While many within the WWE Universe debate if Ryback’s attack on John Cena last week is the start of a heel turn for the “Human Wrecking Ball,” one WWE Hall of Famer says we should not confuse ambition with villainy.
In his latest JRsBBQ.com blog, Jim Ross says he has seen nothing in Ryback’s actions that specifically spells out heel. Instead, he writes, he only sees ambition in the big man:
Since when did ambition make one an antagonist? Antagonists display a variety of common traits, none of which I have seen yet, I stress yet, from Ryback. I do like the apparent pairing of Ryback vs. John Cena and where this matter may be heading. To me, it certainly feels fresh even though some will take exception to the fact that Cena is in the equation.
At the end of last week’s Raw, Ryback came out to apparently save Cena from a beatdown by Mark Henry. Ultimately, though, Ryback wound up hitting the WWE champ with a clothesline and followed that with his Shell Shocked finisher. As the show closed, Ryback stood over Cena holding the title.
The fans, however, cheered wildly for Ryback. That leads to the debate over whether that is a true heel turn or a way to possibly build a Triple Threat match for the title with Cena, Ryback and Henry.
The action can be construed several ways.
First, Ryback could have been seeking revenge on Cena for eliminating him at January’s Royal Rumble and costing him another shot at the WWE title.
Second, Ryback conducted a pre-WrestleMania 29 interview where he stated he wanted to take over the top position in WWE from Cena. He seized the opportunity at the end of Raw toward making good on what he said in the interview.
Lastly, it could be exactly what it looked like, in spite of the crowd reaction. Ryback is turning heel.
Of course, it has only been a week since the encounter. If Ryback has, in fact, turned heel, then he will have to validate it by taking on another WWE face such as Sheamus.
In his blog, Ross cautions against fans and industry pundits trying to read too much into what is happening with Ryback:
Too many 'experts' over analyze what is actually a relatively simplistic genre to navigate and to understand. Don't over think things and see how the consumers IE the viewers, fans, etc react. Reactions are easy to measure...TV ratings, tickets sold and PPV's bought. Just do the math.
Monday night’s episode of Raw could clear up the Ryback picture. Or it could cloud it even further.
Follow Bill Atkinson on Twitter at @BAtkinson1963