Recently on The Steve Austin Show, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin interviewed WWE’s Ryback. Ryback spoke about his relationship with Vince McMahon, believing he can replace John Cena, and the political nature of WWE.
When asked what his relationship with McMahon is like, Ryback said that he tries not to bother McMahon too much and only speaks with him when the subject matter is important.
“I don’t want to go to him just all the time for everything and it has to have meaning behind it and it always has because I feel some people abuse that power. He’s a busy man. He’s pulled in a million different directions, so it’s when I truly feel I need to talk to him about something”.
One example of a time when Ryback felt it necessary to speak with McMahon directly was in 2012, prior to his return to WWE television in April of that year. According to Ryback, he felt like he was being underutilized, so he told McMahon that he did not need vignettes and that he would get himself over if WWE just put him out in front of the audience.
“I remember I said something about ‘your company’ to him at one point and at the end of the conversation, he goes, ‘you’ll be ready when you realize it is our company’ and I said, ‘our company’ and I walked out of there. I was like, ‘damn it,’ thinking, ‘how long do I have to wait now before I go talk to him and somehow sneak in ‘our company” and, luckily though, everything was on track, and, I believe, I debuted a week or two after that.”
At that time, Ryback was working squash matches against local enhancement talent and he realized that the best way to get himself over wrestling those smaller competitors was to make it like a “trainwreck”.
Apparently, Ryback also told McMahon that he is the guy to replace Cena.
“I told Vince this. I am here for the long haul. Like, I want to be my absolute best and my best is going to end up pretty damn good, at the end of this, but the key to that is staying healthy and longevity here.” Ryback continued, “people are going to take themselves out, people get injured, and opportunities open up. And I’ve said from day one, I’ve told Vince this to his face, I am the guy that can replace John Cena and I’m not John Cena, I’m Ryback. But I’m the guy that can do that and I can sell [tickets], but I need to be healthy and I need to be here everyday for that to happen.”
When asked how the WWE landscape has changed over his tenure with the company, Ryback mentioned that the locker room is now composed mostly of people who have come up through WWE’s developmental system. Also, Ryback said that it is very political backstage and that there are too many producers and other people in the boss’s ear who have their own agendas.
“Every week is a fight here, as you know, and it is truly a challenge, but it is an exciting challenge. Sometimes I wish it was a little easier at times, but, again, it’s an every week thing.” Ryback admitted, “I heard Brock [Lesnar] last week say you kind of have to be selfish with this and truer words have never been spoken.”
With the backstage politics and a very competitive and talented roster with which to contend, Ryback claimed that he has learned when to speak up for himself.
“I could be number one. I could sell tickets. I have a look to me and I know what I’m doing out there, where I can draw people in and people believe in me, so I get pissed off sometimes when we go in another direction. I don’t like that because I know what I’m capable of and when we were doing that, what it was doing.”
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