Former WWE superstar claims not signing with AEW was blessing in disguise

Matt Cardona has made a name for himself on the independent scene since being released from WWE in 2020. Formerly known as Zack Ryder, Cardona has appeared in companies such as AEW, Impact Wrestling, and the National Wrestling Alliance. Since leaving WWE, he has won titles such as the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, Impact Digital Media Championship, and GCW World Championship. Pro Wrestling Illustrated also ranked Cardona No. 13 among the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2022 and Indie Wrestler of the Year.

Getting released by WWE in 2020 may have been a blessing in disguise for Matt Cardona. He didn’t have much going for him at the time of his release. He was teaming with Curt Hawkins for a few years after WWE failed to push him as a singles competitor. For a few years, Cardona was massively over with the fans. He became an internet sensation and did a great job getting himself over without the company’s help. He held both the United States and Intercontinental Championships during his time in WWE. Despite this, they never genuinely capitalized on Cardona’s popularity.

While speaking with The Wrestling Classic on Casual Conversations, Cardona revealed that Cody Rhodes helped him a ton when starting on the independent scene. Rhodes put Cardona in touch with his agent but decided he wanted to be in control and “in the trenches.”

“Cody, right away, put me in contact with his agent, gave me some great advice, but like in the wrestling business, if a producer or an agent is giving you feedback on a match, sometimes that advice doesn’t work for you,” Matt Cardona said. “I realized I don’t want an agent. I don’t need somebody doing my bookings. I want to be in the trenches. I want to be the guy knowing the numbers. I want to be the guy doing the negotiating. I want to be the guy in control. So Cody set me up for sure.”

Like many WWE superstars, Cardona found himself in AEW shortly after he was released from the company. He wasn’t there for long, and looking back on it, Cardona is happy he never signed with AEW. He calls it a “blessing in disguise.”

“I mean that AEW cup of coffee run, I’m grateful for, that didn’t work out at the time. I’ll admit, I was bummed out,” Cardona said. “Looking back, blessing in disguise. If I would have signed with AEW, then I’d be on f*cking Dark, right? No offense to those guys. That’s not what I want. I was already that guy in WWE, you know? Yeah. I want to be in control of my own destiny, control of my own fate, and I’m busting my f*cking ass. Yeah, is the ‘Indie God’ a gimmick? Yeah, but it’s also not.”

Matt Cardona has been rumored to make his WWE return for some time now. His wife, Chelsea Green, recently returned to the company at this past year’s Royal Rumble, and Cardona may not be too far behind. His first run with the company was filled with its ups and downs. He is a former two-time Tag Team Champion but has proven he can get over as a singles star. Vince McMahon never saw the appeal in Cardona, but Triple H’s vision for him may be different.

Cardona spoke about the possibility of returning to WWE and said he wants to find his path back there.

“I would be lying if I said I never wanted to wrestle at Madison Square Garden again, or I never wanted to have a WrestleMania moment again, or I never wanted to walk into Walmart and see my f*cking Mattel Elite [action figure] on the shelves, of course,” Cardona said. “Yeah, of course, I do, but, I’m gonna find my path back there.”

If Matt Cardona does return to WWE, his second run would be a lot different than his first. We’ve seen multiple superstars return to the company years after being released and found better success the second time around. Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley are the best examples. If Cardona returns to the company, he’ll make sure he gets treated more fairly than the first time. I’m not saying Cardona will be a future World Champion, but the odds of that happening will be higher than during his first run with WWE.

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The post Former WWE superstar claims not signing with AEW was blessing in disguise appeared first on ClutchPoints.

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