Mark Henry and Ryback continued their budding rivalry this past Friday on SmackDown. This round of rivalry consisted of an advertised match on free TV (bad) that was interrupted early on by The Shield (good).
The Shield laid out Ryback, and Mark Henry picked up the pieces. Henry World Strongest Slammed Ryback enough times to suggest that maybe television isn't big enough to hold these two snarling pseudo-monsters.
Surely if Ryback is the next top star in the WWE as his booking has suggested, the company would have something better for him to do than be buried in a tag team match. Even if it is against the still-hot The Shield.
The Big Show was previously teased as being part of the babyface triplet to take on The Shield. In fact, Orton and Sheamus chose Ryback during a segment where they snubbed The Big Show, who had lobbied to join them.
The Show-Orton-Sheamus triad still appears to be the plan. It's a solution that can be implemented as easily as having the rogue Ryback change courses and decide he wants to eat Mark Henry at WrestleMania for what he did to him on SmackDown.
The Shield could be saved for dessert when it gets hot in the summer and they've cooled off.
No use having Ryback on the losing end of another pay-per-view match that The Shield is probably going to win anyway.
Instead, an impressive victory (maybe including a feat of strength on the part of Ryback?) over the well-booked Mark Henry would be the type of coming-out victory Ryback needs to be taken seriously as an upper-echelon star.
The Henry-Ryback feud is being paced as if it were to culminate at WrestleMania. There was the initial staredown. Then the teased match that didn't take place. Then the cheap, heat-seeking post-match beatdown.
All that's missing is the match that does take place. Hopefully in April.
Mark Madness returns Sunday, March 17 at 12 p.m. PT. VOTE for the greatest wrestler of all time once the brackets are revealed and follow Big Nasty on Twitter for live updates!