For many years, Zack Ryder was the prime example of the wrestler that seemed to be buried solely out of (alleged) office spite. His WWE run throughout the 2010s spurred lots of criticism toward the company for how he was utilized.
Released by WWE this past April, Matt Cardona has since turned up in All Elite Wrestling, where he's forged allegiance with The Nightmare Family, and is currently scheduled to wrestle in an eight-man tag against The Dark Order at All Out.
Speaking with Wrestling Inc, Cardona discussed his ill-fated WWE tenure, but without much bitterness toward the company. Instead, he claims some responsibility for maybe not being as proactive toward his push as he could have been.
"At the end of the day, I was given an opportunity," Cardona said. "I was put on TV because for the longest time, I was doing the YouTube show, selling all this merch without getting the opportunity, and then I was given the opportunity. So I was on TV. I got what I asked for.
"I won the U.S. Title, and then things didn't exactly go my way. You know what, I could have knocked on somebody's door and asked, 'hey what's going on here?' But I didn't do that. So I blame me. I don't blame anyone else for what happened in 2012. I don't live in the past and say what if. I try not to be bitter because what's that going to do? It's not going to change anything. You're not going to be happier."
Cardona also put over Being the Elite (which some consider a bit of a successor to his irreverent and popular Z! True Long Island Story series), and marvels at what BTE has accomplished.
"Even if the company doesn't want to or doesn't see you certain way, you can kind of force them, and that's what I did," Cardona said of his old show. "So I love that all these other people are doing it and to the extreme. BTE is way bigger than Z! True Long Island Story ever was. Being The Elite, we now have All Elite Wrestling. So it's crazy what BTE has done and continues to do."