The WWE's annual Black Friday came and went recently with the release of no less than eight wrestlers this time around.
By the end of the cull, the release list included; Hornswoggle, Alex Riley, Damien Sandow, Wade Barrett, Cameron, Zeb Colter, Santino Marella and El Torito.
According to a report today from NoDq, however, that list was very nearly nine Superstars long until a late change of plan.
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Per the report, veteran star Ryback was actually on the "internal list of cuts", but the WWE hierarchy ultimately "decided that it would be easier to simply let his deal with the company expire" rather than fire him.
Ryback was one of the names at the top of many people's lists when the rumours of impending cuts began last week. It was widely believed that his outspoken comments about the WWE's pay structure wouldn't be tolerated.
So, when his name wasn't part of the exodus on Friday 6, it was a surprise to many. In reality, though, as this report shows, 'The Big Guy' is simply living on borrowed time.
Stay of execution
Rather than escaping the release list being a sign of hope that his WWE career could be extended, the fact that he was included on one version only for the organisation to opt for the simpler option and let his contract run down, is about as much proof as you need that we've seen just about the last of Ryback in a WWE ring.
The veteran's contract expires in a few months times, meaning he will likely soon join the list of experienced wrestlers the WWE is saying goodbye to in 2016.
Whether he would have had the chance of a new deal had he not been so vocal in criticising the was WWE pays its wrestlers is unclear. The demands he is currently making about any potential new contract, however, suggest he is unlikely to win the WWE decision-makers around.
Again according to NoDq, 'The Big Guy' wants all of his hotel bills to be paid while on the road, while also getting assurance that, should he be released before his contract expired, that he would be paid in full until the deal's expiry date.
The WWE usually avoids any such deals, and they're unlikely to change their policy for Ryback.
The 34-year-old may not have followed in the footsteps of Sandow and Barrett just yet, but it is only a matter of time at this stage.