Ryback: Why Is He so Green When He's Been in WWE and Developmental for so Long?

Alex MussoFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2012

Photo Courtesy WWE
Photo Courtesy WWE

Ryback has taken WWE by storm.  Live audiences love him, and he's exploded into the main-event picture.  You'd think that he's a dominating wrestler who's been perfecting his craft for years.  But time and again, we see Ryback botch moves, tire out and cut less-than-stellar promos.  And he's been in the business for nearly a decade, leading many to question his ability.  

Whether you like Ryback or not, he looks inexperienced.  Why, when he's been in the business for so long, is this the case?

Ryback first appeared on WWE TV for the $1,000,000 Tough Enough as "The Silverback" Ryan Reeves (his real name).  He did not win.  He spent the next six years in Deep South and OVW, where he found some success, winning the OVW Heavyweight Championship once.  But he was never able to break through to the main WWE roster.  He then spent two years in FCW, leading up to his NXT appearance and ultimately The Nexus.   

Ryback, simply put, is not a great wrestler.  He's extremely popular right now, and I'm a fan.  But he's just not a guy you can count on for a 15-minute match.  Ryback is your typical Vince McMahon monster.  He's big, looks like a bodybuilder and can execute power moves.  

But that isn't enough to be a great wrestler.  You need a great gimmick and good mic skills.  His gimmick is good now, but in developmental, it was mediocre.  He played a "terminator" type character at one point.  He never has had the ability to cut a solid promo consistently. And it doesn't help him when he can't execute his move against Paul Heyman, among other incidences.  That can't happen as frequently as it has for Ryback.

The simple reality is that Ryback is lightning in a bottle.  He got hot at the right time and got placed in a WWE Championship match when Cena got hurt.  Otherwise, he may be in the World Heavyweight Championship picture, or maybe even lower down the card.  After all, he went from destroying jobbers to the main event at Hell in a Cell.  

Ryback looks green because he is green.  He's never had the ability to dominate every aspect of his craft (ring work, promos, getting over).  I have no doubt he can improve, but essentially he's a rookie.  He didn't work his way up the card.  He went from not even on the card to the top of it.  He never got the chance to work with lower and mid-card wrestlers to hone his skills against quality opponents.  

So, Ryback fans, expect Ryback to continue looking green for now.  He has the raw ability, but he needs to have time to perfect his strengths and improve his weaknesses.