WWE News: Ryback On His ‘Atrocious’ Promos & Another Interesting Vince McMahon Revelation
Ryback may be out of the WWE limelight, but he hasn’t disappeared by any means. Thanks to a new podcast, Conversations with the Big Guy, and other media interviews, Ryback is airing many of his grievances from his employment with the sports entertainment juggernaut. A new book, a line of supplements, and appearances on wrestling’s independent circuit are also keeping him plenty busy.
Ryback walked out of the WWE during contract negotiations back in May and was officially released from his deal in August. Some of the more interesting revelations that have come out of his candid podcasts included his claim that he turned down a three-year $1.5 million deal to stay with WWE and that Vince McMahon originally told him he would squash AJ Styles at WrestleMania 32.
The candidness continued in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, where Ryback peeled back the WWE curtain even further on another private conversation he had with the chairman. As noted, Ryback claimed Vince wanted him to squash Styles on the grandest stage, not to mention become the company’s top heel if he followed every one of Vince’s instructions.
“In one of our last talks, Vince told me, ‘You’re the hardest working guy that I have here.’ I just said, ‘Thank you.’ Vince said, ‘But hard work doesn’t always pay off here.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Well then, I need to go to a world where my hard work will pay off.'”
That world may include TNA, Ring of Honor, New Japan, or a combination of more than one of them. For now, Ryback is booked from October through January with numerous independent promotions, which will also include a tour of the UK. One of those aforementioned instructions that Vince was referring to, and perhaps the most important, was reading the promos designed specifically for The Big Guy. Unfortunately, his mic work was met with harsh criticism over the last few months of his tenure, and he was well aware of those failures.
“The promos were atrocious during my whole last run. I delivered them exactly as I was supposed to deliver them, but the writing was so out of touch. I remember (Chris) Jericho went up to me and asked, ‘Who’s writing this?’ And I said, ‘Vince. I’ve tried to get it changed but he wants me reading it word for word.’ Vince wanted me to read his promos word for word, and I never enjoyed that and I never will… The problem with these writers who work for Vince is that they’re scared. Everyone is scared. I used to tell Vince that all the time. I’ve told him, ‘You have all these people who are scared around you. They can’t truly do their job.'”
Ryback elaborated a lot more on his frustrations with the continuous start-and-stop pushes he received throughout his roller coaster ride with the WWE. He claims he only won the Intercontinental Title so that he would re-sign with the company, his bullying heel gimmick was getting over until they abruptly scrapped it to pair him with Paul Heyman, and he feels he never got the right opportunity during his time working with Curtis Axel and Kalisto.
However, the time that sticks out the most was his WrestleMania 29 program with Mark Henry.
“I will never forget that day. My numbers kept climbing even though I was losing these big time matches. I was under the assumption that I was going over on Mark Henry at WrestleMania and then turning heel the next night on John Cena. When I found days before that I was not going over, but that they wanted me to fall on my face with my finish and look like an idiot, I said there was no way I was doing that. I asked, ‘Why are we doing this?’ I went to Vince and spoke with him for thirty minutes in ‘Gorilla’ [the staging area right behind the curtain] and he lied to me how this was the reason for my heel turn – that I fell on my face and tripped, I just couldn’t cut it, and that’s why I’d turn heel…”
Ryback admits that every superstar in every locker room wants to be pushed to the top of the card, but his argument was that his merchandise was selling better than everyone else’s except for Cena. And the heel turn coincided with the company stripping him of all that merchandise in what he says was an attempt to destroy the brand he built.
His next step: legally change his name (Ryan Reeves) to Ryback Alan Reeves so that the brand he constructed can expand in his future endeavors.
[Image via WWE]