Ryback Is Not the Monster That WWE Claims
WWE really wants us to think that Ryback is an unstoppable monster, but he’s not one—not anymore.
For the first five months or so after his debut, Ryback was indeed an unbeatable and indestructible beast who destroyed anyone and everyone in his path.
Then, Hell in a Cell happened.
It was at that pay-per-view that WWE put Ryback in an impossible booking situation and started the downfall of his character by giving him his first-ever loss, albeit under controversial circumstances.
Given exactly how Ryback lost his first major match, it wasn’t the be-all, end-all of his run as WWE’s most unstoppable force.
Then, Survivor Series happened.
Just like he did at Hell in a Cell, Ryback lost yet another WWE Championship at Survivor Series. Again, the loss didn’t come without controversy, but still, it was still his second consecutive major PPV loss.
Then, WWE TLC happened.
At the last pay-per-view of 2012, Ryback competed in that epic, six-man TLC match against The Shield. Once again, he wound up with yet another big PPV loss.
Then, the 20th anniversary of Raw happened.
It was there that Ryback finally received his one-on-one TLC match for the WWE Championship against CM Punk. But guess what? He lost again after interference from The Shield.
Then, the Royal Rumble happened.
Ryback made it to the final two of the 30-man Royal Rumble match, but in the end, he didn’t win the match. He was last eliminated—cleanly—by John Cena to lose the bout.
Basic mathematics will tell you that Ryback has competed in five huge matches in his WWE career only to lose every single one of them.
That doesn’t make him a monster. It makes him a loser.
While Ryback is still over big time with the crowd and looks poised to make an impact in the main-event scene in 2013, this notion that he is a monster no longer has any merit whatsoever.
Because the creative team has put Ryback in so many awkward booking situations, it has completely killed what made Ryback so popular in the first place: the fact that he was unstoppable.
When Ryback was rising up the ranks of WWE last year, he did so in large part because he easily destroyed anybody he faced and became a feared beast as a result.
But once he lost one match—then another and another and another and another—it became clear that his apparent run as WWE’s resident wrecking machine was nothing more than an act.
Before he lost at Hell in a Cell, it looked like Ryback would go a year or more without being beaten and perhaps even win a world title at some point during that span.
Now? He can’t be viewed as anything more than a main-event failure.
The very instant that Ryback stopped facing jobbers/midcarders and stepped up to better competition was the exact same instant that he proved he couldn’t handle it.
Better yet, it was the instant that the creative team proved that it had no idea what to do with Ryback.
After all, Ryback himself has worked hard and done a very good job of getting himself over as one of WWE’s top babyfaces. But the creative team hasn’t returned the favor.
Has the WWE ruined Ryback by having him lose so many major matches?
For five or six months, “Big Hungry” was as unstoppable as they came. Yet, for the last four, the exact opposite has been true.
When the stakes have been the absolute highest, Ryback has proven incapable of rising up to the occasion and destroying main-eventers like he was able to do with midcarders and jobbers.
That’s been really surprising because Ryback is obviously a top babyface, and what do top babyfaces do? They win.
Look at a guy like Sheamus. Over the last year-plus, all he’s done is win, losing only on extremely rare occasions.
You would think that Ryback would do the same, but no. Instead, all he’s done is lose when it’s mattered the most.
So when you look up the word “monster” in the dictionary, you certainly won’t find a picture of Ryback next to it.
Maybe four months ago you would have—but not anymore.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!
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