It appears after the most recent edition of SmackDown that WWE is content to continue putting returning Superstar Ryback in matches with local enhancement talent, obviously smaller and weaker wrestlers who he quickly dominates, as impressed fellow Superstars watch from the back.
Though they initially attempted to push him as a face, having his victims cut brief heel promos before being beaten senseless, it looks like they could be going in a different direction.
On this week's SmackDown from London, local jobber Danny Lerman took the microphone and said, "Cheers, mates. My mum's watching tonight, and I'd just like to say hello to her, and that I'm dedicating this match to her."
Yeah... a real heel promo if I've ever seen one.
Danny Lerman was billed at 175 pounds. He didn't look much bigger than me, and I'd be lucky to touch 150. He was not a heel. He was not a worthy adversary.
Danny Lerman was a victim.
And I understand what WWE is trying to do, but the execution has failed miserably. This is not Brodus Clay, the fun-loving Funkasaurus, stomping Heath Slater or Alex Riley, established Superstars who can at least hold their own.
This is not Lord Tensai, the American-born extoller of all things stereotypically Japanese, pounding Yoshi Tatsu or even WWE's golden boy John Cena.
This is Ryan Reeves, Skip Sheffield, Ryback... bully.
When Yoshi Tatsu or Heath Slater is in the ring, fans are pretty sure they're going to lose. We're also pretty sure they're going to live to fight another day. They're jobbers, sure, but they're not defenseless.
I find it exceedingly ironic and hypocritical that while WWE pledges its support for the Be A Star program to end bullying, they are attempting to get a character over whose entire gimmick thus far revolves around being a remorseless aggressor against obviously weaker opponents.
I don't cheer for Ryback, the supposed face. I hate him. I hate his painfully predictable matches. I hate that as a genetic freak with cartoonish muscles and a limited move set, he represents everything wrong with WWE.
Most of all, I hate that he's taking the coward's way out week after week by only squaring off against opponents he knows he can crush. Just like a bully.
The ideal finish to Ryback's reign of terror would be for him to come to the ring as usual. Squash another inferior opponent, as usual.
And when the camera goes backstage to see which Superstars are marveling at the supposed wrecking machine in the ring, the WWE Universe is treated to the long-awaited return of the one man who could put Ryback, the unstoppable bully, in his place.
The man has made a living defeating opponents much larger than himself. He's the Giant Killer.
Ryback wants to pick on smaller guys?
Have him pick on 5'6", 175-pound former World Heavyweight Champion Rey Mysterio and suffer the same fate as bullies like John Bradshaw Layfield, The Big Show, Batista, and a who's who of Superstars in the past.
As one of the faces (or masks, as the case may be) of the Be A Star campaign, Mysterio is uniquely suited to put an end to the farce that is the return of Ryback.
As much as I'd like for it to happen in San Diego, or at least on the West Coast, the WWE won't get within sniffing distance of California until SummerSlam.
Regardless, it's clear that Ryback will never be over as a face. At least let him serve as the perfect way for Rey Mysterio to return for what will likely be his last WWE run, and in doing so, score a much needed victory for the underdog.