Zack Ryder was one of the more notable names let go by the WWE in April as a part of the massive layoffs and talent cuts due to the on-going Coronavirus pandemic. Ryder spent 14 years with the company winning the Intercontinental title, United States Championship and becoming a 2 time Tag Team Champion. Ryder’s Intercontinental title win at WrestleMania 32 became one of the more memorable moments of the show and the highlight of his WWE career.
During the ARN podcast covering Elimination Chamber 2015, Arn Anderson discussed Zack Ryder being released and how much he respected and appreciated Zack during his time with WWE as an agent.
“I love Zack, who wouldn’t love Zack?” Anderson said. “Number one he looks great, he can do some very good stuff and he’s a completely great guy. Whatever you want, tell him one time and he’s good to go. Him and Cody are great friends, what a difference five years makes.”
Anderson also mentioned how his current associate, Cody Rhodes, dealt with the Stardust gimmick. Anderson said that he doesn’t believe being a character will work unless you add parts of your real life self into your character.
“Cody put everything he could into the Stardust gimmick but that’s not who he is, that’s not who he ever is going to be,” Anderson said. “The biggest mistake I would tell any young guy in this business is a guy playing a character. If you are you being you and the more you take being you down, the worse it is. You have to take the real you and make it a little louder, colorful and intelligent, it’s hard to screw up being you. That’s who Cody wanted to be, even though he gave it 120%, he still wanted to be Cody.”
Anderson also discussed Curtis Axel being released by the WWE at the end of April. Anderson believes that Curtis Axel should have been billed as Joe Hennig from the start.
“Curtis Axel isn’t Joe Hennig,” Anderson stated. “That’s who he should’ve been from day one, there are guys that have a legacy in this business. All that they would’ve had to do to help him from day one was let him be Joe Hennig. They are going to tell you they were protecting him and nobody can be what Mr. Perfect was, but I don’t believe that.
“When you have a father that is renowned to find out his kid was really good, just let him be who he is. Don’t call him something that’s a total disconnect cause there’s no reason for it.”
Anderson was asked about Bo Dallas not being one of the superstars let go by the WWE due to him being barely used by the company recently. Anderson praised Dallas and felt that he could have been paired with his brother, Bray Wyatt, at one point.
“He should, he’s done nothing but work his ass off and he’s a good worker,” he said. “There was a time where you could very easily make him who he was, Bray Wyatt’s brother. Do it in a goofy way and he’s the one that’s the handsome guy and half nuts and easily swayed by the older brother and let him do some nasty stuff.
“Mechanically he’s very good and with the gimmicks that were given to him he wasn’t able to perform at a level that he’s able too. I hope he lands on his feet because he’s an excellent performer. If he doesn’t get a restart [in WWE], hopefully he does somewhere else.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit The ARN Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.