WWE superstar Samoa Joe reportedly sustained an injury while filming a WWE commercial earlier this month. Joe also suffered an injury on RAW last month as well. The injury puts Joe's WrestleMania status into question. On the most recent episode of Ryback Shooting Blanks Wrestling Report Podcast With Raj Giri, Ryback talked about Joe's injury with Wrestling Inc.'s Raj Giri.
"It's unfortunate. I really like Joe a lot. He's had a long wrestling career. We've talked about it before he got to WWE. He put a lot of miles on his body working a very hard style, and he's a large guy as well. That's one thing in pro wrestling too. The heavier you are, the more strain it does put on your body. He's a very good worker, but he does a lot of things; he puts a lot of stress on his body," Ryback said. "Obviously though, when it comes to concussions, once that process starts happening, it can be really frustrating. We saw with Daniel Bryan, it's like he had to get sorted out. For Joe, it's been little things after little things. That schedule, it's not just the little things. It's all the years before. Then you get there and I don't know man; it's one of those things."
Ryback noted the importance of WrestleMania and how all wrestlers want to be on a big show like that. He talked about what Joe's recent injury means for his status in WWE regarding how he is used in future storylines.
"I definitely feel for him because WrestleMania is something you want to be a part of every year especially because he's probably gonna feel fine if they do keep him out for that. Knowing how Vince, Hunter and the other people operate, they look at it from an investment standpoint where it's harder to then put you in bigger storylines if you're getting injured often. Then it's like, what do you do? You got to show you can get healthy again. Then can they take a chance on you again? Then if you do, you get hurt again. I don't know where he's at on that scale with them," Ryback said. "I think they flirted with the commentary. It's something I'm sure they're aware of as far as how much can you invest in something if they don't know.
"It's not his fault. I tell you. You can't explain those things. It's a tough job, and it doesn't mean he's not tougher or anything like that. It's just now there's protocols and things in place where before guys would just keep working. Now you can't do that, and you got to stay in the system."
Ryback also talked about his own WrestleMania experience including his match against Mark Henry at WrestleMania 29. He spoke on the pay disparity between his match against Henry and his tag match the year after at WrestleMania 30.
"Well you want to be on the main show. I don't know what the payouts are [now], but obviously guys now are making more downsides than any period in recent history. It definitely plays a part. That WrestleMania payday is the best payday of the year, but in my time there, we got f--ked over quite a bit. My first one with Mark was decent. It was my best singles payout that I had ever gotten which was still way under than it probably should have been from what other guys in that position in years past probably made. They put me in the pre-shows for the other four or whatever else that I did, and they knew that drove me crazy. Those payouts sucked. That's being honest," Ryback said. "One of my lowest payouts of the year was WrestleMania New Orleans where we did the tag match with Swagger and Cesaro, The Usos, Primo and Epico and me and Axel that four-way tag. That was no joke one of my lowest payouts of the year pay per view wise. No rime or reasons which technically should have been should have been my highest pay per view of the year. You never know what they're going to do or what's going on with each guy, but typically if you're on WrestleMania, you're looking forward to a pretty decent payday. Every talent should want to be a part of that no doubt."
Ryback has spoken previously about WrestleMania 30 being his worst payout fr the event. Giri asked Ryback about exactly how much the disparity was between his singles match and the four-way tag team match the year after.
"That match [with Henry] was either for $60-something thousand or $70-something thousand because there might have been some other things figured in for that payout week, but the total check for WrestleMania figured in was $70-something thousand. There's guys that make way more than that for that profile for literally working on top for a year, that was a low amount. Grateful for it nonetheless," Ryback said. "Then I want to say that WrestleMania New Orleans was something like $1500 or something ridiculous. That was the year of the punishment year where that was the lowest amount I had ever made working there. It's a huge difference."
Giri and Ryback also discussed the participants in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and how they are paid. Ryback said that most of the wrestlers in that match are not paid that well unless they have a high downside guarantee like the Big Show.
"Those battle royal participants, at least from the years prior, it was just a way to get everybody to go out there and perform on a show with that many people," Ryback said. "You're gonna get a check, but it's nothing special for those guys, unless you're Big Show and have a high downside, and they put you in it like Big Show was. Big Show probably made a fair amount because of his high downside. They have to match that downside one way or another. Most of those guys are on such f--king low downsides which is why they get put in that position in the first place because they don't have any obligation to use them."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Conversation with the Big Guy Ryback with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.