AEW Star Matt Cardona (Zack Ryder) was interviewed by Fightful Select where he discussed his increase in body size between his run in WWE and his debut in AEW, among other topics.
His body size: “That’s another thing, too. Guys, I’m the same exact size. From March ‘til July, I gained maybe ten-ish pounds and I think like a sloppy ten because I was in a bulking phase kind of thing and I mis-timed my meals the last couple days. So, I hated how I looked, and all these people making it seem like I gained a hundred pounds. One guy compared me to 1996 Ultimate Warrior. Listen, I wish I looked like the 1996 Ultimate Warrior. But, I think, Hawkins said it best, ‘cause we were talking about this on the Major Wrestling Figure podcast, I think because I was presented in a positive way, not just standing in the ring, “already in the ring, Zack Ryder,” you know what I’m saying? Compare pictures from February ‘til July. I look exactly the same.”
Being compared to the Ultimate Warrior: “Unbelievable. Listen, people have compared me to the ’96 Warrior. I do not agree with that. I heard I was on the top ten body list in AEW, which I’m very proud of. Thank you very much. But, the number one is Pepper Parks (The Blade). He has an incredible physique. I do believe that he shaves his abs, like into his abs with stomach hair. He does have abs, but I think he accentuates that by shaving them in. But, incredible physique on Pepper Parks.”
Opinion on body image: “So, I have a lot of body dysmorphia issues, right? I know that. I’ll meal prep and then I’m like, “Nah, screw this meal prep company, I’m gonna cook it myself.” Then be like, “Nah, let me meal prep,” or I’ll have a trainer. “Nah, I just want to do my own thing.” “Oh, no, I need some structure.” So, I’m all over the place. I know that. Right now I’m around, it depends what time of day, 225 to 230. So, maybe wake up 225, go to sleep 230. I’d like to be around 230. I look clean at 230. I think sometimes a couple weeks ago I was a little over 230. I was a little sloppy in my opinion. I think I was announced on AEW as 232, so I don’t like to lie or anything like that.”