PWMania.com previously noted reports suggesting how WWE officials, mainly Vince McMahon, went back and forth on the finish for Ryback vs. CM Punk at Hell In a Cell.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, the original plan was for Ryback to win the WWE Title clean in the middle of the ring, hold it through Survivor Series and then drop it at TLC in a multi-man match where he wouldn’t be pinned or submitted. This was the plan through October 25th, the Thursday before the pay-per-view. The next day, Vince changed his mind and concluded that of the two, Punk’s streak was the one that had been hammered home on TV and keeping that streak alive would only help business through WrestleMania season. Vince noted that while it had been mentioned on TV that Ryback was undefeated, it wasn’t central to the storyline.
One WWE source close to creative was amazed that Vince made up his mind on the finish on October 26th and three straight days went by without him changing his mind.
Once they decided to have Ryback lose, many ideas were discussed on how to make that happen. They eventually settled on the Brad Maddox finish but had discussed run-ins by Big Show, Brock Lesnar, Mark Henry, Vince himself and others.