On a podcast appearance with Sean Waltman last week, Matt Cardona discussed how he ended up in Impact Wrestling and the end of his brief AEW tenure.
Cardona said he signed an AEW deal for multiple dates and that when it expired, he was not offered a new deal. Impact Wrestling came into the mix and the rest is history.
The 36-year-old known as Zack Ryder in WWE made his first in-ring appearance post-WWE release for AEW, teaming with Cody Rhodes in win over Dark Order’s Alex Reynolds and John Silver last July. He came out to Rhodes’ aid the week prior on Dynamite.
He was then part of an eight-man tag with Dustin Rhodes, QT Marshall and Scorpio Sky as they defeated Brodie Lee, Evil Uno, Stu Grayson and Colt Cabana at last September’s All Out. He didn’t have anything negative to say about AEW but that he wasn’t going to beg for a contract.
Cardona then didn’t appear in a wrestling ring until January of this year, debuting for Impact at the Hard to Kill pay-per-view. He has primarily worked there with some indie dates sprinkled in between. He made a surprise appearance at GCW’s Zombie Walk to set up a match against GCW Champion Nick Gage for their upcoming Homecoming event in July. He told Waltman he was surprised how much buzz that match is getting.
He also told Waltman he would never say never about a WWE return, but that he is having fun what he’s doing now and that his goal is to not go back.