Matt Cardona recently lost to Bully Ray at Battleground Championship Wrestling’s ‘Legends Never Die’ event in Philadelphia, PA. The loss resulted in Cardona being banned from the 2300 Arena for life.
In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Cardona discussed his post-WWE career, the freedom of his schedule on the independent circuit, his recent online vignettes, and more.
You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On what used to happen when wrestlers got released from WWE: “Back in the day when someone was released from WWE, they’d change the spelling of their name, go to the independents and watch their career die a slow death. I credit guys like Drew McIntyre and Cody Rhodes. They used their time away from WWE to reinvent themselves. I’ve taken things from them, but I’ve added my own spin to it. I’m proving you don’t need WWE or AEW to be a successful pro wrestler.”
On the freedom in his schedule: “I love the freedom, I love controlling my schedule. When you’re in WWE or AEW, you don’t get to make your own schedule. Now I’d be lying if I said I never want to work at Madison Square Garden again or I never wanted another WrestleMania moment. Of course, I do. If I get those phone calls, I’ll have that conversation. But I’m making the most money I’ve ever made, I’m having the most fun, and I’m at the highest level I’ve ever been, so it would take a lot to get me to sign.”
On teaming up with Steph De Lander and their online vignettes: “A few months ago during a tour of Australia, I met Steph De Lander. She’s six-feet tall, she has these blonde bangs and piercings all over her and looks like she can kick my ass. I wanted to work with her. Every week since we’ve been a team, we’ve filmed a vignette for social media. They’re designed to capture people’s attention. One of them, The RiderTaker, got over one million views.”
On his Indy Wrestling President vignette: “That presidential one is taking a shot at all those carny indie promoters out there. I love the callbacks. I’m a fan, too. I was a kid who grew up wanting to do this so goddamn bad. I love this, and that’s why I won’t quit. It’s the reason this indie run has been so successful. I won’t stop until I’m the best I’ve ever been. I take a lot of pride in being the voice of the independents—I can say what others cannot, and I’m adding my Indie God character into it.”
On his future and how much he’s endured in the business: “There is nobody in the history of this business who’s been counted out and came back more than me. I was written off so many times, often by myself. But I’ll never quit. I’ll die attempting to be the version of myself I believe I can be.”