Make or Break for Ryder Tonight
Look, I’m a Zack Ryder fan. Not the biggest, but a pretty big Broski. I watched him go from a Major Brother to an Edgehead to the Long Island Iced Z. For the last four months, Ryder’s popularity has been steadily growing each week with the advent of his YouTube show Z! True Long Island Story. The basic premise of the show, for those who haven’t seen it, is Ryder essentially complaining in a light-hearted way that he isn’t being used on TV enough. He’ll do sketches about being able to draw money, the WWE missing the boat on him, and things of the like. Zack Ryder signs have been popping up on Raw non-stop for months now, and last week it all came to a head: Ryder had a match on TV! Against Kofi Kingston!
And it flopped.
First, he entered the ring during the commercial break and with Dolph Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero, even entering to Ziggler’s music. The match wasn’t a squash by any stretch, but it was decisively one-sided after the half way point. When Ryder hit an offensive move, he’d yell “WOO WOO WOO!” or “YOU KNOW IT, BRO!” The crowd didn’t bite, they weren’t into him at all. Ziggler and Michael Cole did a good job of putting Ryder over; promoting his wrestling ability, twitter and YouTube show, but the crowd couldn’t care less. And it’s not that they weren’t into the match, because whenever Kofi did something, they reacted. It was a shock to most of us in the Internet Wrestling Community, as we were all lead to believe that Ryder was really, really over. And he is, just not with the casual fan.
Which brings us to tonight. Raw is from Long Island, New York, Ryder’s hometown. It was announced via Twitter that Ryder has a match with Evan Bourne, which will no doubt be a good bout. However if the reaction for Ryder tonight is anything like it was last week, I think we’d be seeing the end of Zack Ryder. His show no doubt rubbed some people the wrong way, as no company likes it when their employees complain, especially to a worldwide audience. So last week the WWE took a chance and put him on TV in a real spot, and it didn’t work out. If the same thing happens tonight, I could very well see Ryder get his walking papers.
The fact is he is not over. To the small amount of people the IWC make up, he is over. But to the rest of the audience, he’s that guy who loses on Superstars. We all believe that he’s over because he made us believe he is over. I’d love to see him in a regular spot on Raw, “defending” his Internet Championship. The WWE heard him crying, gave him a shot, and if it fails, it fails. But if his hometown crowd doesn’t buy it tonight, it’s a wrap, folks.