Source: The Miami Herald
The Miami Herald has an extensive interview with Zack Ryder, who talked about how social media helped him achieve his success. Here are some highlights:
His tag team with Curt Hawkins: "We were the tag team champions... We got to interfere at the main event of WrestleMania , but Edge got injured leaving Hawkins and me together, alone by ourselves. We were just two guys who looked like Edge, and now we were just two guys who looked like each other with no personalities. There was nothing really different with us besides our ring gear."
Going solo after being split from Hawkins in the draft: "I knew that was my shot to change things up and reinvent myself, but really to be myself. I was cool with the long hair and the rock 'n' roll, but deep down, it really wasn't me. It really wasn't Zack Ryder. I guess I was never 100 percent comfortable in my own skin before that. So I decided this was my chance to be me, to be the Long Island Iced Z. You always hear that the best characters in the WWE are someone's real personalities with the volume turned up. It was kind of just me being me. That is why it worked. I cut my hair and tried to look as different from my old personality as possible.
"Even before the draft, Hawkins and I were pitching to let us have some personality... We even filmed something that I think you can find on YouTube called 'The Sweet Life of Zack and Curt', where I was doing the 'Woo Woo Woo You Know It' there and being the goofy guy. We were pitching that to WWE where I would be the oddball, and Hawkins would be the straight man. That was our real personalities. I think it would have worked, but they never really gave us a shot, but when the draft came and they split us up, I was able to be me 100 percent."
His character: "This character, if you look at the Internet and the colanders, was way before 'Jersey Shore' hit TV. It was probably even before 'Jersey Shore' was auditioning or casting for their first season. This wasn't a 'Jersey Shore' rip-off. This was Long Island, where I grew up. I thought it would make me different and stand out. Everyone needs to be different. Maybe I was a little goofy behind the scenes or backstage, but once that bell rang, it was no joke."
Starting Z! True Long Island Story: "I never told WWE I was doing it. It was my intention to either get noticed or get fired because I wasn't sitting back and doing this anymore. I was in WWE since 2007, and it was either going to happen for me or it wasn't. I was pulling no punches. I was trying to stir the pot. I was trying to get people talking and luckily it worked in my favor. Luckily I didn't get fired. It was probably seven or so episodes before someone at the WWE office even mentioned that show existed. I was doing it for seven weeks without telling anybody or getting feedback. Nobody told me to do it or told me not to do it. I was just doing it."
His favorite WrestleMania moment: "Growing up in New York, I was fortunate to go to a few WrestleMania events when I was a kid. I was at WrestleMania 10 at Madison Square Garden for that legendary ladder match between Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon. It was the first ladder match I saw live and the first ladder match a lot of the world had seen. It was mindboggling. It was one of the best matches I've seen ever. After all these tables, ladders and chairs matches and ladder matches we've seen, you go back to that match, it's still just as good, if not better than what came after it."
Much more is contained in the interview, you can check it out by clicking here.