- Base-Breaking Character: You either think Ryback is an intense, one man killing machine who is quickly paving his way to be one of the biggest badasses on the WWE roster with a memetically awesome Catchphrase, or you think he's just a dime a dozen musclehead with one of the corniest lines in the industry who nonetheless seems to be becoming inexplicably popular. There seems to be no middle ground.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: The very fast main event push so soon after debuting (he went from squashing jobbers in one PPV to having a steel cage match with CM Punk for the WWE Championship in the main event of the next PPV) soured a few fans on him, but he's settling nicely as a face in the upper midcard, probably helped along by his catchphrase (which is quick, simple, and fun to yell if nothing else) and his well-documented passion for the business (which sets him apart from the man to whom he's most often compared. He's also come back from several unfortunate and awful injuries, which tends to make a performer more sympathetic.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: He's very popular with the Indian fanbase.
- Hilarious in Hindsight: At Payback 2016, held in Chicago, Ryback did CM Punk's taunt on the entrance ramp, after months of having added to his "Wake Up!" phrase when entering the ring, "It's Feeding Time!", CM Punk having said "It's Clobbering Time!" when he did so himself.note The next day, Ryback left WWE over his position in the company and treatment, exactly like Punk had two years ago.
- Ho Yay: With Paul Heyman, to frightening degrees, given his below status as a Memetic Molester. Heyman called him a "big beautiful man," and kissed him, causing Ryback to break out into a ridiculous grin.
- Lowest Common Denominator: From his simplistic speech patterns as a character to his full-steam-ahead all-brawn wrestling style to his social media persona, Ryback comes across as a flat meathead character. It's pretty telling that his most well-known fans are YouTube trolls who make claims such as that Goldberg (the wrestler to whom he's most often compared) copied him, and coin expressions such as "[insert smaller guy/internet favorite/rival wrestler here] sucks, my ryback is a legend. Ryback Rules."
- Memetic Molester: Thanks to a segment where he was harassing a guy in the shower. No, that isn't what it sounds like. He just made the guy soak his bag with the shower head.
- Memetic Mutation:
- Let's just say that the 'Feed! Me! More!' chant and reports Ryback's Big Eater tendencies tends to get a lot of food and baking related puns associated with it in the snarkier parts of the IWC and leave it at that.
- "Eat. Tweet. Delete. Repeat.", for his tendency to make a controversial tweet, and delete it near-instantly.
- "I'M DUMB AS FUCK" after CM Punk stated Ryback used this as the reason why he kept injuring Punk in matches.
- Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: His Twitter rants, and now YouTube channel, have redeemed him in the eyes of many smarks, after his runs as a (sic) BOWLIE and (sic) anti-BOWLIE crusader laid the groundwork.
- The Scrappy: Though some claim that he's been rescued. He debuted as a clear Goldberg clone, with a hyped undefeated streak, a similar look and a similar squash style. However, people grew tired of seeing him, he was overexposed and put into a world title feud he never should have been in. He performed poorly and was known to be very unsafe to work with, botching several spots and injuring CM Punk twice. He has apparently taken some time to improve his skills and correct his errors, but he has a long way to go to repair that reputation.
- Strawman Has a Point: On the April 15, 2013 episode of Raw, Ryback cut a lengthy pretaped promo stating that he turned on John Cena because Cena never came to his aid when The Shield beat him up on multiple occasions and that he was stuck in his shadow. He has a point; Cena used Ryback as his replacement to face CM Punk when Cena was injured and acted like he had his back and yet he never deigned to assist Ryback when the Shield were running rampant. Then in regards to being in Cena's shadow, he is entirely correct, everyone bar the Rock is in Cena's shadow, and after WrestleMania 29, you might say the Rock is too now.
- Unintentionally Sympathetic: His heel turn, which is explained in a promo as him being pissed that Cena essentially left him high and dry on his way to his newest title run while Ryback was continually getting the crap beaten out of him by The Shield. In fact, the more cynical would almost argue that Cena, given the nature of his 2012, wasn't too upset about the attacks as they removed a potential obstacle between him and the WWE Championship. Although this may qualify as a Shrug of God and Zig Zagged Trope as the storyline has been split on the roles. Ryback's explanation has been acknowledged as having merit, and Cena himself even said he understood why Ryback did it. Then, add The Shield to further cloud things. Also, while Ryback left Cena to The Shield, he also didn't go back to attack further the way Mark Henry, The Big Show, and Brock Lesnar have recently. The commentators and on-air management have even stated that they have no idea what's going on.
YMMV / Ryback