Ryback Must Win Against the Shield at WrestleMania 29

Tom Clark@tomclarkbrFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2013

photo by wwe.com
photo by wwe.com

Ryback will get another shot at revenge on April 7 as he is booked with Randy Orton and Sheamus to take on the trio of Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins, collectively known at The Shield. The match was announced on this past Friday Night SmackDown and, for me, it has not come a minute too soon.  Ryback needs this match.  More importantly, he needs the win.

I must say, however, that I am a bit disappointed that we will not see Ryback hook up with The World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry, at 'Mania.  He and Mark have had a few tense moments in the past couple of weeks and even began a match on SmackDown that was ultimately interrupted by The Shield.

For me, there is a lot of business that can be done with Ryback and Mark Henry.  Two unstoppable monsters facing off in a massive test of strength, with one man trying to outdo the other.  Neither one would back down and neither one would quit.  To me, this is a match that needs to happen.

And my guess is it will.  Stay tuned for that one.

But first things first, as the three young men from NXT are once again stepping onto the worldwide pay-per-view stage. 

Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns have been the toast of the pro wrestling media since they debuted in WWE back in November of 2012.  There’s nothing like new blood on the scene, and these three fresh faces have been a nice change of pace from what we’re all accustomed to seeing.

The Shield have been absolutely dominant, in every way.  They use gang warfare, swarming their victims and beating them down until there is nothing left.  

But this is nothing new, really.  This much we have seen before.

However, what separates The Shield from their predecessorsnamely The Nexusis that they are showing zero signs of weakness.  The three men work together like a well oiled machine, when one goes down, another takes his place.  And they have no apparent leader, evidently craving none of the usual prizes such as main event spots, big matches, or championships.

All they have is a shared desire to stop anyone they perceive is becoming too strong, too important, for their own good.  And if you hit The Shield’s radar, then be prepared for serious consequences.

Cue the big, nasty-looking guy who just can’t seem to get enough to eat.

Ryback’s menu has been filled with one squash match after another since he began his road to relevancy in WWE.  The Superstar once known as Skip Sheffield, a big goofy-looking cowboy, has now morphed into the killing machine known as Ryback.  When that change happened, his career took off, reaching heights that surely none of us ever thought it would.

But along the way, Ryback has truly had only one real obstacle standing in the way of real success in Vince McMahon’s company.  

The Shield decided pretty early on in Ryback’s run that he had to be stopped.  Ryback was the first man attacked by The Shield and he has been in their crosshairs from that moment to this one.  To them, Ryback is a man who does not deserve the high-profile matches, the main event exposure, that he receives.  For The Shield, there is nothing fair, or just, about Ryback.  He is a man who must be taken down a notch.

And so far, The Shield have done a pretty good job at it.

The fact is, The Shield have Ryback’s number.  Period.  They have stopped him at every turn, making it nearly impossible for him to move ahead in WWE.  And every time it appears as though Ryback may be gaining some ground against them, he is knocked right back down. He just cannot find a way to stop them.

But at WrestleMania 29, he will get yet another chance to do just that.  And he better make it count.

Ryback has to get this one.  He has to come out on top.  There can be no disputing this. For Ryback to ever reach that next stage, to be truly solidified as a top level main event Superstar, he has to find a way to defeat the three men who have made it their mission to destroy him.

Without a winwithout this winover The Shield, the fact is that Ryback’s career may never be what it could.

So, if Ryback gets the pin at WrestleMania, then he’s on to the WWE Championship and immortality? Of course not.

But it does mean that for his critics who are currently roasting him for not being trusted enough to win “the big one,” they will then be given reason for pause.  Ryback would go from being a guy just on the verge to being a guy unquestionably on the way up.  After all, he has been a hero on TV, but on pay-per-view?

Not so much.

And for those fans who have been supporting The Shield from day one, and believe that one loss would ruin their momentum, the truth is that eventually everyone loses.  Even the strongest, most competent WWE Superstars’ shoulders must meet the mat at some point in time.

Ryback’s have.  And if he is to become anything more than what he is, he must be able to overcome the one force that he has not been able to defeat.

WrestleMania 29 will see yet another opportunity for Ryback to exact some revenge on The Shield and for the sake of his character and career, now is the time to get a W.  If it does not happen, then he could ultimately become nothing more than a sideshow act, a comedy routine, instead of the top drawing babyface that many believe he can be.

Ryback really needs this one.



Several websites are reporting that the official photo has been changed, showing Big Show along with Sheamus & Randy Orton against The Shield for WrestleMania 29.  Apparently however, wwe.com has since pulled the pic and replaced it with the original, showing Ryback in the match.  At this point, it does look likely that Big Show will be the third man with Ryback possibly facing Mark Henry at Mania.