The Reconstruction of Ryback in WWE

Tom ClarkFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2013

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Ryback is a WWE Superstar who went from highly touted main event prospect to just barely on the radar. It’s somewhat of an amazing slide, and we have all watched it happen. But I believe that what we’re seeing is not the end of a man’s career but only the beginning.

We are witnessing the reconstruction of Ryback.

I have to admit that while I did not really know where this guy was heading initially, I did not see him being at this point right now. After all, a lot of work went into making him look good and helping him up the ladder in WWE. For him to be back at the beginning again is truly something I did not expect.

But truth be told, maybe we should have seen this coming.

Skip Sheffield went from being a rather unimpressive NXT leftover to being an indestructible machine. The Ryback gimmick put him into focus for fans, and his eventual heat with CM Punk put him under the bright lights of the company’s main event scene.

By the way, did you see that one coming?

Ryback spent the first several months of his new career squashing guys in the ring. Sometimes it was two, sometimes it was even three and every time he lifted his opponents up in the Shellshock, fans either really began to love him or truly began to hate him.

And there rarely seemed to be any in between.

But while the love hate relationship was developing with WWE fans, Vince McMahon seemed to have something else in mind. Evidently, Vince believed that Ryback was definitely the future. And since that was the case, then why not open the door for him sooner rather than later?

So one night on Monday Night Raw, Ryback crosses paths with CM Punk and it’s off to the races we go.

But for me, it just never felt right. I was not a Ryback hater because of his rapid rise from the bottom. The fact is that if a guy has it, can show his skills and get over, then I’m all for it. I am old school in many ways and believe in working your way up, but I’m also a realist.

This is WWE we’re talking about, a company that wants impact and will do anything to get it. That includes spotlighting a Superstar who perhaps is not quite ready, merely because he has a good look or because he has made a good impression on someone. If it sees that a guy has something, then it wants results right now.

I may not be very happy about it, but I do get it.

However I just did not feel that Ryback was ever really getting over with the WWE audience. Goldberg chants aside, he just always seemed to be a tough sell for the company and there were moments when I personally felt that perhaps the crowd just didn’t care if he was there or not.

And eventually that began to play out in the storyline because when The Shield debuted, they decided to destroy Ryback on practically a weekly basis. But instead of deciding to fully support Ryback against this new threat, many fans continued to just ride the fence as they always had.

Let’s not forget about Ryback’s pesky pay-per-view record. The truth is that the last time he won on that stage was Money in the Bank 2012. That is not exactly how a rising main event Superstar should be treated.

But now all that is over. Ryback could not stop CM Punk. He could not stop The Shield. He could not beat Mark Henry. He could not take the WWE Championship from John Cena. Basically every time Ryback was forced into a corner, he essentially came out and went down.

So now we’re back to the drawing board with Ryback. He was taken apart brick by brick, deconstructed while the world watched. And now the reconstruction begins.

The heel turn that should have helped Ryback’s career when he was still on an upward climb is continuing but it has changed slightly now. And that is a good thing.

Ryback made an effort to be a ruthless, monster heel and some fans bought into it. But when it became obvious that this was not fully working either, WWE apparently decided to take Ryback’s character to a whole new level.

Ryback is now a coward.

Ryback has been over selling a supposed knee injury over the past few weeks and could not even continue against The Miz on Raw. For the first time since he began, Ryback looks human. He is fallible. He can be hurt, and he can also use that injury to his advantage.

He is becoming a true heel in every sense of the word. Even though it’s hard to imagine him in this role, I believe that it’s good for him. He was not realistic as WWE’s killing machine. The company took him nowhere with that angle and instead let him float right back down to midcard status.

So why not change it up? Why not add another dimension to his character and see what he can do with it? The fact is that Ryback has to thoroughly disgust fans on every level to the point that they cannot wait to see him, just so they can boo him out of the building. In other words, he has to get over this time.

And what better way to do that than with a mouthpiece?

I believe that Ryback will be assisted in his reconstruction by a manager. It could be Vickie Guerrero, it could be Paul Heyman. It could also be a Diva who joins Ryback at ringside. But Ryback needs someone to assist on the mic and help him—not to necessarily main event, but to just become a credible Superstar.

This is a building process after all, one brick at a time, remember?

Ryback’s rise in WWE seemed to end nearly as quickly as it began. And now that he is back to square one, it should be very interesting to see what will become of him. I believe that we are witnessing the reconstruction of Ryback. Will the end result be an improvement over the original?

Will it work this time?