At the beginning of Monday night’s Raw show, John Cena once again did his “heel turn” joke by pivoting his foot back and forth. But at the end of the show, it was Ryback who was doing the heel-turning.
Now that we have had time to digest what happened Monday night, we now have to ask ourselves who the winners and losers of this Ryback turn are.
First and foremost, the biggest winner is Ryback. He never seemed really comfortable in the classic face role of interacting with the fans. Sure, he led them and fed off of them with the “Feed Me More!” chants. But could he really be the face hero WWE needs to surpass Cena in that role?
Ryback is built to be a heel. Vince McMahon loves to see the big guys in his company draw major heat. And right now, in terms of drawing heat, Ryback has the potential to be a furnace.
WWE has even taken to referring to him sometimes as the “Human Wrecking Ball.” You must admit that sounds much more heel-ish than “Big Hungry.”
Ryback likely has sealed the deal to face Cena at Extreme Rules for the WWE title. In the meantime, he has to solidify his newfound heel stance by attacking the other top faces like Sheamus and Randy Orton between now and Extreme Rules.
The Cena detractors out there would want to say Cena is the biggest loser in this because he is outmatched. You must remember, though, that WWE is not going to put its top title on its top star at its top event only to have him lose it at a second-tier pay-per-view one month later.
No, the Extreme Rules match, if it does happen, is a temperature taker for a possible Cena-Ryback program. If the WWE Universe gets behind it and the two combatants manage to put each other over in a big way at Extreme Rules, then they likely would face each other again at Payback.
On that occasion, Ryback would stand the best chance of taking the title from Cena. And WWE gets a chance to say “I’m sorry” to Ryback for all those months of striving to be the top champ only to wind up as prey for The Shield.
Actually, the biggest loser in the Ryback heel turn is not John Cena but Mark Henry. Not since his battles with The Big Show in 2011 has the “World’s Strongest Man” had the opportunity to face someone who comes close to measuring up with him in size and strength.
Their WrestleMania battle seemed to be the launch for a possibly good feud between two of WWE’s biggest men. But it wound up only being the launching pad for Ryback’s turn.
Now, it looks like Henry is destined for a spring and summer loaded with squash matches. And Ryback is destined to finally plant his flag at the top of the WWE mountain.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963.