@ZackRyder reaches one million Twitter followers
There are officially a million of them. One million Broskis taking care, spiking their hair, Woo-Woo-Wooing in unison from the sands of Long Beach, N.Y., to the glens of Dublin. On Monday night, these gelled-up tweeters fist-pumped Zack Ryder into Twitter immortality when they pushed him past one million followers at approximately 11:18 p.m. to make him officially, finally, a “seven-figure Broski.”
Not bad for a self-proclaimed kid from Long Island, right?
Ryder, in any case, was understandably elated by the development. “From now on, I am only to be referred to as the #SevenFigureBroski,” he joked to WWE.com less than an hour after reaching the milestone. “With the hashtag.”
All kidding aside, though, the million mark is a big one for Ryder, whose roller-coaster career has become something of a metaphor for the little guy in WWE. A former Tag Team Champion alongside Curt Hawkins who found himself in near obscurity only a couple of years later, Ryder took to social media in an all-out Twitter blitz to get the WWE Universe on his side in early 2009. Long story short, it worked. Within 14 months of launching his YouTube show “Z! True Long Island Story,” Ryder won the U.S. Title from Dolph Ziggler, bro’d out with Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman and found himself a key player in a marquee WrestleMania match all while garnering mainstream attention for his mastery of social media. While a series of attacks by Kane cut The Ultimate Broski’s legs out from under him in early 2012, Ryder has never allowed himself to fade away in the eyes of the WWE Universe. He’s as much proof as any that hard work pays off, and Ryder admits he always knew that, despite a crazy year, he would eventually cross the mark he’s been laboring toward these past few months.”
“I was not surprised at all,” Ryder said of reaching one million followers despite not appearing on the 20th Anniversary of Raw. “I want to thank my Zack Pack, without them I would be nothing and I knew it was only a matter of time.” Hedidadd a special word of thanks for The Miz, who convinced him to join Twitter in 2009, but Ryder didn’t hide his glee in surpassing The Awesome One’s follower count. “Now I’m a #SevenFigureBroski and he’s not even at a million yet.”
The best part of reaching seven figures? The timing couldn’t have been better. “What a perfect night to do it, you know? Raw, the 20th anniversary, I wasn’t on the show, but I became the #SevenFigureBroski, so history was made.”
To top it off, the one-million-follower club reads like a laundry list of current and future WWE Hall of Famers, and despite being the self-dubbed “Internet Champion,” Ryder admitted that finding himself in that company is kind of wild. “The guys who have reached the one-million mark — The Rock, John Cena, Randy Orton — those are the top guys in WWE. And me, Zack Ryder, who am I? I’m barely on Raw, I’m some kid who started a YouTube show. So to be in that group, it’s crazy.”
Speaking of YouTube shows, Ryder ended his long-running “ZTLIS” last week with an emotional final episode that saw the entire cast return for cameos (even John Morrison), and took a moment to speak on the success of his signature show.
“It got me to where I wanted to be, but it was time to end it, to kill it off before it faded into obscurity,” Ryder said. “And I’m glad it ended at 100 episodes. I watched the episode back, I put a lot of my time, my heart and my soul into that episode, into the entire series. And when I watched the final episode, I cried.”
And true to form, the “ZTLIS” finale is racking up more page views than The Big O, a regular on the Web series, racks up reps on the bench press. “Episode 100 has more than 200,000 views since Friday. It’s one of the most successful ‘ZTLIS’ episodes ever,” Ryder said. “I’m definitely proud of that episode and I’m definitely proud of that series.”
So with “ZTLIS” series finale wrapped and one million Twitter followers under his belt, what’s next for the “Internet Champion”? “I have to figure out a way to get back into the WWE mainstream,” Ryder said. “I need to figure out a way to make them say ‘who is this guy, we need to get him back on our television shows?’”
And as it turns out, where one door to the mainstream has closed, another has already opened.
“It was the end of ‘Z! True Long Island Story,’ ” I became a seven-figure Broski, and this week on my YouTube channel, I will debut the music video to my song ‘Hoeski,’ ” Ryder said. “And I really believe that this video is going to change the world.”
Don’t laugh at him, either. He’s done it before.