Matt Cardona (Zack Ryder) was a recent guest on Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho. The Z! True Long Island Story creator mentioned the massively successful YouTube series and how it helped push him to one of the biggest moments of his career.
WWE Survivor Series 2011 took place at Madison Square Garden, an area that holds special meaning to the New York native. The opening match of the night saw Dolph Ziggler defend his United States Championship against John Morrison, with the NYC crowd demanding throughout the match, ‘We want Ryder.’
Matt Cardona in MSG
Matt Cardona would appear after the match to an absolutely huge reaction and laid out Ziggler. “It was the fall time where I think eventually they [WWE] said, ‘we gotta shut these people up'” Cardona began, talking about how WWE were never fans of his own organic attraction to the fanbase.
“Finally I think they had to just put me on to the shut everybody up” Cardona continued. “But now the chants were getting louder and louder and especially the Ziggler and John Morrison match. I don’t want to toot my own horn but like I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about Madison Square Garden. Not only is it a home arena? But it’s the GARDEN, you know, right?”
Matt Cardona would then describe how he went backstage feeling elated and he got completely the opposite reaction behind the curtain.
“I go out there and the place is going nuts. I get to the curtain and like Triple H is like ‘come here.’ I’m thinking like ‘finally, he’s gonna say good job kid, this is what I’ve been waiting for,’ How can you deny this? It’s Madison Square Garden.”
The former Zack Ryder elaborated further, saying “He [Triple H] pulled me aside and I just like got fresh frosted tips in my hair that week. So he asked me like, ‘Why did you dye your hair!?’ I’m like ‘MSG is chanting my name and you’re asking me why I dyed my hair!?'”
Cardona would then reveal that WWE were not happy that he made a decision to change his appearance before going to WWE management.
WWE seemingly did everything they could to derail Matt Cardona’s push in the months following, trying to use his popularity to aid an already divisive top star in John Cena.
Do you think that Zack Ryder/Matt Cardona could’ve been a bigger star in WWE? Let us know in the comments
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