Matt Cardona: Not Signing With AEW Was Blessing In Disguise; I'd Be On Dark, That's Not What I Want

Matt Cardona reflects on his brief run in AEW and how Cody Rhodes helped him early on in his time on the independent circuit.

When WWE released Matt Cardona in 2020, names like Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes had already proven that wrestlers who used to be associated with WWE could reinvent themselves on the independent circuit and make an even greater splash in the wrestling industry.

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Speaking on Casual Conversations with The Wrestling Classic, Cardona explains how Cody Rhodes initially helped him get started on the independents and put him in touch with his agent. Ultimately, the former Zack Ryder decided he did not want an agent and wanted to be in the trenches for himself.

"Cody, right away, put me in contact with his agent, gave me some great advice, but like in the wrestling business, if a producer or an agent is giving you feedback on a match, sometimes that advice doesn't work for you," he said. "I realized I don't want an agent. I don't need somebody doing my bookings. I want to be in the trenches. I want to be the guy knowing the numbers. I want to be the guy doing the negotiating. I want to be the guy in control. So Cody set me up for sure."

Shortly after his WWE release, Cardona appeared in All Elite Wrestling, standing up to The Dark Order on behalf of Cody Rhodes. While Cardona ultimately ended up not signing with AEW, he says he now looks back on that as a blessing in disguise because he believes he would be one of the wrestlers primarily wrestling on AEW Dark, and that's not something he's envisioned for his career.

"I mean that AEW cup of coffee run, I'm grateful for, that didn't work out at the time. I'll admit, I was bummed out," he said. "Looking back, blessing in disguise. If I would have signed with AEW, then I'd be on fucking Dark, right? No offense to those guys. That's not what I want. I was already that guy in WWE, you know? Yeah. I want to be in control of my own destiny, control of my own fate, and I'm busting my fucking ass. Yeah, is the 'Indie God' a gimmick? Yeah, but it's also not."

Also, in this interview, Cardona spoke about having Steph De Lander as a heater on the independent circuit now that his wife has returned to WWE. Read his comments here.

Cardona also opened up about finding his own path back to WWE when he's ready for it. Fans can read his comments about that at this link.

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