Is Zack Ryder Doomed to Stay at Midcard Status?

Sharon GlencrossContributor IOctober 18, 2012

photo from
photo from

Sadly, Zack Ryder’s career these days is looking mediocre at best.

Oh, sure, he’s a regular on television again, at least as his current tag team with Santino Marella attempts to establish itself and win tag team gold.

But the pair doesn’t look to be headed for anything special. Even the teaming of them feels so random, like it was casually thrown out there as an afterthought. Really, aside from being comedic babyfaces, what do they have in common?

It’s a head-scratcher for sure.

Indeed, in a tag division filled with great, talented tag teams (Team Hell No, Sin Cara/Rey and Epico and Primo), Santino and Ryder don’t stand out much at all. Basically, their whole paring seems to exist just to give the both of them something to do. 

So, as Ryder, a former United States champion, continues to languish in WWE’s lower midcard, concerned fans may ask: Is this where he is doomed to spend his entire career? Is there any hope of a main event push in the future?

Well, to be frank, Ryder does look to be stuck in the midcard for the foreseeable. There are a few reasons for this.

First of all, his wacky, underdog babyface character—while beloved by fans—is probably too ridiculous for him be taken seriously as a top-line main eventer. Hey, some people just aren’t meant to be main eventers. It’s very possible the peak of Zack’s potential is as a fun midcard comedy act—a la Brodus Clay or The Godfather.

Ryder’s very patchy history when it comes to being a ratings draw probably doesn’t help.

While the star may be hugely over with a certain subset of fans, this hasn’t crossed on to the wider audience—most of whom have never seen Z! True Long Island Story and don’t understand his unique kind of appeal.

There’s another significant problem: As his push has plummeted, Ryder has gone on Twitter and his YouTube show to complain about the push and WWE.

His anger is understandable—after all, as a lower-card performer, he single-handedly got over with the fans with virtually no help from the booking team, only to find himself even more marginalized and overlooked by the company.

However, Ryder’s unprofessional remarks only serve to ensure WWE will be even more reluctant to give him a push. Let’s face it: Does Ryder really need to openly bash the promotion for editing—or canceling—episodes of his show?

Of course not. Those matters should be dealt with behind closed doors. Regardless of how dire his current career path is, Ryder needs to recognize that he is not helping himself with this mini-rebellion on social media at all.

That’s not to say the situation is hopeless.

At a time when WWE is seriously lacking in popular, established stars, WWE may decide to give him another shot and give him a strong push. Reports indicate that CW executives are also happy with his current position on their Saturday Morning Slam show (Ryder’s geeky character is especially endearing to kid viewers). This also boosts his prospects in the company.

He may never be a main eventer, but he could easily be a reliable midcard babyface, which is hardly the worst thing for him.

But one thing is for sure: If he wants to get anywhere, he has to stop trashing the company in public.