Ryan Reeves, who currently operates under the name "Ryback" for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), has been afforded the opportunity to perform inside the squared circle because he's a goliath, a throwback to an earlier time when large muscles and feats of strength were the envy of pencil-neck geeks the world over.
He's also the type of character who elicits awe from neanderthals like WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.
Wrestlers like Ryback are hardly an anomaly. Previous models of this particular incarnation have proven successful, like in the case of World Championship Wrestling (WCW) superstar Bill Goldberg, while others, like WWE and TNA washout Bobby Lashley, have not.
But "over" or not, the formula remains the same.
A wrestler like Ryback, under these circumstances, is akin to the field goal kicker in the National Football League (NFL). You're in the game because you do one thing, and you do it exceptionally well. But most of the time, you sit on the sidelines while the men around you become famous.
Then, whether you're ready or not, you get the call.
Sometimes, it's a routine play, like the NFL's extra point. Let's just go ahead and say it: When it comes to chasing the touchdown, you and I could probably split the uprights. It's not that far. Just like it's easy to look good when you're squashing a jobber at a house show in Utah.
But what happens when they need you to kick one from 50 yards out -- in high wind -- to tie the game?
The same thing that happens when you ask Ryback to main event opposite CM Punk. Ultimately, you'd like to have your quarterback float one in for the wide receiver, but sometimes they get knocked out of the game, just like when John Cena was sent to the locker room with a bum elbow.
Ryback, we need you on this play to try to get us into the
playoffs next pay-per-view.
Earlier in the week on Monday Night RAW, the wrestler formerly known as the "Corn-fed Meathead" botched consecutive power moves against Tensai, a mountain of a man whose dead weight likely puts him in the same category as Mark Henry or Paul Wight in terms of difficulty.
In simple terms, he failed to make himself look good in a spot designed to do just that.
His timing couldn't have been worse. The previous week, creative teased us with a program pitting Ryback against the WWE Champion, CM Punk. In order to believe the former Tough Enough contestant had the chops to hang with "the best in the world," we needed to see more than just the corpse of local fodder like Benny Camer. We needed him to make a statement.
He eventually did, just not the one we were expecting.
To compound the problem, earlier in the night, Antonio Cesaro executed a startling feat of strength by tossing Brodus Clay like he was an over-inflated Bobo Doll. In the NFL, that's like having the back-up quarterback nail six on a Hail Mary in the same game where you threw two interceptions.
When the game is over and the fans turn off the television, they might wonder aloud why the "other guy" wasn't the one getting the ball in the big spot.
Ryback got the ball because the team needed to score. Not only did he miss two field goals, he couldn't even bounce them off the post because they were 20 yards short. I seem to remember the coach sending him back out there in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but it didn't matter, the team had already lost the game.
Makes me wonder how many fans will be glad to see him marching onto the field the following week.
I know the WWE universe has a short-term memory, but at the end of the day, Ryback has one job: Clomp around the ring and lift heavy things. That's it. Once the ability to accomplish that task has been compromised, it's time to hit the showers.
Or, give the ball back to the quarterback, no matter how badly he's hurt.