Ryback has skyrocketing to the front of the WWE. With a huge gap opened at the top of the WWE roster, Ryback has been pegged as the performer to fill that void. Other stars such as Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler have been in a few main event feuds, but none of them have received as much attention or have been booked as diligently as Ryback. However, it remains to be seen if Ryback can be a top flight guy for the WWE for the next decade.
For starters, anyone who has watched Ryback with even a modest eye for detail could tell you that at his current level, he is extremely limited as a performer. His in-ring skills are very low grade for someone that is getting such a large push. Even other powerhouses who enjoyed similar monster pushes such as Goldberg and Batista were far better in the ring then Ryback is.
That problem troubles me very much, as it is apparent that Ryback will be embroiled in a feud with John Cena over the WWE Championship for the next few months. Cena isn't the best worker, but when given a good wrestler to work with such as CM Punk or Chris Jericho, he can have a very good match. Ryback does not really fit that description, his stamina has never really been Tested and he has an incredibly limited move set. Since most John Cena matches require his opponent to be on the offensive for 90% of the fight, this could be something that Ryback runs into trouble with during his match. For him to even be somewhat adequate in the ring, I would say he needs to add several more moves to his repertoire.
On the microphone, Ryback has apparently made great strides. In the past few weeks has gone from only being able to yell short phrases into cutting some pretty decent promos. His mic skills still have a far way to go, and for someone as weak in the ring as he is he better become the second coming of Dusty Rhodes, but he is off to a pretty solid start.
An issue I have with the booking of Ryback is that since October, they have really rushed his delivery to the top of the card. When he first premiered, the climb up the card for him was almost impossibly slow. He was in the WWE for almost 6 months before he stopped facing enhancement talent and started facing guys on the actual WWE roster. Instead of settling in the mid-card for a bit, the WWE cashed in all of their chips and immediately thrusted him into the WWE Championship picture in a feud with CM Punk.
This move was a tremendous error by the WWE. Ryback had been booked as being an absolute unbeatable force, someone that never sold pain and finished off his opponents in under 3 minutes. The WWE put him in a feud where it was obvious that he couldn't win, there was no way Punk was dropping the WWE Title to Ryback in October. By taking a loss, even by disqualification, some of the magic of Ryback was destroyed.
If the loss to Punk wasn't bad enough, the WWE seemed to spend the next 7 months trying to make Ryback look as mortal as possible. He suffered several losses, including a pinfall when Roman Reigns speared him. After being booked as being unstoppable, Ryback was just another one of the guys. Since at that point he was a terrible in-ring worker and under-utilized on the microphone, he really needed the monster push in order to get over.
If you don't believe that the poor booking hurt Ryback, think about his upcoming match at Extreme Rules. It is fairly obvious that he is just a placeholder for The Rock, the only reason he is in the match is because The Rock got injured at Wrestlemania. His heel turn was probably not even designed to take place during the Raw after Wrestlemania, but the WWE needed something big so they cashed in on a Ryback heel turn to get people talking and to forget about The Rock.
The chances of Ryback defeating the newly crowned Cena are very slim in my opinion; it just wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. Nobody really overthrows SuperCena, unless you are white hot at the time like CM Punk or Randy Orton were. Ryback just is not at that level, so it is inconceivable to see it happen.
Now, imagine if Ryback was still undefeated at this point. If he had been booked as being so impeccably invincible that you would have to at least wonder about him beating John Cena. Anytime a title match is unpredictable, it is usually very good, which would have made the Cena vs Ryback less of a disaster-waiting-to-happen.
What does the future hold for Ryback? I honestly cannot see him becoming a tremendously large star. I see him peaking right now, maybe reaching the level of Sheamus or Big Show, but overall I just do not think he has the popularity to become as big of a star as Cena or Punk is right now. The segments on Raw involving him and John Cena have been met with mediocre ratings, something that the WWE probably is not too happy about considering the push they are giving Ryback.
In the long run, Ryback could always improve his skills and evolve his character. There is no telling what the WWE is going to do with him down the road, 1, 3, 5 years from now. At his current state however, I just think he is too raw and generic to be the next big thing.