Luke Harper was released by WWE last December creating many potential paths for himself moving forward. Harper will reportedly be making his AEW debut next month in Rochester, NY. Ryback gave his quick reaction to the signing with Wrestling Inc's Raj Giri on his Conversation with the Big Guy Ryback podcast.
"I love it," Ryback admitted. "Great pickup. I just love it. The timing. Everything."
Ryback also discussed WWE Champion Brock Lesnar and Matt Riddle getting into a verbal altercation at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view several weeks ago. Riddle has since not backed down from his previous comments, and still hopes to face Lesnar one day. Ryback noted that talent need to respect the stars who paved the way.
"Respect in pro wrestling is a very real thing. Brock has been there for a long time. Brock is the big dog in WWE. I'm just gonna give you a scenario: if I was down in NXT or FCW, [and] let's say Stone Cold's red-hot up in WWE running sh*t, he's the champion [and] he's the man at the peak of his career, and I'm down in developmental, and I start running, 'Steve's a little bi--h. I can't wait to go up there and retire Stone Cold. That little bi**h.' And I just constantly kept doing that. This is what I think Riddle is doing," Ryback said. "It generates buzz online, but the problem is you bury yourself. You think Stone Cold is gonna want to work with me? No way in hell, or if he is gonna work with me, [there's] not gonna be anything for me.
"There's a thing in pro wrestling where you gotta know how to conduct yourself in a professional manner. Most of those guys will never get to those top positions, and I got to experience it for a year. It's a whole other level because you gotta play your game of not overstepping your bounds but you gotta f--king know when to step up."
Ryback talked more about the politics backstage between those in the upper card and those beneath. He brought up an incident between Yoshi Tatsu and Tensai after Tatsu spoke negatively about Tensai on social media.
"One guy is deciding everything, but Brock has the power with Vince. If he doesn't want to work with you, you're not working with him. Who's gonna tell him otherwise? He has the only contract where he [can] have opinions on things because he's smart. I just think you have to be careful. Everyone wants to get over, but you gotta play the game. You're in level one still man. You got to get on f--king level eight or nine before you even start remotely doing that," Ryback said. "Remember Yoshi Tatsu when Tensai came up there and was pretending to be Japanese when he wasn't Japanese. Yoshi is running his mouth on social media after Tensai is getting a huge push on TV. What did they do? They just f--king threw him out there and jobbed him out right away. Don't do that.
"So you gotta know, as a professional wrestler, it's a fight you're not gonna win."
Riddle is a former UFC fighter, but was released from the promotion. Ryback talked about the differences between pro wrestling and UFC, specifically on the motivations of how matches get set up noting that Lesnar does not need to work with Riddle no matter what Riddle says.
"It's not UFC. It's not where if there's interest in a fight, Dana White can make that fight. This is pro wrestling [with] political bulls--t. You gotta navigate that s--t man. Again, it could be a complete work, and it could be a way to generate interest down the road," Riddle said. "But I have a feeling. From how Riddle has talked about him, after just giving you those comparisons, if I was doing that with Stone Cold Steve Austin, he isn't gonna want to work with me. Why would he? He could make money with 50 other guys ahead of me that aren't insulting him personally on social media."
Ryback spoke from experience of being in the main event scene and how different it is no matter your skill level or popularity. He also briefly mentioned the bad message it sends for Riddle regarding his past comments about Goldberg and Chris Jericho.
"It doesn't matter because it's a whole other world. It doesn't matter how good you are, how good you think you are, how much the fans love you. I have experienced this at the highest level," Ryback said. "It doesn't matter. Lesson learned for him.
"It's bad. It's not like you're working an angle. It's disrespectful. It's not fighting at the end of the day as far as that goes."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversation with the Big Guy Ryback with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.