Why WWE's Ryback Doesn’t Trust His Co-Stars
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 12:01
WWE Superstar Ryback believes in self-fulfilling prophecies. The 6-foot 3-inch, 291-pound athlete, formerly known as Skip Sheffield, has seen the ups and downs of professional wrestling. But as injuries and setbacks came and went, he kept his eye on the prize. Now, thanks to his catch phrase “Feed me more,” the wrestler who was born Ryan Reeves is a rising star in the WWE.
“I’m very thankful,” he says via telephone from his Las Vegas home. “I firmly believe everything is up to us. We have a choice in everything. This was always what I wanted to do. I’m lucky enough to have been able to accomplish that. To wake up every day and say, ‘I’m a WWE Superstar’ is pretty cool.”
College Times: You knew at a young age that you wanted to be a professional wrestler. How does it feel to have accomplished your dream?
Ryback:I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum here. As far as starting out, I was in the developmental territories of WWE for many years and I was actually released for a year and a half. I was injured for a year and a half. In the seven years I’ve been doing it, I lost three years. I believe we haven’t even scratched the surface with this whole thing. To see where we’re at after nine months [as Ryback] is pretty mind blowing. We can push this thing so much further. It’s in the beginning stages, though. It makes me very happy to see that the people are having a good time and getting behind me.
Are you looking forward to the Royal Rumble in Phoenix?
I am definitely looking forward to it. The last time I was there, I was actually in a two-on-one handicap match with Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins. I’d like to think that was what made Tyler Reks quit wrestling, was wrestling me. This time around it’s the Royal Rumble. It’s the beginning of our “Road to Wrestlemania.” It’s one of our big four pay-per-views. Ever since I was a kid this has always been one of my favorites.
How much say did you have in the evolution of Ryback?
I was very vocal in that, actually. A lot of people don’t know that I was Ryback before I was Skip Sheffield down in the developmental territories. It was a name I came up with and created, as far as when I was away from the WWE. “Skip Sheffield” was presented to me by Dusty Rhodes. It was something I don’t regret ever having happened because it did happen [and] that’s what got me to the WWE initially. I cannot tell you enough how glad I am to not be doing that right now. What you see now is me. I’m a very intense individual in real life in everything I do. I set goals and I attack them with the intensity you see on TV.
If you could win any belt, what would mean the most to you?
Right now, the WWE Championship and the Heavyweight Championship. I made my 2013 vision board, my goal board, and I have 13 goals for 2013 that are going to be accomplished. That is one of my main goals—becoming the WWE and World Heavyweight Champion. They’re both of equal importance to me.
Who do you count among your friends in the WWE?
I get along with everyone to some degree. I travel alone, though, and Stone Cold Steve Austin always said, “Don’t trust anybody.” He didn’t just say that to say that. I always say, there are sharks swimming with dolphins. There are a lot of sharks in the WWE. You gotta be wary of everybody. Wade Barrett, though, still to this day is one of my friends that I keep in contact with and talk to a lot up there, and Daniel Bryan, believe it or not, I tend to get along pretty well with. I’m not there to make friends. Razor Ramon/Scott Hall used to always say, “You can make money or you can make friends.” I’m here to make as much money as possible and put out a great product for WWE and that’s my goal.
WWE’s Royal Rumble, US Airways Center, 201 E. Jefferson Street, Phoenix, 800.745.3000, ticketmaster.com, Sunday, January 27, at 5:30 p.m., $30 to $355