Drew McIntyre emerged victorious in the men's Royal Rumble match eliminating Roman Reigns to win the match, and McIntyre scored an elimination on WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. McIntyre was originally not scheduled to win the Rumble, but plans changed. He will be challenging for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36. Ryback talked about Reigns getting booed during his entrance, the Rumble match and McIntyre winning with Wrestling Inc's Raj Giri on his Conversation with the Big Guy Ryback podcast.
"He's been getting booed again. It's been building. I think the whole cancer stuff has [run] its course. They have gotta be careful with that. I gotta say, I enjoyed that Royal Rumble match. I honestly Raj, my personal opinion, I wished they would've kept that going [Lesnar eliminating people]. It would've been the most memorable Royal Rumble all the way through 29 guys. Can you imagine that reaction though if they did that the whole way through. I get why you don't do it also. I think it would've been awesome because Royal Rumbles are all the same kind of," Ryback said. "Great call on Drew. I've been with him down in development in FCW and seeing everything he's gone through getting himself back there busting his a**. My only thing is this going to be just a filler. It's a main event match, but Drew has never been 'the chosen one.' He's not Roman Reigns as far as how they treat Roman."
Ryback also talked about the steps McIntyre should be making now that he has the title shot for WrestleMania 36. He talked about the political game backstage that could be won to get McIntyre walking out of WrestleMania 36 as WWE Champion.
"We've seen that they've changed. They've had several people that they were thinking about winning. That tells me that [this isn't necessarily] strapping a rocket on Drew McIntrye. It's a guy that has a believable shot, a good story going into WrestleMania to keep Brock as champion which will suck for Drew momentum wise. It's great all the way up to it, but that's my thing: we'll have to wait and see. It's really interesting," Ryback said. "I like Drew getting the opportunity.
"Now Drew, I think, is in a position politically: just so people can understand what's going on, this is a once and a lifetime opportunity, if I were him, you're gonna be worked harder than ever not just in the ring but backstage convincing everybody who has a f**king opinion that you need to be the one going over. But we're in the time, period and age where that has been taken away from the talent. We'll see how he's used going into that. He's gonna look great. He's in a great position. He's gonna make good money going into this, but what happens with that."
Ryback has spoken about why Reigns has not turned heel in the past. However, he sees Reigns upcoming feud with The Fiend for the WWE Universal Championship as an opportunity to turn Reigns heel to get him more over with the crowd.
"Roman is going with The Fiend. They used Roman to get over ,Drew which was a great call. Great call. They have to be listening to these boos. I think you could actually use this to turn Roman heel eventually. I think it would be a great opportunity not to make the same mistake you made with Cena: keep him a babyface for so long," Ryback said. "Roman will get more over as a character. He'll be more popular than he's ever been if they actually allow him to go that way, but I think you need to make this about The Fiend going in. Maybe The Fiend should be the one to get Roman to turn like Seth did. I think that's a cool story down the road."
Giri brought up the idea of a heel Reigns against a face McIntyre. Ryback talked about "keeping the edge on you" in regards to staying with your character even as a baby face.
"That's how you make compelling TV and make new stars Raj. That's what they used to do. Instead they push guys, they stop them and keep everything the same, and that's why they're in the position that they're in.
"This falls on the talent too, Raj. I always try to do this no matter what: when you change and they're putting you in a baby face slot, you gotta know to keep that edge on you. It's like you're playing wrestler, 'oh I gotta be a good guy now.' Don't change what made you that's the thing," Ryback said. "You're just now fighting the bad guys. Don't become a little b**th. You gotta keep that in your head. Unless you're in that 'John Cena position', it's a tough thing man. It's not easy. I can tell you that. You got people telling you what to do. I like Drew a lot though man. He's believable. He's in great shape. It's a great match-up against Brock. We'll see how that goes."
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.