The Wrestling Genius: Ryback and the Great Manager Challenge



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Well folks it looks like Ryback is staying around, for a little while longer anyway. His “sudden” “heel” turn “shocked” fans and his feud with John Cena has been “exciting”. Look, I am trying here folks because I don’t like to come off as a cynical prick. Cynicism has become the language of the internet. Every single one of these wrestling columns all over the internet seems to be about who can trash Vince and the WWE the most. I’ve stated my attempt is to always try to be positive but I don’t always succeed at that. I like to think I do a good job for the most part, however. With that let’s stay positive idea in mind let’s try to turn the “Oh crap we have no viable number 2 to Cena because Punk is hurt, The Rock is hurt, Lesnar is busy with HHH, and we haven’t developed anyone else into a viable threat.” into a positive.

Ryback isn’t fantastic in the ring (trying so hard to be positive…stay strong Jared…stay strong) but he’s not awful either. Ryback isn’t David Otunga; Ryback can actually put on a decent match. Ryback’s biggest problem currently is that he can’t string a sentence together without sounding like a complete meathead. He just isn’t a good talker and he’s been around long enough now that I doubt he’ll ever “get it”. Which is fine, as long as there has been wrestling there has been big, strong meatheads who can’t get over on the mic. Ryback is a two tool guy not a three or four tool guy, which again like I said isn’t a terrible thing. Brock Lesnar is a two or three tool guy who is way over and puts butts in seats. The difference is, Lesnar has a manager and Ryback doesn’t. Lesnar is a physical freak of nature who needed a mouth piece to push him over the top. Insert Paul Heyman into the picture and Lesnar because one of the biggest stars in the business. Ryback needs his own Paul Heyman, but is the WWE willing to give him a hype guy? Until recently, I would have said no but the emergence of Zeb Colter, the reemergence of Paul Heyman, and the use of Ricardo Rodriguez has me hopeful. So, who do I think should be Ryback’s hype guy? Let me do something I so rarely do because I usually hate it but in this case, I think it’s necessary. That’s right; I’m putting on my fantasy booker hat.

5. The Sinister Minister James Mitchell: Now this is a bit of a reach for Ryback but I’ve always been a big James Mitchell fan. On paper, they don’t fit because Ryback isn’t a “monster” as we are use to seeing with James Mitchell. However, let’s say Ryback loses to John Cena at Extreme Rules. Then the following night on Monday, we see Ryback talking to a guy off camera who is telling him the reason he lost is because he hasn’t tapped into his inner monster. Do a few scenes with Ryback and man off camera. Then finally, by the end of the night we see Ryback attack John Cena in the back with a slow reveal of James Mitchell in the shadows. Then you unleash James Mitchell and his skills in hyping monsters and I think Ryback reaches his full heel monster potential.

4. Matt Striker: Matt Striker is a very smart and talented on mic performer. He has adapted well to whatever role the WWE has given him and he’s done it very well. He’s isn’t flashy but he is a consistent performer. Here’s why I think he would work as Ryback’s manager. WWE can do good comedy (they also can do terrible comedy) and if done right a Ryback and Striker odd couple could be entertaining. The meathead and the teacher gimmick could help Ryback become an even bigger face than he was before his “heel” turn.

3. Truth Martini: There are very few in the business today with the type of charisma Truth does. He’s has the type of magnetism usually reserved for cult leaders and that would help Ryback. He’s a little too edgy for WWE right now but he is talented enough to curtail some of his more controversial aspects and still be one of the most over managers in recent WWE history. His unique blend of Mad Hatter meets Charles Manson would have Ryback hated by women, kids, and way over with the internet fans like myself. His high energy and insane sense of style would make you forget just how boring and limited Ryback can be.

2. Mick Foley: These two just faced off in the ring and that could help this transition into a working relationship. Maybe Ryback loses to Cena and see’s exactly what Foley was talking about. Foley is one of the best promo guys and could tap into his inner heel if he had to. I think he’d do a great job as either a face or a heel manager for Ryback. Having Mick push Ryback as “doing it the right way” and then having Mick help Ryback cheat to beat Cena would have both over as heels. Foley as a heel is much more entertaining than Foley the face but if WWE wanted Ryback as a face Foley could certainly help him there.

1. John Laurinaitis: People love to hate this guy and while I don’t enjoy his mic work there, were few people as over as a heel as Laurinaitis was when he feuded with CM Punk. The WWE could push that Laurinaitis thinks John Cena is done as a top draw and that Ryback is the next big thing. Laurinaitis is hated, absolutely hated by fans and that hate would easily transfer to Ryback. It would also help in bringing CM Punk back as a face if that is what the WWE wanted to do when he returns. That’s why I put Laurinaitis at number one on the list. He is the most likely candidate on the list and I think he’d help Ryback the most right now. He’s an established heel and could be a short-term solution until Ryback is better on the mic or a viable long-term manager if the WWE thought Ryback needed that.

Well that’s all for me this week if you want to send me love, hate, or just want to chat about wrestling you can reach me on twitter @JaredGebhardt or you can email me @jjg672@hotmail.com.



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