CB’s Slant: One Last Ryder – For Me, WWE WrestleMania 32 is All About Zack Ryder

The build to WrestleMania 32 has not been my favorite to say the least. I am not all that excited about Triple H vs. Roman Reigns because I simply have zero emotional investment in the match. While many people are looking forward to Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker, I feel like the added stipulations have really convoluted this storyline. With these being the two perceived main events, I was honestly wondering if there was going to be anything for me to hang my hat on to make me want to watch this year’s Granddaddy of Them All.

And then, well, it happened. Just last week on Monday Night Raw, in a seemingly innocuous segment involving Kevin Owens, the unthinkable happened: Zack Ryder was added to the IC Title mix, and will finally get his WrestleMania moment.

Yes, I am from Long Island, so like many of my fellow wrestling fans out here, we LOVED Mick Foley growing up, and when Zack Ryder came along, he rekindled some of that native pride. But remember, it wasn’t just me who was once invested in Zack Ryder… it was actually millions of WWE fans who appreciated Ryder’s hard work in getting HIMSELF over with his YouTube show Z! True Long Island Story, and from there, the WWE Universe seemed to be in the palm of Ryder’s hands just a few short years ago.

Of course, we all know what transpired after Zack Ryder won the United States Championship on that fateful night in 2011. WWE dropped the ball, Ryder became the lovable loser — the Jon Cryer to John Cena’s Andrew McCarthy, and for no other reason than perhaps WWE management holding a grudge against Ryder for getting over on his own when he wasn’t supposed to, Zack has been relegated to B shows and live events pretty much ever since.

Until now. It started last year, when Ryder answered one of John Cena’s US Title Open Challenges, and Zack did what he’s always done: Taken the breadcrumbs he was given and turned it into a palatable meal:

In addition to that prime time showcase, Ryder has formed a tag team with Mojo Rawley down in NXT, known as the Hype Bros. This helped Zack Ryder become regularly featured on WWE’s hottest brand at the moment while also showing he is still a team player. And while I would have been happy to see the Hype Bros make their way to the WWE one day — and maybe they still will — I am simply excited to see Zack Ryder FINALLY — after all of these years of hard work — getting his WrestleMania moment:

At WrestleMania 32 — while everyone will be focused on the main events along with some other matches — I will be the most emotionally invested in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match.

And, well, as you can probably tell, I am simply hoping for one last ride for Zack Ryder.

That’s all from ME — CB.

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