Ryback – Why I Don’t Buy Him As Main Event Talent

Since coming onto our screens in 2012, we have seen the rise of Ryback on WWE TV. He has main evented Pay Per Views and has challenged on many occasions for the WWE Championship. But does he really have what it takes to be WWE Champion? Does he even have what it takes to be in the main event of WWE Pay Per Views? I give my opinions on Ryback and why I feel he shouldn’t be in the main event scene at this time.


We first saw Ryback in 2004 when he entered WWE Tough Enough under his real name, Ryan Reeves. He may not have won the competition but impressed WWE officials enough to sign him to a developmental contract. We didn’t see him on our TV screens again until 2010 when he became a contestant on the first season of NXT under the name Skip Sheffield. He did not win the contest and went on to become part of the Nexus. The Skip Sheffield gimmick did not really work as the character never took off and was bought to a halt when he broke his ankle at a live event against the Hart Dynasty.

It was April 2012 when Ryback graced our screens. Ryback, a gimmick based on the idea of the Terminator, immediately received a push to make him look unstoppable and unbeatable. Week after week he would squash various WWE superstars and amaze crowds with his power and strength. Ryback built himself up to the point where he first faced WWE Champion CM Punk at Hell in a Cell 2012. This is where things started to go wrong for Ryback when he was defeated by Punk, thus ending his undefeated streak. He would then go on to main event the Survivor Series and TLC Pay Per Views and subsequently lose. He most recently faced John Cena in the main event at the Extreme Rules and Payback Pay Per Views.

Skip Sheffield

So what is it about Ryback that I don’t buy? Well for one, when I first watched him as Skip Sheffield I wasn’t exactly impressed by his in-ring work. He came back in to WWE as Ryback and it seemed to me that very little in this department had changed. Not only is Ryback sloppy in the ring, I can honestly say he is sometimes careless, and it is a surprise to me he hasn’t actually seriously caused any of his fellow wrestlers a serious injury. I’m not saying he can’t wrestle, he would make a decent mid card talent at best, but to put someone like this in the main event of Pay Per Views is a questionable moved on WWE’s part.

What I don’t understand is what does Vince McMahon sees in Ryback? What I personally see is Vince’s typical prototype of what a main event WWE star should be – A big, muscly meat head. None of his matches have really set the world on fire, and when they have been a good match, it’s not down to Ryback. I feel Vince is kidding himself if he sees this guy potentially carrying the company going forward. He needs a lot of work on his in-ring style and his mic work is enough to put even the biggest insomniac to sleep.

We saw Ryback come into WWE in 2012 built as a baby face, someone to rival John Cena potentially as the face of the company. In all honesty, this can be marked as a massive failure. While I cannot disagree with the fact Ryback got the crowd alive, I feel this was more down to his “Feed Me More” catchphrase. The fact that his catchphrase was more over than he was with the fans should certainly have set alarm bells ringing in Titan Towers.


So WWE turned him heel in an attempt to bring a different appeal to the character. Again, this hasn’t gone well and could potentially be classed as an undeniable failure. Ryback’s biggest mistake thus far as a heel was whilst cutting a promo on top of an ambulance the night after Extreme Rules, and threatening the crowd with taking them all to the morgue – Probably not the brightest idea he could have come up with, and as we know, this sent Vince McMahon livid.

When Ryback enters an arena it seems to me he garners little to no reaction what so ever from the crowd. They seem like they could care less. Mantaur could probably get a better reaction than Ryback! When a star isn’t seemingly getting a crowd reaction as a face or heel it would say to me his main event days are numbered. However, WWE continues to keep Ryback in the main event picture, and I can only attribute this to Vince McMahon still seeing him as some sort of project that the WWE Universe will have to accept if he keeps shoving it down our throats.

I would love to know your opinions on Ryback and whether you agree or disagree with my analysis of the man. Does he really deserve the main event position? Would he be a viable and believable WWE Champion? Please feel free to leave your comments and feedback, I always appreciate and enjoy interacting with the readers and getting your opinions.

  • Michael

    No reaction from the crowd? I thought he actually got a very good reaction most night, back when he was a face

    • Jamie Welton

      Thanks for replying Michael. While I can agree there were reactions at times when he was a face I still think the "Feed Me More" chant was the only reason he was so over. He got more reaction than he does now, totally buy that, but I can't honestly say I believe he was over

  • Chris Owen

    I don't agree. Don't get me wrong I think with a mouth piece he could be better than what he is. He is very wooden and he does not sell anything. He is a big man and that is it. I watched MITB last night and got no crowd reaction apart from the Goldburg chants……Jericho carried the match so Ryback looked good. ATM he is not main event talent, could he be? I am not so sure. I did like Ryback when he debut as Ryback and I saw big things until I saw him wrestle, we all know he is powerfull but so is Cena, Big E and they seem to have more in the locker (Cena can wrestle). He is being shoved in our faces and it is always the same. Vince does not like to be wrong and he will get every bit from Ryback before he challenges for the intercontinental championship as that is where he is going. Give him Vickie as his mouthpiece and some wrestle training and maybe he could be on the fringes however, I believe there are a lot more better people in a better place…..Look at Ryback vs Henry at mania , need I say more. He can't give that match to mania and expect evertone to jump on the bandwagon. I agree with Jamie "Feed me More" and Goldburg chants are the only reaction he gets and Feed me More chants seem to have gone now. Vince "Wake Up" as we have seen right through him now!!!!!

    • Jamie Welton

      A mouthpiece for Ryback Chris would be good. He wouldn't fit in with Heyman or Zeb. For me, and this is very unlikely, a name like Jim Cornette becomes useful and I think he is someone if he came back to WWE could still be a great manager. However, like you say I think Vickie is the likely choice given last Monday's Raw. Last night was Ryback's first PPV win in a year, how can we buy that as a credible main event talent? However, he does need more in the ring and not just a mouth piece to carry him.

  • Darren

    I agree with you 100% giving him a mouth piece doesn’t not guarantee greatness. You have to able to connect which Ryback does not do. He has the look sure but having muscles doesn’t make you a champion. Ryback should have been used as a enforcer in a group or a body guard like Deisel and physco Sid was until he was ready to break out on his own. Ryback just need a few lines not a long promo he doesn’t deliver it effective. Ryback finisher move does nothing for me either. Picks them up walks around them drop them on their back. He’s huge he should able to pick someone up. His clothes line is more menacing to me. I would also change is ring attire. He’s to huge to wear the singlet just like Big E.

    • Jamie Welton

      That's an interesting thought Darren – Had he been bought in to WWE as a bodyguard that could have worked and given him time to further develop and establish himself. Not sure it would be successful though given he would still have needed more training to get his in-ring ability up to speed. I think his finisher is impressive when done on a bigger opponent, but I would prefer to see him use something more devastating on smaller opponents. I'm not a fan of the meat hook clothesline, whenever I see it the move comes across as sloppy

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  • Akash

    Goldberg was natural throughout his career, While Ryback acts like Him every day, He is good actor not a wrestler he should be.