Much has been written about Ryback since his monumental push up the WWE roster. This past week has seen the focus on the muscular juggernaut intensify as he looks to solidify his role in a feud with John Cena.
Is Ryback turning heel? Will it be worth watching? Where does Ryback go from here? Does anyone care?
Personally, I have enjoyed each article highlighting the aspects that this feud can split opinion.
Drake Oz recently wrote how Ryback could never replace Cena. This is fair in many standards, and while the famed IWC are credited (although I have not seen an official statement) as disliking Ryback, I feel they should welcome his route to the top.
Cena's least enjoyable character traits are his tired underdog routine and his awful pandering to comic references only the immature find funny.
Ryback as a character and as a man cannot offer this gimmick. While he may not move with the grace of CM Punk in the ring, his character will not work with the baby crowd.
He can still win the good guy battles that need to be won, but he does not have to do it as Superman's brain dead brother.
Bryan Haas told us all how he felt Ryback was coming to the end of his relevancy in the WWE. Again, I disagree in parts. The WWE has the need for big, musclebound monsters who use strength instead of guile. He displays excellent power moves, and he will only get better in the ring.
With Brock Lesnar the pinnacle of this breed, but only part-time, there is a gap in the market. A mouthpiece could surely help, although I did enjoy his slow, taped promo.
However, my interest was first sparked by Justin LaBar's view that the feud would be failure if both men were to end their battles as faces.
There is much in the article I agree with. If this were to be another metaphorical "passing of the torch," then we would all rather skip the feud and stick our fingers down our throats.
Yet this is only one of many avenues the feud could go down that still keeps the men in their prior roles in the WWE ethos.
I am not after the mythical tweener role neither, a character hole that is mentioned by fans on a ludicrous scale compared to its actual use in the product.
There is, however, room for a face that fights. Sheamus and Randy Orton have both been prescribed as such figures, but both have spent so much time pandering to the masses in the past year that their characters have diluted.
Ryback does not not need to be a bad guy. He needs to be the "bad-ass" that fights for personal gain.
This is what the WWE title should encourage. The good guys should hate the bad guys, but the belt renders the good/evil axis pointless.
You would never see "Stone Cold" Steve Austin kissing babies and hugging fat girls; he did what he wanted. But he was a face.
For too long the WWE has been scared to make a face anything but a man who loved the people and let them know it. They all joked with Cena and loved the Cenation.
Ryback was right when he said, "A friendship with John Cena is nothing more than a promise to live in the shadow of John Cena."
This need not be a snide feud of good versus evil. Ryback does not like Cena, Ryback wants to be WWE champion. Luckily for him he can obtain victory over Cena and take the WWE title in one swoop.
He can carry on taking out anyone who faces him after this, win or lose. He need not now deliver vitriolic speeches at Zack Ryder because the kids love him. He is a man of few words who leads a destructive path. Why blur things with a heel turn?
If the WWE has any bravery in its creativity, then it will build this feud on rivalry and not petty notions of right and wrong.
Ryback does not need to shake Cena's hand, nor does he need to cut it off. He just needs to be the character he has been since he rampaged up the ladder.
Besides, don't we need to level the balance so that Orton kid can turn heel soon anyway?
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