Matt Cardona is close friends with Cody Rhodes, and he gives praise to how the “American Nightmare” made the most of his return to WWE.

In a new interview with Wrestling Inc., Cardona spoke with Managing Editor Nick Hausman about several topics including what he thought about Rhodes making his way back under the WWE banner at “WrestleMania” 38 in Dallas, prior to being shelved due to injury.

“What a night for Cody and what a return it’s been, and he’s proven himself, which he has in the past before but I think right now, it’s truly his time,” Cardona said. “He’s one of my closest buddies and I’m very happy for him. And he’s doing his thing and he’s doing it his way, and more power to him.”

The fact that Rhodes was able to cultivate his own brand and identity while away from WWE is certainly something that stands out to Cardona.

“It’s super cool that he was able to bring his music, and his logos, and his nickname. It’s his package so, hypothetically, if I were to ever go back, yeah, I would love to do something similar to that.”

Cardona was first released by WWE on April 15, 2020, and since then, has made his presence known in a major way on the independent wrestling scene. He has had stops in AEW and Impact Wrestling but also became the GCW Champion before being the current owner of the “Ten Pounds Of Gold” in the NWA.

With Cardona following a similar path to Rhodes in cultivating an even bigger brand for himself outside of WWE, would “The Deathmatch King” consider a return to the company?

“I’ve said it from the moment I got released, I’m not trying to get back into WWE. I’m not doing anything to get back there, but I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to wrestle at MSG or I’d never want to have another WrestleMania match,” he said. “If Vince [McMahon] right now, or Bruce Prichard or Johnny Ace called me, of course, I’d have a conversation, but I’m in no rush to get back there just to say, ‘I’m back.’ There would have to be some sort of purpose for me to go back.”

Cardona noted all the opportunities he’s been given because he began paving his own road outside of the WWE auspices.

“Besides this godd**n injury, I’m having the run of my career, [having] the most fun, making the most money; I’m loving it. I’m my own boss. I’ve got the Major Wrestling Podcast. I’m super busy,” he said. “I’m having the time of my life, so for me to go back there and give back that freedom, it would have to be worth it.”

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