The ghost of Goldberg (who is very much alive and well) seems to follow Ryback everywhere.
Raw was one of the few weeks where you couldn’t hear an audible “Goldberg” chant from the crowd while he was on screen.
It was also a night for the Ryback character to rise up to the next level.
By the end of the night, it looked like he may be set on a collision course with CM Punk.
Fourteen years ago, we saw a parallel event in Goldberg’s career when he defeated Raven on Nitro. It was only the night before that the heel Raven wrestled control of the US Title away from the fan favorite Diamond Dallas Page.
It was a big moment in Raven’s career, but his reign was very short lived.
The much smaller Raven ran into the brick wall known as Goldberg, and was dominated in the match. WCW made a statement that night.
It was much like Ryback destroying The Miz. While the title wasn't on the line in their match, it was Ryback's biggest singles match to date.
In both matches, the champion’s offense was largely ineffective against the beasts.
They didn’t stand a chance.
Like the Intercontinental title, the US title was a secondary WCW title often used as stepping stones to the next level. Booker T., Scott Steiner and Jeff Jarrett all held the belt before eventually earning the World Title.
It seems that WWE is blowing right past a secondary title for Ryback, and is set on moving him into the main event scene instead.
Comparisons with Goldberg are unavoidable. They’re both large, bald muscular men who destroy their much weaker opponents with a variety of power moves.
Also, when the two faced their company’s secondary champions, the two men were both undefeated.
There is another wrestler though who should be thrown in for comparisons. An enigmatic, undefeated man with a bizarre promo style: The Ultimate Warrior.
At SummerSlam 88, Warrior burst down the aisle and laid waste to the Intercontinental Title Champion The Honky Tonk Man within seconds.
The fans exploded.
Goldberg vs. Raven was a great WCW moment, Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man was a classic WWF moment.
Will anyone remember Miz vs. Ryback?
Unfortunately for Ryback, The Miz loses every non pay-per-view match, so his win really didn’t mean anything.
Had Miz not lost a single time since his return, this would have been big.
If things pan out for Ryback, fans are much more likely to remember what happened later that night.
It was at the end of the show that the company made their statement. It wasn’t in a match, in fact, no words were exchanged.
It was a silent stare down with CM Punk.
Ryback is slowly but surely getting over, but at this point in their careers Goldberg and Warrior were getting a much better crowd reaction.
Unfortunately, WWE didn’t let the crowd in the arena see this moment so it’s impossible to gauge how it would have gone over.
It will be interesting to see if fans continue to buy into him, or if they’ll turn against him by feeling he’s not deserving of such a role.
With Sheamus, Cena and Orton often pushed as unstoppable, it could be overkill to have a fourth babyface main-eventer who has no heel equal.
In the end, there is one big difference when you compare Ryback to The Ultimate Warrior or Goldberg.
Fans demanded that Goldberg and Warrior become main-eventers. With Ryback, WWE is demanding that we accept him as a star.
We’ll have to see how well that works out for them.