John Cena “could have been great” in the WWE, but was badly mismanaged.
That was the message sent by Mister Saint Laurent (MSL) and wrestling great Kevin Sullivan on the latest edition of their weekly MLW Radio Podcast.
MSL admitted he never cared for John Cena during his run in the WWE because he was playing the role of traditional babyface amid a growing chorus of boos.
“And it’s totally not his fault,” MSL added before going on to praise Cena’s supporting performances in a string of recent movies that have included Sisters, Daddy’s Home, and Trainwreck.
“He probably would have been great in wrestling if they had just turned him heel once several years ago and then turned him back,” MSL said.
Sullivan agreed that that was the direction Vince McMahon should have gone with Cena’s character, but foresaw bigger things for the Doctor of Thuganomics now that his wrestling career is winding down, particularly in light of the film appearances and his new reality series.
“He looks like he’s comfortable in these roles,” Sullivan said. “I saw him in Trainwreck, and I laughed my a** off. I was with somebody, who doesn’t know anything about wrestling, and they said, ‘Wow that guy’s got a great body, but what a nerd!’ And I said, ‘You know, he’s playing a role.’ I hope the best for John.”
MSL mused that Vince was “so out of touch” with what audiences want to cheer nowadays and that John Cena was essentially a casualty of that miscalculation.
“If they hadn’t have made Cena so hokey in WWE,” MSL lamented. “You know we saw Cena years and years ago, which is what got him over in the first place when he was allowed to be edgy… I can’t help but think, and we’re seeing it now with Roman Reigns, [that] Vince’s idea of what a babyface is now is just so out-of-touch with what the audience wants to see portrayed.”
MSL then wondered how much “great programming” could have been seen in the WWE over the last decade if John Cena “had smarter people writing his stuff” or if the company had simply put him in a position where fans wouldn’t be so resentful.
Kevin Sullivan & MSL talk Blackjack Mulligan, Bray Wyatt injured, Big Show vs Shaq at WM 33 & Cena’s movie career! https://t.co/Td0vAKw1R1
— MLW (@MLW) April 15, 2016
“It’s actually made me sad to see how good he is in these movies, to say, ‘Wow if he would have been given the freedom or material like The Rock had been given before him, instead of just this cookie-cutter, we’re-going-after-the-5-year-old audience… it’s been very depressing to think of what could have been,” MSL said.
For Sullivan’s part, he thinks that John Cena could do one more thing to win the good graces of the fans before signing off, but that it might take him losing.
In Sullivan’s opinion, John Cena would be the perfect guy to rehab the Bray Wyatt character. By allowing Bray to go over Cena two or three times with no paybacks, it could go a long way in negating some of the damage the company did to Wyatt’s character during their series in 2014.
“It’s not gonna hurt John. He’s gone as far as he can go,” Sullivan said. “I mean, what is he gonna be, 72-time world champion? Come on.”
While it did seem like the WWE had a renewed vigor to push Bray Wyatt after WrestleMania 32, the Eater of Worlds has since suffered an injury, which came on the heels of a WM segment in which John Cena and The Rock teamed up to bury Bray and two of the other members of the Wyatt Family in a two-on-three segment that angered many Bray Wyatt fans.
But what do you think, readers?
Should John Cena come back to lose a retirement series with Bray, and do you agree with this idea that Cena was a missed opportunity in WWE? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via WWE]