Ryback has gone down in WWE history as one of the most dangerous wrestlers ever, injuring a number of WWE Superstars over the years.
The former Intercontinental Champion had the potential to be a WWE Champion, when he re-debuted in 2012. He became one of the most popular wrestlers on the roster, and even came runner-up in the 2013 Royal Rumble.
However, his inadequacies in the ring soon became apparent. Botch after botch soured the fans to his in-ring style, and his social media ramblings did not help one bit.
There have been a number of WWE Superstars that Ryback has injured, including some of the biggest stars in WWE history.
Probably the most famous person Ryback has injured is CM Punk. Their feuds in 2012 and 2013 were main-event level, both culminating in vastly different Hell in a Cell matches.
Ryback injured CM Punk during their first feud, which led to Punk refusing to work with him again. However, he eventually repented, and suffered again as soon as they pair worked together.
On the September 23rd 2013, Ryback and CM Punk brawled around the arena, ending on the bottom of the stage. This led to Ryback Gorilla Pressing CM Punk above his head and launching him through a table, in an impressive feat of strength.
However, he missed. CM Punk just clipped the table, and instead fell back and head-first into the solid concrete floor. This could have literally killed CM Punk, and he let his feelings known during his appearance on Colt Cabana’s podcast.
“I’ll work Ryback. And I go up to Ryan and I go ‘hey, man, clean slate. Let’s fucking kill this. Let’s fucking show ’em that you’re better than they think you are, let’s show them that I’m better than they think I am, and let’s fucking, let’s turn this mid-card shit into a fucking main event.’ ‘Yeah, I’m really excited, great, blah blah blah.’ First night out, gorilla press through a table, fucking misses the table, dumps me on the concrete fucking ground, tilts me on my pelvis, fucks me up for weeks.”CM Punk on being injured by Ryback
During a gauntlet match in July 2013, Ryback botched a powerbomb that could have caused huge damage to Daniel Bryan.
After already beating Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger in the start of the gauntlet match, Daniel Bryan took on Ryback as his next challenger.
Despite having wrestled twice already, it wasn’t Daniel Bryan who was gassed during their match. Instead, it was Ryback who struggled, and his lack of energy almost contributed to a huge injury for The American Dragon.
Which Bryan attempting a running knee from the apron, he was caught in a powerbomb position by Ryback.
However, he lost his strength and dropped Bryan onto his shoulder, onto the thin mats on the outside of the ring.
To make matters worse, the finish of the match saw Ryback pick him up again, hitting another powerbomb – this time, through a table.
Before he injured CM Punk, Ryback injured John Cena during one of their matches on the European Tour in WWE in 2013.
According to reports from this time, the pair were facing off across Europe, in the build up to their WWE Championship match at Extreme Rules 2013.
Cena suffered an Achilles injury at the hands of Ryback, although he did not miss any time due to the injury.
“Cena and Ryback were working tables matches against one another throughout most of the tour. However, the final Euro tour main events were changed to six-man tag matches that Cena was able to work, though one of our correspondents noted that Cena did not get involved in the St. Petersburg, Russia six-man tag until the very end of the match.”
In August 2012, a recently-repackaged Ryback wrestled against former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Swagger.
The match was one of the first big matches he’d had in the WWE, with most of his previous bouts being squash matches – sometimes against two or three opponent.
The match is infamous for the pairs lack of chemistry. They clearly tried to go too fast, failing in a few spots, with Ryback falling over at one point.
Ryback looked to have injured Jack Swagger with back body drop, just before the end of the match.
Clearly out of breath, Ryback couldn’t get Swagger high enough in the air, and the All-American American under-rotated, landing flat on his head.
But, Some Good News!
Toward the end of his WWE run, Ryback did actually do something pretty heroic in the ring.
At Payback 2016 (Ryback’s last match in the WWE), Ryback battled against Kalisto for the United States Championship.
He was previously defeated by the Luchador at Wrestlemania 32 and this rematch was really the nail in the coffin for “The Big Guy”. Consecutive losses for a powerhouse like himself showed that Vince clearly had nothing in the cards for him.
During the match, Kalisto attempted a springboard corkscrew move onto the outside, aiming to land on Ryback.
However, he missed his mark and came crashing down, and was about to land back/shoulder first onto the ring apron (the hardest part of the ring).
Luckily, Ryback managed to run toward him and catch Kalisto, saving him from certain injury and potentially death/paraylsis.