Pro wrestler Ryan Reeves has only been ripping up the WWE as Ryback since 2012, but he first broke onto the scene in 2010 as the corn-fed meat head known as Skip Sheffield. As Skip, he appeared on the first season of WWE reality-based competition NXT with his “pro” William Regal. Despite being one of the first rookies eliminated from the competition, he returned with the entire NXT cast as a member of the Nexus, debuting on Monday Night Raw and destroying John Cena, CM Punk and the ringside crew.
Sheffield broke his ankle in late 2010 – the character would never return to WWE television. After rehabbing his injury over the course of a year, Reeves made his return to the WWE with a brand new character: Ryback. With a cyborg-like persona, the Ryback ran through his competition at lightning pace, chanting “feed me more” after each victim had fallen. After a few months of working his way up the roster, Ryback dismantled the Miz – the Intercontinental Champion at the time – and saved WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley from an attack by CM Punk.
In his first title match, then-referee Brad Maddox screwed the monster out of his opportunity inside Hell in a Cell, helping Punk to pick up the win. At Survivor Series, Ryback would get his rematch, but was again screwed by the debuting group of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns – ironically, NXT rookies collectively known as The Shield. To get his revenge, Ryback teamed up with Kane and Daniel Bryan in a TLC match against the Shield. They would lose that match, and another at Elimination Chamber alongside John Cena and Sheamus.
Despite several high profile loses in his debut year, Ryback remains dominant and will face fellow big man Mark Henry at WrestleMania XXIX.