Let's be honest: 2012 was an absolutely abysmal year for WWE star Zack Ryder. Something the former United States champion even acknowledged last week on his official YouTube show Z! True Long Island Story.
Over the past year, Ryder's status on television plummeted, with the star suffering loss after loss on Raw and Smackdown. And, hey, this was when he was even fortunate enough to make television; a great deal of the time he was left off the main shows entirely, instead being reduced to appearing on little-watched Internet-ony shows like Superstars.
Of course, it's possible Ryder can turn it around in 2013. And hopefully he will.
But there are still significant hurdles in the way as the star attempts to navigate his way back to the top of WWE. Here are the seven biggest ones...