On the debut episode of his podcast released on Monday, Ryan “Ryback” Reeves opened up about what led to him leaving WWE.
Reeves said he was thankful for everything WWE gave him and appreciated how it shaped him into who he is, but noted that he didn’t agree with them on a business standpoint on a lot of things. He said that he doesn’t live in fear and that led to him doing things the way that he did.
He said that he was never the company’s guy and wondered why they put the Intercontinental Championship on him in 2015. After winning the title, he was presented with a new contract offer. Reeves said he wasn’t happy with the offer considering what he had done for the company.
But Reeves said he didn’t leave because of monetary value of the offer. “Not about a money issue, just so everybody knows, I walked away from the WWE, the contract offer that I walked away from was a three-year $1.5 million contract.” Reeves said.
Reeves mentioned that there were other things he wasn’t happy about. He said that there were merchandising opportunities that didn’t pan out and noted how expensive travel expenses were, saying the way professional wrestling has always done things isn’t always right.
Reeves said that he had been lied to at many times in his career about booking and other opportunities. He claimed that Vince McMahon told him that he would be the number one heel in the company and have the title put on him if he listened to McMahon and read his promos as they were scripted. Reeves also claimed that he was supposed to face AJ Styles at WrestleMania 32, with McMahon telling him that he would “squash that little twerp.”
Though he was told that by McMahon, Reeves said that he didn’t necessarily believe he would squash Styles given the way he was brought into the company.
That changed and Reeves would go on to face Kalisto on the WrestleMania 32 kickoff show. He said that he was set to sign a new contract but sent a revised offer to the company after not being happy about how he was handled.
On his last day at television, Reeves said he knew that WWE wasn’t going to accept the revised offer and thought the booking of the show was intended to make him look bad before he left. He claimed he told Mark Carrano to take him off television, but didn’t talk to McMahon because he had been lied to too many times before.
He said that he will always be thankful for the WWE, but he’s allowed to feel betrayed about certain things and doesn’t have to go home and not talk about it. He again noted that he doesn’t live in fear, saying he didn’t burn a bridge and was only telling the truth.
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He claimed that he was offered magazine covers but WWE wouldn’t let him do them despite allowing other talent to. He said that WWE wanted Roman Reigns to appear on a cover instead of him at one point.
Co-host Pat Buck asked Reeves if he felt it was a personal decision by WWE, but Reeves said it happened to others as well. Reeves felt like WWE’s goal should be making sure that every wrestler’s brand is as strong as possible.
The full almost hour-long conversation with Reeves and Buck is available to listen to below: