Ryback opens today’s show by speaking about the death of WWE legend and Hall of Famer, Bruno Sammartino. He says that Sammartino was a “man’s man” who lived a great life, and he doubts if we’ll ever see any record-breaking Championship reigns like Sammartino’s ever again.
He adds that when he wrestled and lost to Kalisto on the Kickoff Show for WrestleMania 32, Sammartino was in attendance. Ryback was told that when he lost to Kalisto, Sammartino slammed his hands down on a table and was outraged because he couldn’t understand why WWE would book that match like that. Ryback was amazed by that story and although he didn’t know Sammartino personally, it meant a lot to have his respect like that.
Ryback comments on a very nice gesture by The Rock from this past week. The Rock rented out a local theatre for a girl who asked him to attend prom with her. Although Rock couldn’t make the prom due to his hectic schedule, he surprised the girl with the exciting news over her high school’s intercom.
Ryback informs that he only met The Rock a few times, but he came off as a great dude every time. He thinks The Rock would happily do something like this for his fans because that’s the kind of guy he is, but Ryback also notes that this was a great PR move for Rock’s new movie, given that this story will be picked up by all the major news outlets.
Braun Strowman recently did an interview with Sam Roberts where he said that he wants to be the best wrestler in WWE. He said he’s highly motivated to main event WrestleMania and be a Hall of Famer someday. He acknowledged that there was some beef from people who wanted him to main event WrestleMania this year, but he points out that he’s still in the early stages of his career and the company and fans are behind him.
Ryback points out that Strowman seemed very confident in the interview. Strowman’s been booked great for a good period of time now, and if he stays this motivated there’s no telling how much success he can have. He adds that hopefully Strowman stays healthy and continues to build momentum.
Ryback adds that Strowman was still in a great spot at WrestleMania this year, because working the angle with Nicholas actually helped Strowman as it got him over even more with kids. He says that Strowman’s a very nice guy who’s grown significantly as a performer.
Booker T made his return to RAW’s commentary team last week. Ryback points out that he’s a big fan of Booker T and he’s happy to see him back behind the commentary desk. He thinks wrestlers make the best colour commentators, since they’ve worked in the ring themselves and can really analyze the action in the ring from a professional’s standpoint.
Ryback comments on the news that Randy Orton’s tattoo artist is suing WWE for her art being shown on WWE programming. He says that if you take WWE to court you better be prepared to spend some money. More often than not it’s easier for WWE to just settle and make this type of stuff go away, but sometimes the cases eventually get dropped.
Ryback notes that WWE is releasing a new DVD focusing on their female talents and the recent Women’s Revolution. A.J. Lee and Chyna are noticeable omissions on the DVD’s cover, while WWE’s current stars and Ronda Rousey are featured front and centre. He points out that today’s generation needs to be front and centre, and Rousey needs to be there as well since this is a money maker for WWE and they need their stars there.
He adds that everyone know the issues surrounding Chyna’s relationship with the company, and A.J. Lee left the company in a similar fashion to Ryback. WWE removed him from a lot of stuff when he left as well, so it doesn’t surprise him that Lee isn’t featured on the cover.
Ryback notes that Scott Steiner impressed in his recent Impact Wrestling match. Steiner delivered a Frankensteiner during that bout and looked great doing so. Ryback adds that he worked with Steiner recently on an indie show, and Steiner worked a 20-minute match that night and looked great.
Ryback comments on cutting promos in WWE. He points out that sometimes he’d throw in his own little snippets that weren’t in the script, and WWE officials didn’t like that. After those situations he’d sometimes go a couple of weeks without having a promo segment. He recalls getting a huge promo handed to him 5 minutes prior to airtime one night, and he had to just find a couple of bullet points and then talk from the top of his head. He says that was the most challenging but fun promo he’s ever cut.
He understands why WWE has to have restrictions on their promos to a degree, but he thinks they need to let their performer’s individual personalities shine through somewhat. Ryback believes the key for WWE’s performers is developing good relationships with the writers, as that’ll help them get some of their ideas on paper.
That sums up this week’s episode of Conversation With the Big Guy. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!