The latest episode of Table for 3 on the WWE Network featured Xavier Woods, Zack Ryder, and Matt Hardy discussing their success with going viral in social media. Zack Ryder was very dedicated to his program, Z! True Long Island Story, but there was one instance when he failed to deliver an episode. Or more like WWE failed to let him air what he desired.
Zack Ryder created the Z! True Long Island Story in February 2011 as a way to get over.
It earned Ryder more TV time with memorable moments such as John Cena stealing his lady crush and Kane pushing him off stage while in a wheelchair.
WWE created a YouTube channel and wanted to move Z! True Long Island Story to that channel. Ryder was given the ultimatum to bring it over or not do it anymore. Ryder knew they would edit stuff out despite WWE saying he could have full creative control. However, one episode in particular was axed.
“There was some weird thing with like Trent Baretta and like John Cena. People were like puking. Just like really odd, Trent Baretta was dressed up with tin foil on his head. It was so weird.
Anyway, they said, ‘We’re not putting this up and you need to put up a new episode today.’ I was like, ‘I can’t just make an episode.’ ‘Well, we need one today. It has to be three minutes long.’ Okay. So, I stood in front of the camera, and said, ‘Hey, Welcome to Z! True Long Island Story...’ (Cut to video.) ‘This episode was going to be siiiick. Yeah, I said was going to be sick. But then the WWE rejected the episode I sent them. And it’s not like I have extra episodes lying around, so... With that being said, see you next week.’
I walked off and it was just the set for like 2 minutes 30 seconds. Sent that in. They did not like that. That wasn’t aired either. So, we skipped a week.”
Outrageous! Petitions must be signed and palms must be greased in order to release that episode in its entirety. The world must be able to witness a headless Kofi Kingston in all its glory.
If there are lessons to be learned from this episode of Table for 3, it would be social media engagement and staying true to your vision.
Zack Ryder noticed fans were bringing signs, so he added Sign of the Week and Broski of the Week to his show. It created a loyalty not only from fans to Ryder but from Ryder to fans.
Matt Hardy knew he was on to something with the Broken character when fans posted parts of his material on social media.
“I saw people start making GIFs and memes. And that’s what I’m going to shoot for. I’m going to try and do moments or expressions that are going to create GIFs and create memes. And then I started seeing people saying like, ‘Oh, I text back and forth with my girlfriend. And we’ll just do the whole conversation with Broken Matt GIFs or whatever.’ Oh, man. We tapped into something here and kept pushing forward.”
It took a year before Xavier Woods got the okay to do Up Up Down Down. The holdup was that the big bosses wanted everyone to be in gimmick at all times. Woods stuck to his guns.
“No, it can’t be that or it’s not going to work. It has to be its own separate thing. It has to be us just as human beings. And that was the biggest argument that they didn’t want to budge on. So, it took us a full year to get them to break down that wall.”
Up Up Down Down has created five jobs in the company. Once the show hit one million subscribers, handlers tried to squeeze in. Woods shooed them away, so the show could remain true to its vibe.
I’ll leave you with a Matt Fact. Matt said that the only Matt Fact not to begin with Matt was, “Have you read Matt’s book?” Kevin Dunn did it to promote Matt’s new book at the time. Matt was outraged, “Who did this? Every one has to start with Matt.”
Another Matt Fact. Matt is one thirsty dude. Matt drank at least five glasses of beverage during Table for 3.
Should Zach Ryder bring back Z! True Long Island Story? What’s your favorite Broken Universe GIF or meme? Do you agree with Woods about Up Up Down Down with the guests as real people? Or would it have been better in gimmick?