Months ago, WWE superstar Ryback could often be heard screaming “Feed Me More.” In recent weeks however, it seems as if his speeches now include things more along the lines of “Why Me?” or “I got cheated.”
Yes, the superstar from Sin City has had a string of bad luck when it comes to his WWE championship matches. Several times he has been thwarted in his attempts by the upstart group, The Shield, and at the recent Extreme Rules pay-per-view, the match was declared a no-contest after brutal injuries were suffered by both Ryback and his opponent, John Cena.
That result has led the increasingly unpopular behemoth to demand an ambulance match with Cena at the upcoming Payback event on June 16th.
Setting aside Ryback for the moment, let’s analyze the match itself. One competitor must place his opponent into an ambulance and the vehicle must actually leave the arena in order for someone to be declared the winner.
In the past, the company has had two ambulance matches. Kane defeated Shane McMahon in 2003 in the first such contest. And Cena himself defeated Kane in the same type of contest at Elimination Chamber in 2012. A win in that type of affair should automatically favor Cena, right?
Ryback himself now has a decent amount of experience with emergency vehicles. In November after a win over Brad Maddox, he placed the young competitor inside an ambulance. And on this week's Raw, he did the same to Zack Ryder after Ryder had already competed in, and lost, a match against Cody Rhodes.
But setting aside the match type, hasn’t Ryback gotten enough opportunities at the WWE title?
Beginning with his first opportunity for the title at Hell in a Cell in October, Ryback will now be getting his fourth title opportunity at the upcoming Payback, more than any other superstar in that time period.
And why? The man is big and strong, and has great intensity.
But so does a charging bull, and frankly, the prospect of that animal running at you is much more intriguing than Ryback getting another WWE title shot.
And despite the attempts of WWE to ram Ryback down our throats, his character has never caught on the way that it was meant to.
Initial reactions to him were decent, as he was a great face that the fans were meant to get solidly behind. But many quickly soured on him, and his once booming reactions died down to tepid reactions after only a few short months.
Even now, as he abruptly interrupts matches, or arrives in an emergency vehicle, Ryback receives little to no reaction.
And while a negative reaction, littered with boos and jeers is not exactly a favorable one, at least it is something. Ryback barely gets that at this point.
And love him or hate him, Cena at least always gets some type of reaction, whether it be good or bad. And the crowd being split in terms of a reaction to Cena should translate to the crowd being split over whether or not to root for his opponent.
But Ryback often gets no reaction, positive or negative, when doing anything. Sure, he’s a powerhouse, and a human wrecking ball at times. But if the WWE Universe does not feel strongly about a superstar either way, how long can that superstar hope to keep up the charade?
We have seen many competitors lose their pushes even after getting huge reactions, Ryder being the prime example. We have also seen others lose their momentum due to lack of interest from fans, Sin Cara’s push being a good example of this.
But when a superstar that is supposed to be a top contender for your highest accolade is getting no reaction whatsoever, how long can WWE continue to let this go on?
There is a difference between being stubborn and being foolish. And right now, the company is walking a fine line between the two by continuing to make Ryback its top heel.