Sunday's WWE Payback might be the last event Ryback is a part of for a while.
PWInsider Elite (h/t Greg Beck of Wrestling News) reported Monday the Big Guy has been removed from WWE television indefinitely because of an ongoing contract dispute.
Ryback was advertised for the No. 1 contender's Battle Royal match for the United States Championship that took place on Monday Night Raw, but he did not wrestle.
Ryback has been involved in the last two pay-per-views—WrestleMania 32 and Payback—and both matches were for the U.S. Championship against Kalisto.
While the Lucha Dragons member won both matchups, they took place on the respective pre-shows. Beck pointed out the contract situation could be why WWE moved Ryback from the main card.
While promoting the European tour, Ryback aired his grievances about being on the pre-show in an interview in Dubai, per Beck: "The last three WrestleManias have not been great. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail on that, but it would’ve been nice to have been on the show where both of us [himself and Kalisto] belong. The U.S. title definitely belongs on there. Hopefully, next year, if there is a next year, that it will be a better experience."
It appeared Ryback was getting a small push in late February. During a six-man tag team match with Kane, Big Show and The Wyatt Family, Ryback walked out on his partners and set his sights on the U.S. Championship.
However, money talks, and it seems that's the biggest issue between Ryback and WWE right now.
WWE has tried to make Ryback's character work since 2012, when it pushed him into the championship picture with CM Punk. It just hasn't worked. This contract situation could come down to whether or not WWE feels Ryback is a profitable figure going forward, and it wouldn't shock people if the organization felt he wasn't. He hasn't been a draw to fans for the last three-plus years, and there may be nothing he can do to change that now.
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