Matt Cardona was on the Busted Open podcast, and he reflected on his AEW debut where he assisted AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes. He talked about wanting to prove his supporters right rather than trying to be vindictive against haters.
"[The debut] was awesome," Cardona admitted. "I was so nervous before, probably the most nervous I've ever been in my career. Because, you know, I'm going to this brand new environment, and, listen, like I say it all the time, I don't care about proving doubters wrong. I want to prove my supporters right, and I want to make them proud and prove myself right as well.
"You can't just love this business when things are great. You gotta love this business when things suck. When you hit rock bottom - and, trust me, I've been there many times. But when you have nights like [my debut], It's so much sweeter if you're really loving it, and you're scratching, and clawing for it, and that's why it was amazing."
Cardona shared his praise for AEW while he was watching it as a fan. He said the excitement of watching it motivated him to join AEW once his 90-day no-complete clause was finished up.
"Well my 90 days was up, but listen, AEW is the best to be, right? Like, there's no denying that," Cardona remarked. "Of course, at the end of the day, I'm still a fan. So I was watching AEW on TV at home, and for years, how many times did we hear 'the next thing's coming! the next big thing is coming!' and it never came, right? But then AEW comes and it over-delivers. And, of course, now that I can go somewhere, it was my number one spot."
Cardona also spoke on his experience in the AEW locker room. He described the experience as being "the new kid in school".
"For me, I was nervous because I was walking in there the new kid in school, right? And all these people, whether I've seen them wrestle, whether I've seen them on social media, I knew everybody, but I didn't really know them. You know what I'm saying?
"So it's weird, kind of, introducing myself to these people who I know! Some people who I've watched wrestle for years. But everyone was very welcoming, very inviting, and they made me feel like, you know, I was there the whole time."
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Busted Open with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.