Ryback Talks Interesting Vince McMahon Conversation, Losing At WWE WrestleMania 29 To Mark Henry & More

Former WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback recently talked with Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard website. The Extra Mustard branch of Sports Illustrated is described as the place “where culture meets sports.” Ryback spoke at length about various topics, including: conversations he’d have with Vince McMahon, beating John Cena on certain nights in merchandise, and why he felt losing to Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29 was a bad decision.

On his conversations with Vince McMahon.

“In one of our last talks, Vince told me, ‘You’re the hardest working guy that I have here.’ I just said, ‘Thank you.’ Vince said, ‘But hard work doesn’t always pay off here.’ I looked at him and said, ‘Well then, I need to go to a world where my hard work will pay off.’

“Vince used to say all the time, ‘I have nobody else like you.’ So I’d ask him, ‘Then why do you use me like everyone else then?’ It always drove me crazy, and then he’d just laugh. That’s how he dealt with things.”

On being number two in merchandise sales behind John Cena.

“Before they booked me to lose seven pay per views in a row, I was number two in merchandise in WWE. I was beating John Cena on certain nights. I had half the amount of merchandise that he had, but would beat him in shirts, chains, and photos on some nights and be right there with him the rest. From a business standpoint, if you see a guy who is red hot and the crowd is behind him, you should be going out of your way to make merchandise and book and protect this guy because you have lightning in a bottle. But that was not the case, and instead they had to go out of their way to make me look bad.”

On losing to Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29 and why he felt it was a bad decision.

“I will never forget that day. My numbers kept climbing even though I was losing these big time matches. I was under the assumption that I was going over on Mark Henry at WrestleMania and then turning heel the next night on John Cena. When I found days before that I was not going over, but that they wanted me to fall on my face with my finish and look like an idiot, I said there was no way I was doing that. I asked, ‘Why are we doing this?’ I went to Vince and spoke with him for thirty minutes in ‘Gorilla’ [the staging area right behind the curtain] and he lied to me how this was the reason for my heel turn – that I fell on my face and tripped, I just couldn’t cut it, and that’s why I’d turn heel.

“Ultimately, though, they were just trying to run me into the ground and ruin my brand forever, and that happened time and time again. As you saw with that finish, it made zero sense from a booking standpoint to book me to fall flat on my face, and then the next night to turn me heel. The reaction to my heel turn was louder than ever, and then what did Vince do? He came to me personally and said, ‘We’re taking away all your merchandise. I want your merchandise to tank and no more ‘Feed Me More,” which was the thing that put me on the map. So instead of giving me an edge as a heel, you’re stripping me of everything, having Cena go over me, and then you saw how my career fell after that. I lost the momentum, and I never got it back again.”

Ryback goes on to talk about plenty more, including: how CM Punk’s comments did a lot of damage to him, how he was upset WWE didn’t back him up after Punk called him unsafe to work with, wanting to have a WWE match with Goldberg, how WWE’s writers work in fear of Vince McMahon, and much more. You can read this interview in its entirety by clicking right here.

Picture used above is courtesy of