Picture former WWE United States champion Zack Ryder in the center of the ring on Raw participating in a karaoke contest with the Great Khali, Hornswoggle and Natalya.
Are you serious, bro?
Unfortunately, that scenario is exactly what played out on the show this past Monday.
Short of being annoyed at his lack of on-camera time, because at least he was being used, Ryder fans have continually been wondering when their hero will finally get a shot at the big time.
Sure, Ryder had a brief run with the U.S. title a little over a year ago, but since that time, he is generally used as a high profile enhancement talent, with the occasional victory mixed in. His work with the aforementioned Khali, himself relegated to a comedic role, was simply the barest of bones that the company could throw him.
Yes, Ryder got to walk out of that segment with his head held high, he and Khali having run off the upstart faction 3MB, but there was no real victory to be had. Ryder’s career is stuck in neutral, with no clear solution in sight.
And that fact is simply baffling to say the least.
Ryder has essentially built himself up to the status he has all by himself. His shameless self-promotion on YouTube and Twitter have brought him legions of fans, most of whom are becoming tired of seeing him in low level matches, if they even see him on television at all.
As of this writing, he has over one million Twitter followers, more than World Heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio, Intercontinental champion Wade Barrett, and current United States champion Antonio Cesaro combined.
His newest endeavor, a YouTube video for his viral hit “Hoeski” currently has more than 170,000 views. According to Ryder’s Twitter account, he entered the studio on Thursday to record the song for iTunes.
It stands to reason that Ryder should be involved in some type of feud of at least the Intercontinental or United States titles at the moment. With a huge talent logjam in the company right now, it is understandable as to why this is not the case.
Excluding minor WWE television shows like Main Event, the company puts out five hours of television per week between Raw and SmackDown, oftentimes with a complete lack of Long Island Iced Z.
While his appearance on Raw this past week was a refreshing change of pace, it was far from where Ryder belongs. With the amount of work he has put in to this point, with very little reward, Ryder and his fans have a right to be more frustrated than almost anyone in the company at the moment.
But still, he slowly moves on, just biding his time until management finally wakes up and realizes that a veritable cash cow has been sitting under its nose for years.
The unfortunate thing about Ryder’s predicament is that he has no other alternative. Sure, he could pack his bags and move on to WWE’s biggest competitor, TNA. After a short run at the top of TNA's talent ladder, however, Ryder would again likely find himself without a place and worse off than he is right now.
He is a great in-ring competitor, and few on the roster can match his charisma. And “Woo Woo Woo,” the company is well aware of this.
They just don’t seem to care.