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WWE News: Zack Ryder mainstream interview - origins of YouTube show, WWE's reaction, having nothing to lose, more

Jun 13, 2011 - 11:32:39 AM
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By James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor

RyderZTLI_7.jpg
WWE wrestler Zack Ryder talked about the origins of his weekly YouTube show and feeling like he has nothing to lose by trying to promote himself in an interview with Alfonso Castillo of Newsday promoting Monday's Raw from Long Island, N.Y.

"At first, I was afraid," Ryder said when asked if he thought he would catch heat from WWE management for the show. "I thought, ‘Am I going to get in trouble?’ But I’m not trying to cause any problems. I just want to get my name out there and create my own opportunity, and make some money for the company and for myself... As far as I know, I haven’t been punished.

"But, before I started the YouTube show, I was at the bottom of the card - the bottom. How much worse of a position could I have dropped to, you know? So it had to go up. That was my mindset. I was just sick of being at the bottom, knowing I could be so much more. It was all or nothing, basically.”

Ryder said he became dissatisfied with his place in WWE - lack of TV time and not being utilized in anything important - and decided to do something about it.

"I guess I am grateful that I have a job in WWE, but that my plan my whole life. So, it’s kind of expected for me. So I’m not satisfied with my spot on the card. I definitely want to move up. And that’s what I’m going to do. Or, at least I’m going to try my best and go out swinging. I’m not going to just sit back and say, ‘Oh, I should have done that,’ or ‘I should have done this.’ When my time comes to an end, I know I’ll have no regrets," Ryder said. "I’ve been under contract for five years. I’ve been on television for four. So that’s a pretty long time. So many people come and go in four years. But, I have all the time in the world."

Ryder also talked about building a following with his peers and now being included in backstage segments on Raw with John Cena that never would have happened before.

"I think I had no creative output before, so they (WWE) really didn't know who I was. I had a couple matches here and there, but I never really had a chance to show who I really was, my personality and show how charismatic I was," Ryder said. "Now this show has taken off. Guys like John Cena, The Miz, 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin, Chris Jericho are all praising me on Twitter and stuff like that. I wrote the bonus forward to Chris Jericho’s book. It’s just unbelievable. I think everyone is starting to notice."

Caldwell's Analysis: The tone of the interview is typical of many wrestlers who come across like they're "happy to be here," don't want to upset the big-bad WWE wolf, and are so grateful for an opportunity from the ever-so-gregarious WWE. There's some flashes of Ryder getting it - that he has to take ownership of his career and create his own opportunity to build his profile to make money, but it still comes down to he's worried about what WWE will think. Granted, part of that is Ryder smartly being a good corporate citizen putting the focus on WWE. But, the larger issue is it's part of the fall-out from only having one-and-a-half national wrestling promotions for a wrestler to make full-time money. As a result, many wrestlers talk and act like they're "grateful for an opportunity" rather than believing their services are in such high demand that WWE should be thankful to have them on the roster.


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