Originally Posted by JoeyClay
I think in large part it comes down to 4 things
1. the Z: True long island story introduced a level of connection to the fans that WWE usually does not allow. That was something new and exciting (at the time), and so it got a lot of attention.
2. People like to see the scrappy underdog succeed. Here is this guy that was essentially a jobber on superstars, who couldn't buy a Raw or Smackdown match that lasted longer than 2 minutes, let alone any sort of real run with a title, and he goes and finds a way to promote himself anyway, regardless of the WWEs seeming lack of interest in promoting him. That made a lot of people (myself included) applaud him and want to see him find some measure of success, since it is obvious from his videos that he is very passionate about the business.
3. He is the first star in this era to really do what guys like SCSA, Jericho and The Rock did by pushing to get a spot and finding new ways to get over and make a name for himself, (Not saying that he is on the same level, just that he had the same mindset) instead of just whining about it like Matt Hardy did. That is one of the biggest things missing in the WWE today imo.
4. What I have taken to calling the hipster fetish. the idea that anyone who isn't mainstream must be inherently better than someone who is more mainstream. Basically it's like rooting for the underdog, just taken to an extreme level. I think these are the guys pushing for him to win the WWE title in the next month and other foolishness like that. It's the same thing that keeps shitty garage bands in some level of business, because at a certain point the actual quality becomes a non-factor because he is "fighting the machine, man" (Not saying that Ryder is'nt talented, just my belief that it really doesn't matter to a few people who are his biggest supporters)
Myself, I like Zack Ryder. I have a great deal of respect for the testicular fortitude he displayed in finding a new way to connect to the fans and get over, and I am happy to see that it worked out for him. I don't see him ever really getting out of the midcard, or perhaps getting to be a transitional champ for one of the big 2 belts, but he is an entertaining guy, and really that's what it is all about.