Zack Ryder was in a funk. He hardly ever appeared on the main shows and if he did he was jobbing like a champ. Every week Ryder was being watched on Superstars by the tens of viewers who tuned in to watch Yoshi Tatsu, Trent Baretta and Tyler Reks (among others).
But then...it all changed. Zack Ryder started to find his way into the eyes and hearts of WWE fans.
He started a YouTube sensation, "Z! True Long Island Story" which started to bring the "broski" more fans. Then, before we knew it, Ryder was on Raw! He was starting to sneak out a few victories and even found a few big name friends, including John Cena.
The fans seemed to enjoy the spiky-haired spray-tanned superstar with the goofy ring tights and silly headband. Ryder was a new sensation for the WWE Universe and the Zack Ryder snowball had rolled long enough to earn him frequent US Championship title shots and matches against wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger—and eventually, he won.
The strap was on the waist of the fist-pumpin' superstar from Long Island and the fans seemed to eat it up.
But then...it all changed.
All of a sudden Ryder found himself raised high above the reborn Big Red Machine and then thrown down to the mat.
Kane needed someone to put down after his reemergence and who better than one of the biggest baby faces at the time? Kane continued to injure Ryder week after week, throwing him through and off just about every piece of the Monday Night Raw set.
To top it all off, the "hoski" Eve was just using Ryder and John Cena had stolen his woman.
Ryder went from the top back down through the ranks. TV went almost Ryder-less for weeks, scattering a few appearances of the frosted-tipped fighter in a wheelchair then in a back brace with crutches.
Now Ryder is all healed up (a surprisingly quick recovery) and has found his way into a WrestleMania XXVIII match this Sunday. Ryder and his broskis are looking at Sunday as the jumping-off point for Long Island's favorite son.
But will it change? Are his 15 minutes up?
No and yes, in that order. While Ryder, to me at least, is an entertaining superstar, he doesn't have the legs for another big push. This broski's time is up.
Think about it: He's not the best in the ring and honestly, where does he fit in? He doesn't have the skill level to compete for the main belts against the likes of Cena, Punk, Sheamus and others. Heck, where does he even fit in with the mid-card? His goofy, lovable, good guy niche is currently filled by everyone's favorite Italian, Santino.
There's a rumor flying around that Ryder will "embrace the hate," and use all of his rage directed towards Eve, Kane, and Cena and turn heel to chase the belt he lost! Maybe, but with Swagger as the main mid-card heel (and Ziggler, if you want to count him) and with the Miz filling the "Bro-heel" gap where does Ryder fit in?
Don't get me wrong, when Ryder won the strap I was right there fist-pumping with all the other broskis, but does he have another run in him? Are you serious, bro? The 15 minutes are up for Ryder, as sad as that may be.
What do you think? Are there big plans for Ryder? Let me know!