TNA Star Steph De Lander Opens Up About Working With Indie Star Matt Cardona

Two years ago, Steph De Lander — then known as Persia Pirotta — was released by WWE, and since her release, she has taken the indie scene by storm. She has wrestled for Black Label Pro, TJPW, and MLW, among other promotions, but her strongest run has been in GCW where she has forged a partnership with Matt Cardona. De Lander also made her return to TNA a few weeks ago when she won a shot at Jordynne Grace for the Knockouts title, arriving at the promotion with Cardona.


When she was a guest on "Busted Open," De Lander discussed working with Cardona, disclosing that he approached her about being his heater on the indies when they were on tour in Australia. De Lander immediately jumped at the opportunity of working with the former WWE star and explained why it has been a successful partnership.

"There's nothing to think about. There's no one I would rather align myself with [than Cardona]," De Lander said. "Ever since then, we've just been pedal to the metal, making it happen. And I think it's been so successful because we both have a very similar mindset and if we're going to do something, we're going to do it balls to the wall."

De Lander also talked about how wrestling can change at the drop of a hat and is wary that Cardona could decide he doesn't want to work with her anymore or Chelsea Green, Cardona's wife, could stop it. An unexpected injury like the one Cardona suffered can also change plans, which is why she has a backup plan.


De Lander on her backup plan in pro wrestling

Steph De Lander has discussed how she has always kept a Plan B in the back of her mind and has worked on improving her skills and branding herself better. 

"That's why I've always made sure to be improving my in-ring. Making sure I still try to grab the microphone so that I can improve my promos, so I build my social media. I do things, like start my own merch line and my own podcast. I've always done some things without Matt — a lot of it has been with him — but I've made sure to do some things by myself so SDL becomes her own brand, so when the day comes when Matt and I aren't working together anymore, there's still value in my name. It's not just that my whole career is dependent on working with Matt."


She won't be without Cardona in GCW for long since he is now the acting General Manager of GCW. While Cardona is recovering from surgery, he is still doing meet and greets at various indie shows and is expected to return to the ring in about six months. De Lander is continuing to seek justice for the "Las Vegas Screwjob" in TNA when she lost her match to Grace.

Aside from her success alongside Cardona, De Lander has held the WSW Women's Champion for over 200 days and was also the inaugural Premier Women's Champion.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Busted Open" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.