The lights are on
Fans of WWE '13 have access to several new WWE superstars today thanks to a new DLC pack. Drew McIntyre, Tensai, Yoshi Tatsu, AJ Lee, and Natalya are included in the pack, but the headliner is the wrestling industry's newest main eventer -- Ryback. "Big Hungry" is now available, and I had a chance to speak to him recently about the opportunity to appear in his first video game.
When did you first see what your character looked like in-game, and what was your reaction to it?
It’s an unbelievable honor to be able to see myself in a WWE game. My goal is to be on the cover eventually. This is just one step towards that. I know a lot of fans are excited about it, to be able to play as Ryback and put me in match-ups with Attitude Era stars. CM Punk is on the cover, and to have Ryback beat up CM Punk in the game just like I do in real life is pretty cool.
How accurate are the recreations of your entrance, your walk, your taunts, things like that?
Oh, it’s very accurate. It’s the most realistic WWE game to date, and they did a great job with all of that. I don’t have a bad thing to say about it, it’s very lifelike. The “Feed me more” chant is right on.
WWE 13 is focused on the Attitude Era, so which star would you most want to take on in a dream match situation?
I’m all about the top of the food chain and wanting the best. Stone Cold Steve Austin was the top dog of that era, and that’s the guy who I would like to step in the ring with. All those guys…The Undertaker, Mankind, The Rock, Shawn Michaels, Triple H. I would love to be in the ring with all of them, but Stone Cold was the top dog of that era, so that would be the guy I would have to set my sights on.
You were in high school during the Attitude Era, so I assume you were a big fan of pro wrestling back then?
Yes, just in general. It was one of the greatest periods.
What superstars from today’s WWE product do you think would have been successful back then?
I think the guys you see succeeding right now would succeed in any era. In WWE, we’re a lot of hard working individuals. Times are a little different than they were then, but I know myself personally, I feel I would succeed in any era. It’s more of a mindset than anything.
You guys are on the road all of time. Are there any superstars that bring along an Xbox or PlayStation with them?
I’ve seen Mark Henry always playing games on his phone, before he got injured and everything. As far as bringing the consoles out, we have Kofi [Kingston] and a few other guys that are big gamers.
I’ve heard Daniel Bryan tell some pretty funny road stories about you. Do you have any similar stories about him?
Dan likes to talk, I know that. I’ve been traveling alone here as of late, but he’s one of the guys I usually will travel with if I travel with anybody. I have nothing bad to say about Dan, he’s one of the hardest-working guys in the company and he’s an avid weight lifter, which is pretty funny to see from when I first met him until now. He’s actually, believe it or not, one of the strongest guys pound for pound in the WWE. You wouldn’t know that based on his in-ring style, which I joke with him about all of the time. He does all of these big, impressive lifts now just to throw kicks in the ring. I’m waiting for the day that he starts busting out power slams and things of that nature. He’s a great guy, he’s very hard-working, and I know he likes to tell stories about me from time to time, but it’s all in good fun. I don’t have anything bad to say about the guy.
When you debuted as the Ryback character you made an immediate impact thanks to your in-ring style. How do you feel about the very different way these new guys – Ambrose, Rollins, and Reigns – decided to make their impact recently?
Initially when I came in, it was with Nexus. It was a group effort. So I understand they’re trying to come in and make an impact with the numbers game. They’ve gotten everyone’s attention, including mine, and I really look forward to decimating them and taking them apart one by one here as the weeks go by. But they did what they felt they needed to do to get noticed. They got noticed as far as that goes, but now they have to deal with Ryback. I look forward to the weeks to come.
Your career path has been pretty non-traditional. You got injured soon after your first debut, and now you’re main eventing pay-per-views and being featured in a video game in the same year you returned.
Yeah, I’ve been with WWE for a long time. I’ve had a lot of trials and tribulations. A lot of things have happened to me and it’s all been for the best. It’s played a big part in why I’m successful now and why you’ve seen me rise so quickly. I’m not new to this, I’ve been around. The things that have happened have mentally prepared me for everything that is happening now. It’s been a really fast seven months, it’s been unbelievable. But I’m here to stay for the long haul and just be my best.
The WWE Superstars Pack is now available on Xbox Live and PSN for those in the Fan Axxess Program. Those not in the program can download each Superstar for 80 Microsoft points or $0.99 on PSN.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.