I can’t stand John Cena but let’s be honest… he’s the man.
[adinserter block=”1″]Cena made his WWE television debut on June 27th, 2002 by answering an open challenge by Kurt Angle and he hit the world with “ruthless aggression”. 13-years later Cena is the top dog in the WWE, a 15-time world champion and has been the face of the brand for more than a decade.
Cena has granted more “make-a-wish” dreams than anyone else in any sport. When Vince McMahon needs something, he goes to Cena. Ratings are low? They go to John Cena. Need to elevate a mid-card championship? Give it to John Cena. Signing in a random city? John Cena will be there. Merchandise sales low? Get John Cena a new colorful shirt. As much as I hate the way he’s booked I do see the value he provides WWE.
With reports of Cena taking some time off, it made me think what WWE will be like without John Cena. Even though he appears to be some kind of cyborg, he will not wrestle forever. There are some extremely talented performers in WWE today but are any of them capable of replacing Cena once he’s ready to walk away? Without question, those are some big shoes to fill.
It’s obvious the WWE wants Roman Reigns to be the guy to take over the role of face of the company. I’m in the majority of those who don’t think he’s ready and doesn’t have what it takes to be that guy. He can certainly grow into that position but it’s going to take a lot. Today, I think Reigns still needs a heel run before he becomes a highly successful baby face… much like his cousin The Rock. No question he has the look and the ability, but it’s the other stuff that he’s going to have to really focus on if he wants to be the number one guy.
Seth Rollins is the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion and the self-proclaimed “future of WWE” and so far he has proven that he can carry the load. Not too sure a heel will be the guy to replace John Cena but as big of a star as Rollins is right now, I think he becomes an even bigger star when he turns baby face. I have very high expectations for him… So high, I’m expecting him to be on the level of Shawn Michaels. Rollins is the total package. He’s the best male wrestler in the world, he’s got an original look and he can talk. No question a baby face Seth Rollins can be the one to carry WWE into the next era.
Is there a wrestler today who is more loved by the fans than Dean Ambrose? He has such a special connection with the fans maybe one day he can be the top guy in the company. The Lunatic Fringe could easily be the anti-establishment hero the fans have been missing since Stone Cold Steve Austin. We got a small taste of that during his short Championship feud with Rollins. It does seem a bit unrealistic to have someone whose nickname has the word lunatic in it but he’s another guy who has it all. He’s original, great in the ring and a really good talker. If ever given the opportunity to be the top guy, I think he will surprise a lot of people and flourish in that role.
Finn Balor has been a star at every promotion he’s been a part of. If you’ve been following him on NXT then it’s clear that he’s got the “it” factor. He oozes charisma. Balor has one of the best entrances in wrestling today. He’s a spectacular in ring performer where he’s always telling a great story. There are a couple of things that could hold him back in the WWE though. He’s listed at 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. We all know Vince loves a certain look and I’m not sure he’d give the keys to the castle to someone built like Balor. He’s not American so he speaks with an Irish accent. He’s 34 years old and isn’t even on the main roster yet. Realistically, how long can his run on top last? Balor has a ton of experience wrestling professionally all over the world and I have no doubt he can be the face of the WWE if given the chance.
Going out on a limb with this one but Apollo Crews has an extremely bright future in the WWE. He’s still just an infant in terms of his time with the company, but this guy has been really impressive. He’s got the same build as John Cana and is 100-times more athletic. He’s only made a handful of appearances in NXT and they are still working on who Apollo Crews is, but when they figure it out he’s going to skyrocket to the top. You can see the charisma is there and the fans are going to fall in love with his style. So far he’s shown no issues on the mic. The potential is unlimited with Crews and if done properly, he can be the face of the WWE one day.
[adinserter block=”2″]I left my two favorite wrestlers off because my hope is that Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt are kept as heels and WWE can’t have the face of the company be a bag guy. This person can’t be someone who gets booed or cheats to win on a regular basis… They will need a good guy to take Cena’s spot and that’s the bottom line.
If handled properly Cena being off television could be a great thing for the WWE. They need to take some chances and find out exactly what they have on their roster. Realistically, it will probably take the work of a few superstars to replace the workload of John Cena. He’s 38 years old and has been going nonstop for this company for a very long time. The day of a Cena-less WWE isn’t that far away and they better be prepared for when that day does come.