Matt Cardona, Formerly Zack Ryder, Makes Surprise AEW Debut
Matt Cardona, well known by his WWE ring name Zack Ryder, made his surprise debut on AEW Dynamite tonight. Ryder came to the ring following a TNT Championship open challenge match between champion Cody Rhodes and Warhorse. Ryder saved wrestling legend Arn Anderson from a beatdown by the Dark Order.
Rhodes won the match against the indie wrestling star, during which he was continued acting just a little heelish, as he has been for several weeks. After the match, low-ranking members of the Dark Order attacked, taking out Warhorse and Cody. They then cornered Arn Anderson, which is when Cardona came to the ring and saved the day. He and Cody hugged at the end of the segment.
Cardona was one of the dozens of people laid off or furloughed by WWE at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. He and Cody are known to be friends, so it was expected that he would probably end up in AEW. Cardona is the classic case of wrestler beloved by fans but seemingly kept down by WWE for years, perceived by many fans to be because he dared to get himself over. In AEW, Cardona will have the chance to prove that he's as big a star as fans have long believed he could be.
Cardona also arrives during an interesting time, as AEW has been teasing a potential revival of the Four Horseman. The only problem is, it's not clear who would be in it. With Arn Anderson as his manager, Cody seems like a natural choice, especially with the heelish tendencies he's been displaying lately. Cardona could help form the group. But don't be for sure. Later in the night on Dynamite, Arn Anderson joined FTR, another former WWE team fans believed were held down, during their AEW contract signing, and Hangman Page celebrated with the three of them. That's more than four right there. And then there's Shawn Spears, who's managed by another former Horseman, Tully Blanchard.