Ryback is one of those wrestlers from this past decade that came very close to being a top guy a few times and never made it to that level. Since leaving WWE officially in August 2016, Ryback has spoken openly about how grateful he was for his career in WWE, but also how frustrating it could be. His Conversations with the Big Guy podcast has provided plenty of insight into his mindset on a lot of different things in his wrestling and he’s revealed some interesting backstage stories too.
On a recent edition of his podcast, Ryback shared a story about how WWE thought about putting him in a match against the Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 30 in 2014 in New Orleans. Here’s a what he said and thanks to Wrestlezone for the quote:
“Mark Carrano actually had showed me the WrestleMania card early. They kind of have an idea of what they want to do, obviously, ahead of time, and they had on it Ryback versus Ultimate Warrior. And I just said, ‘cool.’ But, in my head, at the time, it was during my heel deal, that first one, where it probably wasn’t gonna be a favorable position for me as far as all that. But I was excited, because I figured it was his one last moment in WWE. So, I thought it would be really cool. I didn’t think I would necessarily be the right guy for that, because I didn’t know anything about him. I didn’t know what kind of shape he was in, if he could wrestle or not, but I 100 percent would have done it, because I did everything that they asked me there.”
Ryback added that the match wouldn’t have benefited him much because it likely would have been a one or two minute match and probably a win for Warrior too. As he said, though, he would have gone through with it.
I find it very hard to believe that WWE would have put the 54-year-old Ultimate Warrior in a WrestleMania match after not being a full-time wrestler for nearly two decades. Keep in mind also that Warrior died two days after WrestleMania 30 and it was obvious that he wasn’t in the best health. I’m not accusing Ryback of lying. Just saying that I doubt WWE would have put Warrior in a match with anybody even if it was only going to be two minutes long.
Warrior ended up appearing at the WWE Hall of Fame on the Saturday night. He delivered a great speech. On Sunday night he stood on the stage at WrestleMania and received a huge ovation. I was there and that was a really loud pop. The next night at Raw, I was there too and he looked like he was exhausted. He got through a promo, but I remember commenting to a friend that he just looked exhausted. We figured it was just being tired after a busy run of events. On that Tuesday, April 8 after he flew home with his family he died due to a heart attack.
With all due respect to ‘The Big Guy’ and to the late Warrior, I’m glad it didn’t happen, because it would have been a terrible idea.