Dusty Rhodes will forever be linked to Ric Flair. Ric Flair will forever be linked to Rick Steamboat. Hulk Hogan will forever be linked to Randy Savage. If you understand the dichotomy of professional wrestling, then you understand that in order for Ryback to move forward toward obtaining the WWE Title from CM Punk, he must free himself from the shackles thrust around his ankles known as The Shield.
Judging by the constant interference and the constant moves to place these four men in the ring at the same time, the "divorce" will not be easy for the "Big Hungry." Because of scheduling, and the possibility of a Randy Orton heel turn, which "always" seems eminent, the situation is much more complicated than you think.
Here are a few thoughts about what the WWE is doing right now that will hurt Ryback in his ascension to his greater goal.
Ryback is stuck in the worst kind of purgatory right now. While he fights The Shield every night, he clamors for CM Punk and the WWE Title. "Feed Him Punk." It's good to see him fighting off the "Unholy Trinity" with Sheamus and Orton and others, but there will come a time when this gets old. The Shield will fight another faction or target someone else and Orton will turn heel. Sheamus is the wild card.
If Punk (and he should by help from The Shield) beats The Rock in two weeks at the Royal Rumble, then his dance card is open and the build-up for his confrontation with Ryback heats up again. Or, we all get the swerve of a lifetime and Ryback becomes Barry Windham—the man who could not beat the champion or was pushed out of the title picture, so he turned heel.
Also something to consider would be how long does the Ryback "phenonenon" last? He is not Goldberg, he certainly isn't Batista and he could be better than Bobby Lashley. Vince McMahon and the boys must decide how far to push him and whether he can handle the weight of the WWE on his shoulders. As a betting man, I think this is a bad idea.
McMahon has this "thing" that bigger has always been better and it has backfired on him (Ahmed Johnson, Ezekiel Jackson, Mason Ryan), so hopefully this is not the case. The WWE champion had better be good on the microphone and better in the ring. Ryback still needs to learn to sell and not hurt his opponents in the ring. Just something to think about.
In the end, we can all see what McMahon and the WWE is writing on the wall. Whether we agree with it or not is up for discussion. But in order to get to the top of the mountain, the WWE will seriously need to rethink its positioning of Ryback and his feud with The Shield. There is no way he can obtain the top prize in the company with that kind of "monkey" on his back.
We haven't seen this before in the WWE, so why should we see it now?