“I Was Trying To Get Away From Him” – Matt Cardona Says WWE Didn’t Want Him To Play A “Serious” Character (Exclusive)

Former Intercontinental Champion Matt Cardona recently revealed that he tried to change many aspects of his WWE character but failed because the publicity didn’t want him to be serious.

Previously known as Zack Ryder, Cardona’s nearly 15-year long tenure with the company had many ups and downs. His on-screen character was that of a jovial and fun-loving man whose serious side was not much explored. Cardona departed from WWE in 2020. Since then, he has earned many accolades including Impact Wrestling, GCW and NWA.

Speaking exclusively to Sportskeeda Wrestling, Matt Cardona revealed that he actively tried to persuade WWE to explore other aspects of his side. However, the former Intercontinental Champion revealed that the promotion never booked him for starring as a serious character.

Cardona said that once he was free from the shackles of WWE, he could go out there and show the world everything he had to offer.

“Woo, woo, woo,” headband, sunglasses, it’s dead. And I was trying to get away from that when I was Zack Ryder in WWE, but you can’t write shows. So if I’m trying to be more serious, but you’re booked for not being so serious, that’s it. So when I was let go, I was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ It’s not like there were any handcuffs, but the handcuffs were gone, and I was able to be my new version of me, whatever was going to happen,” said Matt Cardona. [4:19 – 4:48]

Matt Cardona on the prospect of wrestling his WWE character Zack Ryder
During the interview, Cardona discussed the possibility of wrestling with his Zack Ryder moniker, just as The Undertaker wrestled with his rookie at SummerSlam 1994.

Cardona said that although he didn’t have the editing skills to turn such a match into reality, he was ready if he got help from someone. However, he then revealed that since World Wrestling Entertainment owns the character Zack Ryder, he would not be able to use it.

“I would love to do it, it’s a cinematic match. I don’t have the skills to do that kind of editing work, but if there’s anyone listening who knows how to do it, I’d love to do it. I guess.” So, basically, I can’t use the Zack Ryder IP because I’m not in WWE,” Cardona said. [5:11 – 5:26]

Matt Cardona is set to face Trevor Murdoch and Tyrus in a Triple Threat Match for the NWA World Championship at Hard Times 2022 on November 12.

It remains to be seen whether his former stomping makes a return for the former Intercontinental Champion in the near future.

Do you think Matt Cardona’s current run is better than his run at World Wrestling Entertainment? Sound off in the comments section below.

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