All Elite Wrestling star Matt Cardona, formerly known as Zack Ryder in WWE, was a guest on the "Not About Wrestling" show where he took the time to talk about his podcast and collecting figures.
Cardona, along with Brian Meyers (formerly known as Curt Hawkins), started The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast in 2018 where they discuss their hobby of collecting wrestling toys. Cardona said the podcast was pitched to WWE to be part of the network, but revealed their former employer did not understand or see the vision for the show or its appeal. He went on to say he's thankful that they didn't take him up on his pitch because not only would he have left the company, but would have had to leave his rights to the podcast with them as well.
He also mentioned that he was initially worried about how the ongoing pandemic would affect his podcast, but was pleasantly surprised that business is booming in that aspect and he credits that to people needing an escape from the troubles of the world and with his new, lighter schedule, he's been able to provide a lot more content for his audience and thanked them for their continued support.
Cardona is well-known for his collection of wrestling figures and mentioned his favorite part of doing live wrestling shows on a regular touring schedule is being able to visit vintage toy shops around the country.
"Yeah, luckily I've been going to Walmarts down here in Florida and stuff like that," Cardona said. "I would like to just wrestle in different state and check out the vintage toy stores in different states. That was always so much fun. It's like, you know if I'm on the road and find a different gym to work out in or find a different toy store. That was always so much fun because you never know what you're going to find in these toy stores.
"That's another thing. We've done a couple of live shows and because of the pandemic we had to cancel what was going to be our biggest live show, our fifth live show, WrestleMania weekend. We ended up doing it on YouTube. It was actually fine. We did it for the fans you know, but we had a couple live shows that were scheduled for the summer that we had to cancel. So, that's always the best part and I love doing the live shows because it's more of like a variety show than like a podcast."
"It's crazy," Cardona continued. "What's going to happen next? It's always these die-hard fans. People travel from all over the country to these shows, which blows my mind because they're always in different parts of the country and we always try to give them something that they'll never forget and that they can't get anywhere, and whether it be exclusive merchandise or after the show, we do meet-and-greet VIP's and it's not like a table, and someone comes up and we sign next. We're talking to each person and we're usually in a bar situation where we're all like drinking, having a wild time, and we try to close down the bars with these people afterwards. So, it's a lot of fun and I do miss that. I do miss meeting the fans and I can't wait for that."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Bro Bible with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.