Matt Cardona Details Impetus Behind WWE Character Zack Ryders Internet Show

The "Deathmatch King" Matt Cardona has undoubtedly had a fantastic career on the independent scene following his WWE release in 2020. Cardona had big moments in WWE, being a multi-time champion as well as being involved in the main event at WrestleMania 24 as part of The Edgeheads, however Matt (then known as Zack Ryder) gained more popularity with fans when he launched his own YouTube web series "Z! True Long Island Story" in February 2011. Cardona joined "Wrestling with Freddie" and spoke to former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr. about how his internet – which has now become a blueprint for other wrestling internet talk shows – was initially planned to better connect with the audience.  


"I had been in WWE for a few years and of course that was my dream to be there, but it wasn't my dream to just be a guy on the roster," Cardona said. "It's cool, it's awesome. I can say I'm a WWE superstar, but I didn't feel like I was a superstar." The former WWE Intercontinental Champion said he started the web series to create buzz and get noticed, hoping to receive a push or his company release. 

"I'm always trying to achieve more goals, not that I'm not satisfied with what I've accomplished, of course I am, but I'm a big dreamer just like you guys and I feel like we only live once and YOLO right? But you have to go for it. If not now, when?" Cardona recalled.

Cardona has said in the past that his web series stopped being fun when WWE took it over and had requirements for it; the show was no longer a fun project but rather a work assignment.


If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Wrestling with Freddie" with a H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.