Matt Cardona illustrated some of the differences between AEW and WWE.
Speaking with Innes McVey of Inside The Ropes (during an AdFreeShows Q&A Session), the IMPACT Wrestling Superstar was asked if he noticed a difference in the atmosphere during his time at AEW compared to WWE. Cardona worked for All Elite Wrestling from July 29, 2020 - September 15, 2020, after being released from his WWE contract earlier that year in April. He said the following:
"Oh, I mean I was in AEW for a cup of coffee but I could tell you from -- I could tell right away [it was a] different atmosphere. Totally different vibe. Everyone was super cool, super relaxed. Tony Khan, super approachable. Not that Vince [McMahon] isn't. Sometimes you're waiting outside Vince's office all day and sometimes you might not get to talk to him. As opposed to Tony, you go, 'hey, Tony!' or you text a bit. I think it's all relative. You need to have relationships, and that's on you to make that relationship. Whether it be with Tony Khan or Scott D'Amore or Vince McMahon, you need to make that relationship. They're not going to go out of their way to make a relationship with you. You need to do that. You need to be in their ear and get to the point where you could text them or call them."
Cardona believes that WWE is - perhaps - overly micromanaged. He then shared an instance where he wasn't allowed to do a baseball slide during a match because Ronda Rousey was also going to be one later that same night. Here's what he said:
"But is the atmosphere different? Yeah, 100%. Because WWE, it's this huge thing and it's, I think, almost too micromanaged. Where AEW it's just like letting things happen. You don't even know who's running the show. Which is a good thing. There's creative freedom in your matches as opposed to sometimes in WWE where like, 'oh you can't go to the floor tonight. One time I was told -- I was having a match before Raw, so Main Event or Superstars, whatever it's called, and my producer told me I couldn't do a baseball slide to the floor because Ronda Rousey was doing it like 2 hours later on Raw. We're talking about -- like I can understand if you're saying I can't put Mike Kanellis through the announce table on Main Event, okay, I get it, I get it. I can't do a baseball slide? We're talking about a baseball slide here. Because Ronda Rousey's doing a baseball slide? You think anybody is thinking in the arena, 'Oh, Zack Ryder did that baseball slide two hours ago.' Like, come on."
While he doesn't necessarily disagree with the way WWE builds their cards, Cardona does find it contradictory when you're told to stand out but then are not allowed to do so. He concluded by saying this:
"So, I mean you also hear that mentality like, build the card. I think that's the old school way and I'm not saying I disagree with it, but at the same time you cant have that build the card attitude when you're also telling guys like, 'hey, stand out, grab the brass ring, you know, go out there and bust your ass.' Well, which one is it? As unopposed to AEW, it's like every match is killer and they're trying -- everyone's trying to steal the show, and in WWE sometimes you're not allowed to."
Currently, Cardona is feuding with Brian Myers on IMPACT television. Last week he challenged his longtime friend to a match at Hardcore Justice but was rejected.
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