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Vince McMahon considered John Cena heel turn before WrestleMania 28 match with The Rock

A lot of fans treated John Cena like a heel for a good portion of his run atop the business. WWE at times scripted him to be a bit of a jerk, too. But they never outright presented him as a bad guy.

It’s a decision that’s always fascinated people — especially now that his full-time days are done and it will almost certainly never happen (although, as everyone involved always tells us, it’s also a “never say never” business). But while doing press for Peacemaker this week, Cena told Pat McAfee it almost happened back 2011-2012 in the lead up to the first of his two WrestleMania matches with The Rock.

Why didn’t it? Well, Cena doesn’t say flat out, but he does say he had a condition for Vince McMahon if the WWE head honcho decided to pull the trigger on making him play the villain...

“I remember Vince toyed with the idea of possibly turning me heel for (the first WrestleMania match with The Rock) in Miami. And I told him, ‘No problem, I understand, I’ll do it. Just remember that we are so deep in at this point that we can’t do it and then jump back because we’ll be sunk at both ends.’ So if we do it, I have to be the opposite of virtue, I have to be pure evil and we go all in... He decided against it and at that point he said, ‘Listen, I don’t think we’re ever going to do it.’“

The 16 time WWE World champ went on to tell Pat Mac & crew there are challenges that come from playing the same role forever. Cena also thinks it gave him the opportunity to play with some things — and create one of my personal favorite “matches” in recent WWE history:

“So you have the luxury of playing this character, but you always are going play this character. Which is great because it got me to dive into nuances that got to spawn the creation of like the Firefly Fun House match where I was like, ‘what if I have a meta experience through all of my flaws, all my timeline?’ and do stuff like that.”

What do you think, Cagesiders? Do you wish we’d seen “pure evil” John Cena?

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