As I may have alluded to once or twice before, I’m a bit of a wrestling fan. One of my current favourites is Zack Ryder, who has an interesting story behind his recent rise in popularity, and one that has a lesson to be learned from.
Go back a year and things were different. He barely appeared on the show, and when he did it wasn’t to wrestle. Many were forecasting that he would be included in the next round of people to be released.
Not wanting to simply wait around, Zack came up with an idea to get himself noticed, one way or the other. His idea was a youtube show – Z! True Long Island Stories. At the time it was sink or swim. He didn’t know how it would go down or even if he would get let go over it – the industry prefers to make it stars rather than let them make themselves. But he really didn’t have a lot to loose given his status at the time.
A few people watched it, and then a few more. Quite quickly the numbers began to swell and it became rather popular. Fans started carrying signs for him at shows and chanting for him. It took some time for the industry to notice, but they had to given the amount of merchandise he was shipping out for them and the reactions he got. The end result is that he appears almost weekly on the shows now, gets to wrestle and looks to be on track to earn the intermediate title. He got to team up with Hugh Jackman when he was a guest on the show and even had Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy do his catchphrase for the Halloween special. The chants for him in MSG at last nights PPV were thunderous.
It has been a remarkable turn around, and all down to putting himself forward and market himself. It is a lesson I need to take to heart and try and emulate. You can’t sit back and wait for things to happen and to be discovered. Sure it may be a risk, but the upside is huge and the downside negligible.