5 ways to fantasy book Matt Cardona’s WWE return

Former WWE Superstar Zack Ryder, aka Matt Cardona, has become one of the most talked about pro wrestlers of 2022. The former United States Champion has achieved this level of notoriety mostly for his work on the indies, becoming The Deathmatch King. PWI 500 has taken note of Cardona’s success, ranking him as number 13 in their top 500 male wrestlers of the year.

Critically wise, Cardona is having the best year of his career and is doing it outside mainstream promotions like AEW and WWE. The 37-year-old has become a star in promotions like GCW, NWA, Impact Wrestling, and various other wrestling companies. But what’s next for Cardona in 2023?

There are rumors circulating on the worldwide web suggesting that WWE is interested in bringing back Cardona along with his wife and fellow wrestler Chelsea Green. If Cardona does make it back to the Stamford-based company soon, here are five ways to fantasy book the Long Island star.

#5. Zack Ryder dies, Matt Cardona arrives

Zack Ryder was released from WWE in April 2020, and since then, Matt Cardona has become one of the most significant stars in independent wrestling. Cardona is The Deathmatch King, a charismatic cool heel putting on highly-entertaining matches. Ryder was, at best, a popular mid-card star, but Cardona is a major player with mainstream main-event potential.

Unlike wrestler Drew McIntyre, who worked under his real name, Drew Galloway, on the indies, Matt Cardona shouldn’t return to the company with his WWE name. Cardona ought to come back with a name that he’s been using since his release, and that’s his real name.

Cardona could even film vignettes signifying the death of his former persona. He’s even been open to doing a cinematic match with Zack Ryder. If done right, that could be a very entertaining segment and a proper way to have a sendoff to the Long Island Iced Z.

#4. Matt Cardona’s surprise return at WWE Royal Rumble 2023

This pop was pretty good…Imagine it this time around……… https://t.co/EJMktFfD8t

Rumors are circulating on the web that Matt Cardona will make his WWE comeback in the 2023 men’s Royal Rumble match. Cardona has even referenced the Rumble speculation.

“Don’t these dumb marks know I should be entrant 13 because I am #13 on the #PWI500? I’m ranked higher than everybody on this list! [Besides my boy @CodyRhodes],” tweeted Cardona.

Not only should Cardona return as entrant number 13, but if he wants to make an impact, Matt should make it to the Final Four of the Rumble. While this doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll win, it shows that Matt Cardona has truly arrived and is being booked as one of the top stars right out of the gate.

#3. Matt Cardona inside WWE’s Elimination Chamber


Matt Cardona being booked inside the Elimination Chamber is one way to communicate to the WWE Universe that Cardona is a legitimate contender for the company’s top prize. While it may be too early to pull the trigger on Cardona completely, a strong showing inside the Chamber would be enough to show that Matt is a rising star who’s worthy of hanging with the best WWE has to offer.

At this point, it’s hard to say what the stipulation for the Chamber match will be in 2023. Will Roman Reigns defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship? Will it be a match to decide Reigns’ challenger for either Night One or Night Two of WrestleMania 39? Either way, a Chamber match is expected in February, and The Deathmatch King would be a great fit for the mayhem.

#2. Matt Cardona becomes a champion at WrestleMania 39

There are plenty of viable opponents for someone like Matt Cardona at WrestleMania 39. The aftermath of Cardona’s Elimination Chamber performance could set the stage for The Show of Shows, but who would Cardona wrestle on WWE’s grandest stage?

Monday Night RAW is often without a world champion on the show each week, which elevates the United States Championship to the top title of the red brand. Cardona ought to go after that title and attempt to redeem the underwhelming United States title run that Zack Ryder had over a decade ago.

Austin Theory, Seth Rollins, and Bobby Lashley are all viable opponents for Cardona when WrestleMania comes around. But if Cardona is to be pushed as a major player in WWE, he ought to win whatever match he has at WWE’s grand spectacle in April.

Cardona has had championship success at past WrestleMania while performing as Zack Ryder, becoming Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania 32 and winning the RAW Tag Team Titles alongside Curt Hawkins during the WrestleMania 35 pre-show.

#1. Matt Cardona booked as a strong U.S. Champion with main-event potential

While 2023 may not be the year to pull the trigger on Cardona when it comes to taking one or both of Roman Reigns’ titles, a proper run with the United States Championship would be a way to prove Cardona’s worth when it comes to taking his career to the next level.

If he’s able to pull off a strong and convincing reign as U.S. Champion, it won’t be hard to see Matt Cardona as Mr. Money In The Bank or a Royal Rumble winner sometime in the near future.

If Roman Reigns still has both of the company’s top titles, Cardona’s reign as U.S. Champion will be a headlining act on Monday nights and a great test to see if The Deathmatch King is ready to grab that proverbial brass ring.

Remember the cameraman that Bray Wyatt attacked? He broke his silence right here.

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