clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ryback on why he left WWE: Vince McMahon lied to me

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Gwyneth Paltrow And Tracy Anderson At Licensing Expo 2013 Photo by David Becker/Getty Images for The Licensing Expo

We’ve heard Ryback speak in vague terms about the circumstances that led to his being released by WWE. Even when he spoke more in depth on it, saying it was about commitment more than money, it sounded like it was about money. In a major way, it was, as he explained in depth here.

But he also explained in depth what he meant about commitment during his debut podcast, Conversation with The Big Guy.

Strap in:

"He told me, essentially, that he was going to make me his number one heel, he was going to put the title on me, and all I had to do was just listen to him, read his promos word for word, and he would 'take me to the motherland' was his exact words. ... I left the office that day, this was before WrestleMania. My opponent was supposed to be AJ Styles at WrestleMania, in which Vince told me I'm going to 'squash that little twerp.' Which, I didn't really foresee that happening with everything the way he was being brought in and what not. (Styles) is incredible, I've wrestled him on overseas tours and that was my first time ever wrestling him and it was a breeze. We had fun and the crowd went crazy. I could wrestle him every day of the year.

"So, anyways, a week after that conversation... so this new contract, this is at the end of all this. I have this contract and I would have signed it but I wanted to see if he was going to come through on his words this final time because I was at my boiling point, essentially. A week after that conversation my opponent had already been changed to Kalisto. It was then 'okay, we're going to do the US title and heat me up and stick to the game plan and what not.' Well, for whatever reason as you all know, the WrestleMania match got put on the pre-show. I was told the direction we were going days before and after I got that, that's when I went to the attorney and I said 'I want to make these changes in the contract because if I'm going to stay here I need to know they're going to committ to me because they're just lying to me now, left and right, and they've been lying to me.'

"We go through all that, we do business, and then the next one, Payback, the same thing, put on the pre-show. That was him just... that's him fucking around. He knew I wasn't happy, knew I was pissed. Payback, we do our business, and then finally we get to that day in St. Louis, and I thought me and Kalisto... we'd been working live events and killing it night in and night out, and anybody whose ever seen me on a WWE live event knows there's a difference between a live event and TV because I'm allowed to have time out there, which wasn't always the case with TV. ... They mishandled me from the very beginning. They mishandled a lot of talents but in my case particularly I think it's been mishandled horribly.

"I got there that day and I saw the direction we were going for the TV after having the PPV match that we'd had, and I knew. They already had the new contract that had the changes in it and so now I felt like they were just going to run me into the ground before I left and get me as low as we could possibly get me. We've seen them do it with guys. The booking that I saw for that day was 'you are a piece of shit and we're going to tell these people you are a piece of shit' and you know what? I'm not a piece of shit. I'm not. And I'm done. I'm done being walked around, I'm done living in fear. That was the day I just walked... I told Carrano 'take me off this fucking TV show, I'm done.' I never saw Vince -- I didn't want to see him. I had had too many conversations with him where he lied to me. It was one of those 'fly me home, I'm done. I'm done. You're going to fix my nose and my ear, I'm going to get better, and we're done.' They had the new contract and I knew they weren't going to go for that and that was my way out."

There’s a whole lot more in his podcast, which you can listen to here, but this is not an isolated incident. Even CM Punk, who went off on Ryback, had similar issues with WWE that helped lead to his leaving the company.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats