Just yesterday, my partner in blog, Sean Rueter, got all wordy on a post explaining all the reasons he's not particularly excited that Ryback has returned to WWE. I love Sean, I really do, but I couldn't disagree more with his assessment of the situation.
THE BIG GUY is back as a babyface, picking up a squash victory over Bo Dallas on Monday Night Raw while working all his old schtick. It worked. The crowd ate it up, though, at the time, that had more to do with absence making the heart grow fonder. Then he gave an interview to Eden after Raw that Sean described like this:
His Raw Fallout interview with Eden didn't do much to get me fired up, either. Much of what got him over before his hiatus - the goofy humor, the antagonistic attitude towards fans and the establishment - seem to be stripped away in favor of a return to the generic babyface who feuded with The Shield and CM Punk after his initial, local talent squashing debut.
Again, I couldn't disagree more.
Here's the interview, with the transcription under it:
"First of all, I would like to thank the WWE Universe in San Antonio. It was a ... that was a moment I'll never forget for the rest of my life. I've been through a lot of troubles in the WWE and you know I'm human. I came in like a wrecking ball with my sights on the WWE championship and I fell short on multiple occasions. And I became a guy that I wasn't proud of. To be quite honest, I was a bad person. I was very unfair to the fans. Deep down, that's from my own insecurities. I had a couple months away, I had been injured over seven months, and I was very irritable and I wasn't myself. Sometimes, you've got to take a step or two back in order to just look in the mirror and assess the situation. I told myself I'm never going to be like that again. The WWE Universe needs a hero now more than ever and I know that Ryback, THE BIG GUY, is that guy. I'm coming back full force because every human being knows, in our very core, it's in our DNA, everybody wants more. Everybody understands feed me more, and that's how I live my life. Start full and end empty. THE BIG GUY'S BACK. FEED ME MORE."
We're in an age when the top babyface in WWE can act like a spoiled, entitled little brat and still be considered the top babyface or, as he's so fond of saying these days, the face who runs the place. His actions are justified only because he is the one carrying them out. He makes no apologies for what would pass as deviant behavior were it done by others.
Yet here's Ryback, recognizing his flaws, admitting to his shortcomings, learning from them, vowing to be better, and showing appreciation through emotion for the fact that fans still care about him.
This is one of the best interviews of the year and Sean reduced it to "generic". The reality is it's anything but. It felt genuine. Generic in 2014 is dumping shit on people and everyone pointing and laughing. A wrestler admitting his mistakes and asking for forgiveness while wanting to take up arms for those who stood by him even after he turned against them is downright progressive these days.
I'm on board for the Ryback revolution.