Bray Wyatt Resisted Quick Squash Match

Ryback shares insights on a scrapped Steel Cage showdown.

by Atia Mukhtar
Bray Wyatt Resisted Quick Squash Match
© WWE/YouTube

In a revealing new episode of Ryback TV, former WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback opened up about an episode of RAW from February 8, 2016, that saw him pitted against Bray Wyatt, also known as "The Eater of Worlds." Interestingly, Ryback disclosed that WWE management had initially intended for him to be defeated by Wyatt in under a minute as a form of punishment for not agreeing to a new contract.

However, Wyatt himself didn't want to play along with this quick defeat, or "squash." According to Ryback, both wrestlers were very much in the loop regarding the company's ulterior motives and made a conscious decision not to go through with it.

Ryback said, "Bray knew what was going on, I certainly knew what was going on, and we'd had enough." The superstar took it up directly with WWE bigwigs Triple H and Vince McMahon on the day of the event. Ultimately, the match was given a duration of six minutes and 51 seconds.

What adds another layer of intrigue to this story is that the February 8 episode of RAW was primarily notable for WWE legend Daniel Bryan announcing his retirement from in-ring competition. Originally, the creative team had planned for a Steel Cage match between Ryback and Bray Wyatt on that episode, but it was axed at the last minute.

Cage Match Denied

Ryback revealed that both he and Wyatt had been keen on culminating their feud in a Steel Cage match. "I expressed very professionally that we should have that match in a steel cage," Ryback said. "We never had one problem putting any talent over, but give us time, allow us to tell a story, and let's get something meaningful out of it." Behind the curtain, Ryback and Bray Wyatt—whose real name was Windham Rotunda—shared a good rapport that dated back to their days in WWE's Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) developmental system.

Windham Rotunda tragically passed away on August 24 after suffering a heart attack, but stories like these serve as a reminder of the respect and camaraderie that often exists between performers, even in the high-stakes world of professional wrestling.

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