Ryback is a monster, a beast that is currently on the hunt in WWE. His latest target is WWE Champion John Cena, who he will be facing at Extreme Rules on May 19. The championship will be on the line in this one, but does Ryback really have a chance at winning?
He rose through the company by beating one jobber after another, oftentimes putting two men on his shoulders and marching around the ring with them. While many fans looked at him and saw Bill Goldberg version two, Vince McMahon looked at him and saw something entirely different.
He saw the company’s next big star.
This is the part when I should tell you that after crossing paths with then WWE Champion CM Punk backstage on Raw that Ryback was on the fast track to becoming that big star. I should have one story after another about the number of matches that Ryback and Punk had and about the fact that the two men exchanged the belt a couple of times during their rivalry.
But none of that is true. Not one word. And what is the reason for that? What put Ryback off course so badly that a year after he was repackaged we’re still talking about his potential when it was obvious WWE loved the guy? What happened?
The Shield happened. Plain and simple.
That’s right; one good idea was countered with another good idea. Now that second good idea turned out to be a great idea, while the first good idea was actually just an okay idea.
Everybody got that?
The fact is that WWE shot themselves in the foot with Ryback. He was presented well, had all the spotlight and focus that a Superstar could hope to have and he did everything he could to connect with fans on every level possible.
But just when it appeared as though he may be taking that next step, three guys from WWE’s developmental territory showed up and ruined the whole thing. The Shield got over like no other faction has in a very long time. Everything they said, everything they did, made headlines in WWE and had fans talking.
Where Ryback had fallen a little short, The Shield unquestionably succeeded. WWE wanted fans to think that Ryback was the future of the company, while fans knew that The Shield was the future of the company. The Shield was everything that Ryback was not and it just seemed to come so easily for them.
So what do you do when you can’t get a guy over the way you want him to be? Easy. Turn him heel. Works every time, right?
Right? Is it working for you? When Ryback speaks, do you feel his words? When he threatens John Cena, do you find yourself marveling at how well he’s doing, how well he the heel turn is going for him? Or are you shaking your head, wondering if the guy will every truly be the WWE Superstar that Vince McMahon wants him to be?
The answer could very well lie with Ryback’s WWE Title match against Cena at Extreme Rules. If Ryback goes over, then he will suddenly be propelled to the top of the industry. He will go from being the almost was to being the true top dog in WWE. It will be Ryback’s time to rule.
But if he does not go over, he will lose yet another step. And despite how he loses, whether it’s because John pins him or The Shield cost him the victory, he will definitely lose a step. Who knows, perhaps we will always talk about Ryback being the guy who was so close, who had all the tools, yet never quite made it.
Meanwhile, The Shield are dominating and will likely win three major championships at Extreme Rules. They continue to conquer in nearly everything they do.
Perhaps The Shield could actually help Ryback defeat John Cena for the WWE Title?
How’s that one working for you?
Follow Tom on Twitter @tomclarkbr
Tom Clark is a WWE Featured Columnist & Consultant for Bleacher Report.com and a Contributor for JBL’s Layfield Report.com http://bleacherreport.com/users/316723-tom-clark http://www.layfieldreport.com/Tom-Clark_Mark-Henry-vs-Sheamus-Determine.blog