On the most recent edition of “Conversations with The Big Guy”, which you can listen to in full at this link, former WWE star Ryback had the following to say regarding a number of topics:
On Looking Up to the Godfather Growing Up:
I might be partial a little bit because he lives in Las Vegas also, he actually lives nearby me. He works at Godfather’s, he runs the Cheetah’s Strip Club here in Vegas, so if you’re ever in Vegas swing by Cheetah’s if you want to see the Godfather. He used to go to the 24 Hour Fitness on Cheyenne and Rainbow, I used to work out there since I was really young. My parents used to take me down there. I will never forget that when I saw him one day on the elliptical, that was the first wrestler I had ever met personally. I never bothered him, or asked him for a picture or autograph because I don’t understand any of that, but my way was that I wanted him to take notice of the Big Guy and would go into the bench room, because there was a clear window from the free-weights section to the ellipticals and all the machines and cardio. I would get out a bench—I’ve shared with him the story because we’ve done a couple of shows out here and have had a couple of laughs over it, and I would do like 20 sets of flat back bench. I was like 14-15 years old. In my mind, I was thinking that he would be thinking, ‘wow, who is this strong f’n kid—this up and comer, this guy can give me some lengths later on in my career.’ I can tell you that this went on for years. I never talked to him, it could’ve been leg day, but if Kama was on the elliptical, the Big Guy was on the bench press. Even before that, I always liked him. At the time I was a kid, I didn’t even know he was Papa Shango.
On Lucha Underground Being on Netflix:
I love the idea and want to say congratulations to them. Netflix is a very powerful tool in the world right now. I want to cancel my cable, because outside of Shark Tank, and occasionally watching a Raw match or something, I don’t watch TV all that often. Netflix, the level that they are at right now for Lucha Underground, very smart business move to use the power of Netflix to raise more awareness to their brand, and whoever pulled the plug on that, kuddos to you, that is a brilliant move. Rather than, oh, we need this TV deal, no, Netflix, your product will be seen by people who have fallen out of touch with wrestling. Not saying that I agree with everything that they do on there. It’s a different product, but not bad, it’s good. I get it, but you can’t watch it and compare it to an episode of Monday Night Raw from a storyline perspective, but from the in-ring standpoint, the action is unbelievable. I wish the guys would sell a little bit more or what not, but just the fact that they are getting on there, more exposure, I think it’s incredible. I smile when I saw it. I saw a comment from Stu [Fake News] Bennett commenting about it, and then I went and saw it on Netflix, season 1 and 2 are on there. I’m happy for them. There needs to be more options out there for everybody.
On Winning Tickets to See WWE Live:
I’ve spoken about this in interviews where I won 20 something tickets when WWF World Tour De Force came to Las Vegas. I won the News 13 news contest where you had to write a letter stating why you should win the 4 front row tickets and their big prize package and meet the wrestler of your choice and free WWF merchandise. I wrote this letter, which I believe my mom still has it. I think she put it in a scrapbook, but I remember them calling me back and saying that my letter was the most passionate letter—like, you really love this. I always thought that was cool at a young age. I will read the letter on a future podcast. I brought all the neighborhood kids, and we interchanged in the front row during the matches. I remember I was supposed to meet Razor Ramon, which was my selection, but he wasn’t there when they brought me to the back before the show. I got to meet Henry Godwin though, which was cool. It was a fun time.