Former WWE Superstar Ryback recently participated in an interview on episode 16 of The Buzzards Wrestling Podcast. Among other things, Ryback talked about working with CM Punk, his biggest regret, 16-time world champ John Cena being very different in real life from his WWE character, and winning the WWE Intercontinental Championship at WWE Elimination Chamber (2015).
On the subject of Punk, Ryback said the WWE Superstar turned fledgling MMA fighter was one of his least favorite people to work with at WWE and that Punk did him no favors. According to 'The Big Guy', he no longer takes Punk's negative comments about him personally.
"Life's too short to hold grudges and to hate people. And I don't agree with everything he did when we worked together and he did me no favors at all. And he was one of my least favorite people to work with up there. He's very difficult and didn't like to communicate and things of that nature. But he was very bitter and negative towards his feelings of WWE at the time, so I understand it and I don't take it so personal now."
With respect to winning the coveted Intercontinental Championship, Ryback admitted that while he is happy to have held the IC title, the Elimination Chamber match he won to capture the strap was probably his worst match ever. As the story goes, Mark Henry's pod opened prematurely, which caused the match to veer off into uncharted territory.
"It was nice to hold that championship for that short period. And it was kind of like a little bit of a weight lifted off my shoulders in having a championship itself." Ryback said, "the match itself is probably the worst match of my career. As far as that, Mark Henry had that pod that he was in, that thing was supposed to be bulletproof. They're not even Dolph Ziggler proof. Him and, I forget if it was him and Wade [Barrett] in the ring, and Wade was throwing Dolph into those pods, and he threw [Ziggler] into Mark's pod, and Mark wasn't supposed to come out yet, and it broke and he wasn't [supposed to be] in the match until later on. And I was coming out next and it was supposed to be 'The Big Guy' Ryback coming in on fire on Wade Barrett. Instead, I came in and Mark Henry was on his feet in the middle of the ring and he's not a bumping and feeding kind of guy. So it kind of threw a wrench into the entire match's plans. And if you go back and watch, you see all of us. There was one moment I look at Dolph. We're both on the ground and I said, 'what the hell do we do to fix this?' and Dolph, who I have a lot of respect for, he just goes, 'I have no clue'. And from right then and there we knew I could not wait for this thing to be over."
According to Ryback, his biggest regret is dropping an alleged multimillion-dollar medical malpractice lawsuit at WWE's behest.
"They told me, 'if you want your push to continue, and you want to remain in good standing, and remain in the WWE, you need to drop this lawsuit right away.' I thought that I had this good momentum, I thought business-wise, they wouldn't throw away money, and I thought I fulfilled everything on my end. I dropped the lawsuit against [the doctor] to keep my job and I thought that was all behind us and apparently it wasn't. And that is my biggest regret that I dropped that [lawsuit] because, 1) the doctor, not that I wanted revenge on the doctor, but the doctor that performed that surgery on me had been sued 10 times for malpractice in five years and he's still performing [surgeries] in Florida and for me, it was more that I didn't take control of that situation and get that guy from performing more surgeries. I listened to them and I regret it to this day."
When asked what it is like working with Cena, Ryback responded that 'The Face That Runs The Place' plays an ultimate good guy character on TV and that is not who he is in real life. Ryback went on to say that while Cena did not do him any favors, he does not hate Cena either.
"I think John Cena, probably, as a person, outside of wrestling, is probably not a bad human being. My encounters with him have been different in WWE. I think a lot of times a lot of people, you've got to remember, we play characters and his character is the ultimate good guy. And I think sometimes people mistake that with who you really are, as the character you play. I've seen different from him time and time again. And I know it might not be the popular answer or the popular thing to say, but it's the truth and everybody in the [professional wrestling] business, who knows anything about the business, knows the truth. And outside of it, I don't think he's as bad, but he [has] personally done me no favors and he never did. Working with him was fine. I enjoyed wrestling with him. I think he's very talented and he has his style and it works. And it works very well. It works every night. But I just have a lot of personal instances with him, and him saying things when I'm not around, and not doing my career any favors either. That I don't agree with and I don't hate him. I just don't agree with how he does business and I think that he just has the benefit of playing the ultimate good guy character. That works in his favor for how people perceive him. But he does a lot of good. He fills and plays that role perfectly and he does a lot of good for WWE, so that's just my own personal stance on it."
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Source: The Buzzards Wrestling Podcast