Ryback was a friend of the late Rod McMahon, and recalled his memories of Vince McMahon’s brother on his latest podcast. As reported earlier this week, Rod McMahon passed away at the age of 77. Ryback met Rod at a WWE show in Houston and Rod became a buyer of Ryback’s nutrition line. You can see highlights from the discussion below, courtesy of Wrestling Inc:
On first meeting Rod: “I communicated with him, I don’t wanna say a ton, but pretty regularly because he was a buyer of Feed Me More Nutrition. We would email and I have his number. I met Rod, a great guy, and my condolences to everybody, to the whole [family], Vince and everyone because when you’re dealing with death, it sucks. Rod was very health conscious which is why he liked the supplements with the whole deal of not using artificial sweeteners or colors. I met him in Houston. I believe it was a pay-per-view with me and Curtis Axel, RybAxel, it was a four-way tag team match, I think with Cody and Goldust, Rey Mysterio and maybe Big Show? But it was a four-way deal.
“I remember I walked in and he came up to me. I didn’t know if Vince had a brother… He comes up to me and I thought he was just a wrestling fan. He’s just talking and I don’t remember the exact verbiage but I remember I worked out and he saw me in there working out and I was gonna go tan. They had a tanning bed in there and I wanted to go tan before the show. He goes, ‘I’m Vince McMahon’s brother’ and now I’m thinking in my head that this guy is full of crap. I’m thinking what a wackjob this guy is. I had no idea and I didn’t know his mom was in Houston and I would meet her later that night.”
On his friendship with Rod: “We exchanged numbers and there was a little bit of texting. I had gone a long time without talking to him. But he would email me and was always very complimentary on everything I was doing,” said Ryback. “He always told me he was excited for me and he knew I wasn’t going back to WWE. He goes, ‘I can’t wait for you to get back [to wrestling].’ I hadn’t heard from him for a while and I think we went a few months, if not longer. Now looking at this, I don’t know if something turned and it just wasn’t broadcasted. But it sucks.”
On telling Vince that he and Rod looked alike: “Vince got beet red, just flames coming out, ‘[Vince voice] WE DON’T LOOK ANYTHING ALIKE!’ and he just stormed off. I remember thinking, ‘What the hell is wrong with you!?’ So, there is something there with that as far as not wanting to look like your brother. Later that night, Vince came and got me and said he wanted me to meet his mom. He put me in a room with me and his mom and she tells me, ‘My son is gonna live for a very long time.’ She was still playing tennis at the time and looked great. I remember thinking that this wasn’t by accident they did this.
“But Rod was a really good guy. He wasn’t involved in the wrestling business. He would go to the shows sometimes and was a big fan. But I think he was involved in the metal industry and I think he did well for himself. I saw that [he passed away] the other night and that got me because I knew him. I knew him a lot better than I knew Vince. I enjoyed talking to him more than I enjoyed talking to Vince because I felt he was a very down to earth good person. He never let the relationship between me and Vince… that never affected [our relationship]. We got along and that was that and I always respected him for that. So, rest in peace, Rod. He was a good guy.”