Cardona defeated Trevor Murdoch at NWA Powerrrrip on February 12 to win the title; the show didn’t air live, as it was taped for upcoming episodes of NWA Powerrr. Though the company previously announced the outcome, the main-event championship match will finally air on the March 8 episode.
In an interview with WrestleZone, Cardona reflected on his remarkable victory and admitted that he didn’t expect to challenge for the gold so soon. But he earned the opportunity to do so, and the man who’s “Always Ready” capitalized.
“Of course it was my goal from the moment I walked in NWA to become the world champion,” said Cardona. “I honestly did not think I would get the opportunity that fast, and I’ve made a career out of capitalizing on opportunities. But Trevor is no joke. If you watch the match, he gets busted open pretty early, but he kept fighting, he did not quit. He’s a tough son of a bitch, and I give him credit for that. But I wouldn’t stop, and I wouldn’t stop beating him down. Hit that Radio Silence, 1-2-3.”
The night of this milestone, the arrival of former champion Nick Aldis cut Cardona’s chance to celebrate short, as “The National Treasure” made it clear that he intended to challenge for the gold. Cardona noted that he’s “fine” with Aldis trying to steal the spotlight because the Englishman will ultimately fail in his quest to the title.
“But I couldn’t even celebrate because out comes Nick Aldis, that jealous egomaniac, you know, trying to put himself in the spotlight once again, and that’s fine,” said Cardona. “If he wants to get the rub off me, that’s fine. If he wants to get some buzz off me, that’s fine. But one thing he will not get off me is the ten pounds of gold.”
I did it.
— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) February 13, 2022
When Cardona won the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship, he joined a list that includes all-time legends like Ric Flair and Harley Race, among many others. This prestige isn’t lost on the man once known as Zack Ryder, as he takes “great pride” in holding the gold. He then explained that he truly wants to save the NWA, and he thinks his title reign will help the promotion by bringing more eyeballs to it. The champion cited his wide reach as a wrestler who competes all over the industry as a meaningful asset in this goal to promote the company
“I’m very proud that my name is on that list,” said Cardona. “I take great pride in the fact that I’m the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion. Man, listen, I say I’m here to save the NWA, and I am. And I think me being the champion will save the NWA because for instance, I actually get booked other places. So [at GCW shows], I’ll be walking out with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. As opposed to Trevor or Nick, who don’t really do anything but NWA. So if you’re just promoting yourself to the people who are already watching, it’s not really promoting.”
Cardona emphasized his plan to get the title “out there” by taking it with him wherever he goes, whether that’s a match at another wrestling promotion or a trip to Disneyland during his honeymoon in Paris. Though he can’t control when/where he defends the championship, he vowed to do everything in his power to represent the brand and promote it.
“Now listen, I don’t have control to just make world title matches,” said Cardona. “So I’m not saying when I bring the title to all these shows, it’s gonna be for the ten pounds of gold. I can’t say that. I don’t have the pencil. I’ll certainly walk out with it. I’m certainly proud to be the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion. I’ll certainly make sure I’m announced as the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion. I’ll certainly get on the mic and say that I’m the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion. I mean g–damned I went to Paris, France, and brought the title with me. Went to Disneyland, Paris, went to the Eiffel Tower. Carried that title with me for three days, just putting it up everywhere. Because I’m proud to be the champion.”
— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) February 15, 2022
Cardona then described how he’ll use all the tools he has available, whether it’s doing interviews or discussing the NWA on his own “Major Wrestling Figure Podcast, to spread the word about the company and bring awareness to it. He also expressed his belief that while the NWA roster might not be happy he’s the champion right now, they’ll come around when they see how much buzz he brings to the brand.
“I plan to change as much as I can,” said Cardona. “So if getting the word out there helps, so be it. I can’t change the format of the show, I can’t change the look of the show, the venues they perform at, I can’t change stuff like that. I’ll do whatever I can, whether it be doing interviews like this or the ‘Major Wrestling Figure Podcast’ or wearing it out to wrestling shows or just posting on social media, me with the title, I’m gonna do whatever I can to bring awareness to the brand.
“Because listen, the guys and girls in the locker room, they’re hungry, they’re talented, they deserve the spotlight. And when I win that title at PowerrrTrip and I walked through the curtain, there were no pat on the backs. There wasn’t a round of applause. They were not happy that I’m the champion. But I think they will be when more eyes start watching NWA.”
The card for the March 8 episode of NWA Powerrr is s follows:
- “I Quit” Match: Nick Aldis vs. Thom Latimer
- IdolMania Sports Management vs. Cyon, Mims and The Ill Begotten
- NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship: Trevor Murdoch (c) vs. Matt Cardona
Epic 6⃣-man tag match
"I Quit" match ?
A Worlds Title Match ?
Become an NWA All Access member and watch the premiere of #NWAPowerrr TONIGHT at 6:05e
— NWA (@nwa) March 8, 2022
NWA Powerrr airs Tuesdays at 6:05 p.m. EST on FITE and Fridays in the same timeslot on the company’s YouTube page.
Cardona will defend the title against Aldis at NWA Crockett Cup in a match where WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett will be the special referee.