Matt Cardona shoots down rumor about why he wasn’t offered a contract with AEW

Matt Cardona (formerly known as Zack Ryder in WWE) did an interview with and here are the highlights…

Having a match with Adam Copeland in AEW: “A few months ago he was doing his Cope Open and I shot him a text. I shot my shot. I don’t know if this has been said publicly. But I said, basically, I’m paraphrasing here, something like, ‘Gotta shoot my shot here. You got the Cope Open, this is my dream match. I would really appreciate it if you’d consider me as a challenger.’ He was really cool about it and said they were finishing up the Cope Open but if it ever happened again he’d keep me in mind.

I wrote it off in my mind. Well, a couple of months went by, and all of a sudden he brings it back, and he brings it back with me. He called me on a Wednesday and said, ‘Hey, can you be at Collision on Saturday?’ I’m like, well I gotta cancel the convention but yeah, somehow, someway, I’ll be there. So I went to the convention for one day, and I made it. I got there and I had the dream match. What a special night for me on so many levels. It’s a match I never watched back because it just felt so special in that moment. I wouldn’t want to watch it back and start critiquing things I did to ruin the night. But getting the ‘Holy s—t’ chants on my entrance, it was like what I’ve been doing is working and it’s a night I desperately needed. To see all the social media responses, I think it did good numbers on the show. And to have Adam afterwards put it over to me and on social media… What a great, great night. I’m so fortunate, so glad I was able to get that night. But I’ll tell you what, I’d love a rematch. I’d love to beat Adam Copeland.”

Why he didn’t sign with AEW in 2020: “I don’t think I’ve ever said this publicly, but that was actually a rumour about why I didn’t get hired in AEW. Apparently—first of all, this is not true—I’m not sure if this was said but this definitely didn’t come out of my goddamn mouth: I heard one of the reasons I wasn’t signed to AEW was because I was asking for ‘Sting money’. That’s the rumour I’ve heard, which is such a ridiculous thing that I have to laugh about it. We’ve never even talked about it.”

“I’m not sure [why I didn’t receive a contract]. I thought I delivered on the shows. My merch was the number one shirt of the week. At the time I was devastated that I did not get offered a contract, I absolutely was, because there was nowhere else to go and build my name. I’m sure I could have found an independent that was running with social distancing but that’s not what I wanted to do. So I wanted to wait until the world opened back up. When AEW didn’t work out for me at the time, I was absolutely devastated. Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise, but it wasn’t until the world opened up the following year that I was just dipping my toe in the independent scene, so to speak.”