On a recent episode of the Shooting Blanks Wrestling Report on the Conversation with the Big Guy Ryback podcast with Wrestling Inc.’s Raj Giri, Ryback talked about Chris Jericho’s recent comments about potentially bringing in former WWE talents into AEW. Ryback highlighted the former Rusev as a person that AEW should consider signing.
“I can only imagine a guy like Rusev would have to be top priority on getting him into that system,” Ryback said. “I know Chris had mentioned that a Roman Reigns could thrive over there, which Roman would. Roman’s top notch and is a great worker. Rusev is [as well]. He’s got a character and a built-in brand. I think he’d give them a little boost specifically in the ratings.”
Ryback continued, “I think Chris talked about WCW and bringing in past guys, and I do think you have to be careful about that. But, I also think that era was different with how guys made money, guys not being hungry and guys getting older when coming in. I think looking at from a business point of view, you have to look at it from a case-by-case basis. You have to look at a brand and look at his following, and you go, ‘Can we benefit from this guy? Can he benefit from us? Is this a good pairing?’ It’s an individual performer thing. I don’t think it’s good to group anybody as a whole.”
Rusev, real name Miro, has been on Twitch since being released by WWE and has addressed on different occasions on places he’s rumored to go like Impact Wrestling. Ryback talked about the reach that Rusev has and how that can help AEW eventually surpass WWE in the ratings.
“I love what they’re doing,” Ryback remarked. “They would do nothing but benefit from adding the right people added into that roster as they continue to go along, and I think Rusev is going to be one of them. I really, really do. You bring a guy like Rusev that has millions of followers on social media and say you’re going to get a small percentage of that. Maybe you get 30,000 people that are watching that weren’t watching before. That’s 30,000 more people that are watching with that guy on TV.”
“Maybe it’s higher,” Ryback continued. “I don’t know, but you have to look at it like that where you can get new eyes and those new eyes will become fans of the guys who you have and become familiar with them. You just continue to build because I think AEW has the potential to surpass WWE in time in the ratings, on the RAW and SmackDown side of things. They’re just so early on, so we kind of just have to wait and see. But, they’re staying on top for the time being.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Conversation with the Big Guy Ryback with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.