WWE Intercontinental Champion Ryback recently spoke to The State Journal-Register, promoting a live event in Springfield, Illinois on Friday, June 12. Within the interview, Ryback spoke on a number of topics in regards to his WWE career, including the evolution of his character, his recent title win at “Elimination Chamber,” and much more.
Ryback hit on the perseverance it has taken for him to get to where he is in WWE today, and how it played a role in his first taste at championship gold:
“I came into the WWE through “Tough Enough” in 2004. I learned right away how hard this is. I had trainers tell me that I didn’t belong in WWE, that I should quit. And when I got signed by WWE [in 2005,] I was told they expected me to pick it up really quick. They had very high expectations for me. I wouldn’t say I didn’t live up to those. I just think sometimes people expected a little too much too soon. I had a couple of major injuries and big setbacks. But throughout all of that, the one thing I never stopped doing was believing in myself. I’ve always been very confident in my abilities in what I can do. Sometimes, that doesn’t always happen on the timescale I even have set for myself. But the main thing is I keep getting back up and I keep moving forward. And [the Intercontinental Championship win] was a culmination of all that hard work and dedication.”
Continuing, “The Big Guy” discussed how he is able to maintain an incredible physique, despite a grueling and demanding WWE schedule:
“I’ve been working out since I was 12 years old. For me, it’s a way of life. I don’t know any other way. You find time. If that means getting two hours less sleep, that’s what you do. That really keeps me focused. It’s a great stress relief for me to go to the gym. The result of how I look is secondary to me. It’s how I feel. It feels good to be strong and to be limber and to be loose. We have to eat at a lot of fast-food restaurants. But nowadays you can get grilled chicken anywhere. You can get hamburgers without a bun and go low carb. A lot of the restaurants now are starting to have whole wheat buns. You don’t always have to get mayonnaise and all the condiments on it. It’s not ideal. It’s not home-cooked food. But it’s good enough to maintain our physiques.”
Be sure to read the interview in its entirety, here. Ryback also discussed working in front of smaller crowds, what is next for him, and more.
Solid interview from a real stand up guy.