Donald Wood of Ring Rust Radio passed along an interview with former WWE star Ryback where he talks about his decision to leave WWE last year and his frustration with the scripted promo process backstage within WWE.

Ryback calls decision to leave WWE greatest day of his career

“By far it was the greatest day of my career. The fact I had the courage and by no means it wasn’t an easy decision because it was going on in my head for over two years. It was such a proud moment for me to know that walking away and walking away from the amount of money I left to be free. I equate it to the Shawshank Redemption, that I was finally released. I did it on my own terms and conditions. To be able now to have the relationship with different fans, to communicate with them, to be able to still wrestle, have everything and to do it my way, it feels really good. Mark my words; I am going to be ultra-successful, do things that nobody thought I could do because I know what my game plan is and I know what I am doing. There is no longer anybody telling me no and there isn’t another human being that works as hard as me from morning to night. At the end of the day, in the next ten years, I cannot wait to see where Ryback is. Walking out of the WWE was the best decision I ever made.”

Frustration with scripted promos within WWE

“We all love the days where guys could go out there and organically say what they wanted to say and instead just be given bullet points. Throughout the course of wrestling, it has evolved into having all these writers and then having Vince, Hunter and Stephanie approve everything. Then you have to recite your lines line by line essentially or pretty close to it without straying from the topic. I can tell you from experience the process absolutely sucks from a wrestling standpoint and from a creative standpoint. It’s just really difficult and it comes across when you are watching at home and you can tell when someone is just reading off a piece paper. I understand it from a corporate stand point of why they are doing, but I think they do it too much. I think there is a way to scale back on it and still keep your sponsors happy and give your guys the creative freedom to incorporate some of their character and who they are into the lines. That’s how you find out what really gets over is letting guys be themselves and I always said my best promos were the ones I got to do on my own. Vince would essentially get mad over that more than anything. In his words, I didn’t make sense or that I was out of touch and in my mind that always just baffled me because it was the complete opposite. He owns the company, he is allowed to think what he wants and say what he wants to say. I respected him enough to go ahead and leave and just not play his game anymore.”


  1. Just wish we could have seen him and Goldberg together just for the fan interaction it could have received (not for the in-ring product or anything else) given the comparison for so long – the fans there would have had fun with which I think would have translated to the home viewer as well (as just a one-off mind you) 🙂

  2. Good for him! Always liked Ryback. I’m not one of those guys that likes to hate on him just because its cool to do so. He worked hard in WWE, had the look, and the company barely gave him a chance when he was in the main event scene. The worst was when he lost to Kalisto at Wrestlemania. The smallest guy on the roster getting a clean win over the biggest guy… it only made WWE look stupid in how unrealistic that was, and just further exposed the business if you think about it.

  3. I think Ryback certainly had talent but I think because he was put in main events immediately with Punk and Cena, he ended up getting a higher opinion of himself. In other words, he thought he was better than he actually was. He could have been a great mid carder, but I just never saw him as a consistent main eventer. One of the issues was his durability, he was not super solid in promo delivery as well. The problem was he wouldnt accept that so he kinda became “Cryback” when he didnt get his way

  4. Ya gotta give Rybak credit for speaking his mind. Very few people who’ve left the WWE have spoken that honestly about why they left. I’ll give him my respect for that

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