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Back on track: Mason Ryan’s road to redemption
Recharged and refocused
Jan. 17, 2011, will forever go down as the day that changed Mason Ryan’s life. Monday Night Raw was in full swing, featuring a main event contest between CM Punk and John Cena. With both competitors in the midst of battle, a hulking figure was about to change the entire complexion of the match. This was the first moment the entire WWE Universe would meet Ryan.
Described as a “can’t miss” prospect during his tenure in WWE’s developmental system, many believed it was not a question of if, but when, Ryan would make his WWE debut. Not only would Ryan deliver on those expectations, but the Welsh Superstar found himself a part of WWE’s rebellious contingent known as The New Nexus.
“I had a great time being in The Nexus” Mason told WWE.com. “I learned a lot working with CM Punk, who has a wealth of experience, plus it gave me my first opportunity to be on Raw and the world stage.”
But as the unpredictability of WWE often goes, The Nexus would later disband and despite efforts to trudge on with his own singles career, Ryan would follow suit in fading from the WWE spotlight. Ironically, this is when Ryan’s road to redemption began.
Sitting at home with his career in jeopardy, Ryan began questioning his ability to succeed in WWE. Then, he found inspiration in an unlikely source: the WWE Encyclopedia.
“I kept seeing all these Superstars who were only around for a short time and then disappeared,” Ryan said. “I told myself that there was no way I was going to let that happen to me.”
Recharged and refocused, Ryan decided it was time to stop doubting himself and start producing. Before long, the decision was made to join the ranks of WWE NXT. “To be completely honest, coming to NXT and almost starting again has been the best thing that could have happened to me,” he admitted. “As much as I learned the first time around, I was far from a polished performer.”
Hungrier than ever
Some might consider Ryan’s attitude surprising considering the high expectations hoisted upon him at the beginning of his career and his relatively swift exit from the WWE spotlight.
“When I first started with the WWE, things moved very fast for me, which was a good and bad thing,” he explained. “I was in a very privileged position long before I was ready for it. I could have gotten the ball and ran with it, but I don't feel like I did.”
The bitter taste of his first opportunity only made Ryan hungrier than ever to return to the big stage. As a regular on NXT, Ryan has made his goals abundantly clear to every opponent given the displeasure of standing inside the ring with him.
“My opportunity will come again, and when it does, nobody is going to take it from me,” he vowed.
Did you know …
*Mason Ryan performed as a UK Gladiator (the United Kingdom’s version of American Gladiators), where he was known as “Goliath.”
*Mason Ryan once held a world record for holding 20 kilos (approximately 44 pounds) of weight with his arms straight for just over one minute.