In the latest installment of the "Keepin' It 100" podcast, the former WWE superstar Ryback candidly expressed his belief that the WWE did not adequately protect him at the height of his wrestling career. Reflecting on a key turning point in his career, Ryback discussed his "Hell In A Cell" match against CM Punk for the coveted WWE Championship.
Ryback, the then Intercontinental Champion, suffered a significant loss due to an unexpected low blow from Brad Maddox, a setback that he feels he was never able to fully bounce back from.
Ryback's Disheartening Match Outcome
Ryback vividly recalled the deep disappointment he experienced when he learned about the match's outcome.
"I remember they told me the finish that day and my heart kind of fell into my stomach because it just didn't feel right," he admitted. He maintained professionalism, acknowledging that he had signed a contract and accepted the decision.
He confided in Vince McMahon, WWE's Chairman, about his concerns in a lengthy discussion. During that period, Ryback was stepping into a storyline opposite Punk, a situation necessitated by an injury to John Cena, another popular WWE superstar.
Despite Cena's absence, Ryback was able to maintain a strong connection with the WWE fans. However, he viewed his role during this time primarily as a supporting player for Punk. The same concern carried over into his feud with Cena upon Cena's return.
"When it came back to Cena and they turned me heel, I think people thought that was going to be my time," Ryback stated. However, he feels his role was again diminished to a supporting one, this time to boost Cena's character.
Ryback reflected on his decision to not challenge the narrative, stating, "I could've went to Vince's office and said, 'Look, I don't think this is right and this is why.' " His comments underscore his sentiment that the WWE failed to fully leverage and protect his professional wrestling career.