Matt Cardona, who was best known for spending close to a decade and a half in WWE under the ring name Zack Ryder, recently opened up about how his contract with AEW expired at the company’s most recent pay-per-view.
As quoted by Wrestling Inc., Cardona appeared on the most recent edition of the Pro Wrestling Junkies podcast where he revealed his AEW deal ended at the All Out pay-per-view that took place September 5. While this backed up a previous report from the publication that suggested he had merely signed a short-term contract, he stressed he was happy during his brief stint on the AEW roster, adding he hopes to return to the promotion and potentially sign a full-time deal.
“That’s the place to be right now. To be there even for a month, and do a couple of matches, was a lot of fun. It was great to just be out there and be myself again. Hopefully, we’ll do it again soon,”
When a fan asked him where he might be headed now that he’s a free agent once again, Cardona said the COVID-19 pandemic is preventing him from making any full-time commitments with other companies. He did, however, suggest he is interested in joining New Japan Pro-Wrestling or possibly competing in his home state of New York and working for independent promotions.
“When the world opens up, it’ll be the best time in wrestling,” Cardona added.
“Fans and wrestlers will both be so excited and we’re gonna have some kicka** shows.”
Following a 14-year stint in WWE, Cardona’s time with the company ended April 15 when he was one of several wrestlers released due to budget cuts related to the coronavirus pandemic, as recalled by WhatCulture. After a few social media teases of his future plans as he waited for his noncompete clause to expire, the 35-year-old debuted for AEW on the July 29 episode of Dynamite, running in to save Cody Rhodes as he was beaten down by The Dark Order. This led to a feud between both sides that lasted until All Out.
Although Cardona’s AEW stint just ended, it appears one of the other ex-WWE superstars who were let go in April is sticking it out with the competition for the long haul. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, Miro (formerly Rusev) is believed to have signed a long-term deal with the company following his Dynamite debut earlier this month.