Ryback's Road to the World Title Begins with Mark Henry
Ryback battles Mark Henry in one of WrestleMania 29's most intriguing midcard matches, one that will be the catalyst for Ryback's return to the World title picture.
After tearing through unknown jobbers and WWE's bottom feeders, Ryback went on to defeat men like The Miz. His momentum swelled. His record remained unblemished.
Before his undefeated streak could stretch to Goldberg-like proportions, his journey was derailed.
His matches with CM Punk for the WWE Championship saw him lose thanks to a rogue referee and the "justice" doled out by The Shield.
Ryback became a dominating force who was no longer dominating. He was the unstoppable machine who had been stopped a number of times. None of those losses were fair or in a true one-on-one situation, but they were losses, losses that piled up.
Now it's time for Big Hungry to climb back up to his previous place in the WWE food chain.
He likely won't stay in the hunt for the WWE title for long, but he should get at least another handful of shots. His intimidating physique is the ideal build for a monstrous force in the ring. His power is captivating. His popularity is surging.
He is a heel turn and a John Cena WrestleMania win away from being next in line for the WWE title.
Ryback needs a major win and defeating the World's Strongest Man is a big-time, resume-building victory. Henry is so established and has been so devastating for so long that he can withstand a loss. Ryback isn't in that position yet.
A win for Big Hungry is a shift in focus to younger talent.
WrestleMania 29 is headlined by several big names that aren't going to be around in a few years and some may be out of the picture once the glow of WrestleMania's lights fade. One can't expect Brock Lesnar to be around to headline the new June pay-per-view, Payback, for example.
That's the perfect opportunity for WWE to elevate its next generation of potential stars. That's Ryback's point of entry back to the top.
His character is not one that appears to have all that much staying power. With the limited depth of his current character, Ryback feels like a hot commodity that will eventually cool. WWE would be wise to have him make the climb back up WWE title contendership now.
Henry would then serve as an efficient way to climb up WWE's ladder.
Defeating a former World Heavyweight champ, a man who has been so destructive at this stage in his career, is an achievement that will get folks to take notice. When Ryback attempts to knock off the man mountain that is Henry, he will be fighting for more than an improved record. He will be fighting for the direction of his career.
Ryback's road to the World title, his road back to dominance, begins with a win in his WrestleMania debut.
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