WWE News: Ryback talks about being criticized by The Undertaker
The rise and fall of 'Ryback" Ryan Reeves' 'Skip Sheffield'
In the latest episode of Conversation With The Big Guy, the former WWE superstar Ryan Reeves spoke about his tenure in the company as Skip Sheffield. During his days at the developmental territory, Reeves used to portray a terminator gimmick. In this episode, he stated that the Undertaker wasn’t fond of such character and criticised it.
The Undertaker once attended an FCW show, where the wrestlers in the developmental territory had to perform in front of the Deadman. Reeves decided to use a new, yet exciting outfit to attract the interest of the former World Champion. It eventually resulted in the end of his terminator gimmick :
“I think Taker didn't approve of it or something. Yeah, I think that's what [Undertaker] said, that it was too 80s, which is funny looking back. And everything happened for a good reason and all that, but when you get a guy like The Undertaker saying something like that, changes have to be made.”
Reeves added that WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes asked him to replace the gimmick with a funny cowboy character(Skip Sheffield). He mentioned that the success of that character in FCW, helped him to get a call-up for the first season of NXT in 2010 :
"And that was kind of, I feel, what John Laurinitis always used to say, like, 'get over in developmental and we'll give you an opportunity on the main roster.' And I think I had earned it at that point and that was kind of the reasoning for putting me in that first season of NXT."
Reeves also stated that the current NXT General Manager, William Regal advised him to change the cowboy character prior his NXT debut. Regal felt that such a gimmick may not be a success in the main roster. According to the former Intercontinental Champion, Regal could realise that Reeves was “playing a character that wasn't true to myself."
Although Reeves enjoyed his days as Skip Sheffield, he revealed that Vince McMahon wanted him to change that gimmick. Within the first few weeks of the NXT, the chairman himself asked Reeves to ‘get away’ from the cowboy character and assured that he Reeves had the ability to make the WWE a million dollars just by being himself.
In the following episodes, the ‘cowboy’ gimmick was phased out. His last match as Skip Sheffield was in August after which, Reeves was sidelined from in-ring action due to an ankle injury. He would make his return as ‘Ryback’ in 2012.