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I have no clue how long John Cena is going to be out, why anyone would go against what the paid DOCTOR says, and if there's legitimate beef or not between Vince McMahon and his cashcow as a result of the apparent confusion. All I do know is that it's time to start planning for the future.
John Cena is not getting any younger, although that's something you might expect a super-human could actually do. That's not one of his powers, I guess.
My question to each of you is this: Is the next John Cena even on the roster right now? (Yes, I want to play this hypothetical game that means absolutely nothing in the end.)
CM Punk is excluded from this conversation, although I'm not necessarily sure why. He clearly hasn't become John Cena, even though it's by no fault of his own. Vince simply doesn't want him to be Cena. At least, not yet.
Punk still can be, but not as a stereotypical heel. Which likely means, not anytime soon.
I believe Sheamus has hit his peak. He's a good face, but works best as a heel, and that fact makes it hard to imagine him being the next Cena. He will still have a great career and can go down ultimately as one of the best, but I think longevity is the best way that happens now.
Randy Orton has had his chances. He's on the tier just below Cena and I don't think he could move up any more if they tried.
Daniel Bryan is likely in the same boat as Punk -- I'm not sure Vince will ever truly allow a non-WWE creation to be that "one guy" for his company. Few even get close.
Dolph Ziggler -- the other "internet darling" I wanted to list. His ring work can already be compared to the likes of Shawn Michaels, his similar look to Mr. Perfect gives him that rub, while at the same time feeling fresh, and he's beginning to receive positive crowd reactions despite having a heat-seeking missile next to him in Vickie.
I wouldn't call his eventual cash-in of the "Money in the Bank" a make-or-break situation, but it's certainly the "next" most important point of his career. They need to take advantage of that fact.
I think it's the perfect time for a babyface turn and a split from Vickie. Maybe let him can her on the night of his cash-in, or within a week or two leading up to it. That doesn't necessarily have to turn him completely, but when he cashes in on a then-heel champion (not sure who, and don't care), that's when the full transition can be made.
The crowd already pops everytime someone cashes in a MITB, so why not ride it all the way.
A face turn won't single-handedly make Dolph the next John Cena by any means, but it will give him the best opportunity to try. The true challenge will be his ability to connect with the fans on the mic. Connect to a degree that very few can. THAT is the main parallel between Hogan, Rock, Austin and Cena -- they talked their way into the hearts of the fans.
We haven't seen that ability from Dolph yet, and I question whether he's even capable. I have a feeling though we'll soon find out.