SEE PHOTOS OF THE ORIGINAL IDEA FOR RYBACK | RYBACK RESPONDS TO “GOLDBERG!” CHANTS AT WWE SHOW | RYBACK HAS TROUBLE LIFTING UP PAUL HEYMAN FOR SHELL SHOCKED | RYBACK BOTCHES HIS FINISHER DURING EPISODE OF RAW | WATCH RYBACK’S OFFICIAL WWE TELEVISION DEBUT | RYBACK’S FIRST WWE APPEARANCE | SEE PHOTO OF SKIP SHEFFIELD’S RETURN TO WWE FOLLOWING A LENGTHY TIME AWAY FROM INJURY | SEE PHOTOS OF SKIP SHEFFIELD HANGING OUT WITH FANS
The breakout WWE Superstar of 2012, Ryan Reeves, known as Ryback, has thus far failed to live up to the lofty expectations place on him. Can the 31-year-old turn the tide with his newfound partnership with Paul Heyman?
As a Rookie on the premiere season of WWE NXT in 2010, Reeves became known as the “Cornfed Meathead” Skip Sheffield, who goes to the ring full throttle. And his combination of muscle and hustle coupled with his signature catchphrase “yep, yep, yep, what it do,” proved that Sheffield knew victories and putting smiles on fans’ faces were equal parts of the job.
In the summer of 2010, Sheffield joined his fellow NXT rookies in the creation of one of WWE’s most feared factions, Nexus. As a member of the renegade group, Sheffield shelved his fun-loving side in favor of a more ruthless brand of domination. Alongside leader Wade Barrett, the Texas native took part in systematically dismantling WWE’s foundation, including brutal attack on Chairman Mr. McMahon, Hall of Famer Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat and John Cena.
Sheffield headlined the 2010 edition of SummerSlam when he teamed with his Nexus cohorts to battle Team WWE in an Elimination Tag Team Match. During the contest, he eliminated both John Morrison and R-Truth before ultimately exiting at the hands of Edge.
In 2012, Reeves resurfaced as Ryback and would go on to be the breakout WWE Superstar of the year. His big break took place when an injury forced Cena out of a WWE Championship Match against CM Punk at Hell in Cell, resulting in the Las Vegas, Nevada native being slotted in the spot. Unfortunately for the 291-pound beast, he came up short in the match and subsequently, numerous pay-per-view bouts in the ensuing months.
At WrestleMania 29, before 80,676 fans at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, Ryback suffered a surprising loss to fellow powerhouse wrestler Mark Henry. Ryback, however, quickly shook off the loss by turning heel and becoming a contender to Cena’s WWE Championship. Though Ryback knocked out the CeNation Commander-In-Chief in their Last Standing Match for the title at Extreme Rules, he did not capture the gold since the bout was ruled a no-contest. Ryback then came up short in a subsequent rematch at Payback, losing a Three Stages of Hell Match.
Ryback is often compared to former WWE and WCW World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg because of their similar bulldozing grappling styles.
At the tender age of eight, Ryan Reeves began watching professional wrestling and was permitted to ring the bell at a World Wrestling Federation live event. Following his desire to become a professional wrestler, Reeves began lifting weights at the age of twelve. He was nicknamed “Silverback” as a youngster, after a youth companion joked that he looked like a Gorilla, and later embraced it as part of his ring name. While attending Western High School and Palo Verde High School, Reeves flourished in football and baseball. He also played baseball during his freshman year at the Community College of Southern Nevada, but broke his leg and wound up missing two seasons. He later attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas to enroll in their fitness management program.
While attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and working part-time at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino, Ryan Reeves spent time training to become a professional wrestler. In 2004, WWE announced that a fourth Tough Enough competition would be held on SmackDown! (in response to Raw holding the first annual “Raw Diva Search” contest) and Reeves sent a one minute videotape of himself to become a contestant. He was invited to Venice Beach, California, with forty-nine other contestants, with the prize being a $1,000,000 WWE contract split evenly over four years with only the first year guaranteed.
Despite suffering from bronchitis and a rib injury during the evaluation session at Venice Beach, Reeves became one of the eight finalists to appear on SmackDown!. Although he did not win the competition, Reeves impressed WWE officials enough land a developmental contract. After spending time healing from his injuries in Las Vegas, Reeves headed to Atlanta, Georgia, in March 2005 to begin training to become a professional wrestler.