Pity the poor soul Zack Ryder, who suffered yet another ignominy during Raw SuperShow this past Monday when he was chokeslammed through the stage by Kane during a Falls Count Anywhere Match. In the past month alone, Long Island Iced-Z has been pummeled by Kane through a loading pallet and lost his United States Championship to Jack Swagger under questionable pretenses.
Ryder was not medically cleared to compete, but an oversight by Executive VP of Talent Relations and Interim Raw GM John Laurinaitis allowed the match to proceed. This past Monday, still reeling from injuries sustained at the hands of The All-American American, Ryder faced his tormentor head-on and was driven through the stage for his troubles, suffering a herniated disc at the hands of The Devil’s Favorite Demon.
So where does the buck stop now? In a seemingly endless cycle of brutality leveled against the beloved, self-proclaimed Internet Champion, who’s to blame for the predicament?
If your answer is “John Cena,” you’re not alone. Eve, Ryder’s friend, laid the fault for Ryder’s suffering at the feet of the Cenation leader, berating Ryder’s broski before getting into the ambulance with the motionless former U.S. Champion.
The truth is, Eve has a point. Kane has made his intentions clear: to make Cena “embrace the hate” at all costs. But rather than confront Cena himself, The Big Red Monster has instead targeted Ryder, and relentlessly so. The unspoken implication seems to be that the beatings will continue until Cena bends to The Devil’s Favorite Demon’s will. Thus far, Cena has taken the high road and resisted, and the tactic has, all things considered, left Ryder more or less to fight his own battles against Kane and Swagger. One could argue that Cena is holding out on aid for a friend who is injured and outmatched, all in the name of his personal credo. It was Ryder, not Cena, who had to walk down to the ring and …
Wait a second.
Why not blame Ryder?
Ryder’s a grown man. There’s nobody stopping him from protecting his body and his health and refusing to compete against Jack Swagger. Nobody was making Ryder put his hard-won United States Championship on the line against an opponent with the built-in advantage of unbroken ribs. Futhermore, nobody forced Ryder’s hand in his match against Kane either.
Although, there was that stipulation that Mr. Laurinaitis added to the Ryder-Kane match: the one where, if Cena interfered, Ryder would never get a United States Title opportunity again. Perhaps this is all on Laurinaitis, who also seemed to willingly overlook the doctor’s report that would have stopped the title match and, presumably, kept the United States Championship around Ryder’s waist.
It’s not unfair to say there are plenty of players who are just as, if not more, at fault than Ryder in what has transpired thus far. And yet, Eve has blamed Cena, the one man who unquestionably has tried to protect Ryder this entire time. The question this whole time seems to have been whether or not Cena will “Rise Above Hate,” but perhaps it’s fair to ask if Eve should have done the same?
Then again, Cena did look like he was about to lose his cool in the backstage area as Ryder was carted out. Maybe Eve has the right idea after all, and the time for the high road is finally over.