Former WWE star Ryback says that he was told during one of his final pay-per-view appearances to stop using CM Punk's signature moves.
Ryback, whose legal name is now Ryback Reeves, discussed that match during his latest episode of his Conversation With The Big Guy podcast. He recalled WWE referee John Cone telling him during a pay-per-view pre-show match against Kalisto at Payback to stop using Punk's moves, and also to remove his "Pre-Show Stopper" weight belt. That proved to be Ryback's final appearance for WWE. He left television the next night, later posting a lengthy explanation of his complaints on social media, and received his official release this summer.
"They were so furious with that weight belt," Ryback recalled. "Yeah, they were so mad. Cone kept telling me, 'they go 'take off the weight belt' and I kept saying, 'tell them to f--k off.' And during the match I was already checked out, I was gone, and I said, 'I'm going to have fun one way or another.' I had to cut out, like Cone kept going, 'no more CM Punk stuff, no more CM Punk stuff' and I was going to do the running knee into the GTS and not cover him to really… they were eating it up, but we got cut on time, as always."
Ryback added he thinks he was relegated to pre-show duty at pay-per-views because he was in a contract dispute with the company and had not signed an extension.
"I tried desperately that entire last year to work everything out and I really, really truly wanted to stay, but I had outside interests and I have other things that I'm doing now that being there was not allowing me to do," he said. "And the reason, and Vince, and we talked about it before, and the way they used me, my last couple of months there, and had me on the pre-shows was because I didn't sign their contract.
"He probably booked me that way and didn't do what he said, for the most part, although he has lied to me before, it was because I didn't sign that contract right away," Ryback added. "And so, it was sort of a game of chicken and I was sticking to my guns, so I was already far checked out those last couple of months. Come WrestleMania, I was fully checked out."
After leaving WWE himself, CM Punk criticized Ryback on multiple occasions, saying that Ryback injured him several times, starting a war of words between the two.