Ryback (wrestler)

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Ryback on SmackDown in 2012.
Ring name(s)Ryan Reeves[1]
Skip Sheffield[1][2]
Billed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[3]
Billed weight291 lb (132 kg)[3]
Born(1981-11-10) November 10, 1981 (age 31)[1]
Las Vegas, Nevada[4]
Billed fromSin City[3]
Trained byBill DeMott[4]
Al Snow[1]
Jody Hamilton[4]
  (Redirected from Skip Sheffield)
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Ryback on SmackDown in 2012.
Ring name(s)Ryan Reeves[1]
Skip Sheffield[1][2]
Billed height6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)[3]
Billed weight291 lb (132 kg)[3]
Born(1981-11-10) November 10, 1981 (age 31)[1]
Las Vegas, Nevada[4]
Billed fromSin City[3]
Trained byBill DeMott[4]
Al Snow[1]
Jody Hamilton[4]

Ryan Reeves[1] (born November 10, 1981) is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Ryback.[3] After being one of the eight finalists on WWE Tough Enough 4, he later signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment and wrestled in its developmental territories Deep South Wrestling, Ohio Valley Wrestling,[5][6] and Florida Championship Wrestling.[7] He also participated in the first season of NXT in early 2010 under the ring name Skip Sheffield.


Early life

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, Reeves started watching wrestling at the age of five and was allowed to ring the bell at a live WWF event.[8] Wanting to become a professional wrestler, Reeves began weight lifting at 12 years old. He was nicknamed "Silverback" as a teenager, after a childhood friend joked that he resembled a silverback gorilla, and later adopted it as a part of his ring name.[9] Reeves excelled at baseball and football while attending Western High School and Palo Verde High School. He also played college baseball during his freshman year at the Community College of Southern Nevada, but broke his leg and ended up missing two seasons.

Professional wrestling career

Tough Enough (2004)

Reeves spent the next two years concentrating on training to enter professional wrestling. He also attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas, majoring in fitness management,[8] while working part-time at the Monte Carlo Hotel and Casino. Reeves sent a brief one minute videotape of himself to become a contestant on $1,000,000 Tough Enough and was invited to Venice Beach with 49 others. During the first week of training, Reeves suffered from bronchitis and a rib injury. He eventually became one of the eight finalists to appear on SmackDown! and the last to be voted off.[10][11] Even though he did not win the competition, Reeves impressed WWE officials enough for them to sign him to a developmental contract. He would spend some time back in Las Vegas healing from his injuries before heading to Atlanta, Georgia in March 2005.[9]

Deep South Wrestling (2005–2007)

Reeves started training at Deep South Wrestling, a professional wrestling school located in McDonough, Georgia. On September 1, 2005, he made his official debut in a tag team match with Lash LeRoux against Team Elite (Derrick Neikirk and Mike Knox) at the premiere show for DSW. During the next several weeks, he would team with Jack Bull, Ryan O'Reilly, Mike Mizanin and Nick Mitchell against tag teams including Team Elite, The Regulators and The Slaughter Brothers.

He began wrestling single matches a month later against Mike Shane, Mike Knox[12] and Palmer Cannon. On November 23, he entered a championship tournament for the Heavyweight Championship and eliminated by Mac Johnson in the opening rounds. However, he was eliminated from the tournament after losing to The Freakin' Deacon on December 17. Several days later, he wrestled two matches in one night, the first being a tag team match with Damian Steele against The Regulators and the second being a singles match against Mike Knox, though Reeves lost both as well.[13]

In January 2006, he formed a short-lived tag team with Ryan O'Reilly and faced Team Elite and The Gymini. Reeves' and O'Reilly's team was ended when WWE transferred Reeves from Deep South Wrestling to Ohio Valley Wrestling two months later. Reeves wrestled his last match losing to Freakin' Deacon on February 26, 2006.

Ohio Valley Wrestling

Debut (2005–2006)

After training in DSW for most of 2005 and early 2006, Reeves was transferred over to Ohio Valley Wrestling in early March. He defeated Kasey James, Pat Buck, Da Beast and Nick Nemeth in dark matches over the next two months and, with Mikey Batts, defeated the teams of Billy Kryptonite and Russell Simpson, and Jack Bull and Vic Devine.

In July 2006, Reeves was suspended for 30 days due to failing a drug test as part of WWE's Wellness Program.[5][14] According to Reeves, he had been taking several over the counter bodybuilding supplements, one of which inadvertently caused a false reading. The supplements he was using were later taken off the market due to this effect and, although his suspension remained in place, Reeves eventually returned to the roster after passing a second test.[9] His case was later featured on the CNN documentary Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling.[15]

High Dosage (2006–2007)

After his previous 30 day suspension, Reeves returned while sporting bleached hair. In September 2006, Reeves began teaming with Jon Bolen, and together the team became known as High Dosage.[5][16] Scoring early victories against teams such as Los Locos (Aaron Lamata and Low Rider) and Gothic Mayhem (Johnny Punch and Pat Buck), they began feuding with the then newly formed team of Eddie Craven, Mike Kruel and "The Bad Seed" Shawn Osborne.[16]

The two did not fare well against the trio losing both tag team and single matches to them during the next few weeks. On October 18, he and Bolen also lost to them in a handicap match. Things soon changed however when High Dosage beat Eddie Craven and Mike Kruel a month later. As a result of their victory, they were allowed five minutes alone with Shawn Osbourne but he was able to escape with the help of Craven and Kruel. Although continuing to face their rivals throughout the year, High Dosage also won matches against Los Locos and Bad Company defeating the latter in a Handicap Coal Miner's Glove on a Pole match on November 29. On December 9, High Dosage teamed with Seth Skyfire and lost to Craven, Kruel and Milena Roucka. Reeves also took part in a four-way Elimination Christmas Present match with Kruel four days later. The participants included Justin LaRoche and Charles Evans, T.J. Dalton and Steve Lewington, and Seth Skyfire and Paul Burchill who eventually won the match.

On January 6, 2007, High Dosage lost to Justin LaRouche and Charles Evans. They also lost to the Tag Team Champions Cody Runnels and Shawn Spears four days later.[16] This was their last match together as Reeves was officially released from his contract less than two weeks later.[17][18] In April, it was announced that Reeves would be starring in an upcoming film called Som Tum with Todd Shane and Nathan Jones.[19] Reeves would make one final appearance in which he and Pat Buck lost to Colt Cabana and Shawn Spears in a match for the Tag Team Championship on November 14, 2007.[20]

Return and departure (2008)

After being absent from Ohio Valley Wrestling for over a year, Reeves returned to the promotion. After several months, Reeves, now renamed Ryback, debuted under a Terminator gimmick and subsequently won the Heavyweight Championship on September 15 after defeating Anthony Bravado.[16] Ryback held the title for two weeks before losing it back to Bravado on September 29.[16] After losing the title, Reeves was re-signed to a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment. To explain his departure from OVW, Ryback later lost a Loser Leaves OVW match to Bravado.[16]

World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE

Florida Championship Wrestling (2008–2010)

On December 16, 2008, Reeves, under his Ryback ring name and character, made his in-ring debut in Florida Championship Wrestling, losing a tag match with Jon Cutler against Kris Logan and Taylor Rotunda. Ryback soon formed a tag team with Sheamus O'Shaunessy and the duo unsuccessfully challenged for the Florida Tag Team Championship on a few occasions until O'Shaunessy was called up to the main roster.[16] After the Ryback character was scrapped, Reeves made his FCW redebut on October 25 under the ring name Skip Sheffield, a cowboy gimmick, where he defeated Jimmy Uso.[21]

NXT and The Nexus (2010)

Reeves (far left) as Skip Sheffield at SummerSlam.

On February 16, 2010 during the final episode of ECW, Sheffield was announced as one of eight FCW wrestlers, called "rookies", to take part in the first season of WWE's new NXT show.[22] Although Montel Vontavious Porter was originally to be his mentor, or "pro", he was later replaced by William Regal.[23] Sheffield made his NXT in-ring debut on the March 2 episode of NXT, where he teamed with Regal in a losing effort against Matt Hardy and Justin Gabriel.[24] On the April 27 episode of NXT, Sheffield picked up his first victory with a win over Daniel Bryan. However, Sheffield was eliminated by the Pros on May 11, despite an earlier win over Darren Young, in the first NXT elimination poll. He was one of three eliminations that same night, behind Bryan and Michael Tarver, and commented that he will be back upon being eliminated.[25]

On the June 7 episode of Raw, Sheffield along with the other NXT season one rookies, interfered in the main event match between John Cena and CM Punk, attacking both competitors as well as the announcing team before dismantling the ring area and surrounding equipment.[26] On the June 14 edition of Raw the rookies attacked General Manager Bret Hart, when he refused to give them contracts.[27] The following week on Raw, Vince McMahon fired Hart and announced the hiring of a new General Manager, who had signed all seven season one NXT rookies to contracts.[28] The following week, the group was named the Nexus.[29] On the July 12 edition of Raw, the Nexus (sans Darren Young) competed in their first match together, defeating John Cena in a six-on-one handicap match.[30] The feud continued at SummerSlam, where Team WWE fought the Nexus in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match. Sheffield eliminated both John Morrison and R-Truth from the match before becoming the third member of the Nexus to be eliminated. Ultimately, the Nexus lost the match.[31] On August 18, during a live event in Honolulu, Hawaii, Reeves broke his ankle in a tag team match with David Otunga against The Hart Dynasty.[32][33]

Reeves then underwent extensive surgery after breaking his ankle, with a third surgery being his last.[34]

Return from injury, undefeated streak and pursuit of the WWE Championship (2012)

Reeves returned and defeated Heath Slater in a dark match prior to Raw.[35] On the January 6 tapings of SmackDown, Reeves reverted to his old ring name Ryback and defeated Jimmy Uso in a dark match.[36] Reeves, now sporting a beard and a new attire, returned to television on the April 6 episode of SmackDown under his Ryback ring name and as a face, where over the following weeks he would continuously squash jobbers, while also picking up wins against established wrestlers such as Heath Slater and Derrick Bateman.[37][38] At Extreme Rules, he made his pay-per-view debut as a singles competitor when he defeated two more jobbers (Aaron Relic and Jay Hatton) in nearly two minutes.[39] At Over the Limit, Ryback defeated Camacho in another squash match.[40] On July 3 during The Great American Bash episode of SmackDown, he defeated Curt Hawkins to continue his winning streak.[41] After defeating Tyler Reks the following week on SmackDown, Ryback defeated both Hawkins and Reks in a handicap match at Money in the Bank[42] and again during Ryback's Raw redebut on the August 6 episode.[43] On the July 27 episode of SmackDown, Ryback began his first feud since returning to the main roster against Jinder Mahal, after Mahal lost via countout instead of continuing to wrestle.[44] Ryback faced Mahal in a rematch on August 3 episode of SmackDown, but won via disqualification after Mahal struck him with a microphone.[45] On the August 24 episode of SmackDown, Ryback finally defeated Mahal via pinfall[46] and did so again on the September 3 episode of Raw.[47]

After defeating the Intercontinental Champion The Miz in a non-title match on the September 24 episode of Raw, Ryback confronted WWE Champion CM Punk at the end of the show after Punk attacked Mick Foley.[48] On the next two episodes of Raw, Ryback again confronted Punk after he threatened Jim Ross during an "Appreciation Night" segment honoring Ross,[49] and after he brawled with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon.[50] McMahon then declared that Punk would have to choose either Ryback or John Cena to defend the WWE Championship against at Hell in a Cell on October 28, and if Punk refused, McMahon would pick for him.[50] On the October 15 episode of Raw, Cena willingly backed out of challenging Punk in favor of supporting Ryback as Punk's opponent at Hell in a Cell.[51] At Hell in a Cell, Ryback's undefeated streak was broken by Punk due to a low blow and fast count by referee Brad Maddox. After the match, Ryback would attack Maddox and proceed to perform the Shell Shocked to Punk on top of the cell.[52] The following night on Raw, Ryback was named as the final member of Mick Foley's team to face CM Punk's team at Survivor Series on November 18.[53] The following week, however, Ryback, along with John Cena, would be booked in a triple threat match for Punk's WWE Championship at the pay-per-view instead.[54] On the November 13 episode of Raw, Ryback gained revenge against Maddox by squashing him in a match before throwing him into an ambulance, thus denying Maddox a chance at joining the WWE roster as a wrestler.[55] At Survivor Series, Ryback would be unsuccessful in winning the championship after being attacked by Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, who proceeded to powerbomb Ryback into the announce table, which allowed Punk to pin Cena and retain the title.[56] On the November 19 episode of Raw, Ryback was again attacked by Rollins, Ambrose, and Reigns before they powerbombed him through the announce table yet again after Ryback attempted to attack Punk while he was celebrating his year-long reign as WWE Champion.[57] On the November 26 episode of Raw, Ryback demanded another opportunity at the WWE Championship, with Vickie Guerrero finally relenting and giving him the title match at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. Later that night, Ryback attacked Punk with a ladder and chair before finally powerbombing him through a table. However, Punk would suffer a legitimate knee injury due to the attack, and would be unable to compete at the pay-per-view.[58] As a result, the WWE Championship match was rescheduled for a later date and Ryback would instead be paired with the Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) to compete against The Shield in a six-man Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match where, for the first time ever, the winner will be determined via pinfall or submission.[58]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments


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