Matt Cardona

Matt Cardona Refuses To Lose Momentum, Teases Big GCW Announcement In Tampa

Matt Cardona is injured, but he’s not just going to sit back and relax.

WrestleZone Managing Editor Bill Pritchard spoke with Matt Cardona ahead of GCW’s ‘Rather You Than Me’ event in Tampa. Cardona is still appearing at the event despite having surgery to repair a torn pectoral tendon just two weeks ago.

Cardona knows there’s never a good time to get injured in pro wrestling, especially now. He pointed out that he’d just acknowledged the anniversary of being released by WWE, capped off by a video showing his accomplishments since then. Cardona has been on a great run on the indies over the past few months, but he doesn’t plan on letting an injury stop him from seeing his fans and keeping his name out there.

“I was just hyping up and I put out this video, four years since I had been released from WWE. All the things I have done. And boom, same day, I knew my pec’s torn. But I wasn’t going to say it that day. I let the video get a million or so views. And then I said, ‘Oh by the way, tore my pec.’ And even that, just clotheslining someone off the top rope, sh*t happens, right? I felt it right away,” Cardona pointed out. “And then I was hoping I didn’t need surgery, but I did.

“Fast forward, it has been two weeks. The tendon has been repaired and now, it’s just rehab, it’s just resting. But Matt Cardona doesn’t rest. Matt Cardona can’t sit on the couch,” Cardona explained. “I can’t ‘Netflix & Chill.’ So the first 48 hours after I got surgery, instead of relaxing and sleeping, and eating junk food — OK, I did eat some junk food. But I was just on my email, on my phone, on my calendar, calling all these promoters, switching around my schedule. Because in wrestling, especially independent wrestling, it’s so hard to gain momentum. But it’s even harder to get it back after you lose it.”

Still making towns

Cardona knew he couldn’t take several months off and needs to stay on the road. He can’t wrestle in matches, but he can still give fans a show until he is cleared.

“I’m still going to be making towns, I’m not going to be wrestling. So, as far as limitations go, I can’t wrestle. That’s pretty much it. People — I don’t think people come to see Matt Cardona have a wrestling match,” he noted. “I think they come to see Matt Cardona to see the entrance, to see the promo, to flip me off, and then go and buy my merchandise. Sure, can I wrestle? Yes. But that’s the extra.” 

Matt Cardona on GCW 

Matt Cardona’s run in GCW has been quite interesting to follow. He initially showed up and attacked Nick Gage, then shocked the world by beating Gage in a death match. Both incidents drew a considerable amount of heat from the GCW faithful, but they’ve embraced him in the months since then.

Cardona says the original plan was to do three shows for GCW, but he now considers the promotion his unofficial indie home.

“After that first night, where I laid out Nick Gage, I knew, ‘Holy sh*t, we have something!’ And not just me and GCW, but me like, ‘This is what I need for my career.’ And then that death match, I don’t think anybody, myself included expected that match to create the buzz that it did. And I don’t think anybody thought I was going to be all-in on that match. Like, this wasn’t like the No DQ match. This wasn’t some street fight. This was a Death Match. The blood, the glass, the light tubes, the pizza cutter. I don’t think I could have gone more all-in.”

Cardona says after that, he knew he’d be with GCW as long as his indie run would be. Now, he feels like part of the roster, and GCW has been a very rewarding part of his career.

“Am I at every single show? No! But I’m there every month. Twice a month, three times a month. GCW is my home independent promotion in my opinion. And as much as I feel like I put GCW on the map, GCW put me on the map,” he said. “As crazy as it seems, and everyone knows, I was in WWE for over a decade. But once I left, I needed to find myself. And GCW helped me find myself. And it’s been the greatest four years of my career.”

Related: Matt Cardona Still Sold Merch For An Hour After Pec Injury, Steph De Lander Initially Thought It Was A Joke

No vacation

Despite being injured, Cardona still plans on being in Tampa on Friday, teasing a major announcement on the show. Cardona plans on shaking things up, hinting that the announcement could impact GCW’s big Homecoming show later this summer.

“I’ve got a major announcement in Tampa. Listen, I’m not — like as I said earlier, I’m not taking a vacation. This is not a vacation one bit. I’m actually going to be the busiest I’ve been. Because I’m going to be making all these shows. And when I’m home, I’m going to rehab, plus go to the gym, plus do the podcast, plus make wrestling figures, you know what I’m saying? That’s just how I operate. And I have a major announcement that will shake up this Summer for GCW, for 2024 leading into their big event, Homecoming in August.

“The death match with Nick Cage was Homecoming 2021. I kind of treat that Homecoming like it’s their WrestleMania. So the year after that I was injured. But me and Chelsea renewed our Wedding vows. And then of course, Nick Gage came and ruined that. And then, last year it was the Tag Team Death Match, Myself and Steph De Lander against Nick Gage and Maki Ito. So, what’s Matt Cardona going to do at Homecoming this year? We’ll find out. At least we are planting some seeds tomorrow in Tampa.” 

GCW’s Rather You Than Me takes place on Friday, May 3 at the Egypt Shrine Center in Tampa.

Watch our full interview with Matt Cardona below: