Ryback recently was a guest on The Art of Wrestling podcast with Colt Cabana and discussed his working relationship with Vince McMahon. Ryback said the WWE chairman had issues with both his physique and his entrance.
Ryback has wrestled in a singlet throughout his career and sees it as his trademark look. He took some inspiration from Rob Van Dam for the design of his attire. He said it was McMahon's decision to have him in wrestle in a singlet because he thought he was overweight.
"Its' funny because [Vince] was the one that put me in a singlet because he thought I was fat at one point. I have never been fat at any point in my career but this was a real thing. Word had gotten back to me that I needed to lose 30 lbs, and this was right before I debuted as Ryback, he said. "I was in trunks, but they put me in a black singlet, which made me look like a black Big Show. I thought to myself that I had to do something with this, so I got a hold of RVD and asked him if It was cool that I airbrushed my singlet because I had to do something. I had done this the week before and everybody was like, oh that looks good, so I thought, OK, this is going to work."
Ryback became so synonymous with his singlet that when the WWE tried to change his attire and have him wear trunks, he refused. Multiple WWE officials argued with him backstage, and he eventually had to have a conversation with McMahon himself. Ryback was allowed to continue wearing his singlet, but the argument accelerated the end of his run with the WWE.
"I responded back that it wasn't happening, and that he can talk to me if he wants to, but I'm wearing my singlet. I'm in control, I'm not wearing trunks. So, afterwards I started not to trust anything that was going on. Finally, everyone was pissed off so I went to the back and talked to Vince McMahon and said that we needed to talk," Ryback said. "I went to his office, we talked, and had a conversation about the singlet. I felt that I won the conversation, but not really since he controls everything. Eventually I went to trunks because I knew I was leaving and it became a mindgame at that point. John Cena approached me later and said to me, 'Congratulations. You won that conversation.' Ultimately, did I really win? I didn't win on TV after that."
Ryback also detailed a story about McMahon not understanding his entrance routine and having to explain it to him.
"One day Billy Kidman came up to me in 'Gorilla,' and he goes, 'Vince was on the headset and he wants you to explain your entrance.' I was just to the ring to bulls**t with some of the guys, and I asked him what he meant? Kidman responded that he doesn't understand my entrance. Like, why you do the arm thing, and then all the arms, and then all your legs," he said. "I said to him that I am collecting all of the energy in the arena, feeding off the energy off the crowd. I am collecting the left side, collecting the right side and then I am collecting everything and then eject it into my quads because I go I know Vince will understand that. This is really the discussion and Kidman can hear me explain it over the headset while I explain all of this. I inject their energy into me and then I shut down, and then I wake up, it's feeding time! I had to explain that to him, and then Kidman just goes, 'That is just so f***ng weird.'"
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The Art of Wrestling podcast with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Source: The Art of Wrestling
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.