The general reaction to Ryback getting throw into the main event of the next WWE pay-per-view (PPV), Hell in a Cell, has been mixed. Fans of "Big Hungry" are happy, fans of great wrestling are not, and consensus seems to be that the promotion is in a no win booking situation.
What's interesting beyond any of that, though, is one aspect of this that has been overlooked.
Ryback could become a legitimate star with the right performance here.
Or he could go bust and never sniff the main event again.
Yes, it's true WWE is in a delicate situation as far as booking but that doesn't mean everyone can't come out of this match looking better than they came in. In fact, this should be considered a major test for Ryback and how far he's progressed.
In a recent interview with PWTorch.com, SmackDown General Manager Booker T touched on this very topic:
"The tale is going to be told after he goes out there in the big main event slot. If he can pull that match up and pull that match together. If he can do that, his stock is going to go way up. If he goes out there and flops, it's going to go way down. So, I look forward to Ryback going out there and being able to pull the job off. I really think he can get it done."
Booker would go on to say he believes the locker room is rooting for Ryback to do well and that he understands the business and the respect he needs to have for it. That's step one in the process. Step two is establishing a character and getting it over, which he's done a relatively good job of thanks to an odd charisma and mostly sound booking from the creative team.
The next step is to get him made and while that won't happen here, this could definitely be the moment when we all realize he's destined for greatness. Think Jeff Hardy's loss to Undertaker in a ladder match on Monday Night Raw in 2002. Sure, Hardy did the job but he came out of that match having established the fact that he had the potential to be a main event level player, a future world champion who could one day carry the company.
That's what Ryback could do this weekend in front of thousands of screaming fans in Atlanta, Georgia. He's got one hell of a dance partner in CM Punk and if the WWE champion decides he wants to make Ryback look like a major star -- and there's no reason to think otherwise at present time -- this match could be more important than any of us have cared to ponder.
Will Ryback go boom on Sunday night at the Philips Arena? Or will he go bust?