In the buildup to last night's Survivor Series, I wrote a piece on why Ryback should have won the main event Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship.
One of the most important reasons behind my statement was how the WWE needs to protect Ryback as a character, maintain his momentum and the aura that surrounds him.
It seemed to me that the WWE had done that after Hell in a Cell, making his loss almost irrelevant:
"WWE must be praised for how they dropped Ryback's undefeated streak without the monster losing any momentum, keeping him as fierce and powerful as he was before Hell in a Cell."
Whilst a second loss could have caused Ryback to falter, the company should be praised for again making him look like an almost-behemoth in defeat.
Bleacher Report's featured columnist Big Nasty wrote an interesting column on how the WWE protected Ryback last night, but whereas he fears this as a desperate move to keep the 'Big Hungry' over with the fans, I would suggest it has been a success again.
Interference once more cost Ryback.
It was not stale, though, it was not just a lame repetition and it did not just feel like a trick to protect him.
There were a few significant moments that maintained Ryback's credibility as an unstoppable force.
Firstly, he consistently bounced back against the physical onslaught of his two opponents. He had never before been presented with such offense against him, and his reaction was rather fitting, considering this was Survivor Series—the event that The Undertaker was unleashed upon us.
Like 'Taker, he just kept getting up.
Cena sold it, Punk sold it and the commentary team sold it. He was a force to be reckoned with, unwilling to be put down and continually shocking us all.
There was also his relentless assault against these illustrious opponents.
The two biggest names in WWE today were often powerless to stop him; he could wipe them out with ease. Whatever was thrown at him, he came back and took them down, hitting his finisher on each man and consistently wiping them out.
Which leads to my third point.
The double team by Cena and Punk to send Ryback through the table shows just how powerful he is. Two men who hate each other, two men with an intense, burning rivalry suddenly put it all aside because the threat they had in front of them was bigger than both men.
That sells Ryback, that shows the audience how much two icons of the industry fear Ryback. It was fantastic storytelling, and it shows how much the company respects Ryback's momentum right now.
Have WWE successfully protected Ryback's momentum?
Lastly, the interference was noteworthy.
Not just something that happened, it asked so many questions, showcased three young wrestlers and was a brilliant swerve to shock the fans.
Unlike Brad Maddox at Hell in a Cell—an interference that came across as a desperate attempt to save the roll Ryback was on—throwing in two internet darlings like Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose makes such an impact that the blow of defeat is again softened and will probably again be forgotten.
As such, they have opened many doors in this monster's rise to the top, whilst his physical dominance has continued apace.
Too many times before we have seen new stars rise only to sink dramatically when faced with the big guns like John Cena.
WWE must be credited this time for continuing to build a star and maintaining his momentum without forcing a title run too soon, all while still getting what they want out of CM Punk and the WWE Championship.
How do you think the Ryback character is progressing?
Did last night maintain the momentum of the monster even in defeat?