AEW Dynamite had great ratings when it first debuted but those viewers have tapered off since then. They soundly beat NXT in ratings over the first several weeks, but both programs pulled in the same number of viewers last week before NXT won by a big margin this week.
"As I'm watching this unfold and this is my opinion, AEW is doing what they need to be doing with the roster that they have to try and get the exposure and get them over to a certain degree. What will happen is that contracts will eventually come up; Cody [Rhodes] and AEW are very open and smart," said Ryback. "They are going to get the opportunity and will get these guys to a certain level maxed out where they just have to get them some notoriety and TV time. When the right people start popping up on that show and plugging them into the equation it is going to start boosting things.
"But the one thing that they have the ability to do, not even with WWE because of how much talent they have locked down, but AEW will be able to bring back the element of surprise that made wrestling cool, that made WCW really cool and forced WWE to start doing it. I think they will have that opportunity in the next year, this is a long-term stock that you are investing in so we just have to be patient with it. They got the guys that they wanted to get the ball rolling with. They have to get the guys over to some degree. I see what they are doing with their business model. You didn't want to bring in a bunch of big names right away and then just job out your new guys that are trying to get over and trying to get established. We have enough pieces to start. Let's get these guys TV time and face value; get them some exposure and then start peppering in things when they start becoming available.
Ryback's opinion that AEW should be focusing on their long-term strategy falls in line with what Eric Bischoff said. Bischoff noted that AEW's numbers are even lower than what he was pulling in TNA a couple of years ago, but he thinks AEW will succeed over the long-term.
"I think the long-term stock is with AEW," stated Ryback. "If I am investing in WWE or AEW long term it's AEW with the opportunities that they are going to have. Now, again, if you are a day trader then WWE is the way to go on the short term, but that's my opinion."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversation with the Big Guy Ryback with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.