Wrestling star off the ropes
WWE star Zack Ryder. Picture: Simon Santi/ The West Australian

He's young, handsome, made of muscle and working his way back to being one of the WWE's top "superstars". And Zack Ryder, 28, won over roughly 10,000 WWE Raw fans at Perth Arena on Tuesday night, showing nimble athletic moves even if most had come to see No. 1 fighter John Cena.

"I always wanted to be a WWE star ever since I was a kid," the tanned, blond and cheeky Ryder told AAA before the show.

"I just never grew out of it. But not just any guy on the roster. I want to be the next John Cena. I want to be the poster boy. I want to be the champion."

Other superstars flexing their muscle included The Great Khali, The Miz and the short-statured fan favourite Daniel Bryan.

Not surprisingly, everything went to script, with Cena triumphant in his "tables match" against hulking rival Ryback.

A wrestler since high school in Long Island, New York, Ryder (real name Matthew Brett Cardona) said he "did whatever it took" to get into the WWE spotlight.

"Eventually I did become one of the top WWE superstars and the US Champion in 2011," he added. "But since then I've fallen off a bit."

To re-energise his career, Ryder created his own YouTube show and gained 120,000 subscribers, 1.3 million Twitter followers and 600,000 Facebook likes. He became so popular the WWE could not ignore him.

"I called myself 'the Internet Champion'," he jokes. "But it brought social media to the WWE's attention and really helped me get back to being one of the top superstars. Now I've got my own action figures, T-shirts, clock, slippers, glasses."

Yet Ryder admits it's not as glamorous as it appears.

"It's a lot of airports, rental cars, cities, arenas and gyms. I'm there to perform for the fans and it's a lot of hard work. It's not as luxurious as everyone thinks."

The West Australian

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