Ryback has been very vocal about his experience as a WWE talent. Obviously, he is not too concerned about returning to the company with his tell-all podcast, Conversations with the Big Guy. Aside from previous episodes mentioning how he was supposed to run through AJ Styles en route to becoming one of the top heels in the company, and having to legally change his name to Ryback in order to cease any disputes, Ryback shared perhaps the most shocking revelation on a recent episode regarding WWE purposely refusing to create marquee stars (h/t WrestlingINC).
“Hunter [has] told me directly [that WWE does not want young talent to have economic freedom]. He goes, ‘we never want another marquee name here in the WWE.’ This was during my first contract negotiations. Yeah, legit told me, he goes, ‘we’re never going to have another John Cena.’ And if you look, that’s why they book guys the way they book them. They don’t want guys to have too much power anymore.”
“The Big Guy” would share that he was told that John Cena was the end of the line when it pertains to creating marquee stars that can transcend the company. Although he stated that he is not upset with Vince McMahon and Triple H, he did share that there are many people backstage, even currently, who are disappointed with the lack of opportunity the company is providing.
Although this information is coming from only one side, it does not seem false at all. In fact, fans can see this every week on television. While names such as Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Baron Corbin are being groomed to be the next generation of WWE stars, none of them are even close to having the box office appeal created by previous wrestling eras.
This is also why part-timers are still the ones still main-eventing the grandest pay-per-views of the year. Moreover, one the most appealing and important factors of WrestleMania is the Undertaker competing on the show. Over the past few years, matches involving Brock Lesnar, Sting, Triple H, The Undertaker, The Rock, and Bill Goldberg have far overshadowed any match strictly involving the aforementioned new breed of talent.
A sad-but-true example of this was WWE making an attempt to boost a new breed star by having him feud against a part-timer.
At WrestleMania 32, Brock Lesnar competed against Dean Ambrose based on a storyline that only had a few weeks to stand on. Not only was the narrative leading to the match underwhelming, but the match itself was quite disappointing to fans, and even Ambrose himself.
With all the accolades coming from The Rock on his successful career outside of WWE, as well as John Cena heading that route, it would make sense that Ryback was given that information of WWE wanting to bridle talent.
Another factor is how WWE wants to own the rights to the names they give the talent when they are in the company, which makes it difficult for any person to maintain their momentum from a branding standpoint if they leave the company. This is the very issue Ryback is dealing with concerning both the “Ryback” name and “The Big Guy” nickname.
This issue with not creating new marquee stars translates deeply in content exhibited by WWE every week. As a result of matches occurring repetitively, fans find it very difficult to stay emotionally invested in the writing portion of any feuds, which diminishes the hard work that the talent is displaying each week in the ring.
If what Ryback stated is indeed true, WWE should immediately reconsider this philosophy in order to not rely so much on part-time stars to create a “larger-than-life” experience that professional wrestling fans are clamoring for.
[Featured Image By WWE]