Why Ryback Is a Hard Sell as a WWE Headliner
He's here, but for how long? Does he win the WWE title at Extreme Rules? Does he again lose in a main event pay-per-view match? Can he sustain a long run as the champion?
Ryback is much like Bill Goldberg—the champion built up and then given the title when he really isn't ready for it. He isn't the charismatic enigma. He isn't the flag-waving patriot. He isn't even the anti-fan apologist.
He's a robotic form of a cartoon character we like to see beat up his opponents and chant, "Feed Me More."
It's catchy, it's original, it's not for long before he fades into oblivion with the Ahmed Johnsons and Ezekiel Jacksons and Hercules' of the WWE. We have a hard time accepting him as a headliner because of what we see on television. The Dolph Zigglers and Chris Jerichos of the world are dynamic and can wrestle as well as talk.
We are spoiled—we want the total package (no, not Lex Luger). Feed us a real champion.
Ryback is not the total package. Here is why we have trouble accepting him as the headliner the WWE is pushing right now.
He Has a Short Shelf Life
Like Hercules, Bill Goldberg, Bobby Lashley (pictured above) and others, Ryback is not a wrestler and a headliner for the long haul.
The WWE is famous for taking talent and making them a one-trick pony. He won't last five years with the company.
Loss After Loss After Loss
He has lost in major matches in pay-per-view events. I realize The Shield has a lot to do with that, but seriously, we need to believe every time he goes out there, he will win—and win convincingly.
Main event talent wins in major matches, title matches and pay-per-view matches. If he were to come out and dominate matches like Mark Henry did in his title match with Randy Orton to become the World Heavyweight champion, then he would be a more believable star.
And he would get more heat when it comes to being a headliner.
He Needs to Be a More Dynamic Talker
Undertaker, Triple H, John Cena, Shawn Michaels, even Dolph Ziggler.
Wrestlers who can talk it and walk it. They set the match up so the hype and the action are comparable. You cannot see that with Ryback.
He paces, he snorts, he looks like a walking time bomb. He looks out of breath when he puts sentences together. While he looks like a "killer" who can destroy everything in his path, he is not as instinctive about how to "sell" a match and build it to be a production.
That takes time. Right now, the WWE does not have time to give him.
Two Moves and a Cloud of Dust
A forearm shiver and a backdrop. That's it.
If he were Stan Hansen or Dick the Bruiser, he could do a lot more before he finished his opponents off.
Even a bully like Bruiser Brody or Vader could make more happen in the ring. They headlined matches because you knew their finishing moves, but the action from start to finish was varied.
With Ryback, what you see is what you get.
He Was Built Up Too Soon
I realize this was forced into action sooner than later because of injuries and poor booking. I realize he was thrust into the spotlight because he had to be. But seriously, the WWE could work with him more on this.
When wrestlers are rushed to stardom (Mike Von Erich, Mike McGillicutty), they sometimes fall apart and need to rebuild themselves. Ask Ted DiBiase Jr.
If Ryback had been promoted a bit more and debuted as a headliner in 2013, not 2012, then there may have been a better idea of how good or how long he could handle being a main event star.