Sulla-Heffinger: What’s it like seeing those kids wearing your merchandise, buying those figures?
Ryder: It’s crazy, it doesn’t even make sense to me. I still have all of the wrestling toys that I had as a little kid and to think about those kids going to Toys ‘R’ Us and buying my action figure, it makes you go ‘what?!’ Sometimes I have to take myself out of the moment and look at my life from the outside and say ‘Woah! This is getting cool.’
Sulla-Heffinger: Saturday Morning Slam is a little different in the sense that it is less violent because it is geared toward children. How does that affect your style of wrestling?
Ryder: Luckily for me, I haven’t really had to change my style up too much. I’m sure for guys like Sheamus and guys who are giving big punches to the head, it really affects them. For me, I just do my own thing and I think that works as an advantage. Some guys have change their styles up and they are out of their element or off their game. For me, I’m the same old Zack Ryder so maybe that’s why I am going to go all the way and become the Saturday Morning Slam GM.
Sulla-Heffinger: Being from Long Island, what are you feeling with Wrestlemania coming back to the area and it being just weeks away?
Ryder: This year there are a lot of mixed emotions. It’s going to be cool that Wrestlemania is back in New York and New Jersey, I went to Wrestlemania X and XX as a fan and last year I had my first Wrestlemania match so it is cool. At the same time I’m not on the show so it’s not cool and I wish it was somewhere else because all of my friends and family are going to be there and I’m not going to be on it so that part stinks. It’s great that such a huge event is going to be at MetLife Stadium, Rock and John Cena the rematch, it’s going to be historic. Whether Zack Ryder is on the card or not, Wrestlemania is going to be the show of the year and maybe the best one yet.
Sulla-Heffinger: What do you see in Zack Ryder’s future over the next year?
Ryder: I’m not really sure. I ended my YouTube show that I have been doing for two years this past January. I think Zack Ryder, the character, needs a little tweaking, it needs a little adjustment. I wouldn’t say a complete 180 turn but a couple of things here and there. I have to sit down and I have to really figure out what needs to be done to get back on top and make sure I don’t miss next year’s Wrestlemania.
Sulla-Heffinger: Do you think it’s a matter of time before you’re getting title shots?
Ryder: That’s the ultimate goal so I have to be positive and think that those opportunities are in my future. That’s what keeps me going.
Sulla-Heffinger: You mentioned you watched wrestling as a fan in the past. What did you think of this past week’s Raw with the Brock Lesnar-HHH opening and the CM Punk/Cena finale?
Ryder: The way it ended, that match was a pay-per-view match right there for free on TV. I was watching in the back with a couple of guys and I was on the edge of my seat, was it going to be Punk or was it going to be Cena, was someone going to run in, would it be a straight finish? We were anxious to see who was going to win. It was a great match, the fans were on their feet the whole time. When Cena won, the place exploded and he deserved the win.