Matt Cardona Considers GCW The No. 3 Wrestling Promotion, Compares It To Peak ECW

Matt Cardona is best known for his WWE run of nearly 15 years as Zack Ryder, but he's made a name for himself in numerous promotions since his release in 2020. Whether it was working in AEW on a limited basis, or the NWA, Impact Wrestling, and Game Changer Wrestling more regularly, Cardona just loves to wrestle. He's carved out his own space with GCW and recently showered the independent promotion with praise on "AdFreeShows".


"I think GCW is the No. 3 promotion in the United States," Cardona declared. "I think it's hard to argue that."

Initially it was just a three-appearance deal between Cardona and GCW, but the relationship prospered and led to Cardona defeating GCW stalwart Nick Gage in a Deathmatch in July 2021 for the GCW World Championship — Cardona's first world championship in any promotion. Cardona's GCW exploits created buzz.

"It's definitely much like ECW," Cardona said of the promotion. "You sit through a GCW show, it has f—ing everything ... you're gonna like something."

Despite winning the title once and crowning himself "King of Deathmatches," Cardona doesn't believe his work with the promotion is finished quite yet. "I want to be the GCW Champion again," Cardona said, adding that he hopes he'll get to reintroduce his spinner version of the title. "I'm done with Deathmatch wrestling. I beat the king. I dethroned the king."


Cardona said he loves teaching the younger talent and working on GCW shows — just not every show.

"I'm not gonna do all their shows because [GCW owner] Brett [Lauderdale] pays me like s—t, but I will do enough of them to keep that buzz going," Cardona said with a smile.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "AdFreeShows" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.