Hello and welcome to My Pinterest Is Piledrivers.
So Dolph Ziggler gave an interview recently that hinted at the cancellation of Z True Long Island Story. This also began rumors, the cousin of hints, of Zack Ryder being wished well in his future endeavors. Being that the YouTube show is where he is most visible and he is currently either jobbing or serving as one-half of the tag team “Comedy Wrestlers” with Santino, it isn’t quite inspiring much confidence in his career.
Now before I get into this, let me just state that it is very possible that myself and others are chicken littling, which is an actual condition. The WWE could be starting some multifaceted storyarcs, and this one could be aimed at internet fans and smarks, with Ryder being fired or suspended, his show cancelled, only to resurface in ROH for three months where he badmouths Vince and the WWE, only to return via run-ins and a new, more focused character. But… c’mon. Have you seen their stories lately? Let’s not give the writers any more credit than they deserve. Which is so, so very little.
I first found out that Zack Ryder existed when CM Punk tweeted a recommendation to watch the first episode of Z True Long Island Story. After watching it, I was a fan. A self-aware, self-deprecating sports entertainer with a sense of humor and nothing to lose? How could I not be? I was a fan after his first rendition of “Never Say Never.”
Over time, he built an audience based on the fact that he was so starved for a creative outlet he went out and made one. He made lots of insider jokes about how “no one pushes Zack Ryder” and how he does “all the jobs.” He opened himself up on Twitter, poignantly lamenting when his girlfriend dumped him. Seriously, that dude was heartbroken. We saw his family and friends and how much they all genuinely loved each other and how funny they were, too. He became sort of a Peter Parker, an everyman “you could be this wrestler, too” fanboy-made-bigtime guy to root for.
Last December, it all paid off as he won the United States championship against his arch-rival and real life friend Dolph Ziggler in front of his dad, best friends and cheering fans. It was a heartwarming story you couldn’t write as it would be deemed too cheesy, but it was all true.
Then… then he got involved in a plot with Kane, Cena and Eve Torres. Instead of propelling him to the main event, it made him look like an incompetent cuckolded coward as he got his ass handed to him by Kane week after week and Cena’s streetwise charm and rugged good looks attracted Ryder’s girlfriend. (Seriously, is it not enough that Cena is an invincible combination of Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior? He’s got to be a Shawn Michaels heartthrob, too?) He lost the belt within a month, got disappeared off TV, kicked in the nuts by his ex at Wrestlemania and now his show is rumored to be cancelled soon, not long after the WWE took it over and used it to launch their own YouTube channel.
Why does the WWE hate themselves? They had a kid, who at the age of 25 cared so much about entertaining people and making a name for himself started his own YouTube doing his own shows at his own expense and time. They had an underdog that people could root for, with smarks first getting there, then slowly convincing everyone. He was getting over naturally, without being forced down anyone’s throats. Someone who got along with powerful and semi-powerful guys like Punk and Ziggler, and who was mentored by Edge and Jericho. By all accounts he’s a fairly clean-cut guy who is close with his family and unlikely to be found in a hotel room with a bag full of used needles and Lindsay Lohan. He sold lots of merch and was well-spoken and funny enough to be a great guest on talk shows and radio.
But because he showed his own initiative, because he made some smartass comment about Triple H’s nose or something… his show is, if not cancelled, co-opted and censored? Way to go, WWE. Keep trying out world champions like Swagger and the Miz. Keep forcing Ryback down our throats. Keep forcing Cena to work 25 hour days and appear on all 78 hours of weekly programming. That’ll get the buyrates up, no doubt.