There were ups and downs throughout Zack Ryder's 13 year run in WWE (to say the least), but it was still one consistent place of employment, so he probably knew what he was getting into when he arrived at work each time out.
Making his AEW debut in 2020, Matt Cardona wasn't sure what to expect.
Cardona made his first appearance for AEW on the July 29 episode of Dynamite, saving Arn Anderson from The Dark Order. As he admitted on the Busted Open podcast, there were plenty of butterflies preceding his initial walkout.
"I was so nervous before, probably the most nervous I've ever been in my career," Cardona admitted. "Because, you know, I'm going to this brand new environment, and, listen, like I say it all the time, I don't care about proving doubters wrong. I want to prove my supporters right, and I want to make them proud and prove myself right as well."
Cardona also admitted that the new environs intimidated him a bit, as while he was an established name for many years in WWE, he was still "the new kid" in AEW.
"For me, I was nervous because I was walking in there the new kid in school, right?", Cardona said. "And all these people, whether I've seen them wrestle, whether I've seen them on social media, I knew everybody, but I didn't really know them. You know what I'm saying?
"So it's weird, kind of, introducing myself to these people who I know! Some people who I've watched wrestle for years. But everyone was very welcoming, very inviting, and they made me feel like, you know, I was there the whole time."
(Credit to Wrestling Inc for transcription)