ByJosh Molina, writer at
Covers mixed martial arts and professional wrestling and the convergence of the two industries.
Josh Molina

Ryan Reeves, also known as "Ryback" in the WWE, has said that he is interested in fighting for Bellator, the world's second largest MMA promotion.

Ryback would become the second pro wrestler to jump to the fight world in recent years, following CM Punk.

The Bellator talks are the latest twist in the wild career of Ryback, a guy who, much like CM Punk, left the WWE in a huff, disgruntled over his character, lack of push and position on the PPV cards. Unlike CM Punk, however, Ryback was a baseball and football star in high school, and played baseball in college. His passion, however, was lifting weights.

Ryback came to the WWE after trying out for the show's "Tough Enough" reality contest, where the winners and sometimes the finalists, are offered developmental contracts in the WWE. Ryback came in second on the show, but his impressive body turned heads in the WWE, and he was signed.

Ryback rose up through the development stages of the company, and then hit it big in the WWE as Ryback, "The Big Guy," experiencing his biggest success in 2012, when he challenged CM Punk for the WWE championship.

Ryback was hot at the time, and the WWE probably should have put the title on him, but Punk was working an angle with The Rock, and was scheduled to drop the title on him at The Royal Rumble. Although Ryback caught fire with the fans, selling merchandise with his catchphrase "Feed Me More," the WWE never fully go behind him.

As a pro wrestler, Ryback was more like a Hulk Hogan than a CM Punk. He was a big, strong guy who could perform impressive moves on smaller men, but as a professional wrestler, he was limited. CM Punk could fly through the air and "sell" moves for his opponents, but Ryback, with his massive frame, was limited inside the ring.

He grew disgruntled with the WWE after he opened Wrestlemania on the pre-show, in front of maybe 15,000 people at AT&T Stadium, a show that drew 101,000 people later in the evening.

Ryback left the WWE this summer and has been making appearances for independent organizations.

How will he do in Bellator? Who knows. But, Ryback vs. Bobby Lashley is clearly a match worth watching.

Hear Ryback talk more about why he left the WWE:


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