While speaking on the debut episode of his new podcast, “Conversation With the Big Guy,” Ryan “Ryback” Reeves shed some light on his departure from the WWE. You can listen to the show — it was released this past Monday — here.
Reeves spoke about a myriad of topics, the main note being his apparent rejection of a three-year, $1.5 million contract from the WWE. He clarified his feelings on his departure with the company he had been involved with for over a decade, saying “Not about a money issue, just so everybody knows.” He expanded, saying “I walked away from the WWE, the contract offer that I walked away from was a three-year, $1.5 million contract.” Reeves was not pleased with the offer, comparing his contract with guys like Roman Reigns, saying he was disappointed with his ability to control the creative aspects of his character. The former Intercontinental Champion asked for more promos and merchandise, but was not given such power in his deal.
One intriguing part of the episode entails what “The Big Guy” believed to be his original plans for WrestleMania 32. He claimed Vince McMahon promised him that he would “squash that little twerp” A.J. Styles — a promise he did not fully believe. Instead, he was featured on the pre-show in a United States Championship match with Kalisto — which he lost. Ultimately, Reeves was told if he followed the promos given to him, he would be made the show’s top heel. It all came to a head with him convinced creative was going to completely bury the Ryback character which led to Reeves demanding to be taken off television — refusing to see Vince McMahon before he left.
Despite his candidness during his departure, Reeves believes he is free to return to the WWE in the future should he choose to come back.
Mike’s Take: I really don’t know what to think here. Reeves has been very outspoken over the past two years, and some of what he says seems logical and fair. While discussing travel expenses for the talent, he said the way professional wrestling has always done things “isn’t always right.” I think it sucks they’re stuck footing the bill getting to one city from another — though now I’m wondering if the ones featured on WWE Network’s “Ride Along” get paid more, and thus get their travels covered. I’d volunteer to be on every episode.
Anyway, the big there here from “The Big Guy” is this ridiculous notion that Ryback would “squash” A.J. Styles. Whether that’s true and Vince was bs’ing him, or Reaves is straight lying, that’s a laughable idea. I can’t help but feel like this podcast his Reaves complaining about how he was treated — a theme more so enabled by his co-host more than Reaves himself — though he says he’s not complaining. This is essentially the Ryback version of the CM Punk podcast, but without a Colt Cabana. Regardless, it’s a nice little tell-all for him to keep his name in the news for just a little while longer.
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