Matt Cardona practically had a full WWE career before teaming with Mojo Rawley, and as he tells Fightful, didn't want to form the "Hype Bros."
When Fightful spoke to Cardona, his former partner and WWE Superstar Mojo Rawley submitted a question about ho much Cardona missed him.
Not that much!
"I text Mojo [Rawley] every once in a while. I love Mojo personally. I hated working with him professionally. No, when we first started as the Hype Bros in NXT I didn’t know anything about Mojo, he didn’t know anything about me. It was Triple H, I believe it was his idea to put us together, and if it was Triple H’s idea and this was an opportunity for me, I said, “Alright, let’s do it. Let’s make this work however we can.” Actually, it’s because of going down to NXT so often that I ended up moving to Orlando. So, it’s actually all because of Mojo, really, that I met Chelsea [Green]. ‘Cause I met her in Orlando. So, really I gotta thank Mojo for all of this," Cardona joked.
It wasn't a slight on Mojo Rawley -- Cardona thinks and speaks highly of him. However, the team wasn't something he wanted to do long term. He ended up working over 225 matches with and against Rawley, and put in over two years as a team.
"He was always a hard worker and always wanted to try different things. He always wanted to learn. But, at the point where we became the Hype Bros on WWE TV, I was kind of over it already. We’d already been doing the Hype Bros for a year or so in NXT. Not really doing anything in NXT, just being there. I think the plan was to just do a couple of months and then call him up right away, but that never happened. So, I was doing the WWE stuff, nothing significant, but then doing NXT, then WWE, NXT. Just working all the time, which is great. I loved it. But, then eventually, I somehow became the Intercontinental Champion. But, the day before, I’m at Axxess teaming with Mojo as the Hype Bros. Like, do I really have to do this Axxess match for NXT the day before the biggest match of my life? Like, what if I get hurt?," Cardona said.
Cardona got the opportunity and moment of a lifetime, winning a ladder match for the Intercontinental Title on Wrestlemania. He thought he'd escaped Mojo's graps. However, that evil opportunist pounced.
"At that point, I’d won the IC title, and then I was still in the mix, I was going for the US title on a pay-per-view. I remember Arn Anderson was the producer of the match and he was saying, “Okay, then Mojo’s going to run out.” I was like, “Mojo? He’s not here.” He was hidden on a bus. I was so pissed he didn’t tell me. He was hidden on a bus! At that point in my career I did not want to do the Hype Bros. I still tried to make it work. It’s one of those things. It had no steam in NXT, right? So, when it came on the main roster nobody knew what it was. Didn’t make any sense," Cardona told Fightful.
Cardona, then known as Zack Ryder would miss months from WWE TV, after being sidelined. Would that be enough for him to ditch his charismatic partner? Fat chance!
"Then I got injured and the first thing that popped in my mind was, 'Oh, my God, yes! The Hype Bros are done!' Then Mojo went on to win the WrestleMania battle royal that year. I was like, 'Oh, my God, they’re definitely done.' I was so excited. Listen, everything changes all the time. But, the plan was for me to come back and be in the Money in the Bank match that year," Cardona recalled. "I say plan, like, things change all the time. But, I ended up coming back the week before, making my big comeback in a backstage pre-tape with Mojo saying, “I’m back, bro.” Then we worked on the kickoff match against Epico and Primo. I’m like, 'Well, back to the Hype Bros again.'"
Don't let all of this talk fool you, Matt Cardona believes Mojo Rawley is ACTUALLY GOOD!
"He has a great promo. He can do it all vocally and in the ring I think he’s great, too. I think he’s a great, great heel. I think as a babyface he’s too annoying for me, personally. Sometimes I would literally face palm and shake my head on the apron for real when we were teaming. But, I actually love working Mojo, believe it or not. A lot of fun and he listens and he’s good. I can’t believe I just said that publicly. 'Matt Cardona admits Mojo is good.' He’s a big dude though. He’s big. I think, deceivingly big. You don’t look at him and see how thick he is and how tall he is until you stand next to him. Hopefully WWE will try to give him that mini-push for the twelfth time and it’ll take off," Cardona joked.
You can see Fightful's full interview with Matt Cardona at the top of the page. Also make sure to check out Major Wrestling Figure Podcast to find their show, Youtube channel and Patreon.