Vince McMahon's show-saving cameo on the latest episode of WWE's Monday Night Raw was in part designed to revive flagging ratings for the company's showcase episodic program.
But the most necessary aspect of his appearance was undoubtedly to put over burgeoning superstar Ryback.
The crowd pop for his timely rescue of McMahon during the fantastic main event match with CM Punk clearly revealed the boss' intentions, but proved them justified as well.
He may be still in the embryonic stage of his development into the next face of the WWE, but until today, Ryback had been mostly kept to lowercard squash matches and sporadic backstage appearances.
By publicly acknowledging that he was a genuine contender for Punk's championship though, it was this Raw that signaled the next step in his career.
Whether or not this is a step too far, too quickly, is a question for another article.
McMahon clearly felt that he was the best possible replacement for the currently-injured John Cena, were he to be unable to compete at the next pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell.
But another aspect of this meteoric rise is the fact that the momentum behind Ryback is now so great that it is, in effect, a runaway train, moving too fast for anyone to put the brakes on should they wish to do so.
If he does fight Punk at Hell in a Cell, the WWE will be, in effect, committing to him as one of their top guys for the future.
Of course, even if Cena is unable to compete at the PPV, he will still recover from his injury not long after—and what then is to be done with Ryback?
McMahon can't simply throw him back into meaningless midcard feuds—once he's fought in the spotlight, anything else would seem like the WWE are casting a shadow over him.
And if he competes at Hell in a Cell and his momentum continues to build, the WWE will have no option but to give him a title run.
After all, as a top-level babyface, to lose two or three main events in a row would come across as a glorified squash.
That's not to say that giving the belt to Ryback so soon would be a completely bad thing, but what it would do, is put Cena in a marginalised position; a three-way title picture between Punk, Cena and Ryback doesn't seem like a viable option at the moment.
But bear in mind that either Cena or Punk is due to face The Rock at The Royal Rumble in January, and there is absolutely zero percent chance that Ryback will be considered for the biggest main event since WrestleMania.
So if he is to get a run with the belt, it must happen sooner rather than later.
Or to put it another way, the WWE have backed themselves into a corner with their abrupt push of Ryback.
To give him a main event shot at Hell in a Cell and then pull him straight out of the picture immediately after would be killing the type of momentum that can only do the company good.
But if he were to remain locked up with CM Punk in a showcase feud for the relative long-term, to not have him triumph at any point would make him look weak and hinder his short-term potential.
One thing is certain though, neither Cena nor Ryback can emerge unscathed from what is sure to be a crucial few months for the WWE.
Whether or not John Cena's injury will prove a blessing in disguise is a question that is yet to be answered.
What do you think of Ryback's meteoric push? Will he remain in the main event picture beyond Hell in a Cell?
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