Here's a hypothetical for you: You're employed by the WWE, but you're a lower mid-carder who doesn't get much air time. You have to count your blessings if you appear at all on the main shows such as WWE Raw or WWE SmackDown!, and forget about having an actual match. You're desperate to generate any kind of interest with the higher-ups or the booking committee—not because you're an attention whore, but because this is your livelihood on the line, and you could very easily be shown the door at any time. So what do you do?Most wrestlers wouldn't know what to do. But Zack Ryder isn't most wrestlers. Apparently deciding his own twitter page and his own Facebook page wasn't enough, Zack started his own Web Original series, most of which are a Day In The Life-style videos of him discussing whatever is bothering him at the time, or just clips of him screwing around whatever town he's in.The show's worked out well for Zack: not only has he become one of WWE's biggest merchandise sellers, but "The Ryder Revolution" brought him more success in his wrestling career, as he started 2011 as a regular on WWE's fourth-tier Internet-only show Superstars and ended 2011 as the United States Champion and one of the most popular wrestlers in the company. Not bad for a guy who admitted that he did the show to "get noticed or get fired", eh?After nearly a year of videos, the show was moved to WWE's official YouTube page. The older videos are located here.On January 11 2013, after making 100 videos, Zack ended the show.
"Now for some reason, there's a whole lot of fake Twitters, Facebooks, YouTube channels, MySpace—who still uses MySpace, bro?—but unless you're watching this on a channel that says 'LongIslandIcedZ', it is a fake."
Big "NO!": In episode 55, when an amnesiac Zack's dad re-learns that John Morrison died.
The Cameo: He promised that John Cena would be a guest on his show. And he was...for as long as it took for John to walk by, shake his hand, say hi, and walk off (this was deliberately done, Cena was there a total of 3 seconds, and had his back to the camera most of the time.) Still didn't stop Zack from marking like an eight-year-old Hulkamaniac, though.
Zack filmed the ending to episode 16 during the May 30, 2011 episode of WWE Raw in which John Cena cuts in on the way to his match with R-Truth. Doubles as the Funny Background Event of that Raw episode.
Evil Twin: Who really was behind the attack of Chiopetta.
Executive Meddling: His show ended up suffering from this after the Channel Hop, with Episode 63 having 2 minutes edited out and in Episode 64 a rant against WWE is edited out, but in it stead a promo for Extreme Rules was played. Turns out it was Eve who suggested the edit.
Face-Heel Turn: Dolph Ziggler performed a weird variant of this. He has long been a Heel on WWE TV, yet was friends with Zack for months after his Heel-Face Turn in WWE continuity. However, the Hugh Jackman incident on RAW prompted him to turn heel on Z! True Long Island Story.
Follow the Leader: Once the show started picking up steam and Zack started getting some momentum behind him, a lot of other Superstars also decided to do Youtube shows, with varying ideas behind them and levels of success. Curt Hawkins and Daniel Bryan's both lasted for a few weeks before they stopped, Melina's done a few, but got released anyway, and Chris Masters didn't begin his until after he was let go. Some do it for self-publicity, others simply do it for fun. (Technically, they're all following behind Matt and Jeff Hardy, but Zack has had the most success out of it.)
Scott Stanford revealing himself to being the one who attacked Chiapetta was a direct shout out to The Reveal of Vince McMahon as the Higher Power. Zack would even call Stanford a "son of a bitch" on Twitter an hour after the video was uploaded on WWE.com, mirroring Jim Ross's commentary that night.
In Episode 7, references Beyond the Mat, specifically Dennis Stamp, complete with trampoline.
Episode 7 also references the "aftershave" sequence in the first Home Alone film.
Sigil Spam: His logo, a stylized combination of the letters Z and R.
Take That: In episode 29, Ryder asks the viewer, "Do you want to hear the most annoying sound in the world?" Cue an audio clip of The Miz saying "AWESOME".
Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Ziggler challenged Ryder to match at WrestleMania 29 for the Internet Championship, which Ryder declined, stating he has nothing left to prove. A few episode later and we see Ryder accepting Ziggler challange and shaking hand on it.
The Rival: At the start of the show, John Morrison due to Morrison being Zack's dad's favorite wrestler. As the series went on, Dolph Ziggler firmly entrenched himself as Zack's big rival to the point that spilled over into TV.
Verbal Tic: Very liberal use of "bro", including in prefix form.
Visual Pun: In one episode, Zack struggles scaling a cyclone fence; when the cameraman asks what he's doing, he shouts out, "I'm trying to get over!"
"Nobody pushes Zack Ryder!" after being shoved.
After he listened to Vince McMahon's speech to The Rock on Rocky's birthday, he heard Vince mention how the Rock reached for the brass ring. Cue Zack scrambling for "The Brass Ring:" In his mother's jewelry box, then in a box of Ring Pops. He finally finds it, and as he's squeeing with delight, he holds up a cheap looking toy wrestling ring he spray-painted gold.
Zack Ryder draws money.
Missing the boat with Zack Ryder (a guy posing as WWE and wielding a shovel swings and misses a toy boat with a Zack Ryder action figure on it)
Dropping the (basket)ball with (a picture of) Zack Ryder.
WWE gets cold feet (by standing on ice) on putting Zack Ryder (action figure) on television.
Zack proclaiming it's "time to turn face," cue stop motion video of a Zack Ryder action figure turning its head completely around.
Wham Episode: Episode 34 ends with Zack just about to do his signature sign-off... But he hears a noise, and takes the camera with him to investigate. He finds Chiappetta in a pool of his own blood, left with a Perfection T-shirt and a mask that Dolph Ziggler had worn when he interrupted the video.
Episode 42 ends with Zack near the end of his sign-off, when Dolph Ziggler waffles him with the United States Championship out of nowhere.