Despite being billed as an unstoppable and indestructible monster, Ryback has spent the majority of his WWE career looking like just another guy.
Of course, everyone knows that he hasn’t won a pay-per-view match since Money in the Bank last July, and while that in and of itself is terrible news for Ryback, it isn’t the worst. What’s been even worse for Ryback is how he lost his matches.
WWE could have softened the blow Ryback had taken from suffering so many losses had it found a way to protect him and keep him looking strong. Instead, it did the opposite and turned Ryback from a supposed strongman into one of the weakest characters on the roster.
After looking like a straight-up beast in his early days, Ryback now looks weaker than he has at any point in in his WWE career.
Don’t believe me? Check out the results of his last five pay-per-view matches, starting at the beginning of 2013.
- The Royal Rumble: Ryback is the last person to be eliminated from the Royal Rumble; eliminated by John Cena
- Elimination Chamber: Cena, Ryback and Sheamus lose to The Shield after Ryback is pinned following a spear from Roman Reigns
- WrestleMania 29: Ryback is pinned cleanly by Mark Henry
- Extreme Rules: Ryback vs. Cena in a Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship inexplicably ends in a draw
- WWE Payback: Cena defeats Ryback in a Three Stages of Hell match to retain the WWE Championship
If you want to know why Ryback now looks like a bigger pansy than he ever has, then just examine the results above. Of the five major matches that he participated in, he lost a whopping four of those in 100 percent clean fashion.
As you might expect, that hasn’t done Ryback any favors whatsoever. WWE can try to portray Ryback as a monster all it wants, but those results do not lie. In fact, they paint a very clear picture of Ryback losing because of his own faults rather than whatever else he wants to blame his defeats on.
This is a major problem that has made Ryback look like most of WWE’s heels do nowadays—weak.
One of the biggest issues with the booking of the company’s heels is that hardly any of them look strong anymore. Why? Because they’re constantly losing to the babyfaces.
Yet, ironically enough, it hasn’t mattered whether Ryback’s been a heel or a face. The results have been the same. He’s lost no matter what the situation has been.
What’s further exacerbated the problem, however, is something that is significantly worse than any amount of losses. It’s this new “character” that WWE has suddenly saddled Ryback with.
Perhaps a result of backstage heat or behavioral issues, Ryback has been given a “gimmick” as a whiner, moaner and complainer—or as Chris Jericho calls him, “Cryback.”
You have to think that this could very well be a direct result of Ryback complaining about his booking backstage (or doing something else to anger company officials), with WWE deciding that if Ryback wants to cry, then he will be portrayed as a crier on TV.
Even if that isn’t true, Ryback’s newest character is flat-out terrible.
Ryback has turned from a havoc-wreaking machine (despite the losses), who was one of the most popular stars in WWE, to a cowardly complainer who whines about his knee being hurt and literally walked out on a match against—of all people—The Miz.
What grade would you give the booking of Ryback in 2013?
While all of Ryback’s losses added up a giant blow to his supposedly unbeatable character, that impact pales in comparison to the one that turning Ryback into a sissy has and will continue to have.
Wimps aren’t marketable. They don’t make money. They don’t draw. They don’t entertain.
As Triple H might say, they aren’t good for “business.”
Wimps are midcarders or lower card workers. Wimps are guys who are hardly on TV. Wimps don’t make make money. Wimps don’t entertain. They bore to death.
Ryback is a full-fledged wimp now and a man who used to have the potential to be a breakout star has officially been ruined.
It’s going to be awfully difficult for WWE to salvage what has amounted to atrocious booking—booking that you would only expect a lower midcarder or a jobber to have to deal with.
But hey, with the way things are currently shaping up, that’s what Ryback looks like anyway.
He can win all the squashes he wants. He can beat people up. Heck, he can even defeat Jericho at Money in the Bank.
People are going to see Ryback for exactly what he is, though: The most poorly booked “top” star in the entire WWE.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!