Matt Cardona (Fka Zack Ryder) Opens Up About WWE Ending His Push Following YouTube Success

Matt Cardona has spent a considerable amount of time on the indies reinventing himself, but many WWE fans still fondly recall his run as Zack Ryder. On "Insight with Chris Van Vliet," Cardona recalled the moment he knew his push was over.

Cardona notably got into a feud with Kane that saw him pushed off a stage while wheelchair-bound, and while it wasn't physically painful, it hurt his career. "It was painful for my career. It was painful for my wallet, my self-esteem, but physically it wasn't painful. They did put a little padding under that carpet, but that's about it, the room for error was very, very high! Kane, big Glenn, thank you very much!" While the injuries were largely emotional, he believes that this ended all the goodwill he gained through his YouTube run, which was an attempt from him to get the attention of the higher-ups. "That was the end of that YouTube run. That run that started from nothing, because even then I knew I didn't like my spot on the card, and I had to do something about it."

Cardona explained that he set out to gain buzz through what he did on YouTube, and that it would be his way of making it or breaking it. "I didn't have a master plan, the goal wasn't to be a YouTube sensation, the goal was to get noticed. I wanted to get noticed or get fired — I didn't want to get fired but I knew I needed buzz!" Additionally, if he happened to get fired, he believed that the buzz would've given him a gateway into TNA. Cardona also recalled teaming with John Cena that year and how he believed he was on his way to the world title scene. "Starting the year as an absolute nobody, ending it winning the US title, teaming with John Cena! I thought, if you asked me then, I thought oh, I'll be in the world title picture next year!"

If you use any quotes from this article please credit "Insight with Chris Van Vliet" and provide an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.