WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE – Respect Ryback for Not Being a Punk

I have always been a fan of the Ryback character.  I like what he brings to the mid-card table.  It is unfortunate that WWE hasn’t a better job with him.  Over the last couple of years we have seen his in-ring work improve.

He has done all that has been asked of him.  I am sure his frustration grew as the “new era” began taking over RAW.  It can be said that Ryback was a mediocre worker.  I would put him slightly above average.  He moved really well for a big guy.  We know that a wrestler’s ability to work in the ring is a small part of what gets him over.  Hulk Hogan is a perfect example of this.  Ryback’s gimmick was better than average.

Ryback’s catch phrase we better than average.  Ryback’s physique was better than average.  How does someone who is constantly above average only achieve average?  Ryback is also a victim of time and place.  Like NBA superstars who played during the Bulls championship years.  It didn’t matter if you were a great basketball player on a great team.  You played against the Jordan led Bulls and they always won.  Ryback had to compete with John Cena, Daniel Bryan, all the members of the Shield, CM Punk, and Brock Lesnar.  Think of who was buried under this generation.  Ziggler, Swagger, Rhodes, and Sandow are also victims of the Super Cena era.  Cena, Orton, Lesnar, Bryan, and Rollins are out.  After years of waiting in line Ryback is propelled to the front.  Only to be cut off by the next generation.  He is reduced to jobbing for Kalisto.  I love Kalisto, but Ryback should have chewed him up and spit him out.  Ryback was dealt a bad hand.  It makes sense that he is frustrated.  He has the right to be.

I don’t know Ryback.  I only know the character that I see on TV.  I don’t know what he is like backstage.  I could be 100% wrong with my interpretation of his blog.  I think his blog was genuine.  I get the impression that he wanted to make sure the people knew the facts of his absence.  I get the sense that he didn’t want rumors floating around making either side look bad.  He admitted upfront that he asked to be removed from TV until the issue could be resolved.  His employer decided it would be best to send him home until things were resolved one way or another.  Everything about it appears to be the ideal way to walk away.

I respect Ryback because he isn’t CM Punk.  I respect Ryback because he isn’t AJ Lee.  I respect Ryback because he is Bill Goldberg or Batista.  And just so I don’t seem biased, I respect Ryback because he isn’t Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Ryback didn’t use a “pipe bomb” promo to passive aggressively stick it to the company while furthering his character.  He didn’t take his ball and go home.  He didn’t walk into the venue the night before he was supposed to perform and say “I’m going home.”  He didn’t quit.  He didn’t throw a tantrum.  Most of all he didn’t try to publicly take down the company that supported him.  That is how a man is supposed to handle his business.

CM Punk was a great wrestler, but he was baby.  He had every reason to stop working with the WWE.  He was hurt, he had a staph infection, and he wasn’t happy with his position.  All legitimate problems.  The straight edge superstar who leads a clean straight edge lifestyle took the low road.  AJ Lee threw the divas under the bus before she left.  Batista has done nothing but bad mouth the company since he left.  Out of all the superstars who have walked away, Batista clearly has benefited the most from being on TV.  Sure, most would argue the Rock has that honor.  However I would say that the Rock was always destined to be great.  Look at his personality and charisma.  Batista wouldn’t be in Guardians of the Galaxy is he wasn’t Batista the WWE champion first.  Goldberg is in the same boat.  Personality after personality using the media to voice their frustrations.  All the frustration are credible.

Ryback, unlike the aforementioned superstars didn’t put himself in front of everything else.  He is clear that it isn’t about perks.  It isn’t even entirely about his paycheck.  He sees what he perceives to be an injustice for all wrestlers.  He isn’t looking out for just number one.  I respect that.

His blog will most likely damage his relationship with the company.  I believe more so than the names I mentioned.  First of all because he was never as big as those superstars.  He was a mid-card talent.  If he never returns the void he left in the ring is small.  Secondly his blog seems well thought out and articulated.  It comes across as legitimate.  It brings to light issue that other have complained about. There is a real possibility that someone might take notice. It brings those things to light in a different way.  In a way that might make people go, hmmm?

There is a part of me that thinks this is the best thing that has ever happen to Ryback.  The age of social media power can propel him much farther than any promo or catch phrase.  Maybe this genuine concern for fellow wrestlers and the business as a whole will give him Daniel Bryan status as “every man.”  Maybe the WWE Universe will embrace him like Shane McMahon.  They can use the power of social media to keep Ryback on TV.

Here is what I like most about his blog.  When we see these guys out of character it gives us a view of their character.  I don’t want any more CM Punk.  I don’t want any more Bill Goldberg.  I don’t want any more Batista.  After reading his blog, when it comes to Ryback I will always be saying “Feed Me More.”

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Jason Duclos

Jason DuClos has been a contributing writer for CCB since 2013. He is a loving father of three, a devoted husband, part time youth director, and full time fantasy football fanatic. When he is not coaching 1st and 4th grade basketball, teaching, or writing a paper for school is he working on his blog. He is self described as the other side of the coin, someone who lives on the side of devils advocate. Whether it's fantasy football or wrestling, he will not shy away from controversy. You can read his blogs exclusively on CCB and follow him on Twitter @TSMPDX

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