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Ryback

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.

RYBACK FEATURES

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.

Early Life

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.

Tough Enough

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.

Ryback Reacts To CM Punk Calling Him A Roided-Up Dumb F*ck

CM Punk shoots on working with Ryback

For the first time since bolting from WWE in January, CM Punk addressed the circumstances behind his departure from the sports-entertainment organization in a two-hour interview with Colt Cabana on the "Art of Wrestling" podcast. The podcast was released Thursday and is available here.

Beginning at 51:50, Punk gripes about his experience working with Ryback, who he brands as a dangerous worker and steroid user. Punk says wrestling Ryback "took twenty years off my fucking life" and blames him for injuring him on multiple occasions.

“I’m already beat up and I have to wrestle steroid guy," Punk says as he recalled being asked to work a program with Ryback in the fall of 2012 since management felt he could carry him in matches. "I call it like I see it. He’s very hurty, sometimes deliberate. There was one time he kicked me in the stomach as hard he could and he broke my ribs, right at the tail end. I never got an apology for that. He was something else. A real piece of work that guy."

Later in interview, Punk takes a jab at Triple H for failing to elevate Curtis Axel after promising he would. Punk offered to work with the third-generation wrestler, but WWE officials ignored his request. Instead, he was continuously booked in matches with Ryback—now paired with Paul Heyman—who he had requested to management to not to work with. Punk later agrees to work with him and gets injured in their first encounter.

"I go up to Ryan [Ryback's real name] and I go, 'Hey man, clean slate. Let's fucking kill this. Let's fucking show them that you're better than they think you are. Let's show them I'm better than they think I am and let's turn this mid-card shit into a fucking main event," said Punk.

Imitating Ryback's voice, "'Yeah, I'm really excited, blah, blah, blah.'"

Punk recalls, "First night out, Gorilla Press through a table...fucking misses the table. Dumps me on the concrete fucking ground. Tilts my fucking pelvis, fucks me up for weeks."

Punk later asks Ryback if he hurt him on purpose or if he's "dumb as fuck."

He continues to Cabana, "I'm compensating because my knee is still fucked, both my knees, you know what I mean? The one I just had surgery on six months ago and the one that was fucking torn up and I refused to have surgery on. I just wanted to rehab it, which I did. And now it's at the point where I walk up to him and I go, 'You can't tell me you didn't do that on purpose because you've done it so many times now. You either tell me right now you're dumb as fuck and you suck, or you did it on purpose. And he was like, 'I'm dumb as fuck. I'm sorry.'"

Punk says, "At that point, there was nothing I could do. In my mind it was like, 'Great. Fuck, there's nothing I can do.'"

Here is a GIF of the spot in question, which took place at last year's Night of Champions pay-per-view event.

"The Big Guy" fired back at allegations that he's careless, dangerous and unprofessional with an action figure diorama in a message via social networking site Twitter.

Later, perhaps because he's had more time to reflect, perhaps because he's received some guidance from WWE, he's posted a series of Tweets that discusses the matter more thoroughly, if every bit as explosively.

"For the record if I quit for being fragile and insecure I would make up excuses too," Ryback wrote. "Things didn't go my way for a long time and I kept going day in and out. Slander is a powerful thing and to state complete made up nonsense for no reason shows his insecurities. I will continue to bust my ass study matches every chance I get, cut promos when driving and push myself for hours on end even when hurt. Thank you."

A short while later he deleted the series of Tweets.

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SKIP SHEFFIELD
Skip Sheffield - WWE NXT Wrestler
SKIP SHEFFIELD
Skip Sheffield - WWE NXT Wrestler
SKIP SHEFFIELD
Ryan Reeves - WWE developmental wrestler
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