As noted earlier, Reigns vs. Cena is the rumored main event for this year’s SummerSlam.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Chris Van Vliet and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription
You can watch Cena’s full interview with Chris Van Vliet below: