Sunday, November 23, 2014
Superstar Collection: Zack Ryder
Zack Ryder has been a lower card talent for a majority of his WWE run since he debuted in the tag team, The Major Brothers back in 2007. The scrappy underdog, Major Brothers tag team never worked, and they shortly thereafter were rebranded as the Edge Heads and became tag team champs while in a stable fronted by Mr. Edge himself, and even had a run in during the main event of Wrestlemania XXIV. After that stable eventually went away, Ryder broke off on his own in ECW in 2009 with the new "Long Island Iced Z" persona he developed, which was essentially being a more flamboyant "Bro" character of a typical Jersey Shore cast member.
At the beginning of 2011 however, something inspired Ryder to get creative and started to do things on social media that none of the other stars of the company were doing as he really embraced Twitter and YouTube. He created his own weekly YouTube show, Z True Long Island Story on his own dime with a nice gritty, homemade feel to it since most of it was shot with what else, but his smart phone. The first episode featured Zack Ryder loving his first ever basic line t-shirt WWE put out of him, and he encouraged fans to take photos of themselves wearing the shirt and to tweet him and he would mail them out an autograph. I remember being impressed at how brazen Ryder was to try and do this outside official WWE channels that I took him up on the offer and went and got one of those shirts, and sure enough an autographed Topps card came in the mail shortly thereafter.
Zack's US Title victory is probably the best way to close out this DVD because WWE made sure to kill all the momentum Zack had just a few months into 2012. How you ask? They quickly got the US Title off of Zack just a few weeks into the new year, and then for several weeks straight they had Zack get slaughtered mercilessly by Kane to the point that there was no more faith in the guy. At least Zack was starting to have a nice on camera romance develop with then top diva, Eve Torres, until Eve was caught exploiting Zack's friendship with Cena as a way in with Mr. Fruity Pebbles. Even Z True Long Island Story went downhill as WWE took over production of after the 50th episode and the show noticeably lost its loveable gritty, homebrew charm as WWE pumped in production values that were more of a turn off instead. To top it off, WWE went overkill on pushing all types of new Zack Ryder merchandise down everyone's throat that it combined with the rest of this paragraph to have the fans quickly jump off the Zack Ryder bus while it was barely getting into second gear. By the summer of 2012, Zack was back to where he was a year earlier on occasional losing efforts on bottom tier WWE programming.
this link where you can watch the first 50 installments of Zack's web show in their entirety. It is kind of sad actually WWE could not track down Ryder to introduce the DVD and some of the matches, or even one of the C or D-list announcers at the very least like they have done before to help give a breather between the matches, but instead it is just match, match, match non-stop. Budget DVD shortcoming be damned,Superstar Collection: Zack Ryder is still a fun little jaunt and quick, cheap way to relive the Ryder Revolution of 2011.
Past Wrestling Blogs
Best of WCW Monday Nitro Volume 2
Bobby The Brain Heenan
For All Mankind
Goldberg: The Ultimate Collection
Legends of Mid South Wrestling
OMG Vol 2: Top 50 Incidents in WCW History
RoH Supercard of Honor V
RoH Supercard of Honor VI
ScoobyDoo Wrestlemania Mystery
Warrior Week on WWE Network
WWE Wrestlemania 3: Championship Edition
WWE Wrestlemania 28
WWE Wrestlemania 29