Matt Cardona — who previously competed in WWE as Zack Ryder — shocked the sports entertainment industry this weekend when he made his Impact Wrestling debut at the company’s Hard to Kill pay-per-view. Fans can reportedly expect to see the 35-year-old in the promotion for the next several weeks as well.
Citing a report from the subscription-based Fightful Select, WrestlingNews.co has reported that he will work this week’s TV tapings, which will see the company produce a month’s worth of content. It’s unknown how many shows Cardona will record, but his Hard to Kill appearance suggested that there’s a substantial feud planned for him.
Cardona faced Ace Austin in a singles match at Saturday’s event, which aired from Skyway Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. The former WWE superstar picked up the win via disqualification after Madman Fulton interfered to save his opponent. This led to Cardona fighting off both performers and standing tall after the showdown.
Following the show, he took to Twitter and revealed his gratitude for the chance to step back into the squared circle. He also confirmed that he isn’t done with his new enemies yet.
It’s clear that Cardona has unfinished business with both wrestlers, and the odds are firmly stacked against him. This may also lead to him pairing up with another Impact star to even the odds in his favor.
Cardona’s appearance at the pay-per-view also seemingly ended speculation about his AEW future. He made a few appearances in the promotion last year, but he was only signed to a short-term deal. However, some fans and pundits expected him to return due to his close friendship with Cody Rhodes, who’s one of the entity’s executive vice presidents.
Of course, Cardona’s involvement in Impact could see him cross paths with AEW stars and possibly with the corporation again at a later date. As The Inquisitr previously noted, both promotions have agreed to a working relationship that’s seen each party exchange their talent in recent weeks.
Cardona was released by WWE last year as a result of the corporation’s cost-cutting measures to contend with the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several other employees were released around the same time, many of whom have since moved to Impact.
His short stint in AEW, meanwhile, lasted from last July until September. He teamed up with Rhodes and Nightmare Family in their rivalry against Dark Order, helping them overcome the heel faction at the All Out pay-per-view.