Recently on Conversation With The Big Guy, former WWE Superstar Ryback spoke in great detail about his ankle injury from 2010 and how he believes the fallout from that injury would affect his WWE run. Notably, Ryback discussed former head of WWE Talent Relations John Laurinaitis calling him to fire him shortly after his third ankle surgery. Also, Ryback talked about how a flippant comment made by Triple H changed his perspective on the professional wrestling business forever.
Just as Ryback and Nexus stablemate David Otunga were being positioned to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship, the former Skip Sheffield broke his ankle during a match against The Hart Dynasty at a house show in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ryback endured three operations to repair his ankle. According to 'The Human Wrecking Ball', Laurinaitis called to release him from his WWE contract an hour after his third surgery.
"I was maybe awake for like an hour after surgery. Who do you think calls me at the time who was in charge? Yep, John Laurinaitis who was in charge at the time. And the phone call was being recorded. I could hear the echo on the phone. Yeah, to this day. And he was like, 'well, we did everything we could to get you better, right? Right?' and was asking me questions and I wouldn't answer because I knew. I was like, 'they're going to f--king fire me.'"
Ryback claimed that Laurinaitis called to fire him again during the August 2011 round of releases, but that he was able to avoid being let go at that time.
"A couple of months went by and it was when Chris Masters, Johnny Prime, and I forget, there were a couple of other people released. They had all been released during the day. I was the last one, I guess, because I was keeping up with all of it at the time. I was in Gold's Gym in St. Petersburg, Florida. I get a call from John Laurinaitis and he tries to fire me while I'm still f--ked up with my ankle injury." Ryback recalled, "and I have to stop and cut a 20 minute promo on him on how he's not firing me and telling him everything that I've been through."
Also, Ryback divulged that he hired lawyers once he knew it was only a matter of time before he would be released. The former WWE Intercontinental Champion stated that he could have afforded to retire from professional wrestling if he went through with the lawsuit he had against WWE.
"I had to get attorneys and look into all of this at this time because now I knew they just tried to fire me. So then, the next step was then they try to put me in developmental again and leave me in developmental rather than bring me back to the main roster because before I was on the main roster." Ryback continued, "I never had to wrestle another day in my life if I didn't want to. The lawsuit we could have brought to WWE could have brought them to their f--king knees based on the ankle and how this was handled from beginning to end."
In Ryback's estimation, WWE wanted him to languish away in developmental and that he would always be a target by fighting back like he had.
"Deep down I knew that by getting attorneys and fending for myself and having the courage to have an opportunity to live my dream, they were forever going to f--k with me. So that is what I was playing with my entire career." Ryback exclaimed, "they can deny this all they want, but this is f--king the truth. They wanted to f--k with me based on everything from that."
Additionally, during the show, Ryback admitted that Triple H telling him that at some point WWE would have to "pull the plug" on him greatly affected him. Ryback shared that he never felt so low in his life, as he was a big fan of Triple H growing up.
"Hunter, who was starting to gain more control over developmental at that time period, was coming to FCW a little bit. That's when I think the wheels were kind of turning as far as him getting more and more involved in developmental. He comes up to me. He goes, 'oh, how are you doing?' I go, 'I'm feeling good - I've finally got the metal taken out of my leg.' He goes, 'ah, eventually, we have to pull the plug on you.' His exact f--king words. Hunter, Triple H, f--king, 'eventually, we have to pull the plug on you' [were] his exact words. So to remind you, by the way, and I've talked to other people that know me. Like, growing up, he was one of the few guys I actually really liked and I don't want to say 'looked up to', but I liked his character and I liked the whole deal. So then, this guy who is now the boss, looks at me, 'oh, eventually, we have to pull the plug on you.'"
Ryback went on to say that whatever mark was in him left that day and it changed his outlook on the professional wrestling business forever.
"I've never felt more let down in my life than that moment right there when he said those words. 'Eventually, we have to pull the plug on you' in a high pitched voice. And 'eh, eventually, we have to pull the plug on you'. I just sat and stared at him in complete confusion and like and just 'what the f--k?'" Ryback reflected, "it f--king not only hurt me, but it also lit a f--king fire under me that I am playing with the devil in all of this and that woke me up. That's when everything [changed]. Whatever mark was in me at that point left that f--king moment in time. I was like, 'f--k this - I'm now dealing with this piece of s--t across the board this entire company?' That's what changed my whole outlook on the wrestling business forever."
Click here to check out the show. If you use any of the quotes from 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