Zack Ryder managed to use social media better than anyone else in wrestling to climb the ladder in WWE, but it appears he is falling down that ladder just as quickly.
When Ryder first began making his web series, he was doing it as an outlet for his humor and creativity, which were being heavily stifled by WWE.
Ryder used his unique sense of humor to make the show very entertaining, and he even had a custom Internet Championship belt made for himself to show his online dominance.
When the series gained some acclaim and top names like CM Punk, John Cena and The Miz endorsed Ryder’s efforts, Ryder seemed like he was going to be just fine.
He started seeing a push in 2011 that led to him holding the US title for a number of months as well as being involved in a few major storylines.
His most exposure came when he was courting Eve, who had her own motives in pretending to be into John Cena and Ryder.
After losing his title, his girl and creative control of Z! True Long Island Story to WWE, it all started to go downhill from there.
Ryder’s social media following is still big, but these days he is used sparingly as either a jobber or a member of Team CoBro with Santino.
As a former tag team and US champion, Ryder has the accolades to justify another push, but WWE has seemed happy to keep him on the sidelines since mid-2012.
This is when Ryder’s show started to go down in quality.
The WWE YouTube team was heavily editing what Ryder would bring to them, and at one point he felt the show was so watered down that he canceled an episode recently.
In the most recent episode, Ryder himself seemed to all but spell out the end for his series, which is approaching 100 episodes.
If the show ends, then there is nothing keeping Ryder safe in WWE. His popularity online and among children have been his only saving grace recently, and part of that will go away if his show does.
There is no denying that Ryder is a talented athlete who is very passionate about the business, but passion and talent are not always enough.
A lot of the success people find in wrestling comes from being in the right place at the right time, as well as having the right connections backstage.
Since Ryder has openly criticized his employer both on his show and through his Twitter account, he might be in hot water without even knowing it.
This series of events is unfortunate both for Ryder and fans alike. Ryder, if used properly, is a great entertainer, and WWE is wasting him.
The fact that he was able to get himself over so well without the help of WWE may have contributed to his downfall, as Vince McMahon has been known to dislike any ideas that were not born in WWE headquarters.
Hopefully, Ryder finds some way to get back in the spotlight before he gets released, because he is a valuable talent whom fans would miss were he to depart the company on his terms or otherwise.
Let’s just hope that WWE doesn’t pull a Dick York/Dick Sargent situation on us and replace Ryder with someone different under a re-branded title.
(Is a Bewitched reference too dated for you guys?)
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