One of the many issues that the former Dean Ambrose, now Jon Moxley had with WWE was their promos. Moxley didn’t like the fact that wrestlers weren’t allowed to ad-lib and pretty much had to say word-for-word what was written for them.
“I’ve said that now I don’t know how many times on promos; same exact thing. …I remember doing something where I was working with Kalisto; it was one of the final matches I had in WWE,” said Ryback. I wasn’t supposed to do ‘Feed Me More’ in the ring. We had a thing during the break where they wanted us to go off the air with me just staring at him in the middle of the ring. The crowd didn’t know whether I was a babyface or a heel. It was that weird period where we were butting heads in the back and I just went with gut instinct where I said that this needs something to make this way cooler. I started doing the ‘Feed Me More’ at the end of it and the crowd started doing it and we closed it where it wasn’t quiet.
“I remember Scott Armstrong; I believe he was the producer for that and I got to Gorilla with Vince McMahon and he asked why the f**k did I do that? I said because the segment f***ing sucked. He looked at me and asked if I was stupid and then I asked him if he was stupid and I walked away. Scott Armstrong came in and Scott got yelled at really bad. That was one of the final things with Vince McMahon where I no longer gave a s**t.”
Ryback said it doesn’t matter your stature within WWE, the rules are the same for everybody. The only difference comes with the repercussions. Someone lower on the card would likely get fired while with someone higher up, the producer is more likely to get chewed out like Scott Armstrong.
“Dean Ambrose, I’ve heard people say too as far as venting frustrations, he made millions of dollars and was well taken care of. It’s like the CM Punk thing where people ask what right he has to b—h? He has all this, but you are not looking at his point of view. The bulls*** exists for everybody at every level over there because of the system and the rules that are in place. The frustration goes from the bottom to the top,” stated Ryback.
“Everything Jon Moxley talked about he was spot on with it. The thing is, and I saw people saying that I have said this for years, and my fans know that, but I also didn’t go on the Jericho Network and talk about it. I didn’t go on a large platform that Moxley did and he left right away and it came out. When I left, I didn’t do interviews. He went right out because he is going out. He went right to these big guns and let everything out. There’s a lot of this information that people are hearing for the first time, which is great. People need to hear this because it’s what a lot of people have said before.”
Moxley had issues not just with WWE’s policy on promos, but also the promos themselves and the content he had to work with. Ryback backed Moxley on his frustrations with WWE’s Creative team for their bland promo scripts.
“It’s the worst part of working there when dealing with all of those writers for WWE. None of them are bad guys. It’s just that you can’t have a guy who doesn’t know you who is sitting in a meeting write 3-4 paragraph promos for you or 2 paragraph promos for you and is asking you to say it word for word. Then you don’t relate to it at all and then to have to go through the process of having it changed; that is why most of the guys say f*** it and just say the word for word, it’s just a paycheck. Mentally you just shut down,” revealed Ryback.
Ryback said he would wake up each TV day with a text from a writer regarding that night’s promo. He would get a sick feeling before even reading it because he knew it wasn’t going to be something good or entertaining.
Things got so bad that Ryback eventually told them to stop texting him because he had other things to do early in the morning and there was a good chance the texted plans would change anyway.
“That is literally all of the nightmares that happens from a pro wrestling standpoint. You want to have input; you want to love your job and be creative. We all want to, but they take the fun out of it,” stated Ryback. “You are doing acting and it is really s***ty acting. It’s something else I noticed with their promos. I was watching the other night and it has gotten worse. It is literally watching robots on TV reading lines. You can just see that there is zero excitement; everybody is going through the motions, which is what it is. They suck the life out of you with the creative process.
“Again, this is what Vince McMahon wanted, yet here comes AEW telling the guys that they will feed you with only bullet points, go get over, and by doing so they will blow WWE out of the water. With the talent that have been in WWE all this time, I truly am curious how many of the guys in WWE, if they had to go to war with AEW and telling the guys to go get themselves over, how good would a lot of them really be? They’ve been in that format for so long where they are always told what to do or say where their creative stifle has been jolted away from them. I don’t know. They should be concerned.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversations with the Big Guy Ryback with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.