Broski Royale: Can Ryder leverage his Battle Royal success?

Page 1 of 2
September 17, 2012

Has Zack Ryder actually usurped Andre the Giant for the title of "King of the Battle Royal"?

Attention, Andre the Giant fans: Zack Ryder is moving in on the WWE Hall of Famer’s territory. No, Ryder is not about to be anointed the new “Eighth Wonder of the World,” and he’s a ways off from accumulating a 15-year winning streak like the Giant’s. Rather, everybody’s favorite Broski is homing in on one of Andre’s other accolades, the nickname “The King of the Battle Royal.”

With his Night of Champions Pre-Show victory in a 16-Man Battle Royal (WATCH), Long Island Iced-Z not only earned a crack at U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro on pay-per-view, but he also notched at least his fourth significant victory in the grueling Battle Royal match format since coming to WWE.

Alongside then–tag team partner Curt Hawkins, Ryder won a five-team Battle Royal on SmackDown in 2007. As a singles competitor two years later, Ryder earned an ECW Title Match by prevailing in a 10-Man Battle Royal. Earlier this year, he won the right to be SmackDown’s General Manager for a week by outlasting 19 other Superstars, and on Sunday, he survived the 16-man melee en route to facing Cesaro.

For someone who is the reigning “Internet Champion,” Ryder sure was born in the wrong era. Given his proclivity for winning Battle Royals, social media’s most celebrated Superstar is the type of competitor who would have done well competing for the grand jackpot of the famed Battle Royals that took place annually in San Francisco’s Cow Palace in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

In WWE, however, Ryder has yet to capitalize on his success in the over-the-top world of Battle Royals. His Tag Team Battle Royal win in 2007 paved the way to a Tag Team Title Match that same night, but Ryder and Hawkins were unable to come out on top. A week after the ECW No. 1 Contender’s Battle Royal, Long Island Iced-Z faced off against ECW Champion Christian and lost. Ryder spearheaded a fine regime on SmackDown as interim GM this year, but that arrangement was designed from the start to be temporary. At Night of Champions, Ryder came up short against Cesaro, though Aksana played no small role in interrupting Ryder’s attempt at a Broski Boot.

Ryder must be doing something right if he keeps winning Battle Royals over much more experienced and more heavily favored Superstars. What is it about Ryder that makes him such a cunning threat in Battle Royals specifically?

View Comments
Zack Ryder Bio, Videos, Photos, and News Articles

ArticlesYou May Also Like