Hulk Hogan: WWE Star Could've Been 'Top Heel Ever'

Wrestling icons divulge coveted insights into potential match-ups.

by Atia Mukhtar
Hulk Hogan: WWE Star Could've Been 'Top Heel Ever'
© WWE/YouTube

In an intriguing revelation, wrestling icon Hulk Hogan has offered insights into one of WWE’s perpetual enigmas concerning megastar John Cena's career trajectory. Hogan, who himself transitioned from a beloved babyface character, clad in the classic red and yellow, to the notorious heel persona, “Hollywood Hogan,” during the pivotal Monday Night Wars era, opined on what could have been Cena's alternate journey in the squared circle.

From 1983 to 1996, Hogan's hero persona captivated audiences, but it was his eventual heel turn in WCW that revolutionized his character and energized the wrestling industry. This transformation has left fans and pundits alike pondering: What if John Cena, universally celebrated and occasionally vilified for his "never give up" babyface persona, had dared to explore the dark side? In a candid discussion with Chris Van Vliet, Hogan reflected upon Vince McMahon's decision to thwart Cena’s heel turn, especially around the highly-anticipated WrestleMania 28 clash with The Rock.

Could Cena, if he treaded the villainous path, have embodied a heel character with the same gravitas as Hogan did during his WCW days? “He would be one of the hottest heels ever,” affirmed Hogan, regarding Cena’s potential in the darker role.

The wrestling legend extrapolated, suggesting a hypothetical scenario wherein Cena, after a span - be it six months, two years, or more - would “repent and beg for forgiveness,” subsequently catapulting him to even loftier heights as a reinvigorated babyface.

Hogan emphasized that the authenticity and success of such a transition would have been contingent upon Cena’s own feel of the character and audience reception, more so than McMahon’s strategization.

Hogan's Unfulfilled Farewell Match

Further into the conversation, Hogan unveiled a hitherto undisclosed tidbit: a proposed farewell match against Cena at WrestleMania 25, which never materialized due to Hogan's exacerbated back issues.

"My back went out when I was talking to Vince on the phone," Hogan shared, underscoring the disappointment of what could have been another monumental wrestling moment. While Hogan’s final WWE bout came against Randy Orton at SummerSlam 2006, before later appearing in TNA, the echoes of these “what ifs” linger tantalizingly in the realms of wrestling history and fan speculation alike, offering a captivating glimpse into alternate storylines left unexplored.

Hulk Hogan