Again, considering we haven’t seen him on WWE programming for a while, this is no surprise. It was just a matter of things running their course-which they have, and now he’s free.
Most telling for me? That the two sides had such an acrimonious relationship that, in spite of the draft due to the brand split, and with WWE actively negotiating to bring in new (old) talent, no deal could be reached. At times, I expected that the two would figure out a happy medium and come to an agreement that made everyone happy, because Ryback was someone fans were into, and he’s certainly got a look that Vince loves. Whether they tried and could never move past things, or if WWE gave up once Ryback took his ball and went home, I don’t yet know. But it’s of no importance for this.
Back when it was first learned that Ryback was basically sitting things out, I figured he could be a guy that would land in a spot like TNA, and get the major push he so desperately wants, and perhaps in a year or two (or more) come back to the company in a completely different light. I mean, it sounds crazy, but there are plenty of men being paid by WWE now, who’s first runs with the company were not notable (Luke Gallows, Samoa Joe etc). Perhaps, for both parties, time away is what is needed. Ryback can then appreciate what is better about WWE than elsewhere, and WWE could possibly realize he’s someone they misused in his first go-round. Or, they are both happy apart, and it’s a lot longer before a reunion is in the offing.
I think what frustrates me as a fan and blogger, is that someone like Ryback did well with his pushes. As a face, crowds were eating him up. As a heel, he was not bad either. I thought his Intercontinental push was justified, well-deserved and entertaining, if short. You look at a guy like him, getting over with “Feed me more”, and then a guy who, though the “chosen one”, is not seen nearly as favorably, and I can’t remember the last time Reigns popped crowds like Ryback could. Now, that’s not saying one is better or worse than the other, but when crowds get behind a Superstar, it’s usually not taken as a bad thing, but in Ryback’s case, it didn’t seem to factor into anything either.
In the grand scheme, I do hope The Big Guy finds the success he yearns for and the credit that goes with it. And, eventually, it would be a sweet return to see the bridges get repaired in order to facilitate a likely inevitable return. But for now, even as WWE is looking to acquire new talents, a strong young wrestler is on his way out. Happy trails, Ryback.