"Feed me more."
Ryback debuted several weeks ago after a stellar WrestleMania to an interested crowd. Many remembered him as Skip Sheffield from his time in Nexus. Others even remembered him from NXT. Though quite a few people had probably forgotten the star entirely.
Ryback came to the ring with pure intensity ready to demolish anyone and everyone in that ring, and that is exactly what he has been doing for the past month. He has taken out everything and anything in his way.
Barry Stevens, Benny Camer, Aaron Relic and Jay Hatton have all felt the wrath of Ryback in recent weeks, and just this past week Ryback ran through actual signed WWE talent in Derrick Bateman. Obviously, WWE wants to build Ryback up to be as powerful as they can.
The problem, however, is that WWE has created a monster too reminiscent to another star of the past. The "Goldberg" chants echo through the arena each week as people find themselves tuning out from the action and deciding they have no interest in seeing the next Goldberg in WWE.
Are the chants justified? Honestly, the comparisons are clear, but being a fan who never liked Goldberg even at his peak I can say that I personally think Ryback is much better than the Predator. Even so, it is fairly clear that Ryback needs to do something huge to get over.
For those who don't know, Ryback is not quite a rookie in WWE. In 2004, Ryan Reeves (his real name) took part in the Tough Enough competition, which he ended up doing well in, though still ended up getting voted off. He would, however, get a developmental contract for his efforts.
Over the next few years, Reeves trained in Deep South Wrestling before quickly being transferred over to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). Finally, he was moved over to FCW where he adopted the Ryback gimmick he now uses.
However, when he finally found his way to the main roster, the audience was not witnessing Ryback, the character Reeves had been cultivating, but rather Skip Sheffield, a giant cowboy character.
With this gimmick, Sheffield had limited success, coming off as too much of a goof to succeed. He eventually was eliminated, and not many thought much of Sheffield after that.
It was his time in Nexus, though, that really made him a star. When Nexus came into power and invaded WWE, Sheffield was the muscle of the group. His high-impact clothesline and pure intensity made him one of, if not the most dangerous member of Nexus.
If it had not been for a nasty ankle injury in August, Sheffield may have very well developed into a monster star in WWE. That ankle injury, though, would sideline Reeves for months, leading to WWE pulling him out of the company to be rebuilt as a star.
For over a year, no one heard anything about Reeves except for when Vince McMahon would infamously say that Sheffield had the potential to be the No. 2 babyface in the entire company behind John Cena.
Needless to say, that sparked some unique interest in Sheffield, leading to his debut in April, finally back under his old name, Ryback. Most should know the story after that.
Ryback is a monster in WWE that is simply that, a monster. While he has shown himself to have decent mic skills, it is likely that Ryback won't be talking much at all in the coming months. That means he needs to somehow get over entirely on his wrestling ability and booking alone.
The fact is that Ryback is a beast at 6'3" and almost 300 pounds. He has the perfect physique along with a high-impact move set that makes him look unstoppable. That is all great except we have seen it before. No one really wants to see a monster face run through the roster again.
Ryback needs to do something more spectacular than beating up jobbers every week. However, don't count the man out simply based upon his booking. Reeves has been waiting too long to get this chance in WWE, and it is obvious that Vince McMahon wants him to be a star.
Ryback is only 30 years old, and he has paid his dues to get to this level. He has the skills to make his character mean something, and all he needs is fan support. When he gets that, expect Ryback to go from Goldberg chants to cheers of adulation and his own personalized chants that will probably be based around feeding on people (I don't know, let the fans and creative decide).
If you merely disregard Ryback, you will be missing the heart of what he is. The next strong man wrestler in WWE in the vein of Batista, Brock Lesnar, even John Cena. Give Ryback a chance to succeed, and maybe he just might become as big as those men one day.
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