Once a pariah in the WWE locker room, The Miz has become one of the top heels in the company and his in-ring ability has reached the same level of his top-notch mic skills. Ryback said he's a big fan of The Miz and respects how hard he's worked to achieve his success.
"I think Miz works really, really hard. I will never say anything bad about the Miz. I love the Miz. I came up with him from Tough Enough. He works hard in different ways," Ryback said. "Is he the biggest, toughest, baddest guy in the world? No, but he works really hard and he has always been given opportunities to talk and he's always taken advantage of that. He's always been given the opportunity, and to his credit he has always delivered. I like him having opportunities because he always takes advantage of them, and when he doesn't have opportunities of course it is hard to take advantage of that."
Ryback also commented on the recent string of superstars released from the WWE. The list includes Emma, Darren Young and Summer Rae. He said Young's firing in particular saddened him a bit because he and Young came up together in the Nexus.
"Darren Young, I have known for a long, long time, and he loves professional wrestling," he said. "That was the one for me--being a former Nexus, we all came in together, and I just know how much he loves wrestling, so that one really affected me. I know he's had a couple of injuries, everyone gets injured up there, but he could have contributed much more had he been allowed to. He had done a lot of PR work for them and was always grateful for everything he had, and he was the kind of guy that didn't get a lot of TV opportunities."
Young was the first openly-gay superstar to wrestle in the WWE. Ryback said Young's sexuality didn't have an affect on his status with the company and it's possible he'll continue working for them in a different capacity.
"He was a guy that 'came out' years ago, and I applaud him for doing it. It never affected anything," Ryback said. "Some people thought it may have saved his job, but I don't know how that would or wouldn't save his job. There have been gay people in wrestling for years, but he's been a hard worker. In my opinion, I thought he was going to become a Trainer for WWE because he seemed to like that aspect of the business and helping people; and not to say he can't because I'm sure there will be opportunities for him down the road, but I don't know what was going on, I'm not there."
Ryback said he got along with Summer Rae and he thinks she will be fine because of her endeavors outside of the WWE.
"With Summer Rae I'm not sure what the deal was. She hadn't been on television for a while," he said. "I always got along great with Summer Rae, I'm not there but I don't know what the situation was with that, but I'm sure she will be fine. She had other things going on besides wrestling."
Ryback said Emma's use of social media might have been her undoing. Whereas superstars like Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin play up their heel characters on social media, Emma would criticize creative and that didn't fly with the WWE.
"With Emma, I know a lot of people thought it was weird because she had a competitive match with Asuka at the pay per view and on Raw," he said. "I'm sure she's had good matches on live events as well, but she just wasn't used on TV in a good fashion; not to say, apparently with Emma supposedly with social media---if you do stuff out of the company guidelines and when you Tweet things about not being used the right way, or about your booking or creative, things like that when you don't do yourself any favors, just go talk to them if you are not tweeting."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversation With The Big Guy with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: Conversation With The Big Guy
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.