WWE's own talent◊ and even Chris Jericho sticking up for Ryder after the Long Island Screwjob brought a tear jerk for this troper just by how heartwarming it was.
Naming all his fans the Broski of the Week on the 36th episode of his web series, 2 days before his U.S. Championship match at Vengeance. He was grateful to succeed without the company hype machine, basically garnering his fan momentum all on his own and the fans embraced him; it not only saved his job and kept him from obscurity, but propelled him to new heights.
"36 weeks ago, there was no Internet Championship, no line of Broski merchandise, there was just a kid with a Flip cam, who started a YouTube show and was either going to get fired or noticed. And because of all of you, because of the Ryder Revolution, I got noticed! And this Sunday, at Vengeance on PPV, Dolph Ziggler defends his United Championship against ME!"
John Cena gives up his contendership for the WWE Championship so that Ryder can get an US title shot against Dolph Ziggler. Made even better after Laurinaitis decides to be a dick and force Ryder into a match against Mark Henry so he can get said shot. Then Cena kicks Henry's ass and then places a tired and beat up Ryder on top of the World's Strongest Man so he gets the win.
In the 44th episode of Z! True Long Island Story, A Despair Event Horizon is parodied when Zack's dad, a former JoMo Sapien, seems primed to jump on the #HEEL bandwagon, holding up a "I Am Perfection" t-shirt. Zack sounds nearly in tears, begging his dad not to, until Zack's Dad tosses the Ziggler shirt in a trash can and turns around to reveal he's wearing a "Broski" headband and t-shirt. It may have been a parody, but seeing Zack's Dad finally come around to fully support his son is nothing but a real heart-warmer.
This goes full circle at the TLC Pay-Per-View, where Zack's dad is at ringside cheering him on in full Zack Ryder gear, and Zack's first action after winning the title is to run over to his father and hug him. As if Zack finally winning the title after all his self-promotion wasn't heartwarming enough in itself.
Ryder winning the Intercontinental Championship in the ladder match at Wrestlemania 32. Even though everyone had accepted he was just there to be an extra body and probably just there to be on the wrong end of impressive spots, he pulled out an upset and got one of the best reactions of any winner that night, despite literal years of Badass Decay. The fans evidently still believed in the Broski.
That's the shocking part. He was there as just an extra body. He wasn't even supposed to be in the match. He replaced Neville, who would've been participating in his first WrestleMania, and given the year that he had (including winning the 2015 Breakout Star of the Year Slammy) was probably under serious consideration to leave WrestleMania with the title. But he broke his ankle in a mid-March match with Chris Jericho and Ryder was thrown into his vacant slot (he had actually become a semi-regular NXT fixture in a tag team with Mojo Rawley) with three weeks left to go until the event. And no one in the arena had the slightest notion he'd actually win the thing until he had his hands around the title at the end.
The WWE RAW after Wrestlemania has the crowd chanting, "You deserve it! WOO WOO WOO!". That's all you need to know about how happy the crowd is.
The most heartwarming thing of all was something set in motion 22 years earlier, at WrestleMania X, when Scott Hall retained the same title in his famous ladder match against Shawn Michaels. To put it simply, Zack Ryder was there.