EXCLUSIVE: The Ring Report's Conversation With The "The Big Guy" Ryback Reeves

EXCLUSIVE: The Ring Report's Conversation With The "The Big Guy" Ryback Reeves

No, we're not stealing The Big Guy's podcast gimmick! Instead, we recently got to talk to former WWE Superstar Ryback Reeves and he talks in detail about his past, present, and future in the squared circle.

By JoshWilding - Feb 01, 2019 08:02 AM EST
Filed Under: WWE
Whether you're a lapsed wrestling fan or watch RAW and SmackDown Live each and every week, I have no doubt that you'll be familiar with "The Big Guy," Ryback Reeves. He first appeared in Tough Enough back in 2004/2005 before later landing a WWE contract which saw him fight his way up through developmental hell to arrive on the main roster.

It took him no time at all to make an impact there and while he main evented Pay Per Views with the likes of John Cena and The Shield and held the prestigious Intercontinental Championship, Ryback was largely wasted during the latter half of his run and understandably chose to leave the company on his own terms in 2016.

Since then, he's kept himself busy by writing a motivational book, launching a hugely successful podcast, kicking ass on the independent wrestling scene, and unveiling a nutritional supplement range which is taking off in a big way. Ryback was kind enough to recently devote an hour of his time to talk to me about all of that and a whole lot more. 

From testing for a role in Aquaman to a Vince McMahon story you need to see to believe and his thoughts on All Elite Wrestling and Dean Ambrose's WWE departure, this is a must-read and I can't thank him enough for chatting to us. 

As I'm sure you're aware, rumours are swirling that you could be heading to All Elite Wrestling, so I wanted to start by asking is that something you could see happening and have there been any official talks? 
Right now, my main priority is just getting healthy. I just had another shoulder scope yesterday which was my second one in two years. I've had ten stem cells procedures and I've got the eleventh coming up on February 11th. That, right now, is my main focus. I want to get as strong and healthy as possible and that will take a few months and then I can evaluate where I am physically and decide what route I want to go with wrestling. I have no doubt that no matter what I choose, it will be the right decision. After leaving WWE, I was hurt first and foremost and I've essentially saved my career and been blessed by the technology that we have with stem cells where I've avoided having five discs fused and a shoulder replacement. I was in a bad way so it looks like I'm going to have a second chance to actually have a new body and do what a lot of performers wouldn't have had the opportunity to do. Where that's at, I don't know, and it honestly hasn't crossed my mind yet because I need to get to a certain level health wise before I know I can push myself at a high level again.
It sounds like you were in a bad way when you left WWE so just how beaten up were you? 
It was really bad. Things didn't go as planned for me because when I left, I was in pain for probably the last two years [in WWE] with my back. Everyone has back pain and I just assumed it was due to travelling and hotels and riding in rental cars and aeroplanes all the time. I always chalked it up to being a muscular thing when in reality it was a disc compression ordeal from doing the Backpack Stunner for over ten years. I was doing the move on live events regularly with 200lb plus guys on my back so it's like when you're taking the ass bump on the Stone Cold Stunner but you have the extra guy's weight on your back as well. I was told early on by William Regal that I probably shouldn't do that move on a regular basis because it was going to end up hurting me and it just never did but I didn't end up doing it on a regular basis for a while. I kind of just forgot about it and before I knew it, when I came back as Ryback, it was just a move that I was doing as it was different. Nobody was doing that in WWE, and it was my finisher when I was Skip Sheffield, but the move took its toll on me. 
Essentially, my discs were completely worn thin and the back pain was just adding up and getting to be too much and anybody that's ever had back pain can attest to this; it starts changing the way you think a little bit in the fact that it's not fun being in pain all the time and I always dealt with pain fairly well as it was one of those things. But then, I just couldn't take it anymore. And when I left, I was frustrated over numerous things, but how hurt I was was the reason why those other things became more important to me and it was a combination of a lot of things of me wanting to let my contract run out but being met negatively and being threatened essentially where I just said, 'Okay, I'm taking control of my future in my own hands.' I walked away on my own accord. I thought my body would have gotten better leaving and I got a nose surgery and my ear fixed. I could never breathe through my nose my entire career from having a broken nose my first year and I couldn't hear out of my left eardrum from getting my eardrum broken my first year in Deep South Wrestling. So when I left while I was still under contract, I got those fixed.
So then, for the first time I could breathe through my nose and hear out of my left ear and then I thought my back and shoulder were just going to improve on the road but they didn't. They went the other way and I essentially was turned into a 95-year-old man. There were days I would wake up, get out of bed, and fall to the ground. I couldn't even sleep at night when my back was hurting; it was a deep core pain inside my spine and it started running into my right leg and I wasn't even wrestling. I took some time off to get the nose and ear fixed but my right leg went completely numb, as well as my entire side because there were nerve issues going on with the disc. I saw two different back specialists and they said, 'You need to have a five-disc fusion. You're done.' I was 34, I believe, at the time, almost 35, which was not what I was expecting with everything and then another shoulder doctor told me I needed a shoulder replacement. I got cortisone shots from my time in WWE in my shoulder joint which I highly recommend nobody in sports or in regular life ever get and hopefully that stuff is outlawed eventually because it doesn't do any good, it just masks pain and it caused a whole other host of problems and ate away all my cartilage in my shoulder joint. Luckily, though, I found a really good stem cell doctor here in Las Vegas called Dr.William Baumgartl and we're going on 11 procedures and he's literally given me a brand new body. I've got to go see him tomorrow actually and it's pretty cool with what we're able to do now, but it was really bad. 
I didn't know how bad it was initially so I never really played it up and you've got to remember, with WWE, you don't want people to know how hurt you are typically because it could affect things. Especially when I left, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on my supplement company and getting that going. It cost a lot of money and it's all paid off but that sort of wrestling...I always tell people on the independents that there's a shelf life of how much money you can make which I'm still grateful is great to this day. I needed to take advantage of that. I've never once had to touch any of my savings or anything. I continuously earn money and that's always something I try to always keep moving forward and, you know, with this process, ideally, I probably should have stepped away from wrestling altogether and not wrestled at all the first two and a half years and directly focused healing myself. Wrestling in the amounts that I have still has probably not benefited me but it was more of a financial and a mindset thing. I've taken the last four months off as I finally listened to my doctor and I'm doing my final procedures and not lifting weights for two months and letting my body heal and regenerate enough to see if I can make another go at it at a high level. I've had to learn patience over the last two and a half years because it is an extremely serious matter. It's more than people will ever understand, and I've talked openly about it the last year and a half, but most fans just have no idea of how serious it actually is.
I'm glad you're healing up. You've alluded to Feed Me More Nutrition and I'm sure that's helped a lot but can you tell us about what that entails and the benefits of checking it out? 
That's something I'm extremely passionate about. The goal was to do that while I was active in WWE and it was something that was not able to happen. I left WWE and I wrote the book, and I have intentions of writing more books in the future, but in doing the podcast, which I love doing every week - "Conversation With The Big Guy Ryback" - because it allows people to actually know my personality and understand my sarcastic sense of humour and whatnot, but the nutrition line is something for me that is a long term business. I believe in life, there's a good way to make money and a bad way. And for me, the supplement industry has always been filled with a lot of lies and deception and there are a lot of products out there and the majority of them are using artificial sweeteners and colours and things that don't actually help and in fitness, don't tend to go together. 
It was created early on from bodybuilding when we got these performance-enhanced athletes or bodybuilders and they were promoting supplements in, I don't want to say a scam, but it wasn't what was really going on and that entire industry was kind of built around lies. I have always used supplements since a young age to benefit me and to go along with proper nutrition and workout plans and the options out there especially with WWE and with the Wellness Program, which I can't say enough good things about, I had to start creating my own supplements because I didn't trust what was out there and it's always been something I've been fascinated by. I want to be a good role model for kids. I believe that something that is missing today as far as the decisions adults make and obviously with wrestling fans, I've been very honest about my drug use when I was 20 to 24, which was very mild but it did exist, and it was having a mindset of seeing other people around me and wrestling: 'Oh, I have to do that too if I want to continue to be the biggest' but it's an adolescent mindset and it was the wrong mindset and I learned from those mistakes. 

All of my successes come without that, and I want to be able to show people that this stuff can truly benefit your lives when used properly and Feed Me More Nutrition is is using more natural ingredients and not putting harmful ingredients in there that don't truly go along with health and fitness and giving people an option. It's entirely different but DDP Yoga and what Diamond Dallas Page has done is essentially with a lot of wrestling fans given them an introduction into taking care of yourselves and I am doing that in a different way with nutrition and supplementation. While I make the crossover into the health and fitness industry with my wrestling audience, it's been a really fun process and I'm enjoying the journey and the growth of all of it. For me, it was a way to make money while also doing something I'm passionate about and believe in in a good, healthy way. I wasn't sure for quite a while what was going to happen with my wrestling career here with my injuries because I will not sacrifice my health as it's my number one priority. I've had nerve injuries with my ankle and leg before but backs are nothing to play around with and I tell people that if I had left WWE and, you know, Cody Rhodes left and he went his route which was the perfect route for Cody, but had I gone and tried to do that and try to create buzz and just work, work, work, work, work, physically, I would have been retired within six months to a year because my body wouldn't  have been able to handle it. I had to do what was best for me in supporting my brand and my business while still keeping myself active financially as everything that I was doing was being put into my business during that period and it all paid off. 
I'm in a great position now with everything. It's work from morning to night when you own your own business from being customer service to just top to bottom. I always tell people that owning a business, you have to manage everybody else's problems and their problems become your problems and you have to learn patience and there's good days and bad days but it's, at the end of the day, it's very rewarding because it all falls on you and what you put into it. Things couldn't be better right now; we're growing, week after week, month after month and I've got a distribution phone call this Friday with a major distributor in the United States which is what I've been working for with this and getting this into every brick and mortar, and it's a cool process. I'm very thankful for everything.
Looking back on your time in WWE, do you have any regrets about how Ryback was handled by the creative team and did you find yourself clashing with them a lot as you left.
Everything happens the way that it happens. I think there's a large portion of people out there that aren't happy with certain circumstances and situations and we can relive the past all we want but, for me, a lot of valuable lessons were learned out of that. At the end of the day, I played every role that was asked of me to the best of my ability. I have a very large worldwide following and I'm in a very good position. If those things didn't happen the way that they did, I may not have been as motivated or hungry to push myself mentally into learning about business during that period and listening to the different books on car rides to educate myself on investing and these other things. I may not be in the position I'm in now had things just been rosy and great and gone my way at different points and times. 
Now, I have all this other stuff and wrestling is still there and if I'm healthy enough to have another opportunity, I've got my mind now at 37 and have a new body which is a really cool and that never existed before but we're seeing it like with Rey Mysterio as well as he's as good as he's ever been and is another guy who has had a lot of stem cell procedures. It essentially gives you a new body when it's done properly and it actually works. I have a lot of things to be grateful for over that. Obviously, there were many, many frustrating times at many levels which I've talked about and been honest about for my fans so they understand why I've made the decisions I've made but when I left, it was a very easy decision.
It was a day I'll never forget in St. Louis. Sitting in a building I'd been in many times, I knew it was just time to go and I had tried communicating up until that point. I had a contract and a lot of money offered to me but I believed there were other issues going on. I created the Ryback character, I created the “Feed Me More” catchphrase, and “The Big Guy” nickname, so I had those trademarked and I did not have any intentions of giving them up as they meant a lot to me. I never had that discussion with Vince about how important those things were to me but I had the contract and changes made and we came to a standstill over a few things. I knew I was pretty much on my way out so we had changes made to the contract just to be difficult essentially with how they were handling things on their end. 
When I saw the writing on the wall with the booking and what was going to start happening which had already started happening that whole month prior, I decided to leave with the value I still had rather than let them run it down, pull me off TV, and then fire me. I took matters into my own hands, I went home, sat out my contract. They tried to freeze my pay and I then went and had my nose and ear fixed which required them to pay me to the day my contract expired on August 8th. They wanted to fire me publicly the day prior but I had not been medically cleared yet and held on to that and I waited to get cleared until my contract expired so that they could not publicly fire me. I then wished them the best, and that video is out there, on their future endeavours and because I was one step ahead the entire process, I left on my own accord and saved my career and health in the process. 
It was very interesting the final months there but, as I said, sometimes it's good to get away and had I not and signed that contract, there's no doubt in my mind that I would have been forced to retire because I wouldn't have gotten an MRI on my back and shoulder because you don't get that stuff while you're there and I would have been forced to retire and it would have been too late for stem cells to save me because there would have been no disc left at the rate I was going and how I was pushing myself. It's all been a blessing that everything worked out the way that it did. 
You mentioned Vince and it seems like everyone who has worked with him has some pretty strange stories about their interactions with him, so do you have any that have stuck with you? 

I've had many conversations with him and I have great respect for Vince McMahon. Having my own business now and understanding how much work goes into growing a business, when you look at a company that large and how many employees they have and how many wrestlers they have, it gives me an even greater respect for it. Everyone has their own lives going on and there's a lot of things going on there that I don't agree with but it's not my company and all I can do is control myself and my future and the decisions I make. I left and have chosen to do things my way. I can look at things now and look at it in a different light too. There are always lessons to be learned from every situation. I always had good interactions with him for the most part. Almost always. 
I will say that the one funny story was when I was at a Gold's Gym in Houston, Texas, and Vince McMahon's mom, I believe, lives there. There was this guy at the gym and he comes up to me and he tells me that he's Vince McMahon's brother and I don't believe him at first. The guy says his name is Rod McMahon and he's telling me some wrestling stories. So, initially, he comes off as kind of a crazy wrestling fan telling stories at the gym because it was very random and it was outside of the tanning beds waiting to go tan and it was very odd timing and everything. He was extremely nice and then I'm looking at him as he's talking and I see the resemblance to Vince in his face, particularly in the nose region, and Vince has a very distinguishable nose when you talk to him, and I'm looking at him and go, 'Oh man, I think this guy's telling the truth.' And so I have this great discussion with the guy. Super nice, Rod McMahon, and I go back to TV in Houston and this is during the Rybaxel period. I call this the punishment period, and I see Vince and we start having a discussion in the hallway and I go, 'I met your brother Rod McMahon today' and he goes 'Did you? Oh, yeah!' and I go 'I can see the resemblance' and no joke, he got red in the face and was furious with me that I said that I could see the resemblance. 'I look nothing like Rod!' That's the discussion and I go 'Jesus Christ, how did this go bad?' And then, later on, Vince comes and gets me and goes, 'I would like you to meet my mother.'
Mind you, I don't know who else he did this with and if he did it at any other points. It was just me, though, and he takes me and brings me into a room with his mother, shuts the door and it's just me and his mother and I don't know if there were other people in there but there were no other wrestlers and I was in there for way longer than I expected because, you know, you meet somebody 'Hello, how are you doing?' and you kind of just have a little casual talk. Well, she looks at me and goes, 'Oh, my son's going live for a very long time' and smiles at me. It was one of those really funny, odd moments that you don't really understand what's going on at the time but it's pretty funny looking back at it and then Vince eventually came in and they all talked and then I was allowed to leave. That's my one unique Vince story.
Something I've always wondered about being a WWE Superstar, and you've mentioned various storylines you've had,  is whether you knew what was coming for you weeks or months in advance or was it as big a surprise to you every week as it was to the viewers at home?
A lot of that is just kind of day to day, week to week. I think initially they have a general direction and obviously like the 2-on-1 matches, there was direction with that. A lot of that, though, decisions were still being made at each TV and everyone's fully aware of the way things are written and rewritten there and that's a very real thing that goes on and oftentimes you don't know what you're doing until very late but typically there's direction and other times, there's no direction. You never want to fall into having no direction as that's where a lot of damage can be done to your character, to your brand and whatnot. Most of the time there was always some sort of general direction outside of the Rybaxel period.
That's what being a professional wrestling at the highest level is. You know how to manage time, you know how to deal with time being taken away from you. You know how to handle promos being rewritten at the last second for you, having to go off the cuff at times, and just kind of adapting and, you know, there are times you'd be told you'd have writers assigned to you and I never liked that because it typically never stuck. The only times that stuck is when I was probably in my main event run there that first year as they would kind of send you what was going to be happening for TV the night before. I just talked about this on my podcast with Ryan Satin as I got used to the kind mindset of, 'Well, what are they going to do this week to try to bring me down or to hurt my character or to not make sense?' because it happens so often there. You have to fight for things and it's a very stressful process but you just kind of learned to adapt and evolve with it. There's a lot of product as well as a lot of content and everyone's doing their best job to try to please one person. There's only so much one person can do. It's the machine there that they have. It's remarkable how it operates and a big part of that is because of the wrestlers. If not, almost all of that. It's the talented wrestlers who are actually handling that kind of craziness all the time. 
You mentioned Rybaxel being like a punishment but before that, it was looking like you were slated to have a run being a Paul Heyman guy. So I was wondering, can you shed any light on why that didn't move forward and did you have any fun at all when you were paired up with Curtis Axel?
Tagging with Curtis was great. It was probably the most fun that I had up there, especially on live events. We were used on everything and then there were times we would be used to work The Shield in main event matches but then we wouldn't be featured on TV in a positive light. It was a really weird thing for me. I was able to actually go out there and work more than ever, and I embraced it and Curtis Axel is a great guy. He's one of one of my favourite people in wrestling.
The Paul Heyman stuff...I've talked about it before on my podcast and it was just something that was never meant to be anything from the beginning. It never was. It was to get a couple more PPVs for Paul with Punk and a couple more paydays when Brock wasn't around and there was never anything on their end of making that work. I can make anything work at any level. I didn't need Paul, quite frankly, at all. As much as people like to praise him, I think he's a great businessman, but I didn't need him speaking for me, I could speak a lot better than a lot of people know and there's just no need for it whatsoever but if they wanted to make it work, it would have worked. We played the role that they wanted exactly to a tee, though, for the time that it was and he's a very smart man. He's been around the business for a long time. He's really good at aligning himself to keep getting paydays at the right situation and when Brock is there, he doesn't have to worry about much, but if Brock isn't there, he'll do what he has to do to feed his family. So he's very good at that. 
It's a shame that didn't work out. On the plus side, you're free now and obviously, the independent scene is no longer viewed as a demotion from WWE. In fact, they're talking about All Elite Wrestling being WWE's biggest competition since WCW. So, how exciting is it for you to be part of what's almost a revolution for wrestling?
I think with social media and everything, there's more focus and attention on other things. I think it's great having competition with All Elite Wrestling. I'm very happy for everyone involved. I think it's good for professional wrestlers to have options and there's different promotions that are doing a lot better now because of the visibility social media provides so it is one of those things where you might not have to work for WWE to have a successful career or to make a good amount of money. There's only one WWE machine and I think every performer knows that it's a game there. You have to learn the game. You have to learn the system and it's a different environment, but I can tell you that the crowds that they get are very hard to match elsewhere. I hope All Elite Wrestling is able to do that on a consistent basis. I hope they get a great TV deal and there's nothing bad to say about All Elite Wrestling. I want them to be as successful as humanly possible because it just helps professional wrestling and they seem to have a good infrastructure in place a) financially and b) having guys like Cody. I've known him for a very long time and I know his brain and he's very motivated and having The Young Buck around - I've never met those guys personally - but I feel like they want to make this work and it seems that they're getting the attention and the buzz and that's a great thing. 
WWE is at a level that it probably can't be touched for a long time, but that doesn't mean All Elite Wrestling can't come in and be a very strong, great product. I'm just talking about instantly. I think it could take a little time but as long as they have the team in place and then the performers, the sky could truly be the limit for that and it seems like they're interested in creating a better work environment which I've constantly talked about with wrestling in WWE and I think the moves that they're making can influence WWE to make changes for the good of the wrestlers because at the end of the day, wrestling, it's about evolving and the product getting better and the treatment of the wrestlers. Today, we have it a lot better than the people that came before us. It's why respect is such a big thing for me in wrestling and the people that came before us laid the groundwork for all of this but times have changed. A lot of those guys came away with nothing and didn't have financial security or have health problems and there's a reason why wrestlers die younger than any other profession. It doesn't have to be that way. I think All Elite Wrestling is a great thing and I think it does nothing but help professional wrestling. Then, you have Impact and Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling and all these other options on the independents where guys have an opportunity to make money and support themselves and their families. 
As I'm sure you're aware, Dean Ambrose is leaving WWE this April. Is he someone you would like to meet up with again down the line and perhaps wrestle or is that not something you're particularly interested in?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time working against The Shield. I've had many matches against Dean and Seth, especially in the Rybaxel period, we used to wrestle them all the time and had nothing but fun. I don't know anything about his situation or how real that but I think it's good for guys to get away. WWE doesn't want guys leaving so they try to lock them into contracts about a year before they expire. There hasn't been any really good viable second option to go to where you can financially make the kind of money that you make in WWE and with All Elite Wrestling, the tide may be turning on that. I think you're going to see a lot more guys start to leave than before. Everyone's in a different situation and walking away from the money is a really, really tough thing. It's a scary thing if you don't really have anything else going on. And no matter how much money you have, it's never enough, especially when you don't have money coming in at that level.
You know, he had the tricep thing that was a huge ordeal and then a staph infection, but the guy was a workhorse for them for four years straight probably. When you're on the road, you're on the road four or five days a week. When you're home, you're getting your stuff done; you're packing, doing laundry, paying your bills, trying to get a workout, have family time, hang out with your pets, go on a date. You're rushed and it's not it's not a glamorous lifestyle. Dean's probably done very well for himself financially. Sometimes, you just need a break. He's earned the right to be able to say, 'You know what, I want to take a break or I want to see what else is out there.' Go enjoy life and take a year off.
Outside of my injuries, I love this because I can just relax. I'm still young and enjoy life and I do other things that I wouldn't be able to do if I was there at the level I was. I'm sure Dean, if he does leave, will be allowed to come back. And they don't always like that but everyone in control their own brand and you've got to do what's best for your life. I think part of it when you get out of that wrestling bubble, and you've seen it like with Sami Zayn talking about how he's just enjoying life being away from the road, you don't realize you're missing out on a lot of life. There are amazing times but the other thing with All Elite Wrestling that is very appealing is that the schedule isn't that WWE schedule because living on the road is not ideal, man. It's not a healthy way to live life. It's there you see a lot of addictions and a lot of things happen to guys because we're not meant to live in hotel rooms night after night and it turns you into a walking zombie.
Any wrestler that's ever done it can attest to that 100%. I feel like I got out just in time so that didn't happen to me and it took a while to break it. I think Dean got a taste of it with this tricep injury being gone for so long. If he is leaving, that could have played a part: 'You know what, there's all this other stuff I'm missing out on right now and, you know, there's other options wrestling wise that I can get my wrestling fix from.' He's a recognized name and brand. He's been there long enough that he can leave and do other things and down the road, if he comes back, it sets up the great returns that are missing from wrestling. That was what I always loved watching when I was a kid. It's like WrestleMania with the Hardy Boys returning; that created a truly epic, emotional moment for them and for everybody there watching it because they were gone for so long. It's good to get away in any way you can and rekindle your career. 
One of the benefits you've had since leaving is launching a very successful podcast, so could you tell us a little bit about that and what it's been like to sit in front of a microphone and be able to say whatever you like? No script, just freedom!
The podcast was something that I wanted to do to let my fans and followers understand why I made the decisions that I made and that I didn't walk away from or turn my back on them. I wanted them to see and get to know the many different layers of Ryback. Essentially, who I am. And so it was a way to kind of just get out of that WWE bubble and have fun. I had no idea what I was doing when I started the podcast. No idea. I just knew that I wanted to do it and said '[frick] it, I'll figure it out as I go along. Just do it.' I'm very big on that Nike “Just Do It” slogan in that you kind of figure it out as things go along and I eventually went from recording episodes in hotel rooms on the road to eventually getting my own podcast unit and microphone and recording across country and then getting multiple microphones and, you know, doing the podcast in my kitchen and finally building a podcast studio at my house and actually doing a real podcast and interviewing people. I've brought people on from health and fitness and the wrestling world and that was something I didn't initially want to do for the first two years. I had no desire to do interviews. I just wanted to enjoy doing the show but it ends up turning into a great way to make money and gives you freedom to say what you want. There's been parts of that where a lot of things were taken out of context early on and then a lot of lies were put out on different things like a sarcastic joke being taken out of context and then print it as real fact but you just get used to all that just because people are going to write about what they want to write about. 

But it is a great platform to have and gives me a voice to help people and I get people to this day that I meet doing meet and greets or signings who say 'I've lost 120 pounds from just listening to your tips of the week and your health and fitness tips.' That's a really really cool, powerful thing and it's like I just enjoy doing it and the show has evolved. It's gone through a few changes as time has gone on, but I've said from the beginning, this is a lifelong project for me. It's almost like a diary of sorts of just tracking my life for me so that later on, I can go back and kind of listen and if you have grandkids or whatever, you can kind of hear different points in your life where you're at and the show will continue to evolve if return back to wrestling on TV. 
My fans know we can have some fun but we could also have a bullshit session if we want while also bringing people on that are really, really educated in different areas of life so that our listeners can listen to them and maybe pick up a thing or two from them. You know, I just bought brought back Ryan Satin to come on to do the “Wrestling Report” with me every week because I stopped talking about wrestling for a little bit as it's something that, with my injuries, I just wanted to get away from. I needed a break but I've realized when you have a show, you have a responsibility. My following is from wrestling and there was a lot of demand. People wanted to hear the wrestling talk so we brought that in, we made it better, and Ryan and I have great energy and chemistry and we have a little discussion each and every week 30 to 45 minutes that gets plugged into the show with the regular show. It's something that people seem to be digging so I'm thankful that this stuff exists, where I'm able to own my own business and I'm able to earn an income without my body which, for me, after using my body to make money my entire life is a really really cool thing. A lot of work has gone into it but it's a really cool thing that I'm very thankful for.
Have you given any thought to acting and are there any comic book or superhero movie or TV show roles you're specifically interested in?
That's always fascinated me and I have a guy who sends me r2oles occasionally as he's connected to that world. I did read for Aquaman at one point and there were a couple of other things that came along but I would always have a wrestling booking or something of that nature when I first left WWE. A lot of the things that he sent my way, timing wise, it's been very difficult. Anyone that follows me on Instagram or social media will know how much I love dogs my dogs Sophie and The Little Guy. Sophie, my little friend, turned three on Halloween. This past year, she actually broke her back and was diagnosed with a disc disease and she's broken her back three times over the past year and suffered paralysis. The first two times, I had to cancel a lot of wrestling appearances and a lot of bookings but I love my dogs very much and I didn't want to have to put her down because I knew that she would be able to recover from it. Luckily, I was in a position to where I could work from home so that for the past year has really been front and centre for me, taking care of her and making sure that she is well taken care of. She has to be carried up and down stairs. She has to be taken outside to go the bathroom on a leash because she can't be jumping up and down off of things because with disc disease, she has four more discs that are prone to breaking and I don't want this to continue happening. She has to live a very conservative lifestyle and that's kind of just taking precedence over everything.
If the right acting thing did come along that I would not be against it but it would have to be the right fit and the right timing and I'd have to make sure it could work because you've got to be careful and I never got into wrestling to be famous. I don't think fame is a good thing. I think fame can ruin your life on a lot of different levels and I like having privacy. I never got into wrestling to be famous. I just did it because I liked it and I like the physicality of it. I enjoy doing things and making money without being seen. I always tell people I think I would much rather be wealthy and not famous than rich and famous because it allows you more freedom in life. It takes time and effort taking care of the dog and getting myself healthy and doing my rehab and my weight training every day and staying on top of all that, on top of running a weekly podcast and the Feed Me More nutrition supplement line that is growing, month after month. So, leaving for weeks on end to go film something it doesn't necessarily fit into that. So again, it would have to be the right situation. 
Absolutely. Now, I know you're very busy and I'm sure you get asked this a lot, but is a WWE return in your future or are you not considering that right now?
I've said it before that anything is possible and I was really, really, really angry for a period of time and rightfully so, and no wrestling fan will truly ever understand  based off my particular circumstances that I've openly discussed on my podcast, especially early on in the archives of the show, with my ankle injury and things of that nature. At the same time, holding on to anger doesn't get you anywhere and I have my fan mail account where I get fan mail from kids and adults to this day and I understand how important it is to them and I'm very thankful that people care enough about me where they would want to see me return. It would have to be the right situation. And again, having a business now and things of that nature, returning to TV would only enhance everything I'm doing even further. So from that perspective, it would be a good move. I have to make sure my health is first and foremost and it's not going to be something I go back into and, you know, a year from now I'm in the same position (which I don't think would be the case because my disc has been  regrown and there are no symptoms and I'm pain free). But like I said, I'm not holding on to anger and I've learned a lot of valuable lessons from the way everything has worked out. I would just make sure that the communication was the top priority from the very beginning. Getting healthy first is the goal. Once I'm healthy, then I will I will see what the options are going to be.
Finally, can you tell our readers where you can be found online? 
FeedMeMore.com for my nutritional supplements. My podcast - “Conversation With The Big Guy Ryback” is available on iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud,  I Heart Radio, and wherever podcasts are played. “Wake Up, It's Feeding Time” is my motivational book and available on Amazon, as well as my website. As for Feed Me More Nutrition, that's also there and on Amazon and hopefully soon with this distribution deal, we'll be available in more brick and mortars moving forward. I'll know more on that here in a little bit. The easiest way to follow me on social media is @thebigguyryback22 on Instagram and you can find all my other outlets from that essentially on the other social media platforms. 

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