Matt Cardona Open To WWE Return As Zack Ryder
Matt Cardona would be willing to switch back to his previous moniker
Since being released by WWE in April of 2020, Matt Cardona (FKA Zack Ryder) has been enjoying life on the independent wrestling scene.
Having generated a significant amount of buzz and won titles in companies including GCW and the NWA - where he is the reigning Heavyweight Champion - Cardona has achieved success without being signed to a major promotion like WWE or AEW.
As Cardona recently told Bleacher Report, however, he would not be adverse to listening to either company if they made approached him with an offer:
"I'd be lying if I said I never wanted to wrestle in Madison Square Garden again or never wanted to wrestle in a big stadium for a WrestleMania. Of course I would. I'm not saying that. But I'm also not saying that I'm doing everything I'm doing now thinking, 'What can I do to get back to WWE?' or 'What can I do to go to AEW?'. I don't give a sh*t. Sorry, I don't. If Tony Khan or Vince McMahon or Johnny Ace or Bruce Prichard called me, of course, I'd pick up the phone and have a conversation, but that's not my goal right now".
Cardona was employed by WWE for fifteen years and confirmed that he is still in contact (via infrequent text messages) with Vince McMahon.
He believes that his current character would work in WWE, even if he had to tone down certain aspects (such as the cursing). If he was to come back to WWE, however, he thinks it would have to be as Zack Ryder (and not Matt Cardona), which he would be willing to do even for something like a Royal Rumble cameo.
"I wouldn't be opposed to coming back as Zack Ryder. I love my 'Always Ready' music. It would basically be me, just with the old Zack Ryder name. No more 'Oh Radio', none of that stuff, even though Downstait did make the harder zersion of it.
"I would love to come back as me, Matt Cardona, but I think realistically, the WWE has that IP and they've invested a lot in that name, so I would have no problem [doing it], even if it was a one-off at the Royal Rumble or something like that. I think it'd be interesting.
"If I were to come out, I don't know if the people would boo. I think I'd get a huge pop! I think I'd be a babyface again".
Cardona recently underwent surgery to repair a torn bicep and is scheduled to appear at NWA's Alwayz Ready pay-per-view on June 11, where the NWA Title situation will be addressed.