Ryback's WWE Career Should Not Be Compared to That of Bill Goldberg

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistDecember 20, 2012

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

Ryback is riding a wave of main-event matches and heavy spotlight, the likes of which a WWE newcomer has not seen in a very long time.  Week in and week out, the Superstar called Big Hungry is bringing it every night he steps into the ring.  And it’s time he received a fair shake for his efforts.

In other words, the Goldberg chants need to stop.

Honestly, this has been going on for a while now and though I obviously can’t speak for anyone else, I have to say that I am fairly sick of it.

I get why it began in the first place. The similarities were there for the whole world to see and even I can’t deny them.

Ryback is big, bald, with a crazy intensity, wearing MMA-style gloves and utilizes power moves in the ring.  He grunts, he growls, and he’s a beast that cannot be stopped.  He came from out of nowhere and was thrust into the main-event spotlight and was suddenly rubbing shoulders with the biggest names in the business.

No doubt about it, there’s something eerily familiar about that description to me.

But perhaps the biggest comparison that could be drawn between Ryback and Goldberg was the undefeated streak.  In the beginning, Ryback was indeed untouchable and it seemed as though that would always be the case.

However, Ryback has lost a match to CM Punk and has thus far not won a world championship, though he had two shots at the WWE Title.

He has been laid out twice by the Shield, three young Superstars who were just called up from NXT, and did not defeat them at TLC.  He is susceptible to attacks and can be beaten down whenever WWE needs him to be.

For a guy who is supposedly just a monster, a Goldberg rip-off, Ryback looks all too human.

The truth is that when it comes to Ryback’s booking, the Goldberg scenario just does not work in today’s WWE.  There is too much talent, too many Superstars who can physically go toe to toe with him, and too many opportunities for him to come up short.

The Shield needed to make a huge impact to be taken seriously in WWE.  If they had debuted via promos or vignettes, that would not have been enough.  For fans, they would have been just another handful of rookies who were getting their shot at the big time.

But by physically dissecting a Superstar who has made a name for himself in the short time he’s been featured, has put the Shield on the map.  They are a threat in every sense of the word and it all began with Ryback.

It may take a lot to put him down, but it can be done.  And he may be back the very next night, itching for a fight, but so is every other babyface in the company.

Ryback is just another WWE Superstar who is working hard to become someone in the business and we are witnesses to his progression.  He is not a man considered to be a phenomenon, carving a path of destruction through the company on his way to becoming a main-event hero like Goldberg.

Ryback may indeed be the future, but he is not there just yet.

Truth be told, the fact that some fans cannot let the Goldberg reference go has become more of a distraction than anything.

Again, Ryback is a physically intense power wrestler in the ring.  He is not a scientific technician, taking his time in a slow and methodical pace.  When the bell rings, it’s game on for Ryback.  

And when he’s in the middle of the match, working to entertain by showing off his strength, the last thing I want to hear as a fan is the name of another talent being chanted in unison.

The fact is, this is Ryback’s time.  Goldberg walked away from the industry a long time ago.  He left his mark, made his money, and then moved on with his life.  Ryback is still a work in progress and deserves to be judged based upon what he himself is either doing, or not doing in the ring.  

Fans will always have their opinions and will never stop in vocalizing those opinions every chance they get.  After all, we are the paying customer, we have earned the right to cheer or jeer anyone we want.

That’s all part of the deal.

But to just dismiss a worker because he resembles a past star, either in physical appearance or ring ability, seems like such a waste to me.  Ryback is doing what he can to get over, to make the best of the opportunities he has been given, but that will likely never be enough for some fans.  And to me, that‘s a real shame.

The bottom line is that Ryback is going to sink or swim based on how he’s presented and what he can do.  Any similarities to Bill Goldberg that may have existed are gone in my view.  If Ryback’s critics truly wanted to take a shot at him or criticize him, then perhaps they should do so in light of what Ryback the man is doing.

Hold Ryback’s feet to the fire.  When he screws up, call him on it.  If his ring work is not up to snuff, then hold him responsible for it.  He is the man that we’re watching, and his career has nothing to do with anyone else.  He is the man running the gimmick and doing the work.

Any Goldberg chants that happen are doing nothing but putting the former WCW and World Champion over, and he had more than his share of the spotlight in main events all over the world.  Love him or hate him, he was a top guy.  He did make an impact.  But his career is done.

But the question is, will fans ever truly give Ryback a chance to win them over, or has their decision on him already been made?  

Will the chants ever stop?