WWE star Ryback walks out over pay dispute

Ryback hoists Dolph Ziggler on his shoulders to deliver his Shell Shocked manoeuvre. Photo / WWE Raw
Ryback hoists Dolph Ziggler on his shoulders to deliver his Shell Shocked manoeuvre. Photo / WWE Raw

One night after wrestling for the United States Championship at WWE Payback, veteran wrestler Ryback did not appear on Monday Night Raw and a report later surfaced that he was sent home by chairman Vince McMahon.

In a lengthy Tumblr post, Ryback aired his grievances with WWE and called on the company to make fundamental changes in the way it compensates performers, news.com.au reported.

"Today I sit and fly home and for the first time in years feel absolutely free. I will start by saying I did request to be taken off of WWE television until myself and Vince could get a yes or no on a new deal. This has been going on since my IC Title run and had been nothing but a major strain on my life as all I ever wanted to do was work for WWE," wrote Ryback.

"I was told to head home until we agree or not agree to specific terms and contrary to reports it isn't over money or a bus that stuff was settled a while ago. It comes down to a major problem I have with not only WWE but wrestling in general."

Thirty three-year-old Ryan "Ryback" Reeves has been around the WWE scene for more than a decade.

Ryback participated in the fourth season of Tough Enough (along with The Miz), and though he didn't win, he signed a WWE developmental contract and spent years wrestling in Ohio and Florida Championship Wresting (which would become NXT).

He debuted in 2010 as Skip Sheffield, and switched over to the Ryback character in 2012.

Ryback was given a number of shots at the WWE title in late 2012, starting with a match against CM Punk in the main event of Hell in a Cell. Punk won, and went on to beat Ryback in the main event at Survivor Series.

Ryback never did win WWE's most coveted belt and eventually fell to the midcard, but did capture the Intercontinental Championship for a few months in 2015.

According to Ryback, he's taking a stand because he wants WWE to pay performers equally, regardless of whether they're winning or losing on television.

"It blows my mind how in a sport which is predetermined from a company standpoint winners are paid so much more than the losers. Every single person who works for WWE from top to bottom is absolutely just as valuable as the next. The winners cannot win unless the losers go out there and agree to lose to them.

"It blows my mind that in this day and age though we still adhere to this formula ... Why is it a guy who is told he is going to go out and lose and does everything he is told be paid not only less, but much less than said winner over a period of time.

"Most guys take great satisfaction in helping making other talent, the b****ing and the moaning we always hear about stems from the fact they know they are ultimately over time going to make less and live in fear of being released."

Ryback writes that he doesn't have a problem with his role in WWE and was proud to help elevate new talent, but he wants his work to "pay off".

"Hell look at my pay per view record of 12-26 and you will see that has been the pattern of my career. I have always been confident in my ability and work ethic to being my best every day and ultimately always felt that by doing good it was the right thing to do," he wrote.

"Personally seeing my money go down over the years though even though I was working as much as ever and being denied magazine covers and other projects as well as watching my role diminish no matter what I did or how hard I tried takes its toll on a human.

"Being told no matter how hard I work or how good I get doesn't always pay off is something I f***ing refuse to ever believe in my life."

- news.com.au

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