Former WWE Superstar Zack Ryder/Matt Cardona recently appeared on SiriusXM’s Busted Open Radio. This was Cardona’s first live interview with an outlet since leaving WWE back in April. During the interview, Cardona would discuss a number of topics from his career with the company. One of the specific areas of questioned centered around the Z True Long Island Story YouTube channel that the then Zack Ryder created to ‘get himself over’ and ‘grab the brass ring’ in WWE.
“Well, let me start by saying about ‘grab the brass ring,’ I think you have to do it not just in WWE but in life” Cardona began. “I was at a point in my career where I wasn’t satisfied with what I was doing. And I’m not gonna give you the whole story, but long story short? I started a YouTube show, it took off and I got over.”
Cardona would then go on to say that WWE never really seemed to like that he created his own buzz. “I don’t think WWE accepted it. I knew that was my plan, I didn’t think it was gonna happen as fast as it did and as organically as it did. When I started that YouTube show? I wanted to either get noticed, or get fired. Because I wanted that buzz. So I would get pushed in WWE or get fired and have the buzz elsewhere, you know? Luckily I didn’t get fired! Luckily I got noticed, and I got used on television more.”
The former WWE Superstar would then finish by talking about how he was seemingly ‘punished’ by the company for creating his own buzz online. “The term punished? I mean, listen, at the time when everything was going down? When I was getting pushed off the stage in a wheelchair? I could have in retrospect gone to Vince [McMahon] and said ‘what’s going on here!?’ At the time I was so young, so naive. So I said ‘oh this is part of the plan’ you know? ‘I’d wrestle Kane at Backlash next month!’ I wasn’t aware enough or mature enough to knock on the boss’s door and say, ‘I’m one of the top merch sellers, I’ve been busting my ass. Why is this happening?’ So I blame nobody but myself for what went down there.”
With social media now being a huge part of pro wrestling, Matt Cardona was years ahead of the game when he decided to create his own ‘universe’ on YouTube with Z True Long Island Story. Hopefully Cardona can move on and be even more successful on the independents or in an AEW, IMPACT or NWA.
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Busted Open Radio with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Busted Open Radio can be heard on SiriusXM’s Fight Nation (Channel 156), Monday through Saturday from 9 am to Noon eastern.