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Kickout Fatigue: The Ryback Conundrum

Rating: 2 votes, 4.00 average.
For the most part, I've enjoyed the meteoric rise of Ryback. After the 20th squash match where he did the same 3 moves it got a bit old, but all along I've been pretty captivated by this beastly wrestler and the path of destruction he's been blazing across the WWE.

Seeing him catapulted into a main even situation against CM Punk was pretty shocking to me. Obviously, WWE is high on this guy, that was never more obvious than he decimated then Intercontinental Champion Miz in about 3 minutes. But taking him from nobody to main eventing a PPV for the WWE Championship in just a few short months? I don't think anyone saw that coming.

Here's where the problem comes. The Punk vs Ryback match is a no win situation for WWE. Let's look at what happens if Ryback wins the match.

First of all, you've got WWE putting the belt around the waist of a rookie. We all know wrestling's scripted, but there's still a high level of prestige that goes into winning that belt. Finally being recognized by the company as THE GUY is a huge honor, something most superstars chase for a long long time before achieving (if they ever achieve it, many don't). How's it going to sit with all the guys in the back if WWE grants a rookie a title reign?

Also, how's it going to look if Punk, after nearly a year of domination, suddenly loses to an unseasoned wrestler? Punk has held onto his belt so many times when it looked like his defeat was going to happen. The top tier talent in WWE could never get it away from him, but a wrestler who's only been around for a few months and has only ever been in 3 minute matches against (mostly) nobodies can?

Then there's the timing of it. If punk gets through Hell in a Cell with his belt, then he'll hit 1 solid year as champion before the next PPV comes around. That's a huge mark, and it's hard to believe that WWE would take the title away before Punk hits that historic 1 year mark.

Okay, now let's look at the issues if Punk does win and retains the belt. WWE has spent month after month building Ryback into an unstoppable monster. Handicap matches couldn't stop him, Intercontinental Champions couldn't stop him, he's been built up to be one of the most dominant forces that the WWE has ever seen. Does the WWE really want to throw that away by having him lose at HIAC?

Probably not, which means that we could be in for a truly bad finish to what will likely be an awesome match. Let's look at history, which in the case of Ryback leads you to Goldberg and his undefeated streak. WCW built him into an unstoppable beast. They did a great job with it, and even though he had some great tests along the way, he kept winning and remained undefeated for a very long time.

The problem was, he eventually had to lose. To accomplish this, WCW put together one of the dumbest screw-job endings pro wrestling has ever seen. A disguised Scott Hall repeatedly tased Goldberg, which weakened him enough so he was defeated by Kevin Nash. The streak was over, the fans were furious, and that was that.

A straight Punk victory vs Ryback is almost certainly not going to happen. It's just too damaging to Ryback's character at this point. But I also can't imagine them putting the belt on Ryback so early in his career, and also so close to Punk's 1 year mark with the belt. This leads me to believe that we're headed towards a truly wonky ending. Interference gone wrong, maybe? An accidental Cena chair shot that hits Ryback instead of Punk? Or something even more off the wall, like a run-in from someone we don't expect? Or maybe Punk will just use something ridiculous like Scott Hall did, employing a taser or something along those lines to incapacitate Ryback.

I give WWE credit for moving forward with this match, but I don't give them too much credit. Don't forget, if not for Cena's injury, we were in for yet another Cena/Punk showdown. What I will give WWE credit for is saying "to hell with it" and throwing together Ryback and Punk as a replacement storyline. It's a stroke of brilliance, and even though they've put themselves in a tough situation over the outcome, I'm still glad they moved forward with this.

So who do I hope wins the match? I have to say, it's been a while since any storyline in the WWE had the electric energy that this Ryback/Punk thing does. The fans seem to sense that this is a volatile situation. The crowd was going nuts at the end of Raw. WWE has been so hesitant to have guys drop belts, so for that reason I want Ryback to win. I think it forces change, and brings a fresh sense of "anything can happen" to the product.

That's who I hope wins, but who do I think wins? Punk. I just don't see them putting the belt on a rookie, and I don't see them ending Punk's reign so close to the 1 year mark. Either way they go with this match, they're going to do some damage to their product, but it's been a pretty entertaining mess and I can't wait to see what they come up with for the finish.

Let's just hope it's not Scott Hall in a disguise again...

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  1. Roc Away's Avatar
    Your thoughts mirror mine. WWE has (by chance) created a match where no one is quite sure which outcome to expect. Cena-Punk at MITB last year and Cena-Rock at WM28 aroused similar feelings. But there's something extra about Ryback-Punk, and it isn't good. It is that when we cast our minds to the possible outcomes (as you did well in the blog), no one likes any of them! A clean win by either man won't be good. Nor is a run-in going to be that awesome unless its... ...Goldberg? A Brock return would elicit great cheers at first but then the IWC will likely slam it and claim it was predictable all along.

    Part of me thinks that its best if we just suspend disbelief and not take it so seriously, and just watch to see what happens. Overthinking has ruined wrestling at some point or other for all of us, right?

    Personally, I hope its an awesome interference that leaves us with jaws dropped and anticipating whatever comes next. Like the Undertaker, or another big gun that is not Cena (it shouldn't be Kevin Nash again, too). We need the kind of 3-way storylines that were used to great effect in the Attitude Era, something different from the generic face-heel showdowns that we've been served for many years.
  2. Vondraco's Avatar
    I proposed a slightly different ending in my blog entry last week. What if Punk just leaves? Heyman somehow opens the cage and he and Punk exit the arena, jump in a car and drive away. Ryback doesn't win because you can only win by pinfall or submission (no countout, no DQ, no 'exiting the cage' win), and he doesn't lose for the same reason (thus his undefeated streak is intact). I've checked around on the various sites and there does not seem to be any explanation of what happens in this scenario.

    There are MANY things that could happen as a result of this. Would they just throw the match out? Would they strip the title from Punk? Would Punk again leave the WWE claiming that he never lost his title so is still champ and we have a replay from last time? Would the match continue indefinitely with Ryback trying to get Punk to a referee and pin him somehow? That would damn sure get the IWC and social media fans buzzing -- and tuning into Raw to get the official decision.

    It's still not 100% certain that the match will even take place. I mean, we're still a week away; lots of time for Ryback to be taken out by Punk. Then Cena steps in as challenger and wins despite his injured status somehow. That depends, of course, on whether Cena is legitimately cleared to wrestle or not.
    Updated 10-20-2012 at 01:19 PM by Vondraco
  3. King MC's Avatar
    I love that others have been thinking the exact same thing as I have. Ryback winning this early would bring unpredictability back that's for sure, however it would mean that anyone could have this title without really earning it. If he loses then this entire build up that they've been doing with him is null and void.

    I agree with Vondraco, I think something could, and more than likely, will happen to Ryback prior to the Hell in a Cell match which will make Cena the default #1 contender.
  4. Sahu's Avatar
    Ryback n Punk match starts they'll have some solid action..then Heyman opens up the cell...Punk tries to walk out of it...then, Ryback delivers a Clothesline from hell or what ever he calls that move...then suddenly out of no where BluePrint Matt Morgan comes n delivers a Carbon Foot print and then delivers an F5..n allows Punk to cover Ryback....then Morgan delivers a carbon foot print on Cena n says on mic "hahahaha shocked?? shocked huh!!???The real question is......who am I with?? Time will tell...Tick-Tock Tick-Tock"

    Punk watches him with utter disbelief..:P

    I know it will not happen n Morgan is signed with TNA (at least as per the news here) but I think that would be great...
  5. azure's Avatar
    thing is with this match the result could go in any manner of directions. But the way I see it happening realistically so punk keeps the title and ryback stays undefeated is a draw but that scenario has already happened with punk and cena.

    There really are so many variables to consider here, many of which u guys have already clued in:
    *brock lesnar works with paul hayman, so brock could come in to screw ryback out of victory OR he could end up helping ryback win, not that I see this happening but i'm trying to think of every possible angle. (consider it being a revenge rift since heyman has been managing punk and is feeling like he's been ditched for the gold).

    *A suprise twist could be someone unexpected that could screw either competitor here: ala goldberg/matt morgan as mentioned previously. However say goldberg would return: the implications of that are as follows:
    *the roof in the building will explode
    *with goldberg back could kill rybacks monster push OR he could screw punk saying us 'monsters' have got to stick together in support of ryback OR he screws punk just so ryback can get the gold, just so goldberg can say 'YOUR NEXT!' and then spear ryback.

    *John Cena: regardless if hes healing or not he's going to be involved somehow. He's vinces little bitch so he has to be thrown in there someway. Maybe to screw punk out of the championship OR mega swerve, screw ryback out of the title gaining him mega heat, turning him heel since the fans are really into ryback (from what ive seen they are) and then alligning with punk, heyman, lesnar making a new faction in the E.

    I say this because I remember a while back on raw someone mentioned 'that in hell in a cell, that match changes you, changes your career, (think it was foley). Could be used as an angle to turn cena heel.

    I like ryback and yea I like cm punk too. Punk maybe billed as the 'heel' but lets face it, he's not. He's just a guy speaking his mind, never being the 'white hat' he's never claimed to be. But since he's rolling with heyman and heyman is one hell of a heel manager, it makes punk a heel too, NOT that I don't mind.

    Here's the skinny: Remember when heyman told lesnar that he was making some poor choices back in his run in the WWE? And that he lesnar wouldn't listen to him? If I remember correctly this ended up with Paul turning on brock and alligning himself with the big show.

    I've noticed this same trend recently when punk was told not to fight vince and yet he still did against heymans pleas. I have a feeling its going this way again.

    Other then that, they'd have to knock each other out to keep ryback undefeated and punk the champ still. Argh, see? too many variables!

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