WWE superstar Zack Ryder debuted the first official episode of his new YouTube series Z! True Comeback Story on Saturday. While fans may have gotten used to seeing Ryder’s comical side — especially during his previous YouTube series, Z! True Long Island Story — the new web show displays a more serious version of the former Intercontinental Champion.
Episode 1 features footage of Ryder injuring his knee during a Dec. 13 episode of SmackDown Live. He revealed that he knew something was wrong immediately after attempting his finisher, the Rough Ryder, on Viktor of the Ascension, before eliminating him to win the SmackDown tag-team battle royal for himself and teammate Mojo Rawley.
“Mojo and I were the No. 1 contenders [for the SmackDown tag-team titles],” Ryder said. “But when I jumped up for the Rough Ryder, it felt like someone chop blocked me in the back of my knee. I knew something wasn’t right. It was very very painful. I’ve watched the footage back and I’m crying like a little girl. It sucked. I knew something was wrong. It was one of those moments.
“I went back to Orlando the next morning, got an MRI and they knew right away, ‘you tore a patella tendon, you need surgery tomorrow. We just became the No. 1 contenders, I just moved to Orlando, now I need to get surgery? It sucked, it still sucks.'”
Ryder also takes fans through his daily routine, which includes going to the WWE Performance Center for physical therapy and spending two hours in the gym for rehabilitation. He admitted that the process is difficult, especially being prohibited from doing in-ring work while others are practicing.
“It’s hard being in there, you know, the rehab’s hard,” Ryder said. “Whether I’m in the training room or I’m in the gym I can either hear or see people in the ring and it’s driving me crazy because I haven’t been in a ring in three months.
“The gym is somewhere I can go and use all that frustration and negative energy that I have in a positive way to do something productive, to get myself in the best shape of my career, the best shape of my life and I feel I am right now. My legs suck, I’m going to have to wear some long tights when I get back but other than that going to the gym is just part of my routine, something I have been doing since high school and I’m in love with it. I’m in love with going in there, I’m in love with just getting the pump and getting that sweat going and just feeling I look good.”
Ryder gained popularity through his YouTube series Z! True Long Island Story in 2011. Ryder, who was rarely featured on WWE television at the time, successfully used the series as an outlet to get himself noticed by the WWE Universe.
Six years later, the injured superstar has launched a new series titled Z! True Comeback Story, which will chronicle his journey back to the squared circle.
Ryder has been out of action since December, recovering from a knee injury. After undergoing surgery, the former Intercontinental Champion revealed he was expected to miss anywhere from four to nine months recovering.
But the new YouTube series should help Ryder stay relevant while he goes through rehabilitation, much like his original series did. During the height of Z! True Long Island Story‘s popularity, Ryder rivaled John Cena and CM Punk as one of the company’s most popular superstars, despite limited on-air time.
The new series could also help him gain support as a sympathetic babyface whenever he does return. Fans should understand the severity of Ryder’s rehabilitation process by viewing it first hand.
Ryder’s Z! True Comeback Story could do wonders for his career and should provide an outlet to stay relevant during his time out away from the ring.
[Featured Image by WWE]