Debate surrounding a potential John Cena heel turn has been ongoing for several years now without the WWE having taken the plunge to turn their top Superstar into a bad guy once again.
Comments this weekend though from one former WWE wrestler have revealed stunning new details on just how close a Cena heel turn came to happening back in 2011.
Chris Hero, speaking to the Cheap Heat podcast, was the man making the claims - one of which was the Cena himself stumped up a $5,000 deposit for new ring gear, so strong was his belief that he would be leaving behind his 'babyface' character.
According to the former wrestler, the WWE were set to put the plans for a Cena heel turn into effect after 2011's WrestleMania event in Atlanta. The Rock and CM Punk the two feuds earmarked for Cena to turn bad guy. Hero also claims that the Superstar would have changed his look to incorporate boots and trunks to distance himself from his usual appearance.
And it looks like Cena himself was happy to go along with the idea, putting his money behind the plans even.
The fact John Cena had gotten to the stage of putting down a $5,000 deposit on his in-ring outfit just shows the WWE were deadly serious on carrying out the heel turn at the time.
It is unclear why Vince McMahon and co ultimately called off the dramatic change, but Cena's thousands of dollars didn't go to waste.
Chris Hero notes that that money, once John Cena knew the heel turn was off, was used instead to set up a scholarship program for aspiring wrestlers to get into the business. With Chris Hero himself entering the WWE in 2012 it is possible he was one of those who benefited - and perhaps this is where he heard the story.
With WWE fans appearing to be growing cold of Cena's constant good guy gimmick, there will be many who must wish that the 2011 plan had come to fruition. The mere fact that it was taken so seriously though does suggest that it might not be off the cards in the future.
What do you think WWE fans? Would a John Cena heel turn have worked in 2011, and could it work now? Let us know in the comments section below...