The Internet Champion…Zack Ryder
by, 04-11-2013 at 10:16 AM (4404 Views)
When I think about interesting WWE characters and potential lost and languishing in professional wrestling “Jobber Wasteland” I cannot help but think of the one and only “Long Island Ice Z” Zack Ryder. Like many I did not want to care, did not want to find myself liking him or cheering for him but as he slowly seemed to pull himself up by his bootstraps and get noticed with his innovative “Z! True Long Island Story” (started in early 2011 and ended early 2103) I did get caught up in the Ryder or Riot wave.
Heck, I still like the guy but sadly I believe he was a victim of his own success and like I have mentioned before “doomed to struggle” even if he did make the boss money if the boss perceived a lesson needed to be taught in who is really in charge of the WWE. Indeed, VKM has become “the” wrestling business and knows a good thing when he sees it but if he feels like someone or something not of his own creation is being shoved down his throat he also knows how to kill momentum too. It would be interesting actually to measure how much money in merchandising and the like the WWE is making off Ryder now verses what he was drawing the same time last year? I would wager there is a difference, yes, but not a substantial one.
Poor Matthew Cardona is still around, however, and floating around in jobberville wishing for the days to complain about being stuck on Superstars and having the stress of putting together another Z!TLIS episode. Those episodes were original and creative and, in turn, got him noticed by the world and WWE management, but now more than ever does he need to recapture that drive and find a way to pull up those bootstraps again and push himself. I have always believed that to make it in anything you have to want it more than anyone else and stop at nothing to achieve your goals. Yet, where is that Zack Ryder that people were forced to like and cheer for?
Of course the inevitable debate amongst the IWC is he should turn heel, fall back to the tag team division or repackage his gimmick but I say his character is fine and still has a lot of potential he just needs to get out of this depressive funk he seems to be in and fight. Ok…maybe that is not as easy as it sounds with what he is given to work with these days but hell it cannot be any worse than where he was before. Zack you have shown us you do care about the business and that you can succeed on your own merits just don’t give up and give in to coasting because even a jobber is happy to have a job, right? Don’t fall into that trap we all sometimes get into of casting blame and whining about circumstance just remember who you are and get out there and get it done!
How many WWE wrestlers have so much potential, so much skill, ability and even tons of fans, but do so little about using it to their fullest advantage? Yeah…yeah…what do I know about how hard it is in the world of the WWE and professional wrestling? Nada. But I do know it’s not ever going to be the greatest American novel if it is stuck in your head and never written down…I do know you will not go far down the road if you don’t put gas in the car and put the pedal to the medal! Some are happy to just be as they are and get by and that is fine for them but some overcome cancer in high school, create YouTube shows to get noticed or Internet Championships to shine his own superstardom…that is who you are ZR remember that!
Hundreds of dreaming hopeful wannabes seek to get some foot—even a pinky toe—in the door of the WWE and by hedge or Edge you are there man so live it! Personally, I think the WWE is missing the boat, dropping the ball and whatever other witty example you want to use on many of their talented superstars but such is the nature of the game…the cruel mistress of the business. There is no other glaring example, in my estimation, of the WWE’s stubborn short-sightedness than their failure to utilize a rare fresh idea in the land of “been there, done that” than in Zack Ryder’s own Internet Championship strap.
Sure, the idea came from a mid-card superstar struggling to find his way and be noticed in the packed lineup of the WWE roster, but does that make it a bad idea? Honestly, in the super saturated world that we now live in of social media and internet sensations wouldn’t an idea like this truly mean something? As hard as you push twitter, tout and similar bells and whistles why doesn’t this kind of a belt make perfect sense to use to enhance your product and bring something unique to the table? Frankly, I am shocked TNA or other organization have not already debuted something similar (or they may have I don’t really pay attention) to try and capitalize on this idea?
In my opinion this is the perfect vehicle for your WWE.com or your Saturday Morning Slam to have some special significance and a way Zack could regain some momentum and energy. Have the belt only defended online in pre-shows to PPVs or other similar ways and only those who are popular online (by the vote of the people or their follower count whatever) able to go after it. Sure,the look of the belt may need to change in a generic non-Zack Ryder emphasis kind of way but those are just details. Really, what have you got to lose to try something new?
Just think about the instant credibility this belt could have if the WWE just let it be acknowledged on TV and say to Zack “here is the ball…run with it son.” If it fails, it fails and can be deleted just as easily as the hardcore title and just think of the possibilities. Ok “instant credibility” may be a stretch but Zack has “held” the title for a longgggg time (yeah I can see the irony there) and given the right time and push it could easily take off and not only revive his career but the mid-carders as well…the belt is there, the man is there…what would be the harm?