Matt Cardona (former WWE star Zack Ryder) is the guest on the latest Fightful podcast.
Cardona talked about his new ring gear, being a free agent, AEW, passing on a WWE contract offer, his podcast, his shoot weight, RetroMania, becoming Intercontinental Champion, Money In The Bank, his time in WWE and more.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
Matt Cardona said WWE had no interest in his podcast: “Long story short, if it is Zack Ryder, whether you do it on your own or not, if you use WWE I.P., it is instantly theirs. Hawkins and I pitched this to WWE. Let’s do whatever it was going to be called like The Hawkins and Ryder wrestling figure podcast, we were turned down. They said no. They didn’t see anything in it. We pitched something for the Network. They said no. They didn’t see anything in it, which is fine. It was a blessing in disguise because one day we said, you know what? We are going to do it any way but we are going to be Matt and Brian and thank God we did. I started realizing well so and so is doing this. So and so is doing that. Why don’t we just try it? What are they going to do, tell us no? If they do, great. We did it and luckily no one ever told us no. We didn’t hide it. We promoted the hell out of it. Thank God WWE turned us down or it would be gone right now. The podcast is so much fun, especially in that last year in WWE. It was my way of being creative.”
Cardona was asked if he missed Mojo Rawley? “I text Mojo every once in a while. I love Mojo personally. I hated working with Mojo professionally. No. When we first started as the Hype Bros in NXT, I didn’t know anything about Mojo. He didn’t know anything about me. It was HHH’s idea to put us together. If it was HHH’s idea and this was an opportunity for me, I said let’s do it. Let’s make this work however we can. It’s actually because of going down to NXT so often that I ended up moving to Orlando. It’s actually because of Mojo really that I met Chelsea because I met her in Orlando. So really I have to thank Mojo for all this. He was always a hard worker and wanted to try different things. He wanted to learn. But at the point we became the Hype Bros on WWE TV, I was kind of over it already. We already been doing the Hype Bros for a year or so in NXT. Not really doing anything in NXT but just being there. I think the plan was to do a couple months and call him up right away but that never happened. So I was doing the WWE stuff but nothing significant and doing NXT. Then eventually I somehow became the Intercontinental Champion but the day before I’m at Axxess teaming with Mojo as the Hype Bros. I’m thinking, do I really need to do this Axxess Match for NXT the day before the biggest match of my life? What if I get hurt? The Hype Bros had no steam in NXT. Then when it came on the main roster, nobody knew what it was. It didn’t make any sense and then I got injured. The first thing that popped in my mind was yes, the Hype Bros are done.”