Ryback: Using Him to Fill in for John Cena Is the Wrong Way to Go for the WWE

David LevinSenior Writer IISeptember 27, 2012


What is the WWE thinking? First off, we aren't sure if what we saw at the end of Monday’s Raw program was indeed a preview of things to come, but I can assure you if it is, I am not one who likes where creative is going with the Ryback character.

For everything the WWE is trying to do, making changes because of John Cena’s injury and figuring out who should not only face the current WWE Champion, CM Punk, and the current WWE World Champion, Sheamus, putting Ryback front and center of the company is not the way to go.

For now.

Building up a character such as Ryback, who is every bit Batista and Goldberg with real potential, is crucial to the success of the WWE moving forward. A potential feud with current Intercontinental Champion The Miz is probably the way to temper success since the behemoth has not faced a true competitor as of yet. While Ryback is big, strong, looks like a caged animal and gets the crowds riled up when he enters the ring, he is not seasoned enough to take on the challenge of being the flag carrier for the WWE...yet.

This should not be a situation where it is Ric Flair back in Florida in the early 1980s and since none of the big names were available to challenge the NWA World Champion, they stuck Charlie Cook in a program with Flair, who had to teach Cook not only to sell, but wrestle for 60 minutes in more than one match. Doing the same thing to a potential future WWE Champion could only hurt him in the long run.

The WWE was doing the right thing throughout the night by selling CM Punk and Mick Foley and the passion the former WWE Champion exhibited. It was also good the WWE was playing, or trying to play, on Punk’s sensibilities (although we all knew he would turn on Foley in the end).

And the confrontation between the champion and a one-armed John Cena in the ring with a lead pipe (It sounds like a scene from the board game Clue, doesn't it?) was the only way to finish off the ringside show.

Cena vowed to be at Hell in a Cell. If that is going to happen, then four weeks with Ryback in the ring, trying to defeat CM Punk does nothing to further his career.  In the end, it just proves that Cena in a title match is still the moneymaker the WWE is banking on, injured elbow or not.

The fans are also counting on this, but they are also counting on Cena to finally win the title.  He is fresh off an injury that was more severe than originally anticipated, so it is not good when planning an intense PPV event such as Hell in a Cell.

The WWE has been hard at work keeping their prized neophyte on a winning streak, in the ring with meek competition and in preparation for a true challenge. The Miz provides that. Having him take the Intercontinental Title and holding it for a while, proving he can beat many a challenger is what professional wrestling is all about.

The chase is way more important at times than the actual victory. Before, a title-less CM Punk was more effective than a gold-carrying Punk because fans could see the hunger in his eyes and the vignettes were better.

Now, the reverse can be said.

Ryback is now in a peculiar situation. The seed has been planted. Will the WWE continue to plant the seed, play off the feared look in Punk’s eyes and see where it goes? Or will it tease us and hint at the “possibility and potential” of it?”

Either way, the WWE may have ruined a good thing without even having Ryback step into the ring. This is not a situation where he is needed to win the WWE Title, much like Goldberg was needed to win the WCW Championship to try and help save a fledgling company.

In this case, winning the WWE Title may in fact set him back and hurt his future title chances if he is misused the way it looks like he will be by corporate and the creative teams of the WWE.