"I'm responsible for AEW" - Released WWE star boldly takes credit for inspiring Tony Khan's promotion into existence

Tony Khan is the main man of All Elite Wrestling today.

Wrestling fans are aware that Tony Khan, Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, and Cody Rhodes co-founded AEW in 2019. However, Matt Cardona feels he had a major role to play as well.

Formerly known as Zack Ryder in WWE, Cardona has, since his release, embarked upon a journey that has seen him become one of the top names on the indie circuit. In 2022 alone, he has held the NWA Worlds Heavyweight, AIW Absolute, AIW Intense, and IMPACT Digital Media Titles.

Initially following his release, Cardona appeared poised for an All Elite run, debuting to save Cody Rhodes from the Dark Order. That run never manifested even after two in-ring appearances, but he still feels the promotion has him to thank.

He explained during an interview with NotSam Wrestling why that was the case. According to Cardona, his 'Z True Long Island Story' inspired BTE, the Elite's web series, which was quintessential in kick-starting the phenomenon that founded All Elite Wrestling.

"It changed the business. Tell me that 'Z True Long Island Story' didn't change the business... All these kids vlogging about BTE, you know, that started AEW. So, really, I'm responsible for AEW... Without 'Z True Long Island Story' there would be no BTE and there would be no AEW," Matt Cardona said. (H/T Wrestling Inc.)
I finally got an @AEW figure after my undefeated streak there. I deserved it. Thanks @JeremyCom!

While it can be disputed whether or not he inspired All Elite Wrestling's existence, it can be said that Cardona's web show served as an inspiration for thriving vlogs today, both inside and outside WWE.

What has Matt Cardona said about joining AEW previously?

The former Zack Ryder has proven that he can be a top star outside the dominant promotions in North America, but that doesn't mean he won't consider either should they come calling.

The self-billed Internet Champion had spoken about the prospect before and explained that he is not actively looking for a return to either promotion. However, he conceded that he would always consider an offer if it came his way.

"I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to wrestle in Madison Square Garden again or never wanted to wrestle in a big stadium for a WrestleMania. But I’m also not saying that I’m doing everything I’m doing now thinking: ‘What can I do to get back to WWE?,’ or ‘What can I do to go to AEW?’ I don’t give a sh--. If Tony Khan or Vince McMahon or Johnny Ace or Bruce Prichard called me, of course, I’d pick up the phone and have a conversation, but that’s not my goal right now," Cardona said.
RADIO SILENCE! #AEWDynamite @AEWrestling @aewontnt

Until he makes a return, he remains undefeated in AEW after two outings. He also has unfinished business with Jon Moxley, having lost his GCW World Title to the Purveyor of Violence in under two minutes last year.

Do you agree with Matt Cardona? Should he return to All Elite Wrestling? Let us know in the comments below.

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Edited by Angana Roy
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