Why Ryback's Heel Turn Has Fallen Flat

Andy SoucekFeatured ColumnistApril 24, 2013

photo via wwe.com
photo via wwe.com

We've been fed enough of Ryback since his debut.

We sat through months of him destroying no-name jobbers, then we moved on to watching him take on multiple jobbers at the same time. Then, due to a John Cena injury, he was suddenly forced into the main event.

It was a dramatic jump that fans didn't quite have time to adjust to.

Now Ryback has turned heel, and we're supposed to accept him as the number one threat to Cena's title.

It was a risky choice, one that could have added a much needed spark to the show, but it's already off to a rough start.

For a short time, it looked like Ryback was actually on his way to becoming a big star. Some crowds exploded upon his entrance. WWE dropped the ball on that chance, though, by having the invulnerable man look vulnerable far before he should have.

He peaked in popularity.

Ryback went on to lose six pay-per-view matches in a row. After a surprisingly clean loss at WrestleMania to Mark Henry, he attacked Cena on Raw the next night. The problem is, his character wasn't exactly on a hot streak.

If WWE wants to make the most money out of a Ryback turn, he should be pushed as a monster. But, so far, he's been pushed as more of a coward than anything.

A week after the attack, "The Ryback" (as Cena so fondly called him) wasn't man enough to stand face-to-face with Cena. He was dressed down verbally when Cena told him that he's not in the same league as guys like HHH and Shawn Michaels.

In response to this, Ryback just walked out of the ring.

The next week we saw Ryback exposed on the mic during a segment with Mick Foley that dragged on too long. 

The crowd just wasn't into Ryback. They were bored, and assailed him with "Goldberg" chants. By the show's end, Cena once again got the best of him and laid him out with an Attitude Adjustment (as well as running off The Shield).

So much for being Cena's kryptonite. 

Maybe an intense pull-apart brawl between the two (similar to the one Cena had with Brock Lesnar) would have been a better way to go.

Basically, if Cena isn't going to show any fear against Ryback, what makes him any different than guys like Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro?

Can't we just have one villain who isn't afraid? One heel who makes the top face unsure of himself? At the very least it would be nice if Cena wasn't making a "wetting his khaki" joke in front of a much larger man that he's going to face in combat.

It's always an odd adjustment period when we see a face turn heel or vice versa. WWE has done a lousy job lately with The Miz and Del Rio's turns in that they've felt incredibly forced.

Ryback is following that same trend.

Out of nowhere, Ryback is saying "Ryback rules!" and wearing a dopey stocking cap on his head. It doesn't fit his look and just makes him look goofy. People aren't buying it. Much like "Fadangoing," WWE is trying to hard to make us feel a certain way.

You can see WWE's logic in wanting to turn Ryback. The heels have Mark Henry and The Big Show, two guys who are already in their 40s, and, with CM Punk taking some time off, they need some new blood on their side.

It's too bad that things are so shaky right now. Ryback's anger has a point to it. He helped out Cena, and Cena didn't return the favor.

You can see Ryback's motives even if you don't agree with him. But WWE can't just push Ryback like every other heel on the roster. That defeats the entire purpose of it.