Ryback’s Return: Rules! (A Rant on Retributive Booking)

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Last week on RAW, we saw Ryback return to accept an open challenge held by ‘The Inspirational’ Bo Dallas. What I mean by that, is we saw the entertaining, captivating and energy-fuelled ‘Big Guy’ babyface we watched rise through the ranks and contest at the main event level while holding his own.

After a surprisingly hot run in the company as a hero (or ‘babyface’), where entire crowds (high-pitched and low-pitched) would be screaming “Feed Me More!” it really did seem strange to suddenly pull the trigger on him after WrestleMania 29. Having him clothesline the hell out of John Cena was a great moment, but I didn’t think it meant a full-blown heel turn – I just thought it was adding a serious edge to Ryback’s character growth.

But then, after a pretty good Falls Count Anywhere Match at Extreme Rules 2013, it seemed like they just didn’t care what happened to him. I understand that to really help the Be A Star campaign, or as a wrestling angle in general, nothing could be better than a nasty, vicious bully.

Some of those segments were uncomfortable to watch and sure they may have been true to how many bullies act – but if anything reminds you of Heidenreich, it probably isn’t a good thing. And how much can it help your case to just abuse skinny guys who work in production rather than bullying other wrestlers on the roster? See case below:

What’s worse is the deafening chants in Ryback’s favour turned to ‘Goldberg’ jeers – and if anyone is chanting someone else’s name almost as a joke at you, it can’t be good (similar to when fans start chanting the names of the commentators during a segment that’s starting to drag).

There were apparently backstage reports going around about Ryback’s behaviour and I have no idea of whether these were true or not, but I don’t understand why they would put someone’s career and future earning potential (for themselves and for the company) into jeapordy in order to teach someone a lesson. After all, in sports you may have some arrogant, horrible characters – but if they get the job done and can perform like no other, they’re going to get time on the pitch, the court, the field etc.

In the world of acting, you can also get multiple serial head-cases and arrogant divas – but if they’re talented enough, and can earn you a lot of money with your performance, you’re going to get hired. Why is this so different in professional wrestling?

I can understand the principle behind doing this, but if you are going to implement it then it should be a blanket procedure – i.e. no one escapes, anyone who steps out of line (regardless of their position in the comapny, personal relations or anything else) should be punished. But in wrestling, you could argue there is a double standard surrounding this rule, not everyone is punished in the same light (again, this position is based around similar rumours and gossip so may have no foundation).

What is good is that Ryback is given a chance toWhat’s even better is that despite the downtrodden year and a half of mysterious and pointless storytelling with him, Ryan Reeves still managed to pull it all together and make a story out of it. Watch his post-match interview on the WWE App:

What I get from that video, whether 100% true or staged, is a really good story, which leaves you with the impression that we’re seeing a tale of redemption for a man, after having fought through an experience that however damaging still nonetheless helped him build his character. Way to turn a negative into a positive, let’s hope creative gets behind him and doesn’t abruptly “Finish It!”

For more from me, visit http://www.hariramakrishnan.com and follow me on Twitter @HotChocHari


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