WWE WrestleMania 28: Zack Ryder Needs to Save AJ from Daniel Bryan

James DoubleUAnalyst IMarch 14, 2012

Last year at WrestleMania, Daniel Bryan had a dark match against Sheamus. Eve was champion but didn't have a match and wasn't even carrying her title when she talked to The Rock.

Zack Ryder was singing "Friday" by Rebecca Black and had only finished seven episodes of Z! True Long Island Story. Triple H even joked that there were only three or four broskis! Are you serious?

AJ wasn't even around.

Over the next several months, Bryan won the Money in the Bank briefcase for SmackDown but subsequently went on a long losing streak, while Ryder gradually built up support via his YouTube show and began earning himself TV time, and even wins.

Ryder struck first by getting a shot at Dolph Ziggler's U.S. title, but he lost. He also became Teddy Long's assistant. Meanwhile, Bryan had two teases of cashing in his briefcase on SmackDown.

At Tables, Ladders and Chairs, both men won gold, with Ryder gaining a victory over Ziggler despite the interference of Vickie Guerrero, and Bryan successfully cashed in on The Big Show, becoming World Heavyweight Champion.

For one brief moment on the following RAW, the two joined CM Punk at center stage and basked in their long-denied glory.

Then their paths diverged again. Bryan continued to retain, with pal AJ now instated as his "girlfriend," and she took a huge hit from Show as he chased Bryan at ringside.

Meanwhile, Ryder got caught in between Kane and John Cena while attempting to woo one-time tag partner Eve, and after being severely brutalized by the Big Red Monster, Ryder dropped his title to Jack Swagger despite not being cleared to compete.

While Daniel Bryan retained again at the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber while treating AJ worse and worse, Ryder continued to get his body abused by Kane and his heart abused by Eve.

Eve kissed Cena and admitted to manipulating the Long Island Iced Z. After his return from injury, Zack has once again gotten caught up in Eve's game, accepting a date, only to be stood up.


With WrestleMania 28 approaching, Bryan is set to defend his title against Sheamus, though the match is being overshadowed by Rock/Cena and even Laurinaitis/Long. AJ is still clinging blindly to him and waving off his poor treatment of her.

Meanwhile, Eve is trying to manipulate her way to relevance, and Ryder is reduced to begging Teddy Long for a spot on his team via YouTube.

Right now, Bryan is entrenched in his role as a heel. But AJ is clearly the misguided face. Meanwhile, Eve and Ryder are in the same situation with the roles reversed.

Everybody hates to see a friend stuck with someone who's using them. It's fine if WWE uses that to work us for a while, but eventually it has to end, and better to end it with a bang than a whimper.

With a couple weeks until WrestleMania 28, there is just enough time for these two otherwise unconnected groups to cross paths. Just a couple backstage segments should do.

We already know Eve is looking for a bigger fish to latch onto. Cena didn't bite, but who's bigger (figuratively) than a World Heavyweight Champion?

She could eye up Bryan, make a move and (when AJ's not around) Bryan can even give in to her advances. Meanwhile, Ryder can continue banging his head against the wall over Eve.

The clincher comes when you put Ryder and AJ together. Whether Ryder sets up a romantic gesture to Eve and when jilted, passes it off on AJ, or sees Bryan mistreating AJ and confronts him with an "Are you serious, bro?" it sets everything on a collision course.

Bryan, of course, will be focused on his title defense and will find some way to convince AJ to stick by him. Ryder may or may not be involved in the GM unification match, and Eve will be an afterthought.


It all comes to a head on the big day. Either Bryan lashes out at AJ before the match when she shows concern about him winning against Sheamus, or he uses her to retain again, or he loses and blames her or simply abuses her to relieve his frustrations.

Zack sees this and has had enough. He decides the time has come to put broski boots to asses.

Whether Bryan retains or not is immaterial. Either way, he needs to focus on the title, but he can have a one-off grudge match with Ryder on April 2nd's RAW. It doesn't matter if he beats the snot out of the broski brawler, Ryder still comes off looking like a hero, and AJ leaves Bryan.

Ryder and AJ are a perfect match, as the broski's bravado fails to hide the fact that Zack is in fact a big geek. AJ is a comic-book-reading tomboy, Zack plays with action figures on his YouTube show.

Bryan, for all Cole's accusations of nerddom, isn't really a nerd. He's a bit square maybe, and before he got more hair on his chin than his head, he didn't look like a tough guy, but he doesn't even watch TV. That's odd, but it's not geeky.

So that's why I think AJ should ask Zack Ryder to show her his action figures.

Woo woo woo! You know it!