Zack Ryder is in an interesting spot in the WWE.
The Long Island Iced Z has become a popular face thanks to his self-made success on his YouTube show “Z True Long Island Story." His latest episodes, on the WWE’s YouTube channel, provide fans the same humor but give Ryder a bigger platform than his own channel. His show’s success has increased his popularity in the WWE Universe, especially kids. However, the WWE’s Saturday Morning Slam could develop problems for Ryder.
Saturday Morning Slam is a half-hour program on the CW that airs at 10 a.m. It’s rated TV-G instead of TV-PG. The show features one match while giving them trivia of the old wrestling days. A press release from the WWE states how they’re trying to reach a younger audience. The problem doesn’t lie with the demographic. The problem lies with one rule: the ban.
As reported by Justin LaBar, the WWE put a ban on head-and-neck holds for the show. It’s understandable, as they don’t want kids to reenact any of the moves performed in the ring. No one outside the ring should perform these moves, especially kids.
Where does Ryder come into this? His finishing move, the Rough Ryder, is a leaping leg lariat. He jumps on his opponents landing near the head-and-neck area. Plus, the broski boot is also a move not likely to be seen on the show.
This leaves Ryder at a disadvantage. The moves that brought him to the dance are being cut from him on the show. Imagine taking away the Sweet Chin Music or the Stone Cold Stunner. While the Rough Ryder isn’t in the same breath as those two maneuvers, both focused on the head-and-neck area.
Ryder is in more trouble than speculated. How can Ryder advance in the ring if his patented moves are taken from him?
That brings the double-edged sword into play: the demographic. Ryder’s popularity is still growing in the WWE Universe, but the demographic might get the WWE brass to listen. Ryder could become popular among the higher-ups and can get the push he so desires.
Ryder still brings in viewers on his own show. He still brings in money for the WWE with his new merchandise. Which kid doesn’t want to fist pump with a Zack Ryder foam hand?
Saturday Morning Slam can give Ryder a new platform of exposure. In fact, it might force Ryder to become creative and develop new signature moves. The ban may take away his moves, but surely he could come up with a fresh repertoire.
Ryder rises to the occasion when getting himself over. He’s done it before with his character and show. Now, he’s being spotlighted on a show that bans his finishing maneuvers. In other words, Ryder is going to have re-invent himself.
As frustrating as that must be, that’s the hand he is dealt. Zack Ryder needs to get himself back in the spotlight. He has the support of the fans, and he’ll win over that demographic.
Zack Ryder is capable of getting a renewed push. Saturday Morning Slam can help him get that push. But when it’s all said and done, it depends on Zack Ryder.