Zack Ryder is making one more big push in hopes of getting a chance to breakout in the WWE. The young talent from Long Island who created a character based on the MTV show Jersey Shore and used his YouTube show Z True Long Island Story to create a groundswell of fans online, is back once more with what appears to be his final effort to get noticed.
Today, Ryder launched a new web show, Last ReZort, by cutting a shoot promo on the last few years. He covers his WWE debut with Curt Hawkins as the Major Brothers to his shift to the catchphrase spitting broski gimmick to even selling massive amounts of merchandise despite minimal airtime each week.
Without his trademark headband or sunglasses, Ryder presented a stripped down version of his character in a far more serious, straight forward presentation. He even references making his own T-shirts in the shoot, demonstrating what I can only assume is a legitimate break from the wishes of WWE's creative staff.
Ryder is a very talented performer with a passion for the business and understanding of how to create a character and make money. A fan of the Attitude Era, he developed his own catchphrases and turned up his own personality, calling on his experiences living in Long Island, to create a larger than life, fun-loving persona that could turn serious on a dime. The crowd ate it up, fist pumping and chanting catchphrases with him in the way we see Val Venis, the Godfather and any other line of lower midcard acts from the Attitude Era.
I was in the arena the night that Ryder defeated Dolph Ziggler for the United State championship. The roof blew off the Baltimore Arena chanting Woo Woo Woo in support of the ultimate underdog. However, Ryder was then played for little more than laughs. He was presented as John Cena's charity case and then crippled in storyline by Kane after the Royal Rumble.
Ryder never recovered. Now, as he states in the video, he flies from city to city (on his own dime I might add) to be part of the show and cross his fingers that he might make it onto Raw. More than likely, though, he'll be booked for Superstars or Main Event where he'll be squashed in less than five minutes by someone like Brodus Clay.
It's infuriating to see the way Ryder is treated. It's long been thought that Vince McMahon liked guys with balls enough to take initiative and make something of themselves. For some reason, though, he and Triple H resented Ryder's successful self promotion. They raked in the dough off his merchandise sales and kept him on the sidelines. And so much for Cena being his pal. If Cena was really his friend, he would've pushed for him to get a featured spot on the show instead of being relegated to less-than-Santino Marella level jobberdom.
Unfortunately, I don't think this video is going to help get Ryder where he's trying to go. With WrestleMania coming up, I fear Ryder will be among those handed their pink slips during the annual post-Mania house cleaning ritual. He deserves better, but this is emblematic of not only how WWE runs its company and treats it's talent, but also how it views its fans. It doesn't matter how loudly the crowd chants for you if Vince and Triple H don't want you to be the focus.
To Ryder, I'll watch your show and wear your headband when sitting on the couch and pounding Natty Boh's during Raw. If I never get another shot at seeing you live, I'll always have Tables Ladders and Chairs in Baltimore.