Get your pinches of salt ready!
The brand split hasn’t been the big success that WWE hoped for. Viewership is up for Smackdown, and the show has really benefited creatively from being its own show, but overall, ratings have been on a record low run against the competition of Monday Night Football and the presidential debates.
Just like in 1997, with WCW hammering WWF in the weekly ratings, something big needs to change. Enter a chap called Anthony DiMoro writing as contributor over at Forbes for WWE’s potential solution.
Pinch of salt time!
He’s reporting that his sources say WWE creative has been talking more than ever about a John Cena heel turn, with plans similar to how Hulk Hogan was unveiled as the ‘third man’ in Scott Hall and Kevin Nash’s NWO faction back in mid-90s WCW. These ideas, however, have apparently been consistently shot down by Vince McMahon
DiMoro also notes that creative have been trying to make a new wrestling stable, but are waiting until they can decide on a long-term direction. i.e. they don’t want to have another League of Nations situation, where a year later, half of the faction are no longer with the company. DiMoro speculates that this new faction could be part of the John Cena heel turn angle.
This sounds a little too good to be true for me. Elsewhere in the report, he also drops in a potential Kurt Angle return too.
So I went back to see what else DiMoro has broken in the past.
When Dave Meltzer tweeted that WWE were looking to get back a load of former stars for the brand split, DiMoro was the guy who reported those names included Goldberg, Kurt Angle, Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy.
Goldberg’s WWE return was announced last week on Raw, so that’s a 25% success rate, but his deal seems to be more because of WWE 2K17 rather than any plans dating back to before the brand split. Angle, meanwhile, hasn’t returned to WWE, and Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy are still under contract with other wrestling promotions.
What do you think about these John Cena heel turn rumours? Tell us how they’ve been around since 2008 in the comments below.