WWE legend John Cena has been widely referred to as "The Face That Runs The Place" throughout his career, having spent about a decade as the top babyface and main event star in the company.
When The Rock and 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin left the company near the end of the Attitude Era, Cena took over as the new face of WWE. It started at WrestleMania 21 14 years ago, where he defeated John Bradshaw Layfield to become the new WWE Champion, and Cena would never look back.
He has since tied Ric Flair's record for most World Championship reigns with 16. Cena is also a two-time Royal Rumble winner and has faced countless wrestling legends throughout his career. Without a doubt, he'll go down as greatest superstar of his era.
However, Cena's days as the top face in WWE have faded over the last five or so years. He's only wrestled on a part-time basis, having developed quite the career for himself in the movie industry.
WWE has spent the last several years trying to push Roman Reigns as the main face, but Cena explained at BookCon '19 (according to Pro Wrestling Sheet, h/t Ringside News), why he doesn't think WWE will have one major face again.
"For the longest time, if you considered WWE a band, there’s been one front person of the band. I think that dynamic is changing. It is because the audience is too diverse. I think older males are watching it, younger kids are watching it, females are watching it. The audience is so diverse, so with a diverse audience it’s tough to universally please someone.
I don’t think there’s a universal figure that will lead the company forward. I think as the company grows, and especially expands globally, you’re gonna have like a ‘Super Friends’ of the WWE. Which is like people who are essentially fighting for equal share of popularity. I think the band, essentially, will have ten lead singers of every different race, creed, color, sex, ethnicity."
Cena certainly makes a strong point here. Aside from Reigns, other superstars like A.J. Styles, Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, Dean Ambrose (now Jon Moxley in AEW), Kevin Owens, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Shinsuke Nakamura have received major pushes. In recent years, WWE company has been happy to try out different wrestlers at the main event level.
WWE hasn't kept many things the same here in the PG Era. They keep on pushing different superstars at different times, and other than Reigns, no superstar has consistently stayed in the main event spot light. Right now, Kingston, Lynch and Rollins are being pushed as the two main faces, but it remains to be seen how long that'll last. For all we know, the creative team will decide to start giving somebody else a chance.
What This Means
Cena could certainly go down as the last person who was viewed as the true face and No. 1 superstar of his era. WWE has held off a bit on pushing Reigns a bit since he returned from a battle with Leukemia, so it remains to be seen if they're still intent on trying to make him "the guy." Otherwise, like Cena suggested, you'll be seeing many different faces at any given time.