Source: Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated has a great new interview with Ryback. Below are a few highlights:
"I will never forget that day," said Ryback. "My numbers kept climbing even though I was losing these big time matches. I was under the assumption that I was going over on Mark Henry at WrestleMania and then turning heel the next night on John Cena. When I found days before that I was not going over, but that they wanted me to fall on my face with my finish and look like an idiot, I said there was no way I was doing that. I asked, 'Why are we doing this?' I went to Vince and spoke with him for thirty minutes in 'Gorilla' [the staging area right behind the curtain] and he lied to me how this was the reason for my heel turn – that I fell on my face and tripped, I just couldn't cut it, and that's why I'd turn heel.
"Ultimately, though, they were just trying to run me into the ground and ruin my brand forever, and that happened time and time again. As you saw with that finish, it made zero sense from a booking standpoint to book me to fall flat on my face, and then the next night to turn me heel. The reaction to my heel turn was louder than ever, and then what did Vince do? He came to me personally and said, 'We're taking away all your merchandise. I want your merchandise to tank and no more 'Feed Me More,'' which was the thing that put me on the map. So instead of giving me an edge as a heel, you're stripping me of everything, having Cena go over me, and then you saw how my career fell after that. I lost the momentum, and I never got it back again."
His promos being "atrocious" during his last run:
"The promos were atrocious during my whole last run. I delivered them exactly as I was supposed to deliver them, but the writing was so out of touch. I remember Jericho went up to me and asked, 'Who's writing this?' And I said, 'Vince. I've tried to get it changed but he wants me reading it word for word.' Vince wanted me to read his promos word for word, and I never enjoyed that and I never will."
Vince McMahon's surprising admission:
"In one of our last talks, Vince told me, 'You're the hardest working guy that I have here.' I just said, 'Thank you.' Vince said, 'But hard work doesn't always pay off here.' I looked at him and said, 'Well then, I need to go to a world where my hard work will pay off.'"
Ryback also discussed problems with WWE, being the number two merchandise seller in WWE at one point, his time with Curtis Axel, Kevin Owens, his finest moment and more. You can read the full interview by clicking here.