Matt Cardona reveals how bizarre wheelchair stunt with Kane changed WWE trajectory: “It was painful”

Matt Cardona is a former WWE wrestler who had a 15-year career with the company. He is best known for his self-made YouTube show, “Z! True Long Island Story”, which helped him gain a huge fan following and the nickname “The Internet Champion.”

In a recent interview, Cardona, formerly Zack Ryder in WWE, opened up about the infamous wheelchair stunt with the Hall of Famer, Kane, that drastically altered his trajectory in his wrestling career in the WWE.

Matt Cardona discusses how wheelchair stunt changed everything

One of the most memorable moments of the storyline was in 2011 when Kane pushed Cardona off the stage while he was in a wheelchair, causing him to suffer a kayfabe injury. Cardona recently shared his reaction to this stunt in an interview with Chris Van Vliet.

He said, “It was painful for my carrier, my wallet, my self esteem. But physically it wasn’t. You cannot practice. They put a little bit of padding under carpet, that’s look like the room for error was very high. Kane, big glad thank you very much!. He took care of me the best he could no physical injuries, just a lost of emotional injuries”.

He also added, “I didn’t like my spot in the card and I had to do something. I’ve said a bunch of time I want to get noticed or get fired. I didn’t want to get fired, but i knew I needed Buzz, So I got fired for trying to get over, i used that Buzz to go to TNA or something like that”.

Cardona said that after the stunt, he never regained his popularity or momentum in WWE. He said that he was frustrated and disappointed with his booking, and that he felt that he was never given a fair chance to prove himself. He said that he tried to pitch different ideas to Vince McMahon and reinvent himself, but he was always ignored.

Matt Cardona WWE career highlights

Cardona debuted in WWE in 2005, along with his tag team partner Brian Myers (known as Curt Hawkins). They were initially called The Major Brothers, and later renamed as The Edge heads, after aligning with Edge. They won the WWE Tag Team Championship once with Edge in 2008.

After the team split in 2009, Cardona was drafted to the ECW brand, where he adopted the Zack Ryder persona, a cocky and charismatic Long Islander. He had a brief feud with Tommy Dreamer, and later moved to the Raw brand in 2010

Cardona coined the catchphrase “Woo! Woo! Woo! You Know It!” He also created his own “Internet Championship” belt, which he claimed to defend on his show.

Matt Cardona aka Zack Ryder and John Cena
via WWE

Cardona’s online popularity translated into his TV success, as he received support from John Cena and the WWE Universe. He won the United States Championship from Dolph Ziggler at TLC 2011. He also won the Intercontinental Championship in a ladder match at WrestleMania 32.

Cardona reunited with Myers in 2018, and they won the Raw Tag Team Championship twice in 2019. Cardona was released by WWE in 2020, along with several other wrestlers, due to budget cuts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that he was shocked and hurt by the decision, but he also saw it as an opportunity to start fresh and explore new possibilities.


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