Since leaving the WWE, Ryback has been very vocal about his time working for the company. Departing in August, he continued to be at odds with his company regarding both his name and his moniker. According to his comments on his podcast, Conversations with The Big Guy, Ryback expressed that he had to legally change his name to Ryback Allen Reeves in order to keep his WWE name and promote it outside the company. In addition, he claims that WWE is doing everything possible to prevent him from using “The Big Guy” as his nickname, as a result of also using that during his time there.
Ryback has also been very vocal about his disdain for John Cena.
On an episode that aired in late-December of 2016, Ryback expressed how Cena was responsible for killing The Nexus faction, lead by then-upstart Wade Barrett.
Immediately making an impact with their shocking debut, The Nexus was a bunch of talent from the NXT brand who was on a mission to rule the main roster. With the exception of Daniel Bryan (as Bryan Danielson) from ROH, and Ryback – then known as Skip Sheffield – from Tough Enough (under his real name), every other star was relatively unknown to the WWE Universe as a whole. This ended up adding to the shock factor, especially since they ended up attacking legendary names such as The Undertaker, Ricky Steamboat, and even Vince McMahon.
With this momentum, it appeared as if Barrett and The Nexus would be on the top of the main event picture in WWE. While they experienced it for a hiccup, unfortunately, it spiraled after Team WWE defeated Team Nexus at SummerSlam, with Cena being the only one who stood tall.
Cena has also been attributed to ruining the career of former WWE talent Alex Riley. Also making an impression while in NXT, Riley experienced popularity as the protege of The Miz, even accompanying him to the ring at WrestleMania 27. Eventually the pair would split, and although Riley would pick up a victory, he would never have an opportunity to gain steam from the feud. Moreover, he never managed to receive a solid push before being released in 2016.
Many point to Cena as being the person behind this halt, based on some backstage dissension between the two.
Ryback confirmed this on a recent episode of his podcast.
“I swear to God, because of John Cena, [Alex Riley’s] career is over in the WWE. For no [reason] besides John Cena and his own personal issues… He’s been poison to the wrestling industry. I think he did so much harm for so long to new talent breaking out [in WWE].”
To back up Ryback’s comments, this can be displayed by his matches at WrestleMania 30 and 31.
At WrestleMania 30, Cena competed against Bray Wyatt. Wyatt ended up losing the match. At WrestleMania 31, Cena competed against Rusev for the United States Championship. Rusev also lost the match, as well as his title and unpinned streak.
Ryback can also use himself as an example. At Payback in 2013, he lost to Cena in a Three Stages of Hell match, during a time where he was trying to boost his status after turning heel. Ryback also was unable to gain an advantage over Cena after competing against him at following Raw and SmackDown shows.
Unfortunately, there indeed is a list of people who fell victim to reaching a certain threshold, but being unable to reach another level after feuding with John Cena. Ryback, Bray Wyatt, Alex Riley, and Wade Barrett all had the opportunity to be main event stars in the company. Unfortunately, three out of the four are no longer with the company, and Wyatt has never been able to have a solid singles career.
[Featured Image By WWE]