Former WWE Star Ryback has been critical of AEW’s MJF recently, claiming the AEW Champion is on steroids. However, he sees no irony in this having admitted himself to taking the drugs when he young – when he was just a few years younger than MJF.
The former Intercontinental Champion has always been outspoken about a number of topics since leaving WWE. He has engage in a war of words with former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, having some very controversial things to say about his mother and how he would return to the WWE only once the former WWE Champion was dead.
He doesn’t look like signing for WWE or AEW in the future – he last wrestled on the independent scene in 2018 and looks to be retired from pro-wrestling in totality – and continues with a number of other projects outside wrestling. He has his own podcast, Youtube channel and line of supplements, as well as a self help book entitled “Wake Up! It’s Feeding Time!“, which was released in 2016.
It was in a recent episode of his ‘Conversation With The Big Guy’ podcast that Ryback very candidly detailed how he himself took steroids early on in his career. This comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen The Big Guy, whose impressive physique is a key part of his aesthetic and his character in the WWE.
He revealed that he met bodybuilder and 4-time Mr Olympia, Jay Cutler, as a 19-year old, who convinced him to eventually turn onto taking steroids in a bid to improve his physique and get into bodybuilding – even though his dream was to become a professional wrestler. He was a regular at the Gold’s Gym that a young Ryan Reeves would frequent, and regularly complimented the young man’s physique.
On his podcast, Ryback revealed “He used to come into Gold’s Gym, when I worked at the front desk and I was 19 years old. And at that point, I never touched anything. I was just a 235, 240-pound kid. Just full-time in school, working part-time. And he used to tell me, ‘you should be a bodybuilder. Like, you have good genetics.’ And I would tell him I want to be a pro wrestler.”
“He was actually the one to kind of put it in my head, ‘maybe I should do steroids because I have good genetics. But in my early 20s, I thought that I had to do that to be successful if that makes sense,”
He became addicted, in a way. While he wasn’t chemically addicted to them, like you would a drug like nicotine, in his head he needed the steroids. He thought that he would never get his dream of wrestling for the WWE if he didn’t continue to take the steroids and grow his size more, leading him to a vicious cycle that would be difficult to get out of.
He also detailed the side effects of Ryback taking steroids, such as sleep apnea.
“And the training was hard, and whatnot and I could sit there and say, oh, I can make up any excuse I want [and blame it on] that I did it because of that, but I got addicted to it. I would do it after practice and everyone, and this was, again, across the board, a lot of people [would do that] and I would take a nap after practice, get up, eat and take another cap because if you do just a little, it would give you energy,”
“The GHB would make me sleepwalk where I would take it at night, like, you’re in such a deep sleep, but I would have to piss or something. And having sleep apnea, it’s such a dangerous combination at the time, but I would wake up in my sleep and go to the bathroom. I remember some mornings, my shower curtain would be ripped off the wall, and the bathroom would be a mess,”
Based on how he talked in the past-tense, it can be assumed that he left the world of taking steroids once he made it to the WWE. The company have a very stringent drug policy, stemming from the controversial steroid trials of the 1990s which almost caused Vince McMahon to go to jail for supplying drugs to the likes of Hulk Hogan.
Ryback Has Gone Vegan
He has cleaned up his life a lot since then. As well as dropping the steroids Ryback has also undergone a complete vegan diet, calling it “superior in every way”. The Big Guy tweet this out about how he changed from a big meat eater to not eating any animal products whatsoever.
“The vegan diet is superior in every way possible. Seven months now fully vegan and I will never go back to eating lbs of meat, chicken, and fish a day. Evil has always existed, but now it’s putting all of us at risk and we can’t let it continue.”
He also later shared his incredible physique after just seven weeks of going vegan. On Twitter, he posted;
“7 weeks Vegan and bodyweight is 292 lbs. I just keep seeing improvements and energy increasing even more. Conditioning is at a very high level cardio wise and don’t have any intentions of eating animal or dairy products. Lab work completed yesterday, so will see where we are at.”, along with an accompanying photo.
It’s good to see Ryback stop taking the steroids and cleaning up his life. Maybe if he can apologise to Triple H for his comments about Vince McMahon, we may see a return to the WWE for The Big Guy – even just a solitary Royal Rumble 2022 return.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.