Source: Conversation with the Big Guy
Recently on Conversation with the Big Guy, Ryback shared some stories of his early days in the professional wrestling business. Among other things, Reeves talked about being trained by the controversial professional wrestling trainer, Bill DeMott. Reeves stated that WWE had high hopes for him even as a prospect at Deep South Wrestling. Also, Reeves discussed his 2007 release from WWE and the importance of his run on WWE TV talking about The Secret.
"Bill DeMott breaks human beings down and you have to be a f--king man to survive Bill DeMott and most people couldn't. So I am grateful that he put me through the things that he did because he made me more of a man than I would've been, coming through an easier system. And taught me a lot of hard lessons. Do I agree with all of them? No. But that's neither here nor there. But at the same time, I feel like it slowed my development down on different things."
Ryback added, "I was psychologically broken down very early on. And, at that point in time, I didn't know how to turn those negatives into positives and it ate away. And a lot of things, it wasn't just me. A lot of people quit. A lot of people's wrestling careers came to an end through Deep South Wrestling. It just slowed me development down. I feel like, for a while, but, eventually, I got that all back and when I hit, I hit hard. So it was just one of those things. There were some negatives to that, but I was able to eventually turn them into positives, so I'm very thankful for it."
According to Reeves, then head of WWE Talent Relations, John Laurinaitis, told him that WWE brass had high expectations for him early on.
"John Laurinaitis comes down, and I won't forget, in Deep South and said, 'we expect you to be on the roster at this point in time going against Brock Lesnar' and I was nowhere near ready at that point in time, but it put a lot of pressure on me."
'The Big Guy' described being released from his developmental contract while training at Ohio Valley Wrestling as a difficult period in his life and the beginning of him becoming a man. The master of the 'Shell Shocked' muscle buster went on to say that his run in WWE promoting The Secret was very meaningful to him because of the positive feedback he has received from it.
"I was in a very bad place and this was such a pivotal point in my life. And Cody Rhodes always joked about, because we lived together briefly, and he always said, he goes, 'Ryan, you need to hit rock bottom'. And he would say it kind of jokingly, but he goes, 'you need to experience rock bottom to truly [move one]'. And I felt like all my life, I always applied myself and done well at things and I never really struggled. I came from a middle class, nice family and I had a great childhood and things like that. And wrestling was my first punch in the face. It was, 'welcome to the real f--king world and you either need to learn to man up or you're going to drown'."
Ryback continued, "when I talked about The Secret stuff on TV, and that was very important to me, because, to this day, the best feedback I get, the most meaningful messages and conversations I get are from talking about that period, and I know there [are] a lot of people out there, life is not easy. Life can f--king suck, but it's all our mindset and this was me, the beginning of me creating the mindset that has created a lot of success for me."
Listen to the show here. If you use any of the quotes that appear in this article, please credit Conversation with the Big Guy with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
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