Arn Anderson explains why rumored fourth Shield member left WWE
Arn Anderson believes Mason Ryan did not succeed in WWE because he was put in front of WWE audiences too early on in his career.
The Welsh Superstar performed on WWE’s main roster from January 2011 to November 2011. However, he only competed in matches on WWE Superstars and WWE NXT before leaving the company in April 2014.
Speaking on his ARN podcast, Anderson said he used to travel with Ryan and Percy Watson. He added that Ryan needed more training before he started appearing on RAW and SmackDown.
“Here’s a guy that looked like a trillion dollars, looked as good as anybody, but he just got out there and was just too green. And here’s the reality, you can look like me and just go out and be so-so, and you might be forgiven by the audience because, ‘Well, you know what, he doesn’t look like Hercules but he’s not Hercules.’
“But when you look like that and you don’t produce, man, you get thrown in the meat grinder, and I think that’s what happened to Barri [Barri Griffiths, Mason Ryan’s real name].”
Ryan has worked as a Cirque du Soleil entertainer and in real estate investment since his WWE exit. Anderson said he was glad to hear that the former WWE Superstar landed on his feet after leaving the company.
Did Mason Ryan almost join The Shield in WWE?
Mason Ryan never returned to WWE’s main roster after he began competing in matches on WWE NXT in 2013. However, things could have worked out very differently if a F4W Newsletter report from January 2014 came to fruition. According to Bryan Alvarez, Ryan was considered as a replacement for Roman Reigns in The Shield.
“The feeling this week is that when Roman Reigns does his babyface turn and split from The Shield, likely in February, that he’ll be replaced with a new guy in the group. The name Mason Ryan has been thrown around as a possibility.”
Although Reigns did turn babyface around that time, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins also became good guys. The Shield eventually split in June 2014, with Rollins turning heel.