As a kid growing up on Long Island, I was a huge WWE fan. I looked up to Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and The Rock so much that I almost never missed an episode. Now anyone who uses the last of the half & half during breakfast at Hulu headquarters gets put in a Half Nelson.
In the ’80s, I always made sure to set my trusty VCR during those unfortunate times when I couldn’t catch the action on TV. In the ’90s, I would watch clips on AOL and WWE.com. But there was never an online destination where I could catch full episodes of the WWE when I was on the go, commuting back and forth from Long Island to Manhattan.
Well, the WWE and Hulu have dropped a John Cena-sized Attitude Adjustment on that problem.
We’re excited to announce that, as of today, Hulu Plus subscribers will have next-day access to every episode of Monday Night Raw, Friday Night Smackdown, NXT, Superstars, WWE en Español and more. This means that you’ll always be able to catch last night’s full episodes whenever and wherever you are.
Around the same time I was growing up with the WWE, there was another kid on Long Island who was equally as passionate about wrestling as I was, but he took it one step further—he actually became a WWE Superstar. So you can imagine how excited I was to talk with the WWE Internet Champion, “Long Island Iced Z” Zack Ryder about his career, TV and the ongoing beef with between NY and NJ.
Justin Rutsky (Hulu): As the “WWE Internet Champion,” you’ve been producing your own weekly web series for over a year now. How has that changed your career?
Zack Ryder: I was in WWE for almost 4 years but I didn’t feel like a Superstar. I was barely on TV, I didn’t have an action figure, and I didn’t have a promotional 8×10. I needed to change that, so in February of 2011 I started Z! True Long Island Story. I was either going to get noticed or get fired. The show started to create a buzz and after a few months the WWE Universe was chanting “We Want Ryder” at shows I wasn’t on. The Ryder Revolution took over the WWE. By the end of the 2011, I was the WWE United States Champion.
For the uninitiated—those who come to Hulu to watch Pretty Little Liars and not WWE—can you let us in on how you developed your personal style?
If it’s purple, I’ll wear it. Whether I’m in the gym or at the club, I always have to look good. My clothes have to be tight. I don’t spend hours at the gym getting Zacked to not show it off.
Your catchphrase is “Take Care, Spike Your Hair.” How much gel does it take to keep that thing freshly spiked for an entire match?
Believe it or not, I just use a finger-tip amount of paste. I go for the spikey yet messy look.
Based on your tweets, it sounds like you have a beef with the Jersey Shore cast. Come on, can’t all us guidos get along?
Are you serious bro? I’m not a guido! I’m a broski from Long Island! When you do some investigating, you’ll learn that I was taking care and spiking my hair months before those Jersey Shore posers were even auditioning to move out of the parents’ houses.
On that note, have you ever thought about a patent infringement suit against Pauly D for stealing your fist-pump?
I’ll fist pump his face!
Speaking of that, what are some of your other absolute, can’t-miss shows on TV right now? Or of all-time?
Of all time? Saved By the Bell, the ORIGINAL 90210, and Lost. Right now my favorite show is Californication.
Pretend like you’re a programmer on Hulu for a day. If you could pick a few shows on Hulu—other than Raw and Smackdown—for folks to watch, what would they be?
I think we need to get Z! True Long Island story on Hulu.
Since you’re on the road over 300 days a year, how do you keep up with TV on that kind of schedule?
I watch TV via my iPad. My TV at home is just for decoration and to use as a mirror.
Now that WWE is on Hulu Plus, what can your fans expect to see from you in the near future to further strengthen your status as the Internet Champion?
If you miss me on Monday or Friday, you can watch me anytime on Hulu Plus. I apologize in advance if the site crashes due to so many babes coming to the site to check me out.
I’m a Long Island native as well. How do you think the WWE fans on Long Island stack up against the rest of the country?
I throw up the LI hand signal for a reason, not just to look cool in my Facebook pictures. I’m very proud of where I come from. Maybe I’m biased, but there is no better place to perform than in the Nassau Coliseum.
Amen, brother! Finally, and most importantly, fall is approaching quickly and the summer sun is fading fast—so what’s your monthly tanning budget like these days?
I need to be sure my tan is sick! I have packages at two different tanning salons and buy self tanner weekly. I probably spend about $200 a month to be tan.