Ryback released the debut episode of his podcast on Monday and opened up about his departure from WWE. Ryback revealed that after winning the Intercontinental Championship in 2015, he was offered a new contract that he wasn’t happy with. Ryback says the money wasn’t necessarily the issue, as the contract would have paid out $1.5 million over three years.

Ryback said he feels the way things have “always been done” in pro wrestling aren’t always right, and specifically mentioned that talent having to pay their own travel expenses can become very pricey. Ryback claims that dishonesty from WWE management about booking and merchandising opportunities lead to him being disgruntled. He says that magazines had offered him covers, but WWE nixed them in favor of Roman Reigns.

The now-former WWE star claimed that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon himself told Ryback that he would be the top heel in the company if he listened to McMahon’s instructions and delivered his promos exactly as scripted. Ryback also claimed that he was told he would face AJ Styles at WrestleMania 32, and that McMahon’s exact words were he would “squash that little twerp.” Ryback ended up facing Kalisto on the WrestleMania pre-show instead.

He says towards the end of his run he stopped communicating with McMahon because he had been lied to and “betrayed” too many times, and that he isn’t worried about burning his bridge with the company.

Ryback says these issues aren’t exclusive to him and that other talent goes through the same thing. Ryback feels like WWE’s goal should be making sure that all of their wrestlers’ brands are as strong as possible.

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