Death of Wrestling: Ryback
Greetings to all… It’s David Davis with my weekly blog: Death of Wrestling. For all of those who read this regularly, you will know that this is not a blog about bashing wrestling; it’s a blog of a frustrated fan, who loves the business and wishes that each week it could be a little better.
I need to thank @paulmoger79 who hit me up on twitter and asked for my thoughts on Ryback. First of all I have to say that I don’t hate on wrestlers. Those of you who read my stuff a lot will know that I have nothing but admiration for the men and women who courageously put their bodies through hell for our entertainment. This is also true of Ryan Reeves who obviously loves the business, having competed in Tough Enough, various WWE training grounds, tried to get noticed in the Nexus and when all that gave him limited success… He still didn’t quit.
Ryan came back with the character Ryback that was clearly a pet project by the WWE, obviously moulded from the legend that is Goldberg, to be the Next Big Thing in the squared circle. They were doing all the right things i.e. squash matches week in week out, decimating those would be jobbers who had the audacity to get on the mic and criticise the hometown crowd etc etc etc.
All seemed to be going to plan and then the unthinkable happened… John Cena got injured. Yep, stop the press… this multi-billion pound organisation almost fell to pieces when one of its superstars got injured. Alright, maybe just not any superstar, it’s ‘the’ superstar… But that in itself is a problem that I’ve highlighted before: the WWE refuses to build its roster. It has a handful of people that it knows draws and the rest be damned…
The problem is their lack of depth sometimes lands them in a bind and the HIAC was a prime example. There was a big question mark over whether Cena would be match fit and CM Punk needed an opponent – and believe it or not – this international company didn’t feel like it had any suitable alternatives… I know… it’s pretty laughable.
Luckily for them they had been building up Ryback for the last few months, and he had an unbeaten streak that could almost rival Punk’s streak as champion. The problem was… one of them had to lose. It was pretty clear it wasn’t going to be Punk – his inevitable meeting with the Rock had been clearly signposted at the Raw 1000th episode. But what the WWE didn’t realise, were unable to realise or were too hamstrung to care was what that loss would do to the Ryback character.
The beauty about a character like Ryback, like Goldberg, is that they don’t lose – they win – and they do it in (hopefully) spectacular fashion. Goldberg was given time before he was thrust in to the main event picture; he was a United States Champion and was still the US Champ when he won the WCW title. The fans were told that they should like him, but were given enough time to grow to love him… Ryback was not given the time he badly needed.
The fans (me) were just getting in to this dominant force when he was elevated above his station. I didn’t care about him as the WWE Champion – he hadn’t had a proper feud yet! Even Brock Lesnar won the KOTR before his title shot – it wasn’t just handed to him because of the lack of depth of the roster!
And then Ryback lost – I don’t care how – he lost – and his mystique vanished overnight. He continued to be decimated for the months to come, primarily by the Shield, and any hope Ryback had of really getting over was decimated too…
So in all their brilliant wisdom, the WWE decide to turn him heel. We didn’t get a chance to care about him as a dominant force, and now we don’t have the chance to care about him as a top face – he even freaking lost at Mania to a man who fathered a hand!
Unfortunately, Ryback can be summed up with one word: apathy. We didn’t care about him as a face and, as Raw showed, we can’t even be bothered to boo him. Meanwhile, the WWE continue to bury Superstars like Antonio Cesaro and Zack Ryder that the fans naturally wanted to cheer and jeer. Can anyone else see the DoW?
That’s all folks… As always, post your comments, thoughts and opinions below! Or message me on twitter and let me know what you think the ‘Death of Wrestling’ is and I might just blog about it!!! Peace and I’m out…