I’m not wanting the guy to die or anything, but I haven’t been a fan of Ryback since his debut. I thought the idea of watching yet ANOTHER muscle-bound freak get pushed simply because of his build was depressing. This guy “fit the bill” as someone that Vince McMahon believed could be the future of the company. But let’s be completely honest here…the guy was never “over” enough to justify his numerous pushes. But just don’t try to convince Ryback of that fact.
As the months went by and the dude flipped back and forth between heel and babyface, it just got more depressing to turn on WWE programming and seeing the guy on my television. It got to the point where it wasn’t so much him being bad in the ring (he’s certainly a solid hand for his size), but his horrifically inane and boring gimmick and personality.
Ryback has been referring to himself as “The Big Guy” for a long time now…both as a babyface and as a heel. The fact that he recently tried to obtain trademark rights to “The Big Guy” should tell you it all you need to know about him. But the problem was that the gimmick never took off. He tried being the “cool babyface” but never…not once…did crowds become unglued when his music hit.
WWE tried a LOT of different ways to put the dude over, too…in-ring promos from the heart, overcoming odds of multiple antagonists, acting like a bad-ass, even letting him do in-ring moves that they wouldn’t normally let big men do. But in the end, crowds just didn’t care that much. Sure, “Feed Me More” chants were commonplace, but that was the only thing going for him. Go back and watch matches of him (if you dare) and check crowd reactions other than the chant. Case closed.
When they tried to turn him heel AGAIN, the fans responded in kind. Apathetic boos and silence. Want to know why he never defeated Kalisto for the United States championship? That’s your answer. The fans dictate a lot (whether WWE acknowledges it or not) when it comes to pushes, and WWE Management tried multiple times to push Ryback but fan response (or lack thereof) constantly killed the pushes because they simply didn’t care.
And THAT is why main event guys are paid more than mid-card guys. It’s like why movie stars are paid more than supporting actors. I mean c’mon…both actors are in the movie and even the extras help contribute, but the stars are the ones who put butts in the seats and money in the bank. To me, that’s the only comparison you need to make to justify the current pay structure in WWE and, personally, I think Ryback is just an idiot.
Ryback is full of himself. He believes more in his abilities and place in the professional wrestling world than the wrestling world does. It’s always good to have confidence in yourself, but you also will never grow as a performer (or as a person, for that matter) if you cannot step back and objectively look at yourself to see both your pros and your cons.
It appears as though his days are numbered with WWE. ALL of his merchandise is on sale and I doubt you’ll see him on WWE programming again any time soon (unless it’s to put someone over). To me, this is an apt end to a muddled career. Much like Zack Ryder, his career will probably be more remembered for his whining than his ability to adapt and change and grow and progress as a performer.
And at the end of the day, he’ll be forgotten.