Matt Cardona (fka Zack Ryder) & Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins) made their obligatory post-WWE release appearance on Talk Is Jericho this week. While talking to Chris Jericho about their careers, the three men covered a couple of frequently discussed wrestling internet talking points.
Some background for folks who haven’t spent half their life gabbing about this stuff like yours truly...
1. Back in 2011, Zack Ryder transformed himself from an Edge lackey & C-show mid-carder into one of the hottest acts in wrestling with his Z! True Long Island Story YouTube show. WWE briefly capitalized on this in their television product, but Ryder’s popularity ended after he was presented as a schmuck who was used and abused by his love interest Eve Torres, his “friend” John Cena, and the guy they were feuding with, Kane.
2. The term “brass ring” has a couple of prominent uses in modern WWE lore. CM Punk referenced grabbing “Vincent K. McMahon’s imaginary brass rings” in his legendary 2011 pipe bomb promo. The, when he was a guest on WWE Network’s Stone Cold Podcast in 2014, McMahon himself said current Superstars lacked ambition and needed to grab one if they wanted a top spot in the company.
Okay. With that out of the way, here’s what Jericho said about Ryder’s booking after his YouTube show made him such a hot property Madison Square Garden was chanting his name (Cardona said that when he got backstage after a huge pop for his run-in at the Garden, Triple H pulled him aside and chided him for dying his hair):
“There is a strange resentment where, if Vince doesn’t think of it, it’s not valid or real. The same thing happened with Daniel Bryan when he first came in. He got over because he knows how to get over, but they resisted it for so long until they didn’t have a choice. I feel the same thing happened with Zack Ryder.”
Myers points to Ryder’s treatment as the end of an annual “grab the brass ring” pep talk:
“Every year, as long as I was in WWE, the Raw after ‘Mania we had this BS company... everyone there at TV meeting where they say, ‘The brass ring is there, it’s yours, it’s a fresh year. Who is gonna get it?’ Ever since Long Island Iced Z, they don’t even bother with that meeting anymore because they know it’s not true. Even if you grab the brass ring, you’re gonna get your hand smacked. If they don’t want you to have it, you’re not going to have it.”
Could Ryder have main-evented a WrestleMania? Probably not. But we’ll never know. And we’ll also never know who else might have sat on the great idea that could have turned them into a mega-star because of what they saw happen to The Long Island Iced Z.
Give the latest Talk is Jericho, “Cardona & Myers vs. Ryder & Hawkins” a listen here.