by Christian Duque
I’m happy to see 2x Mr. Olympia Big Ramy posting more content – even if most of what we’re seeing is off-season stuff. I’m not crazy about the fact he’s 340lbs and we’re sixteen weeks out. I can’t say I’m super impressed by the champ’s obsession with size. It means little next to nothing when you consider how atrocious he looked last year. I mean if we’re being honest The Egyptian Phenom got his ass handed to him by The Prodigy at last year’s Olympia. The fact the judges gave him the prejudging and the finals is proof positive that the champ knows the title is his – no matter what. That removes all fear of consequences and it doesn’t exactly motivate him to improve either.
We haven’t seen much of Hadi, we know that guys like Nick Walker and Hunter Labrada are not going to be given the title just yet, and we also know that flavors of the week like Andrew Jacked and even Top 6 guys like Akim Williams won’t be in that Top 3. I can’t really elaborate why but it’s more a hunch than anything else. I think it’s obvious that Brandon will be in the mix though. That’s a given as far as I’m concerned.
In my opinion Curry should have won last year but if he didn’t have the Sandow back looking as amazing as he did in 2021 then I honestly don’t know what he needs to do to get it back again. The fact is I’m happy to see Ramy at least putting some kind of effort forward. It shows me that on some level he’s probably embarrassed about the train-wreck he bought last year to Orlando, FL. On the flip side this is the guy who basically snubbed the President by not appearing at his show, only putting out a lame apology some ten days later. He’s also the same guy who would jump at the chance to film with Mike Tyson or any other Hollywood celeb over doing anything with bodybuilding. I mean just as recently as a few months ago there was even credible speculation as to whether Ramy was even doing the Olympia. A lot can still happen.
I think it’s cute that YouTubers like Nick’s Strength And Power play along with the charade that Ramy looked good enough to win last year. That’s notable because off-season content like Ramy has posted really makes an impression on guys like Nick. He’ll go on and on talking about how a guy in long ass shorts posing in a dimly lit room for an Instagram post as the second coming. Every single time the champ gets on stage at 300+ he looks bloated. Last year he was smooth!
It all goes back to the size game. For years the O has been about exceeding size even – at the cost of ruining guys’ chances of winning. Anyone remember Markus Ruhl? Mass was his calling card and unlike Lee Haney, I don’t think anyone would mistake Das Freak’s muscle with Haney’s mass with class. He was just a freaky looking monster. Another name that comes to mind was Paul Dillett. He wasn’t trying to be Flex Wheeler or Shawn Ray, he wanted to make jaws drop and he did!
And that’s totally fine if you want to be a freak show but to be the best of the best it seems like an awfully big gamble to take especially for the defending champion. If Ramy stood any real chance of losing the title, I think any Ramy would reconsider. But after last year’s disastrous presentation, Ramy knows he can probably win another 1-2 years without any serious worries (or effort). I think him releasing videos now has more to do with reminding the bodybuilding public that he’s still around than anything else. On some level he doesn’t want the fans to forget about him. I mean let’s face it, the guy is usually MIA! But he’s just so aloof he prolly just now noticed.
When you’re the champ you feel indestructible and winning multiple titles surely helps cement that mindset. Confidence is fundamental to success in physique-based sports but there needs to be some limits.
We often hear that you have to pose hard and that you have to take the stage like you own it. If you’re shy or nervous it’s going to dramatically affect your placings. All that being said, not having ANY doubt and/or not fearing anyone can also be a flaw of sorts.
While Ramy is very respectful of guys like Brandon, Hadi, and others who comprise the (usual) Top 6, I don’t think he necessarily fears any of them. I also don’t think he worries about them. When he won the title I’m sure he had some doubts especially given the fact that he was up against Brandon and the returning Phil Heath. As he saw Brandon best The Gitt I’m sure he thought he was going to take second – at best. I mean when was a Ramy ever better than Phil at 100%? Brandon was on fire!! Of course getting the People’s Champion award that year only bolstered him further.
That said I think at last year’s O Ramy must have known Brandon had a very strong shot at toppling him. And when he didn’t, I think this bolstered him even more.
Now going for his third Olympia I really feel as if he’s just going with the motions. He’s already at the top of the sport and there’s probably very little that excites him. I’m sure he’d like to ink with another supplement sponsor, maybe start his own line, or maybe just go get some easy money in Las Vegas. Maybe that’s all the Olympia Weekend is to him. Any easy million – from the prize money to any bonuses he might make from existing sponsors, world tours, etc. Getting three will tie him with Zane but it isn’t 6, 7 or 8. It’s especially not 9 and I don’t think Ramy plans on being around the sport much longer. The fact he’s going for 3 might have been news to him just a few months ago. And while I like that he’s posting more, how much more is he actually posting? He’s still not doing podcasts, he’s still not doing IG LIVE’s with the fans, and he’s still not living up to his role as the sport’s ambassador to the world. It’s just a video here or there, maybe a selfie from time to time, and that’s about it.
I’d like to say I’m excited but I’m not. I’d like to believe he’s going to come in shredded and pose his heart out – but I know better. I suspect he’ll come in a little better but I think the guy’s bored and I don’t see him getting excited by December. That said, I am a skeptic, I do have sour grapes that Brandon didn’t win last year, and I am being a little extra judgmental because of the past. I will say that if Ramy really brings it and steps up his activity on social media from here till the O, I’ll be the first to eat my words right here at Iron Magazine and give the champ his props. I’m not going to hold my breath though.
If Ramy insists upon playing the size game it’ll be 2021 all over again, but what say you? Can Ramy pull a Ronnie Coleman 2003 in 2022? I say hell no!! What say you?