Ryback, the ‘Bad Boy’ of WWE, on his stage name and why he enjoys wrestling

Originally known as Ryan Reeves, Ryback has taken his tag of ‘Bad Boy’ very seriously. “I have been a bad guy. I tried to live up to this image specially with adult guys. Before I was tagged as a bad boy I used to shake hands and say hello to all the fans in the stadium and outside the venue. But now I am not typically friendly with them but at the same time not rude to them at all. For kids I always make time to sign autographs and have pictures with them,” Ryback said, on a recent visit to New Delhi for a Ten Sports’ promotional campaign.

He lived up to his word. Every now and then he warmly shook hands and exchanged pleasantries with the assembled few and posed for pictures.

He claims he is serious in the ring whether it is an exhibition or serious bout. “In every match we go out we have to prove ourselves. We have to give everything we have. Because people are paying to watch us perform, I got to live up to my abilities each and every match. The moment I do not do that people are going to question me. There is tremendous pressure which I love more than anything else and it excites me,” he added.

Like the Great Khali, Ryback also is open to the idea of working in films. “WWE has its own film division and I think I can be a perfect villain. Apart from WWE I would love to do outside work. It’s always an option. I know it involves real hard work and I will be able to do it and prove myself.”

Talking about his stage name, he adds, “My real name is Ryan Reeves and my friends call me Silverback. I wanted to have a ring name, a wrestling name is very important. It can make or break you. Ryback I thought was a unique name which was not heard about and would be able to catch people's eye.”

The current world number 3 goes on to talk about his workout, “I work out in gym at least three hours a day, an hour of warm up exercises 500-1000 skips and yoga work. And before a match I do some breathing stuff, 25-50 push ups just to loosen up the body, I take some ice cold water to dump over my head which helps in waking up the nerves.”

For aspiring wrestlers he has a word of advice. “There may be people who will discourage you. When I started people use to tell me that I can never ever make it, but one has to have a positive approach and self-belief. Of course it involves real hard work and you also need to get a good wrestling school and a good trainer. Wrestling is a great career option. I am enjoying every bit, we wrestle almost five days a week and in my career I have been involved in some memorable big fights against C.M. Punk, John Cena and Chris Jericho. It’s been a great experience.”