Monday, April 30, 2012

Ryback (Ryan Reeves)

Ryan Reeves (born November 10, 1981) is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, working on its SmackDown brand as Ryback. 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 Deep South Wrestling and Florida Championship Wrestling. and Ohio Valley Wrestling from 2005 to 2007. He also participated in the first season of WWE NXT in early 2010 under the name of Skip Sheffield.

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. Wanting to become a professional wrestler, Reeves began weight lifting at 12 years old. He was nicknamed "Silverback" as a teenager, whom a childhood friend joked that he resembled a silverback gorilla, and later adopted it as a part of his ring name. Reeves excelled at baseball and football while attending Western High School and Palo Verde High School. He played college baseball during his freshman year at the Community College of Southern Nevada, however he broke his foot and ended up missing two seasons.

Reeves spent the next two years concentrating on bodybuilding to enter professional wrestling. He also attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas, majoring in fitness management, 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. Even though Reeves lost, he 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 in March 2005.

525 Bench-Press
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. He began wrestling single matches a month later. In January 2006, he formed a short-lived tag team. Before the team could gain momentum, the WWE transferred Reeves from Deep South Wrestling, to Ohio Valley Wrestling two months later. Reeves wrestled his last match on February 26, 2006. After training in DSW for most of 2005 and early 2006, Reeves arrived in Ohio Valley Wrestling in early March. In July 2006, Reeves was suspended for 30 days due to failing a drug test as part of WWE's Wellness Program. 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. 

His case was later featured on the CNN documentary Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling.

Skip Sheffield
After his 30 day suspension, Reeves returned while sporting bleached hair. However, in January of 2007, Reeves was officially released from his contract. In April, it was announced that Reeves would be starring in an upcoming film called Som Tum with Todd Shane and Nathan Jones. After being absent from Ohio Valley Wrestling for over a year, Reeves returned to the promotion. After several months, Reeves, now renamed Ryback, debuted as a Terminator-esque gimmick and subsequently won the Heavyweight Championship on September 15. Ryback held the title for two weeks before losing it on September 29. After losing the title, Reeves was re-signed to a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, but was moved to Florida Championship Wrestling. To explain his departure from OVW, Ryback lost a Loser Leaves OVW match.

On December 16, 2008, Reeves, under his Ryback ring name and character, made his in-ring debut in Florida Championship Wrestling. After the Ryback character was scrapped, Reeves made his FCW television debut on October 25 under the new ring name Skip Sheffield, which was a cowboy character. 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. Although Montel Vontavious Porter (MVP) was originally to be his mentor, or "pro", he was later replaced by William Regal. 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. On the April 27 episode of NXT, Sheffield picked up his first victory with a win over Daniel Bryan. 

However, on May 11, despite an earlier win over Darren Young, in the first NXT elimination poll, Skip Sheffield was eliminated by the Pros. He was one of three eliminations, behind Bryan and Michael Tarver, and commented, (very Terminator like), that he will be back.

On the June 7 edition 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. On the June 14 edition of Raw the rookies attacked General Manager Bret Hart, when he refused to give them contracts. 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. The following week, the group was named the Nexus. On the July 12 edition of Raw, The Nexus competed in their first match together, defeating John Cena in a six-on-one handicap match. The feud continued at SummerSlam, where Team WWE fought 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. 

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. Reeves then underwent extensive surgery after breaking his ankle, with a third surgery being his last. Reeves eventually returned to WWE on December 5, 2011 in a dark match battle royal and on January 2, 2012 defeated Michael McGillicutty in a dark match prior to Raw. On the January 6 tapings of SmackDown, Reeves reverted to his old ring name Ryback and defeated Jimmy Uso in a dark match. Ryback won victories over Percy Watson and Alex Riley. On the April 6 episode of SmackDown, Reeves returned to television under his Ryback ring name as a face and a member of the SmackDown brand, where over the following weeks, he would continuously squash jobbers, while other superstars watched backstage. 

At Extreme Rules, he made his first pay-per-view appearance when he defeated two more jobbers in 01:50.

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