It’s Saturday and today we have ’This Week in Wrestling’, the 3rd of 2021. Today Brian talks about the career of Matt ‘Zack Ryder’ Cardona and if he has been typecast by that gimmick and shares all the best wrestling content from this week.
Has ‘Zack Ryder’ Killed the Career of Matt Cardona?
Recently, Matt Cardona appeared on Impact Wrestling’s ‘Hard to Kill’ pay per view. It was revealed that Cardona signed a short term deal with Impact…but nothing long term. It seems the deal is very similar to the one he signed with All Elite Wrestling a few months back. The question is, why haven’t AEW or Impact or any other major promotion for that matter sign him long term?
Is it because of his age? At 35 years old, Cardona seems to be in the best shape of his career. Is he not any good? Cardona is very talented in ring and has a ton of charisma. Does he have the “It Factor?” Matt Cardona’s first T shirt away from WWE licensing on Pro Wrestling Tees was a top seller in early August of 2020. Despite all the positives, Cardona finds himself on a short leash once again with another major promotion. Maybe non committal is a better word.
This is the same guy who in 2011, was arguably one of the most popular wrestlers on WWE’s roster. Under the name ‘Zack Ryder,’ Cardona got himself over by creating a popular web series about himself called… Z! True Long Island Story. Before long, the Ryder Revolution was under way with him winning the United States title and working a program with WWE’s top star John Cena. His booking was a bit off and it appeared on the surface that WWE attempted to bury the self made superstar.
For years after that initial surge in popularity…WWE never seemed to really go all out and push him. Inconsistent booking and suddenly, Zack Ryder became glorified enhancement talent for a period of time. He had a few good moments after that with him winning the Intercontinental title for a day and also winning the tag team titles …but it seemed like the company was giving him a few bread crumbs for all his years of service.
At any rate, Cardona was released in April of 2020 after 15 years of service with WWE. Finally, Matt Cardona could be himself, do whatever he wanted creatively and practically nothing happened. He had a brief run in AEW and now on a short term deal with Impact Wrestling. Nobody really seems that interested in him for a longer period of time. Just to spike ratings and get people talking a bit and then…poof…..he’s gone. Maybe his time with Impact will be different. Maybe they will give him a solid push.
It could very well be possible that Cardona doesn’t want any long term deals. He would prefer setting his own schedule as a wrestler. It could also be that promoters see him nothing more than Zack Ryder and want to just get a quick ratings grab from him. Did the character of Zack Ryder kill off any future for Matt Cardona as a performer away from that gimmick? Is he to be saddled with Zack Ryder much like Terry Taylor was with the Red Rooster? It could just be any of those things, but as a fan of his, I would hope he can make the best out of whatever a promoter gives him. He’s already proven to be able to handle that.
The evolution of AEW’s TNT title.
Another fantastic drawing of Bianca Belair.
Mega Power Brothers! LOL
I love this image of the crow inspired Sting.
Which WCW pay per view set was your favorite?
Incredible sketch of Dustin Rhodes…
Speaking of Dustin…he is looking great as of late.
The Rock is also looking beefed!
The late Gary Hart’s book is extremely rare and hard to find…but is it really worth this much?
This is in my opinion an excellent example of wrestling today. There are so many different flavors. Something for everybody. We are actually very lucky.
A custom made NWO Big Gold Belt
Bernie Sanders has gone viral and this is my favorite of all the Bernie memes/pics.
Rene Paquette showing off her baby bump with a friend.
The different stages of Rhea Ripley
Lacey Evans wearing a Flair robe.
WWE’s newest signing…Priscilla Kelly.
Pro wrestling bloopers
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3 thoughts on “This Week in Wrestling 2021 Week 3”
Matt Cardona I think is someone who definitely had the chance to be a popular and solid player in WWE. Not a top guy or a main eventer but a work horse that fans liked and could be someone that the people can rely on. Instead, WWE treated him terribly as they hated the fact that he got over by himself. I think he’s at a stage of just trying to reinvent himself and maybe become this solid and respected mid-card figure that fans will respect as well as the wrestlers. Not everyone can be the guy but there’s no shame in being the solid hand. I think these short-term deals are for him to fulfill his love of pro wrestling but also find other things to do.
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Dave from Dave Knows Wrestling did say Cardona would never have been a world champion with the Zack Ryder gimmick.
He wouldn’t have been a world champ as Zack Ryder. It still pisses me off that he only became the Intercontinental champion for one night. I would’ve preferred if he had a nice run for a few months as I think it would’ve been this nice peak for him.