First-Ever Match-up Taking Place On SmackDown, WWE Nixes Zack Ryder's Belt

First-Ever Match-up Taking Place On SmackDown, WWE Nixes Zack Ryder's Belt Photo: Evan Hoffman
- Beth Phoenix says her match against Natalya on this Friday's episode of SmackDown will be the first time they ever met in a singles match.

"This Friday on SmackDown @NatbyNature and I square off for the first time one on one in our respective 10+ year careers in Buffalo. #magic," she wrote Wednesday on Twitter after noting earlier that the event may have been the highlight of her career.

- Grow Socially has published an article on the online success story of Zack Ryder. "Long Island Iced Z" says his struggle to find a place in WWE led to him venturing online.

"I didn't feel like a Superstar, you know?", Ryder said, "I didn't have an action figure, I wasn't on TV, I didn't have a promotional [photo]. I was just sick of pitching ideas and nothing getting done. But I did realize I had to do something about it."

Ryder discussed creating the Internet Championship, and said that when he showed it to WWE, they said, "there's no way you're coming out with that on TV."

In February 2011, Ryder began using various social networking websites in order to establish a niche fan following which helped attain an elevated status within WWE.

With Ryder's successful online endeavors, he has been credited with WWE embracing social media after long dismissing it. As late as early 2010, Vince McMahon had WWE voice Michael Cole publicly label social media outlets such as Twitter as something "nerds" use. Ryder attributes WWE's enthusiastic audience to the company's rousing success across social media, especially on Twitter.

"You're able to communicate with someone you regularly watch on TV, and it's just this crazy environment that WWE has really been able to capitalize on," he says.

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