This piece isn’t just about the spiel he gave before losing to a returning athletic, strong Mark Henry pulling a very good Rick Ross impression. It’s a double entendre that seeks to highlight what they’re doing with the Ryback character. As much as people don’t appreciate his work, he’s been mishandled. I wasn’t a fan of how they turned him heel, he didn’t have enough time with Heyman, and his solo heel run had some baffling moments–having a 275lb bully randomly forfeit a match to the Miz back when Miz was Flair’s “protege” and Ryback was feuding with Jericho is a specific instance that comes to mind. The WWE still hasn’t figured out where they stand with him, and going back and forth does nothing good for Ryback.
Ryback’s Survivor Series didn’t necessarily go well. He challenged anyone in the back to prove their toughness, a call that ended with him losing a subsequent match. However, Ryback losing has become alarmingly regular. He’s only won 1 PPV match since turning heel . How are the fan supposed to hate his bully character, if he doesn’t have any substance to his supposed “bully” nature? He jolts people and throws his weight around, but then can never win a PPV, a move that has weakened him in the eyes of a host of fans. He doesn’t even seem like a heel worth hating with his starting inability to win a match when it counts.
It’d be easy to just say that the WWE wants to use him as an enhancement talent, but he’s been doing too much to make that plausible. After turning heel, he was directly inserted to the Main Event scene with the face of the company. Recently, he’s had great moments where he’s been able to show off his immense strength, racking both the Great Khali and the Big Show respectively before delivering the Shell-Shocked maneuver with authority. He even had an impressive spinebuster on Sunday while wrestling Henry. You would think that the WWE would not let him do these things if they had little confidence in him and no future direction. However, despite writing his character on-screen to be tough, powerful, and dominant, Ryback gets reduced to regular jobber on PPVs.
Some logical, sensible booking might be a better way to putting Ryback in a position where he can succeed. They’ve put Ryback in a unique opportunity, giving him quite a few opportunities to demonstrate his strength and make people interested in his physical attribute. Now it’s time for them to allow his character to progress sensibly, logically, and rationally. No more pushes cut short, more wins on pay-per-views, and better writing of the Ryback character, who has unfortunately been all over the place in the recent past. Is he an indestructible machine or a vulnerable big-mouth? Is he supposed to be feared or jeered? I know he may be in the doghouse for executing a jackhammer and spear (which brings up another set of issues), but the whole undermining of Ryback dates back to that Miz match during his Jericho feud where Ryback forfeited a match–a tactic that we haven’t even seen from weasel heels. Creative needs to make up their mind how they want to create his character. Give him a chance to put action behind his words and bully disposition by writing his character in a way that would actually make fans hate him or at least, be consistent.