by Christian Duque
Here’s what we know. We know, Big Ramy has reached as high as 2nd place at the Mr. Olympia. We know he’s worked with Dennis James, Chris Aceto, Bader Boodai and most recently, Neil Hill. We know he’s doing a movie with Mike Tyson in Egypt. We also know, he didn’t do the Arnold, didn’t show up in Pittsburgh, and announced he wouldn’t be re-qualifying in Tampa and/or doing the 2019 Mr. Olympia. Without doing more shows, much less the Olympia, I can’t imagine he’s doing much work with Hill, anyways.
It’s one thing to work with a top level guru, someone whose got big name clients like James “Flex” Lewis and WIlliam Bonac, to get ready for the biggest stage in bodybuilding, but it’s another to be in shape for a movie. This is why, when news breaks that he’s no longer working with Hill – that – I don’t pay it much attention to. Where I saw the news and in what context it was reported, I’ll leave to your own Google search; however, when the fans clamor for answers, I see it as my cue to pick up the pen. That’s what we do, here, at Iron Magazine. Whether it’s myself, Matt, or Geoff, we try to give the readers what the readers want. Unfortunately, i don’t think there’s much news to report from the coaching angle. While it seems as if Ramy did in fact walk from Hill – no reason(s) are given and none may ever be revealed. Still, let’s take this opportunity to speak as to what Ramy could in fact be doing, thinking, and what the mood is like among the fans. It’s always a great read to talk about The Egyptian Phenom, so let’s have at it.
It’s my belief that Big Ramy has his heart set on being a moviestar. He has the physique, the fans, and now the contacts. There’s no question he can create a very good fan base for himself and working with big stars, there’s no question he’ll do just that. Mike Tyson is a household name. In the 1980’s Iron Mike took down the biggest and baddest boxers, some fights lasting so little that if you went to take a leak, Tyson’s opponents would be on the mat, being attended to my refs and medics, when you got back. His losing the title to James “Buster” Douglas, his trial and conviction, and of course the whole ear-biting incident with Evander Holyfield, may have hurt his PR at the time, but his starpower, today, is undeniable. I don’t know how Ramy was able to land a key role in a film with Tyson, but bodybuilding is a discipline many in pro sports and Hollywood, absolutely love. Although Big Ramy may not command rockstar audiences, he’s probably known of by tons of rockstars, Hollywood A Listers, and elite-level casting agents and directors. On the one hand, bodybuilding is in fact a niche sport, but on the other hand, you have major stars who go nuts over it. Take a stroll back through memory lane, back when a megastar wrestler named Triple H appeared at the Olympia. When Triple H did the O, he was a huge draw, yet when he shared the stage with Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler, there were times he seemed to be starstruck. It’s crazy, but true. The same could be said about The Rock, Mark Wahlberg, and others.
There’s no question Big Ramy could land some big roles, maybe even some major ones. Although most people may not freely acknowledge this, largely because their interaction with Ramy is limited, at best; I can tell you, as someone whose interviewed him, that his English has vastly improved and that he has a great personality – he’s REAL. His confidence has also improved. He went from being a little known bodybuilder, to being the poster guy for Team GAT, a celebrated champion, and a well-traveled superstar. Like Kai, there’s a very big chance he’s no longer interested – or – maybe not consumed by – the fire to win a Sandow.
I always tell people, from readers to champions, that winning a Sandow, puts you in a very unique place in history. While there may be any number of lucrative deals entered into now, some for great money, they will only last so long. There’s only so many people who have won the Olympia and once you win that title, your future is set. I don’t care when you win, how many you win, or even against who you win. Being a Mr. Olympia is huge. Also, I’m speaking only to bodybuilding. The other divisions are important, but open bodybuilding holds the most significance. I don’t know if Ramy would have ever won one, even if he gave 100%, but as with Kai, time is not on his side. He’s getting older and he’s claimed that the reason he’s not doing this year’s event, is an injured shoulder. I say claimed only because I don’t know for sure. If in fact he’s injured, that’s one more hurdle to overcome.
With regard to his relevancy on the scene, I also see some similarities as with Kai. In 2017, all the hype was for Ramy. He had taken 2nd to Phil Heath, his placings were improving each and every year, and the fans wanted to see a new champion. 2018 was Ramy’s golden opportunity, but that being said, he wasn’t that impressive in 2017. He’d looked better for his back to back wins at the NY Pro, still, it was enough to get him the silver medal, then. Had Ramy taken his 2017 package and vastly improved it, it may have been him beating Phil, but that’s not how it played out. To be honest, I’ve never seen Ramy 100% dialed in, except maybe, once upon a time in the NY Pro footage. The critics will sound off, speculating as to whether Ramy likes to diet, others will put the blame on coaching. Whatever the case may be, 2018 may have been his golden opportunity and who knows if he’ll get another one. Who knows if he’ll even compete again?
With regards to coaches and/or any coaching changes, who knows where Ramy stands. For now, I can tell you the fans are excited to see the movie with Tyson. They’re also, at least, curious where Ramy goes next. I think he’s done competing, but only time will tell. I did write (for Iron Magazine) last year, that he wouldn’t last with Hill and he wouldn’t make it to the O with him – and – he didn’t. It’s nothing against Neil, but Ramy’s decision to leave Bader’s side wasn’t thought out clearly. You don’t leave a team that takes you to #2 in the world. If he ever returns to that camp, I see a future claim to the Olympia for him, but with anyone else, I just don’t.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article, here, at Iron Magazine. I look forward to reading your comments. Also, be sure to use discount code “IML15” when shopping at IronMag Labs to Save 15% Off your purchase.