Zack Ryder: WWE Are Dropping Ball
Filling arenas, the chants of "We Want Ryder" were common place on WWE television during 2011 and 2012. Wrestling fans had spoken; they wanted the newly-turned babyface (effectively turning due to his goofy, naturally likeable performances on his YouTube show: "Z! True Long Island Story") appearing on shows, wrestling matches and generally being more involved.
Ryder soon found himself in the unique position of being over with the fans and selling a large amount of merchandise, yet still with the bigwigs behind the scenes at WWE refusing to see him in the same light as the fans chanting his name. Eventually, something had to give - Zack Ryder began appearing on Raw and Smackdown more regularly, even going on to capture the US Title from Dolph Ziggler at TLC in 2011.
Despite capturing an important mid-card title, it still was obvious WWE were never fully behind their newest star. There seemed to be a begrudging aspect to Ryder's push, one the company half-heartedly persevered with to placate fans. Never was this more evident than during Ryder's association with John Cena, where the former was treated as the latter's mildly irritating buddy, more likely to get in the way than aid his main-event compatriot.
Throughout the latter part of last year, Ryder's presence on TV greatly diminished. Tweeting to fans on New Year's Eve, the popular performer shared his overall dismay at how his star has fallen. "No reason for me to watch the ball drop tonight, I lived through the ball being dropped with me all year", Ryder said.
For someone so usually chirpy about his career and WWE in general, this is a sign of the growing frustration Zack Ryder is currently feeling. Clearly, Ryder is not happy with where his career is headed, and feels he can contribute much more than he is allowed. The harsh, 'what have you done for me lately?' landscape of modern pro wrestling dictates Ryder better hope something changes soon, otherwise he could sadly find himself sliding lower down the WWE totem pole.
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