What It Is About Ryback That Just Is Not Clicking?

By Maurice D. Proffit
Photo Courtesy Of godsofwrestlingnews.com


“Feed Me More! Feed Me More! Feed Me More! Feed Me More!” That chant is the beginning and the end of what is original and interesting about the man that they call Ryback.

The Ryback character, (who’s real name is Ryan Reeves) bursted on the scenes of the WWE back in the late spring of this year. His intial welcome was a bit luke warm as fans didn’t really know how to take to him initially. However, week after week on Smackdown and then eventually on Monday Night Raw, Ryback would win over the live audiences with his brute force abilities to be able to go out to the ring and simply crush some local jobber (local non-mainstream name talent) in no time. Ryback would arrive, see his prey, destroy and leave. And the crowd eats it all up. Sometimes this formula would not just involved 1 jobber, but at times 2 at the same time and I think I saw once when we went against 3 jobbers at once. Really signifying that this man is a human wrecking ball. This meteoric rise would eventually boost him to becoming, where he is now, a contender for the WWE Championship.

All that I have mentioned minutes ago is why I am not a fan and why I am still question of this guy.

I am not sold on Ryback and I’m not sure what would make me believe in this character. Understand that my opinion is nothing against Ryan Reeves as a man, but when something is not sticking, then you must call it like you see it. This is going to be the 3rd reincarnation of this man and all of them are virtually parallel. In 2004, Reeves was part of Tough Enough 4 (on the same cast as The Miz) and he gave himself the moniker of being “The Silverback”. Big impressive looking guy, who looked to have all of the potential in the world. Despite him not winning Tough Enough, WWE still signed him to a developmental contract. Fast forward to 6 years later, we find that Reeves is now a member of the flash in the pan group “Nexus”, as now his name is “skip Sheffield”. The “cornbread meathead” who’s verbal gimmick was “Yip Yip What It Do” (I cannot even begin to make this stuff up)? Since Nexus was in a hot angel with John Cena, the Nexas had a boat load of television time. So much in fact, that Sheffield was a major part of television on both Raw and Smackdown and even had a couple of brushes with William Regal. But after a series of failures one on one and in tag team situations, nothing stuck and back to developmental he went. Two years later, Ryback debuts. 3 times a charm, is NOT.

Rybacks match with CM Punk at this year’s Hell in the Cell PPV was the stain on the white tshirt for that PPV. The entire card was a hot show. Even the lower card matches were absolutely impressive. Ryback was no where near ready to be in a championship caliber match with a veteran like Punk, as a position like this holds a great deal of responsibility. Leading into the match, we never really saw Ryback in a viable contest. So, just because he was able to defeat a string of local jobbers, how is it that he can go toe to toe with the Best In The World?

Last night’s Raw was the “Go Home Show” before going into the Survivor Series PPV this Sunday. Ryback is involved in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship against both CM Punk (Champion) and John Cena. Arguably, this match surpasses his match at Hell In A Cell. You want to talk about being exposed, this is the match where you are leaving a lot of room for this to happen. So how does one prepare for a match of so much magnitude. Well John Cena and CM Punk had a one on one match with each other. Makes sense. Who does Ryback compete against, going into a main event world championship match, against two of the best on earth at one of the big 4 PPV’s, that is as old as Wrestlemania? Big Show? Wade Barrett? Alberto Del Rio? No…A REFEREE!!!!!!! Brad Maddox, the replacement ref that costed Ryback the WWE belt last month, is playing the role of Danny Davis 2.0, and THIS is Rybacks Opponent?!  Help me understand how this helps Ryback prepare for Sunday? And I don’t even want to break down this match as it was another segment of Raw that was painful to watch. Is Ryback still nervous in the ring? Because this match was ALL offense for him, but he went about every move on Davis 2.0 very non convincing. And if you decided to turn his match inot a drinking game (We do NOT advocate drinking games by the way), take a shot for every clothesline this man did and you’d be out for the count before the tiring “Feed Me More” taunt. He looked more limited against Davis 2.0 than he did against Punk. And this is the guy that is supposed to keep Punk busy until The Rock faces him at the Rumble?!

Ryback falls risk at being one of those cookie cutter wrestlers that are a dime a dozen. So let me get this straight? Take a Heaping of Goldberg, a 1/4 of a cup of the Silverback, a dash of Skip Sheffield, a splash of RVD, a few tablespoons of WCW’s High Voltage Tag team and garnish with the Danny Davis gimmick from 1987, and you get Ryback?!?!

WWE, Please Do better.


Maurice D. Proffit is a Writer For Rant Sports

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