Induction: Zack Ryder vs. Kane – Friday the 13th, Part Z

60 Submitted by on Thu, 15 May 2014, 20:00

WWE, 2012

Ever heard of the seven-year rule? Jim Cornette says that a wrestling promotion can run the same angle after seven years because by then, memories will have faded and there will be enough new viewers who won’t even noticed the re-hashed story lines.

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Jim Cornette hasn’t written for WWE in a long time, which you probably figured out when, just two years after he terrorized Zack Ryder and Eve, Kane was back in the saddle (and the mask)(and the wig) to chase Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella around like a bad slasher flick. Let’s just hope that this stint in storyline hell works out better for Bryan than it did for Zack Ryder.

 kvr02 You remember Zack Ryder, right? The guy who, when the company had zero interest in pushing him, took the initiative to get over on his own damn own, using his self-produced Youtube show, “Z: True Long Island Story” to popularize his gaudy fashion sense and objectively stupid catch-phrases? For his growing, unexpected popularity, he was rewarded…
…with a Brogue Kick by Sheamus and an embarrassing seconds-long title bout. If the parallels with Daniel Bryan still weren’t enough for you… 18sec13
 kvr04 …consider that the Zack Pack continued their support through snub after snub, such as when chants of “We want Ryder” echoed throughout Madison Square Garden on a card where Long Island Iced Z wasn’t even booked, while John Morrison, a gifted athlete whose notoriously bad scripted promos fell flat on a nightly basis, received the coveted U.S. title shot.
For months, when they even bothered to acknowledge Ryder, naysayers like Michael Cole scoffed at the idea that a nobody like him could actually become popular independently of WWE’s marketing machine and creative team. For months, Cole derided Ryder’s fan base as internet geeks (much like Daniel Bryan’s fans) whose opinions shouldn’t matter. kvr05
kvr06 For months, Cole mocked Ryder’s “Internet Championship,” despite the fact that the massive imaginary 64-man tournament he won it in gave it a more legitimate origin than the WWE and Intercontinental Titles combined.
And for months, Cole insisted (rather validly, to be honest) that being popular on Twitter doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished anything of note. kvr07
kvr08  All of this would have been well and good if:

  1. Heel Cole didn’t appear to act as a mouthpiece for what Vince McMahon actually thought, and
  2. he and the rest of WWE weren’t simultaneously promoting the dickens out of Twitter, obsessing over trending topics mid-show, and claiming that the WWE Universe has a say in the programming they watch every week.
As Henry Ford (sort of) said about his famous Model T, “You can have any color as long as it’s black.”
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Or, in McMahon’s case, 6’4’’ or taller. Also, not black.

kvr10 In the end, those fans who had issued the ultimatum, “Ryder or riot” were vindicated when Ryder got his title shot and upset Dolph Ziggler.

And so Zack had at last achieved his dream of holding singles gold (Internet championship notwithstanding), and he had but one man to thank:
himse—
– no, sorry, it was John Cena. John Cena was the answer. kvr11
kvr12 See, Cena was Ryder’s very best friend, and had been for several weeks, so he selflessly forfeited a chance for a fourth WWE title that year to give his best bud a shot at the U.S. title.
But then all hell broke loose when the loathsome, demonic beast with fake hair returned to WWE. kvr13
kvr14 No, not Alicia Fox.
I mean Kane, who, after returning under his mask to terrorize John Cena and drive him to “embrace the hate,” targeted the closest thing John had to an on-screen love interest: Zack Ryder. kvr15
kvr16 That time recently when Kane tried to pull Brie Bella under the ring through a trap door?
Zack played the part of Brie two years earlier, being cast as a damsel in distress just two weeks after the biggest moment of his career. kvr17 
kvr18 That’s not to say that Zack Ryder was completely emasculated by the story line that relegated him to the status of Princess Peach to John Cena’s Mario and Kane’s Bowser.
(Or, if you will, Pauline to Cena’s Jumpman and Kane’s Donkey Kong) kvr19 
kvr20 No, Zack too had a love interest in Eve Torres and, after weeks of pitching woo-woo-woo, was finally manning up to ask her out on a date.
Unfortunately, this was the same night that Kane decided to stalk our favorite Broski. kvr21
kvr99 All night, Bathroom Kane was watching Zack mastur—
— uh, brush his teeth. kvr22
kvr23 Taking several pages from a bad horror script, WWE’s writers had Zack flee the crazed monster with Eve in tow, only to find that his car had a flat tire!
Again, what happened to the seven-year rule?
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kvr98  Surprisingly, there was no horror scene where Eve was scared of, say, venturing into the very stall where Brian Pillman had left a 18-inch bowel movement 20 years ago to the day, but Zack told her, “Come on, it’ll be fun!”, only for them both to be hacked to bits by the Big Red Machine in the men’s room. They also missed out on Zack getting threatening phone calls that turn out to be coming from inside the arena, but I guess Kevin Nash texting himself had already covered that territory.
With Eve screaming at him to hurry, Ryder installed the hell out of that spare tire during the commercial break… kvr26
kvr27  …and throughout his buddy John Cena’s match. Unfortunately, the ten minutes needed to accomplish this task was enough for Kane to catch up with Zack at a very leisurely pace. If only Zack had learned to work a jack and tire iron faster… or, you know, just driven Eve’s car instead. The one with no flat tire.
Kane got a hold of Zack and chokeslammed him off a parking ramp onto some mats no more than a foot below. kvr28
kvr29 (Although, by the time Cena came to save the day, Zack was lying on some broken pallets nowhere near where he clearly landed the first time)
The mysterious bump would take its toll on Zack, as did the total lack of chemistry he shared with Eve. Once WWE saw how bad the ratings were for the couple’s backstage moments, they pulled the plug on Ryder’s unprecedented internet-driven push, opting to put the all-important US title on a proven draw. kvr30 
kvr31 Failing that, they put the belt on Jack Swagger, who trounced an “injured” Ryder shortly thereafter on Raw.
And then things started going downhill. In a grudge match with Kane, the Big Red Machine utterly dominated the fan favorite, capping off the beatdown with a chokeslam through the metal stage. Ryder was carted off on a stretcher and was diagnosed with a broken back. kvr32 
kvr33 Naturally, Eve blamed this on John Cena, who had been out of the spotlight for several minutes and could really use the attention.
Typically, “broken back” would be injury enough to put a wrestler on the shelf for years, if not forever, so if you haven’t been following WWE closely, you’ll be forgiven for thinking the total absence of Ryder from TV every week was simply Zack selling his injury like a champ. kvr34
kvr35  Instead, Ryder was back in arenas in no time, carting himself around in a wheel chair to set up a backstage segment seemingly directed by Ed Wood. That would be the one where Kane tried to kidnap Eve by locking her into an ambulance. Problem was, the production truck cut to the scene a few seconds too early, showing Eve willingly entering the back of the ambulance while a man with a rolled-up paper in his hand poked Kane as a cue to start shutting the doors.
Fortunately, John Cena was on the scene to save Eve from the seven-foot demon and his evil stagehand sidekick, and in the heat of the moment, the purveyor of Hustle, Loyalty, and Respect locked lips with his best friend’s sweetheart. And keeping with the segment’s theme of terrible timing, Zack was sitting right there to see the whole thing unfold. kvr36 
kvr38 Eve was quick to apologize to Zack and tell him she wanted him to be her… friend. Ryder was mighty upset at being friend-zoned, putting him about one notch above a rapist. Or something. I read an article on Jezebel.
To add insult and injury to insult to injury, he got pushed off the stage by Kane a few minutes later. Now poor John Cena felt really bad. kvr39 
kvr40  With Zack having lost his title, his girl, and his health all to further shine the spotlight on John Cena, someone in WWE apparently realized that someone involved in this angle might need a push more than Cena. Namely, Eve, who got a heel turn out of the non-stop burial of Ryder. Eve, it turned out, was just using Zack Ryder to get to John Cena, whom she would also use to further her career (which was worth the weekly risk of being murdered by Kane). We know this because she said exactly that out loud like a Bond villain revealing his evil plan just before finishing off the secret agent. Unfortunately for her, John Cena happened to hear the whole thing. So did millions of other people watching Raw live on television, come to think of it.
Eve always embarrasses herself when she doesn’t realize the cameras are rolling.
kvr35
kvr42 Zack Ryder still wouldn’t forgive John Cena, though, walking to the ring on crutches to support his broken back (I guess) and trying to slap Cena across the face….
…which he couldn’t even do without getting knocked on his Broski butt again. kvr43
kvr44

kvr97

Despite one fan’s threat, the crowd exited in an orderly fashion after the event.

 

And still, John Cena refused to “embrace the hate,” despite his best friend being booked and beaten into oblivion each and every week. Then again, if I got top billing at the Elimination Chamber with a lame-duck feud meant to mark time until my Wrestlemania headliner with the Rock, I’d be feeling pretty good, too.

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So, all’s well that ends well, as John Cena’s horrific ordeal with Kane was rewarded with consecutive pay-per-view victories a pay-per-view victory and a little momentum going into his big match at Mania. So I guess this angle wasn’t so terrible for Cena after all. Why did I even write this thing, then?

Oh right! Zack Ryder. While making a remarkably quick recovery from a broken back, Zack still never regained his US title from Jack Swagger, who ended up putting over Santino Marella.  kvr46
kvr47  Nor did Ryder ever get his revenge on Kane, who wrestled a fairly meaningless match again Randy Orton at Wrestlemania rather than resolving his issues with the plot device in the headband. That would have to wait until a third-rate pay-per-view like Over the Limit (where Kane won on the pre-show).
And him and Eve? They ended up getting back together because Zack was an idiot who didn’t see her betrayal at Wrestlemania coming. At least he beat Sting for the title of “Dumbest Man in Professional Wrestling,” though. kvr48
kvr49 Nowadays, Ryder is lucky to appear on Superstars, somehow occupying a stratum of WWE even lower than when he wore a negligee and those tights with one pant leg.

Frankly, the prospect of the Yes Movement going the way of the Ryder Revolution is way scarier than any of the schlocky horror scenes with Kane and the Danielsons.

All it may take to kill Daniel Bryan’s career dead is something as simple as a cheesy run-in with Jacob Goodnight himself.

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That, and being beaten up every week, losing every match, and never getting his payback.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He currently runs the "How Much Does This Guy Weigh?" blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws and Hasbro WWF figures. Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com
60 Responses to "Induction: Zack Ryder vs. Kane – Friday the 13th, Part Z"
  1. Matt Soileau says:

    I never got Ryder’s appeal…

    • Cenamark says:

      I dug Ryder. His gimmick may have been Jersey Shore inspired, but it had none of the douchebaggery. Ryder came off as one of those guys who’s coolness came from exuding positive attitude. His gimmick was that guy who would confidently hug all the ladies and bro-hug all the dudes in the room and give everybody a compliment… maybe I’m looking too deep into his gimmick. Anyhow he had charisma decent ring skills and worked hard to get over.
      His burial is mind blowing. During this time you’d see tons of Ryder merch in the stands. Those headbands with the hair and the foam fists were everywhere. I just checked WWE.com and the only Zach Ryder merchandise available is a Superstars DVD. Does WWE hate making money?

      • Matt Soileau says:

        I get it, he was over. Great. But I didn’t get it, and still don’t. Some people like chocolate, some like vanilla. Same deal.

        • Cenamark says:

          I can understand that. I’m a hardcore John Cena fan, but I don’t understand why there’s a small minority within the WWE Universe that hates him so much. Cena is the best. He’s won 14 world titles. How many more must he win to get the haters to like him?

          • theallenbrand says:

            No more. He must win no more. I think it’s the fact that his gimmick is to pretend he is an underdog but because of his track record in those underdog situations it is impossible to think he is actually going to lose. The whole Wyatt feud would be light years more interesting to me and actually mean something if John hadn’t won at Wrestlemania, or hadn’t lost at Extreme Rules because of a creepy kid we will never see again or hell not beaten all three members of the Wyatt Family in a handicapped match on RAW a few weeks ago. Have him actually lose matches cleanly, or hell with interference from Harper and Rowan for a couple months leading into this Last Man Standing match and then have him defy the odds and overcome and win. Or if he is going to win all the time maybe just have him cut a promo before every match where someone asks him if he is ready and what he thinks of his chances and have his only response be “Are you kidding? I’m John Cena. Of course I’m going to win. That’s kinda my thing.” and then walk away.

            • Wrestling Ganesh says:

              I’d like that, he could become more of a tweener that way. Have HIM be the one to say “actually, I’m not an underdog at all. I win most of my matches cleanly against all opponents. Stop doubting me.” Then it could be like a Bret Hart type deal where Cena actually gets annoyed at how he’s constantly portrayed as an underdog despite winning 14 world titles, two Royal Rumbles and so forth. It would be an interesting character development without having to actually make him full-blown heel.

          • Wrestling Ganesh says:

            I’m assuming Cenamark is a troll, there’s no way anyone who reads Wrestlecrap could have actually written a comment so wide of the mark without trying to. It sure as hell isn’t a ‘small minority’ (assuming so is a fallacy, by the way) that hates Cena, and I say that as someone with a lot of professional respect for him. Cena became popular due to the white rapper gimmick and because he looked like a bonafide beast during his initial push, one who was not beyond taking shortcuts either (see: Wrestlemania XX). WWE preceded to make him look completely and utterly lucky to win the WWE title against JBL, who had previously looked like a complete and total bitch (they should have just had Cena annihilate him and look like a star) then ditched the rapping and just gave him this ridiculous ‘underdog’ premise that doesn’t work when he’s constantly winning. The very fact he’s won 14 world titles is precisely why people don’t like him. It’s total overkill. It’s also one of the reasons people can’t stand Orton these days either (though there are other reasons for that). When both these guys can reach double-digit world title reigns in the same era as each other (plus Edge and Triple H at the same time) it shows a lack of restraint on WWE’s part as well as a lack of legitimate alternatives. That isn’t Cena’s fault, but he’s become the scapegoat because he’s the golden child of WWE. So, naturally, when Cena is shoehorned into what should have been an angle used purely to get Ryder (and Ziggler) over after weeks of fans demanding it, and Cena ends up being the one who benefits from the feud when he doesn’t need to at all while Ryder looks like a chump, people have every right to be upset. They see it as just being more of the same. Luckily, in the case of Bryan fans were so vocal that they actually forced WWE to change its entire booking ideology to accommodate the audience. WWE originally was going to have Batista win the world title. Instead, Bryan got the nod and we’ve got a far more interesting dynamic with Evolution reforming. But I guess there are some people who would like to believe that this was also a ‘small minority’. Probably the same people who think the backlash towards Mass Effect 3′s ending or Cardiff City having their shirts change colour was a ‘small minority’. Intellectual laziness at its finest.

            • Matt Soileau says:

              I actually have no problem with John Cena. I don’t really love him but I don’t dislike him either.

              • Ed says:

                I hate Cena, in that I’m totally sick of his schtick…
                As just a pure wrestler, I think he’s actually decent.

          • Mike Hunt says:

            He’s been the same boring character for many years now who hasn’t evolved. His promos are either his schiocky unfunny humor or the “I overcame the odds! I love the WWE Universe because you voice your opinion! Boo me or cheer me, i’m cool with it. Yay!!” And that goddamn face he makes when he wins something he “shouldn’t have”. Like, OMG! I can’t believe I won!

            That’s why I hate him.

  2. AdamX says:

    In Daniel’s defense he likely has more talent in his sleep than Ryder would ever hope to see. I hate Cena as much as the next guy but comparing Ryder’s demise to Bryan’s while quite accurate is a little unfair to DB’s talent and ability to survive whatever crap they throw at him since Summerslam.

    Also you’d figure if this happens everytime Kane wears his mask they would’ve locked the thing up in the warehouse by now or at least one of those old shops run by an ancient chinese guy.

    • Matt Soileau says:

      Agreed 100%.

    • Ralphus says:

      Does the shop have frozen yogurt, which the owner calls frogurt? It may be cursed, but it comes with a free topping!

    • BadGuyRy says:

      It does sort of highlight the sort of “put the hot new things with Cena” method of booking they’ve done a few times. He was pals with Crime Time. He was buddies with Zach Ryder. He wanted to be Bryan’s bud. He was helping out Ryback against the Shield (until that collapsed). Until Punk left and they finally decided to put Bryan in the main event of Mania, you had Bryan being beat by the Wyatts, to set them up to go after Cena … so that he could beat them.

      Don’t boo Cena, he wants Bryan to get treated fairly too. Don’t boo Cena, he likes Zach Ryder too. Don’t boo Cena, he’s down with Crime Tyme, you like Cryme Time don’t you? Why can’t you love John Cena?

  3. Iron Smark Tyson says:

    I love crazy, killer ’80s horror movie Kane. He’s been the MVP of this and DB’s storyline.

    • TerrierChad says:

      I agree. The only thing which irked me about the current storyline is the cameraman been in the back of the car, reminds me of the end of Half-Time Heat.

      In the context of the induction I do see what Art is getting at though. The storylines are very similar. The reason the Kane-Ryder feud sucked though was because Ryder was flushed down the toilet and Cena was shoehorned in so he could rub of Ryder’s popularity. With Kane-Bryan though at least Bryan looked bad arse at Extreme Rules whereas Ryder looked in over his head during his (squash) matches with Kane.

  4. Sir Thomas says:

    I would actually be very interested in seeing what Donkey Kane would look like.

  5. 314 says:

    It’s really too bad for Ryder. He actually has a good deal of personality and is a pretty funny dude. His YouTube show was clever, funny, and very enjoyable to watch, prior to WWE deciding to stick their noses in it. Then it seemed like it became more of a shill fest.

    Had he been given an avenue to flesh out his personality on TV (as opposed to just coming out and saying a catchphrase or two) I think they could have had a pretty solid midcarder who’d remain over with the crowd. It almost felt like they punished him for getting over on his own, without the WWE cookie cutter way, by giving him this stuff. It did nothing for him. So WWE milked some money out of him from merch sales, then put him back to permament jobber status. It just felt to me like Ryder the guy on TV and Ryder the guy on the YouTube show were two different people. The latter being the one who probably could have connected with the crowd.

    • Ed says:

      I agree…
      I was at a house show a couple months ago where Zack Ryder got the Barr Horowitz treatment from Curtis Axel. Despite the fact that he’s been buried for years, fans were still chanting Woo woo Woo and rooting for him despite the fact that I knew he was losing no matter who came through the curtain after him…

  6. thedude says:

    the one pant leg tights were great! poor zack ryder, he really does deserve better then what hes got. maybe he spends his time hanging out with JTG

  7. Scrooge McSuck says:

    This.

    This is Wrestlecrap. I didn’t realize how out of their way WWE went to completely bury the guy… and no, I’m not much of a Ryder fan, but WOW, that’s awful.

  8. Jerichoholic Ninja says:

    It seems to me like Cena’s endorsement is a kiss of death for anyone starting to get a following. Something Paul Heyman said in the ECW documentary brings to mind: The NWA wanted to give an ECW wrestler their title, but “the NWA was everything we wanted to get away from” because of the association with a past era. So when you have a wrestler starting to get a following amongst hardcore (male 18-30) fans, having Cena come out and endorsing him is like having the President of the US endorse Edward Snowden. The fans who helped elevate him don’t want to see him become friends with Cena, who to these fans represents much of what they hate about wrestling. They want to see him take his own path and beat Cena.

    So in short, having Cena endorse someone who the hardcore demographic is behind is the WWE’s way of taking the edge off someone. Daniel Bryan was able to avoid the curse, but Zack Ryder was not.

    • Brad says:

      That’s why I cringe whenever Cena uses Bryan for cheap pops. He is in full on Hogan mode at this point lol

    • Wrestling Ganesh says:

      I don’t hate Cena and I have respect for what he’s done, so it’s not fair to suggest people only want Ryder to be his own identity because they dislike Cena’s identity. Ultimately, you should want wrestlers to stand out on their own anyway. It would have been the exact same problem if it was Foley or Hogan or whatever endorsing Ryder. A good character should be able to stand up on their own merits without requiring cynical plugs from ‘bigger’ stars, and it doesn’t suit the other guy either because it just makes them look like they’re trying to ride a popular guy’s coattails.

      • Jerichoholic Ninja says:

        That did come out more anti-Cena than intended. I also have a lot of respect for him. But, I hate it when he endorses wrestlers because 1) Many fans who cheer Bryan, Ziggler, Ryder, Cesaro, etc. are the same ones who boo Cena and 2) Whenever Cena endorses someone, it sounds really fake. It says that either Cena is using a cheap pop tactic to endear himself to his haters or he’s trying to “help” someone he considers beneath him. And like you said, its better to let these guys stand on their own. Having Cena endorse them is like having a kid’s parent go to all the kids and say “play with Daniel Bryan, he’s pretty cool.”

        • BadGuyRy says:

          If he’s genuinely trying to help a guy out, he’d be going to Vince or Hunter directly to vouch for them. Going out and trying to pitch to them to the fans, especially when they are already starting to get over, always seems to be trying to get some of their fans to go over to Cena, and less for Cena trying to get his fans over to their side.

    • Guest says:

      I believe Daniel Bryan avoided the curse simply because he put up with a lot more crap than Ryder did.

      Ryder didn’t make his WWE debut as a jobber
      Ryder didn’t get fired from WWE for fake choking an announcer
      Ryder didn’t job to a who’s who’s of wrestlers while carrying a legitimate title.
      Ryder didn’t have anticipated matches at the biggest PPV of the year pissed on by having one turned in a multi-man battle royal and the other one where he lost a major title he had held for a while in all but 18 seconds.

      But at the very least Ryder ended Tommy Dreamer’s career in WWE :S

  9. BeaverCleavage says:

    I laughed way too hard at “putting him about one notch above a rapist. Or something. I read an article on Jezebel.”

  10. Johnny says:

    Enjoyed this, Art! Many thanks for a great induction.

  11. Peter says:

    I keep wondering if this their gambit to prove that the angle didn’t suck, just the guy at the center of it.

  12. Down With OPC says:

    What I hated most during the Kane/Cena feud is that it killed Kane’s Royal Rumble Match in-a-row record, since he just HAD to have a match with Cena.

  13. slimjim sunrise says:

    In fairness Cena didn’t get “consecutive PPV victories” over Kane. The first match was a double count out and awful to boot.

  14. Don Cannon drunk on channel 4 says:

    I was a fan of Zack Ryder and I bought one of his wrestling shirts. That was the first one I bought in years. I bought his earlier “Take care spike your hair” shirt which I keep in good shape cause I don’t think it was around that long.

  15. Cactus Mac says:

    Another great induction. I just love the two pictures with the captions, “Kane watches him mastur-…. er, brush his teeth.”, and he’s wearing the shirt that says “Are you serious, bro?” Just perfect!

  16. Brad says:

    This was the WWE saying “How dare you cheer this guy who got over without our hype machine, when you should be cheering for the people we have programmed you to cheer for, like Cena and Sheamus”.

    • Wrestling Ganesh says:

      The stupid thing was that people WERE cheering for Cena and Sheamus. It was about half and half for both of them and Cena is still their biggest money maker, so why would they be so petty about the rest of the audience that they would destroy Ryder like that? And they were close to doing the same again with Bryan this year, albeit they obviously already thought highly of him having given him three brief world title runs before Wrestlemania. But their opinion of him was still not on par with the fans, and if they’d put the title on Batista at Wrestlemania instead of delivering the win for Bryan it would have been a massive error of judgement. That said, they probably will put it on Batista now that Bryan is out injured, which isn’t ideal but will at least make a change from Orton and Cena.

      • Guest says:

        Why would they put the title on Batista when he’s not the #1 contender and is supposed to be leaving to promote his film(s)?

  17. Wrestling Ganesh says:

    You could tell how this was going to end as soon as Cena made his endorsement. Remember, Cena was offered a WWE title match, which he turned down so Ryder could get a US title match. In that moment, the message was sent that Ryder would never be on Cena’s level and was not even worthy of getting an opportunity to prove anyone wrong. What should have happened was Ryder getting the WWE title shot himself, in a losing but credible effort. The US title scene shouldn’t have been affected at all by Cena not going for the WWE title. Ryder was basically ‘allowed’ to go for a secondary title because a world champion decided he didn’t want another world title yet. It just made no sense whatsoever.

  18. BrooklynBrawler says:

    If you actually watch Ryder’s matches closely you’ll see he has more in ring talent than 99% of the guys WWE puts in the ring. He knows how to win a match and he knows how to put guys over. Whether you like his character or not, what WWE did to this guy is awful on a personal level, but horrible for business as well. The dude sold a ridiculous amount of merchandise and had a massive fan following. Why pull the rug out from underneath instead of letting him run with the momentum he built up himself?! I guess WWE picks and chooses their favorites, but unfortunately at the expense of losing viewership. It’s no surprise they need to bring back the old guys like Hogan, Rock, Austin, Lesnar, every once in a while. They seem to push the worst in ring and mic talent. I enjoy guys like Ryder, but when Batista comes back and Evolution reforms… I stop watching.

  19. RD Reynolds says:

    Ryder is awesome. So sad to see the company just wasting the guy.

  20. That Don Guy says:

    Didn’t Disney come up with the “seven-year rule” first? Back before VCRs, Disney would re-release its movies every seven (or was it eight) years, as that’s about how long it took for the “cartoon-watching audience” to recycle.

  21. C. Peter Roberts says:

    This was the exact angle that made me go from “Cena’s all right; He’s not to my tastes, but he’s a solid performer” to “I don’t care if he’s any good, I just can’t stand the guy.”

  22. jbones says:

    Correct if I’m wrong, but didn’t Ryder involve Cena in the early episodes of his show? In a way, Ryder played with fire by getting WWE’s top guy to appear in his project.

  23. Kurt says:

    Ryder became my favorite wrestler in WWE strictly for getting himself over at any expense and with ZERO help from WWE. He was what every wrestling fan wants to be. That was my opinion at least. I was so ecstatic when he won the US Title. And even the 1st interaction with Kane didnt worry me, because in my mind, “At least he was getting quality TV time”. That quickly faded, especially after Cena got involved. This storyline still kills me because Ryder will never recover which is a damn shame.

    Art, you also forgot the part where on the 4th of July Smackdown, Ryder “got revenge” on Eve at the party backstage, and then actually defeated Kane in a Battle Royal to win the ability to be GM the following week… yet they booked him as a GM who wouldnt book himself in any type of title match. which 100% killed any hope of revitalizing him. I mean if I was GM for a week and had the ability to book anything, I would’ve put myself in a match for the US title again, or at the very least, asked for a 1 on 1 match with Kane to try and get revenge.

    • Guest says:

      If he’s what every wrestling fan wanted him to be I would think he’d be more popular than Cena, Punk, & Orton.

  24. Ace says:

    Didn’t Cena and Kane go to a draw at Royal Rumble? I think Cena only got one PPV victory between Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber and WrestleMania.

  25. MartialHorror says:

    I only started watching again in the past few months, so wasnt around when all of this took place. On the most recent smackdown JBL unnecessarily put down Ryder too. WWE has way too many jobbers right now whose only purpose is to lose. I’ve yet to see Ryder win a match, Damian Sandow seems to be making a storyline out of losing, Titus has some decent mic skills but I can’t take him seriously because he also always seems to lose, I’m convinced MLB has never won a fight ever and Jack Swagger also rarely wins. Mark Henry isn’t doing too well either. I don’t remember so many professional losers back when I used to watch wrestling before.

    For me, the problem with this is I dont even want to watch their matches even if they are skilled. I know the outcome so I generally just fast forward through their matches. Now I feel bad though, as it sounds like Ryder is pretty good.

    It is pretty sad that the Kane angle is being so blatantly recycled.

  26. Mister Forth says:

    I think you should’ve brought up how Ryder’s “payback” against Kane & Eve was eliminating Kane in a throwaway battle royal, & throwing fruit punch on her.

  27. Rose Harmon says:

    Great induction! I dug the Jezebel reference, haha. I really enjoyed Z: True Long Island Story and was glad to see him get a push. He was a fun, positive character who was great as a the smaller underdog. Those have always been my favorite guys to watch. I haven’t been following the Daniel Bryan story, but the similarities seem eerie. Imho, the problem with WWE these days is their unwillingness to take risks with younger guys. Maybe it’s the post-Recession economy, or maybe it’s that wrestling is no longer in a boom period, but they seem stuck on the same old guys, a la late-90s WCW.

    • Ed says:

      Actually, I feel like lately WWE has been doing a better job of pushing its younger talent. The Wyatts, the Shield and Cesaro have all been pushed pretty well lately. Hell, even Wade Barrett has too…

  28. Are? says:

    How is Sting “the dumbest man in professional wrestling”??

  29. Meh says:

    Kane rightfully buried Ryder.

    Zack Ryder should be inducted by himself as he is the very essence of wrestlecrap.

  30. Meh says:

    He got a huge push and couldn’t maintain it because he isn’t that good and he got found out when they put the strap on him. Not as good as he hyped himself to be.

    It just didn’t seem to most people that he was looking to make the most of it, which also resulted in his overness going downward. Note that after he got took off TV, his overness just went right back up. If Ryder’s fans truly cared Ryder then they would care about him when he was on TV and his overness wouldn’t gone downwards.

    Ryder. He’s got no value whatsoever. He’s bland in the ring. His gimmick is played out and he just whines about how WWE doesn’t use him.He got his break and he went as far as he could. He was happy to make himself into a joke character and that joke got old really quick.

    Ryder is a guy with poor mic skills, poor acting, a one-dimensional character, average (on a good day) ring skills. He’s fine where he is: A comedy jobber who is used just enough to keep people buying his merch.

    Zack Ryder does deserves praise than he gets when it comes to promoting himself but that doesn’t make him a quality wrestler.

    Instead of trying to get on TV with his lame youtube show he should have been spending that time training in the ring and working on his promos because he definitely wasn’t good enough to be on TV. He just forced WWE’s hand and made it even more obvious he had no business being on Raw with his bad matches and horrible acting.

    Post Ryder vs Kane: Ryder spend every week crying like a baby on Twitter when he didn’tmake it on television that week. Heck, he even cried when he was on a RAW episode in the past because they skipped his entrance. Keep in mind on that same episode they skipped Ziggler’s entrance as well and Ziggler didn’t cry to Ziggler’s followers. And his fans all wonder why WWE doesn’t want Ryder on television every week as if Ryder lack of talent and experience wasn’t enough to make that choice easy.

  31. Chucky U says:

    One thing that’s missing from the induction was that when Cena gave up his title shot for Ryder’s, Zack had to win a match with Mark Henry to get said title shot, Henry dominated Long Island Iced Z in their match until Cena came out and interfered on Ryder’s behalf to basically hand him the shot at Ziggler. The WWE was looking to kill off the push before it began, and seemingly because it didn’t fit their plan for Zack to get over (Which is odd because at the time there was a lack of fresh talent that was over)

    mind you about 16 years prior a guy nobody thought was going to be anything in the business was given an opportunity and long story short He was Steve Austin. You would think that by now they would learn to let workers try to get over as much as possible because god knows were the WWE would be if they used this mindset with Austin

    And before you start, No I’m not a Ryder fan and I am not saying he’s as good as Steve Austin

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