According to what Ryback is saying, he proposed an angle to McMahon that he thought would make him seem like a credible WrestleMania opponent for Brock Lesnar to the audience. The story goes that Ryback would appear to leave the company to compete in MMA, only to return to WWE with newly acquired MMA skills.
“My idea was, and I went to Vince, I’ve been asking for Brock Lesnar for WrestleMania for the last three years. But I told Vince, ‘you have to build me up properly.’ And I go, ‘this pay-per-view, it will break all-time records if you build this match up properly.’ And I asked him, I go, ‘you need to let me go away for six months’ and I go, ‘I live in Las Vegas [Nevada]. MMA is hugely, insanely popular. It’s pretty much the breeding ground here in Las Vegas of MMA.’ I said, ‘let me go join a fight camp, full-time, for six months. We will make it look like I’m about to go out and do a real fight. I come back to WWE though, challenge Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.'”
He explained Vince’s reaction to this idea next.
“Vince, just completely, it went over his head and I just remember sitting there dumbfounded. Like, ‘Jesus Christ! You can’t f–king be that out of touch.’ Maybe he didn’t want me to go away for six months or whatnot. I don’t know.