Ryback fans must have let out a mighty roar of approval when Vickie Guerrero pitted the powerhouse against Chris Jericho at Money in the Bank 2013.
Jericho's role these days is to be that of WWE's star-maker, making him the ideal opponent for a man who hasn't won a pay-per-view match since last year's Money in the Bank event. Ryback looks to join Fandango and Curtis Axel as opponents Jericho has helped looked legitimate.
In putting him in the main event for Payback, Hell in a Cell 2012 and Survivor Series 2012, WWE clearly believes in Ryback, but the company believed in his opponents in those matches more, as he has lost each time.
Losing has become the norm for Ryback during pay-per-views. Since beating Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks last July, Ryback has lost six times on the big stage, if you include his placing second to John Cena at the Royal Rumble. He did manage a no-decision at Extreme Rules but has recently been losing as much as he won against a string of jobbers to open his career.
What’s the cure for losingitis? One dose of Jericho should do the trick.
After losing his WWE title, the subsequent rematch and a battle against The Undertaker, CM Punk found his groove against Jericho.
In addition to losing to Fandango at WrestleMania 29, Jericho has recently lost matches on WWE Raw to Punk and to Axel. Y2J has his share of wins in that span as well, but he’s certainly not booked as invincibly as Sheamus or Cena.
Add to that the fact that Jericho will be stepping away from WWE in August as his band Fozzy tours Europe for a big chunk of that month and then tours North America from Sept. 12 to Oct. 10. It makes perfect sense then to have Ryback be the one to create the storyline reason for Jericho’s exit.
Let the beast hurt his opponent to the point that Jericho needs to have a kayfabe surgery. Jericho will eventually return to a thrilled crowd like he always does, and Ryback will be the beneficiary.
If WWE continues to have Ryback fall, he becomes increasingly less intimidating. All fans will remember of Ryback is his losing to the growing list of men who have toppled him.
The company may not be willing for him to become WWE champ right now, but judging by the high-profile nature of his recent battles, it thinks too highly of him to send him into a tailspin. A win against Jericho offers a boost of momentum, something to brag about going forward and a convenient way to write Jericho off television.
Expect Ryback to take out his frustrations on Winnipeg's favorite son and for Jericho to fight off that angry foe in valiant fashion before succumbing to being Shell Shocked.
Money in the Bank will be the first pay-per-view in a long time that Ryback will rule.