For weeks now, the WWE Universe has speculated about who would be the next superstar to be consumed by Ryback. On RAW this week, they got their answer.
Ryback is starving and looking at Intercontinental Champion the Miz as his latest prey.
On paper, this rivalry seems to make little sense. It’s an established superstar, one with a decent track record of winning titles and with a decent foothold in the company versus an unestablished wrecking machine.
In the simplest terms, if this were a wrestling match, Ryback would be doomed.
In a brawl, the Miz would not be awesome. He would be unconscious.
Luckily for fans, a matchup between these two will likely be a combination of both, and that match could lead to a feud that might set the company on fire.
The basic fact is that Ryback has done nothing but carve a path of carnage through the WWE roster since he arrived in April. However, he has also never faced a legitimate threat, a label which the Miz most certainly would deserve.
By placing these two in a program together, the company establishes several goals.
First, they finally have an end to the path of bodies that lay in Ryback’s wake. Up until this point, no one has stood in Ryback’s way and refused to budge. The Miz will not simply roll over and die. He will stand and fight, and make the still untested monster earn everything that he is trying to attain.
Granted he might bail out of the ring a few times in terror before that happens, but still.
For the time being, this looks to be the end to the huge push that the company seems to be giving to Ryback. Many expected they would place him on the main stage soon, and he would make a run at CM Punk and the WWE title. But by doing this, they let Ryback taste a title hunt and see how he handles it.
While he is improving week to week, he is still incredibly green for someone that has been in the business as long as he has. The Miz has also been around for awhile, and tends to carry most of the contests that he is involved in. He has a supreme talent for making his opponents look good.
And that is exactly what Ryback needs. As he battled enhancement talent, he looked dominant. But he also looked legitimately dangerous as he tossed his opponents around with little regard for where or how they landed.
The MIz will make him look dominant, but not dangerous. He'll just look impressive.
Second, if Miz ends up dropping the belt to Ryback, it frees him up to pursue the WWE and world heavyweight titles on either RAW or Smackdown.
Let us not forget that he is a former world champion, and could easily be put back into that picture at a moment's notice. A feud with Sheamus would be entertaining, while a feud with CM Punk (if Miz were to make a face turn, of course) would be a classic war of words between two gifted talkers.
Plus, with the intercontinental title on Ryback, the company goes into throwback mode, having a character holding a title. It harkens back to the 1980’s where wrestlers had set personalities and gimmicks. Ryback is a dominant monster of very few words. He goes into the ring, creates chaos and marches away.
Finally, this feud will elevate Ryback’s character to a new level. Week after week, we hear him yell “Feed Me More.” But that’s basically it. Is he capable of saying more?
We all know that Miz is a big talker. It evens comes at the expense of letting others talk. He seems to like the sound of his own voice. But that’s ok. Since Ryback is not particularly loquacious, this benefits the Awesome One greatly.
But what if Ryback decides that his ring-work alone is not how he wishes to express himself? What would a Ryback promo sound like?
No one knows, but I guarantee that many would be anxious to find out.
So what will happen when the dust settles and the fight is over?
Perhaps Ryback will claim the intercontinental title and his hunger will be somewhat satisfied for the time being.
Or the Miz will prove once again that he is the Awesome One, and finally slay the raging beast.
Either way, the WWE Universe had better buckle their seatbelts, because this will be a very bumpy ride.