It’s been an interesting few months for Ryan Reeves. The man formerly known as Ryback lashed out at WWE in a lengthy blog post back in May, immediately after requesting to be pulled from all TV tapings. He then severed ties with WWE in August, just a few days before the company made it official on their end. Now known as The Big Guy, Reeves is taking indie wrestling bookings (and, uh, competitive-eating challenge bookings) while also launching his own podcast, Conversation With The Big Guy. On a recent episode of CWTBG, Reeves addressed those people who accused him of failing during his brief main event push in 2012. According to him, his run at the top of the card was exactly what he wanted it to be.
“That always kind of upset me too, when people say I failed in the main event. I thoroughly succeeded in the main event and I proved myself. I was not put in the main event though to be the man. I was booked into an unfortunate situation where I’m pulled, I’m put into [John] Cena’s spot, who Cena at the time was supposed to work [CM] Punk to put Punk over with all that. Put in that situation, where you take the undefeated streak and you put me in there.
And also, at that point, I’d not had long matches and I could. I wrestled in developmental for years. That was never an issue. It was the image we’re creating on TV is this guy kills people and then you’re taking that and going against these local guys and whatnot, and then you’re putting me in the ring with a guy like Punk. And no offense to Punk, Punk was extremely talented and he’s a hell of a wrestler. And despite what people might think, I do respect him for his wrestling ability and the things that he did in the WWE. But you take me and how I look and you’re putting me in the ring with him after doing all that and now you’re asking us to do a whole different style and the people were not conditioned to that.
And it was also horrible booking from that point on in my career. I think I lost the next seven pay-per-view matches or the next six. And during that time, I was the number two merchandise seller in the WWE, which a lot of people don’t know about.”
As with all ex-WWE wrestlers voicing their opinions about their time in the company, there’s bound to be a little bit of sour grapes mixed in with facts — like, it’s true that Ryback technically did not win a match on the next seven consecutive WWE pay-per-views, but two of those were six-man tags, one of them was the Royal Rumble match (in which he was the final person eliminated) and most of the rest were losing to John Cena in increasingly stupid gimmick matches. Ryback’s frustrations still have some level of legitimacy, though, even though he sure as hell seemed to lose his fire toward the end of his WWE run this year — just watch his entrance the night after WrestleMania and see if you disagree.
(transcription h/t Wrestling Inc.)