It seems that Zack Ryder can’t catch a break in the WWE. Just when it looks like he is finally getting a chance in the company, something happens, and he fails to capitalize on it. The most recent stumble happened at SmackDown Live this week. Ryder and his Hype Bros tag team partner, Mojo Rawley, won a battle royal to become the new number one contenders to the tag team titles, but WWE.com reported that Zack suffered a knee injury in the match.
According to the WWE, Zack Ryder had to be carried to the trainer’s room after the match and is currently walking with the assistance of crutches. The thinking is that his knee popped out and then popped back in, but they need to run an MRI to decide how severe the injury is.
— WWE (@WWE) December 14, 2016
The original diagnosis is that there is an injury to either the kneecap or patella. They are hoping there is no cartilage damage or a tendon tear. If there isn’t, they will plan out a short rehab to get him back into the ring. If there is, it will be a longer recovery time.
The match that the injury occurred in was a battle royal to determine the new number one contenders to the SmackDown Live tag team titles. The order of elimination was The Vaudevillains, American Alpha, Heath Slater and Rhyno, Breezango, and The Ascension. Zack Ryder was the last man remaining to win for the Hype Bros.
The winner was supposed to get a title match against The Wyatt Family, but if Zack Ryder is out for an extended time, new number one contenders need to be found.
This is the same problem that happened when American Alpha became the number one contenders to the SmackDown Live tag team titles, but an injury to Chad Gable forced a new match between the Usos and Hype Bros with the Usos winning the match.
This also isn’t the first stumbling block for Zack Ryder in his WWE career. Of course, Zack had the biggest moment of his WWE career at WrestleMania this year when he won the Intercontinental title in a ladder match. It was a huge, surprising moment for Ryder.
That match saw champion Kevin Owens put his title on the line against Zack Ryder, Stardust, Sin Cara, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, and The Miz. The idea was that Zayn, Ziggler, and The Miz felt Owens needed a real opponent at the event, and he chose three lower card wrestlers in Ryder, Stardust, and Sin Cara. Zack Ryder winning was a huge surprise and a big moment.
The very next night, Zack Ryder lost the title to The Miz on Monday Night Raw. That seemed almost normal for the career of Zack Ryder.
Originally, Zack Ryder was one-half of the Edgeheads, where he and Curt Hawkins were Edge-wannabees and won the tag team titles for a short time. After that, he repackaged himself as Zack Ryder and was part of the WWE ECW roster and had a little success there.
Wanting to prove he could be marketable, Zack Ryder started his own YouTube show called Z! True Long Island Story in 2011, and it was a monster success. Fans started chanting for Ryder at events, and the WWE finally decided to give him a push. Ryder won the United States championship, and it was all paying off until 2012 rolled around.
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Zack Ryder held the U.S. title for 29 days before losing it to Jack Swagger and dropping out of sight. John Cena was a friend of Ryder and tried to help push Zack back up the WWE ranks, but a feud with Kane ended up an embarrassment, and Zack Ryder lost almost all the heat that his YouTube show had built up.
Now, with the Hype Bros a legitimate tag team on SmackDown Live, it looked like Zack Ryder was getting another chance to prove himself in the WWE once again. An injury might have destroyed even those dreams.
[Featured Image by WWE]