by Brian Phelps
I am a firm believer that the WWE is setting Zack Ryder up to fail, and allow me to explain to you why. The WWE did not make Zack Ryder. They had NO plans on pushing him, or ever making him into something. The company had saddled him with a stupid typical jobbers gimmick and gave up on him. He was quickly on his way to joining Chris Masters and Vladimir Kozlov on the future endeavored list, but Zack Ryder did something about it. He launched Z! True Long Island Story on Youtube and became an internet sensation seemingly overnight. This is not what the WWE wanted, but his popularity reached such a point that they could no longer continue to ignore him. When fans are holding Zack Ryder signs all over the arena even though he's not even on the card the WWE had no choice but to take a second look at him. His popularity reached such a fever pitch that they had to put the spotlight on him. So they finally decided to put the U.S. title on him.
You'd think that this meant the company was officially sold on Zack Ryder. WRONG. I believe this was the beginning of the WWE setting Zack up to fail as U.S. Champion. They basically thought "Hey, let's throw him out there and as soon as he flops and proves he's not the ratings draw everyone thinks he is we can get over this Zack Ryder fad and move on". Ever since he won the U.S. title he's been being booked and written pathetically. I believe they are doing this to sabotage his segments so he'll flop. The RAW after he won the U.S. title he was put in a main event six-man tag match teaming with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to take on Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, and The Miz. When this main event was a ratings flop it was reportedly blamed on Zack Ryder. The truth is I didn't want to watch Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, and the Miz. It had nothing to do with Zack Ryder. The fact is that six-man tag matches are boring and meaningless, and that's why people tuned out. They haven't been cool to watch since the '90s when you always had six main event guys. You could have Triple H, Kane, and Mankind take on The Rock, Stone Cold, and Undertaker because they were all popular main eventers.
Then this past Monday on RAW, Zack Ryder's main segment reportedly lost 544,000 viewers. What they don't tell you is that he was written into a silly, long, and drawn out segment with Kane. They had Kane stalking Zack Ryder which made little sense as Kane is supposed to be feuding with John Cena, so why they had him spend two hours stalking Zack Ryder was baffling. They were trying to emulate a horror flick by having Ryder and Eve on the run from Kane, but it was stupid when you had Zack Ryder trying to change a tire before Kane found him. It was stupid having the camera on Ryder fiddling with a tire iron for 2 minutes straight as Eve would say "Hurry Zack!" about every 15 seconds. It started out as alright, but quickly became long and drawn out. The longer they showed Ryder fiddling with a tire iron trying to change the flat tire as Eve shrieked the dumber this segment became. It was goofy and ridiculous.
Zack Ryder deserves better. Why aren't they focusing on building up arguably the most popular U.S. Champion since Diamond Dallas Page? Instead, they're using Zack Ryder as meaningless bait in the Kane/Cena feud? By using him as fish food for Kane, they are portraying him as weak, helpless, and unimportant. You're telling me that the United States Champion runs for his life from a fight?
The fact is the ratings drop was clearly not Zack Ryder's fault. When Chris Jericho had the hottest return and hype in years a week ago, and this past Monday his 2nd appearance reportedly lost 130,000 viewers then the problem is obviously not the wrestlers. It's creative's fault because they're writing extremely popular wrestlers into stupid segments that the fans aren't interested in.