With a little bit more than one week until the much-hyped showdown between WWE champion John Cena and top contender Ryback, the wrestling world seems abuzz with speculation over what the result of the match might end up being.
The 31-year-old challenger is a fantastic matchup for Cena on paper. He is in what should be the prime of his career, has a phenomenal look and, in a nod to "feeding him more," is incredibly hungry for championship glory.
Unfortunately for Ryback, he is not only facing Cena, the purported savior of the company, but he's facing him in a Last Man Standing match.
Which seems like it would be a good idea for the punishing upstart. However, when you take into account the fact that Ryback has yet to wrestle a truly grueling and time-consuming match at a fast pace, the advantage instantly switches from challenger to champion.
Add in the fact that the reactions for his entrance have gone from good to worse to now almost nonexistent, and you do not have a recipe for a championship victory at Extreme Rules.
Sure, he is now a heel and will no longer be getting the positive reactions that he once received. But top heels in the company still always receive some type of reaction, even if it is simply loud boos. Even the level of noise the crowd makes when booing Cena is head and shoulders above anything that Ryback has ever received.
The company may have thought that it had another Batista on its hands when it originally brought Ryback in as his current character. Both are incredibly physically intimidating, have very limited skills in the ring and possess no real charisma when it comes to microphone skills.
The difference is that Batista worked on these issues and ended up with six world title reigns to his credit (four with the World Heavyweight title and two with the WWE championship).
And while in-ring skills are not always what make the mark of a champion, as Cena is actually fairly limited as well, larger-than-life characters are what allow many competitors to attain major success in a WWE ring.
And when Ryback comes out week after week, sounding as if he's struggling to remember a rehearsed script, it hurts his character.
Simply stated, he has neither the physical stamina nor the charisma to withstand being WWE champion. Furthermore, at times it seems as if he's being carried entirely upon the shoulders of whomever he is placed into a feud with. His physical presence aside, there is nothing intimidating about Ryback.
But this business is always full of surprises, and there is, of course, the possibility that he will actually win the WWE title.
But then what?
While he may indeed rule for a short time, it is very possible that the company will only allow him to hold the title for less than a month until losing it (presumably back to Cena) at Payback in June.
Whatever ends up happening on May 19, in the long run, it does not bode well for the man known as Ryback.
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