IMPACT’s Matt Cardona spoke with Inside the Ropes recently, talking about his release from WWE and subsequent brief run with AEW amongst other things.
Even though the former Zack Ryder was only part of AEW for a brief spell, he saw massive differences between the environment there, and that of WWE:
“I mean, I was in AEW for a cup of coffee, but I could tell right away, different atmosphere,” Cardona said.“Totally different vibe, everyone was super cool, super relaxed. Tony Khan — super approachable. Not that Vince isn’t, but Vince, you know, sometimes you’re waiting outside Vince’s office all day and sometimes you might not get to talk to him. As opposed to Tony who you can go like ‘Hey Tony!’ or you text him.
“I think it’s all relative, right? You need to have relationships and that’s on you to make that relationship, whether it be with Tony Khan or Scott D’Amore or Vince McMahon. You need to make that relationship. They’re not going to go out of their way to make a relationship with you, you need to do that. You need to be in their ear and get to the point where you could text them or call them and stuff like that.
“But is the atmosphere different? Yeah, 100 percent. Because WWE, it’s this huge thing and I think almost too micromanaged where AEW is just like letting things happen. You don’t even know, like, who’s running the show, which is a good thing. There’s creative freedom in your matches as opposed to sometimes in WWE where it’s like ‘Oh, you can’t go to the floor tonight.’”
Cardona was with WWE from 2005 until 2020, and is now part of IMPACT’s roster, and is glad to be free of WWE’s ‘micromanaging’:
“One time I was told - I was having a match before RAW, Main Event, or Superstars, or whatever it’s called. And my producer told me I couldn’t do a baseball slide to the floor because Ronda Rousey was doing it like two hours later on RAW.” said Cardona. “I can understand if you’re saying I can’t put Mike Kanellis through the announce table on Main Event. OK I get it. But I can’t do a baseball slide?! We’re talking about a baseball slide here! Because Ronda Rousey is doing a baseball slide? You think anybody is thinking in the arena, ‘Oh, Zack Ryder did that baseball slide two hours ago’? Like, come on!”
Credit: Inside The Ropes