Matthew Brett Cardona is an American professional wrestler signed with Impact Wrestling. He is best known for his work with WWE as Zack Ryder. Apart from Impact, he wrestles at NWA and GCW. He is the current NWA World Champion.
Cardona debuted with New York Wrestling Connection in 2004. He won the tag championships twice with Brian Myers. By the end of 2005, Cardona transitioned from the company.
Cardona was used on SmackDown as a jobber. He never had a long match during his initial days. He also worked in OVW and DSW for two years.
In 2007, Cardona and Myers debuted on ECW. In June, they were drafted to SmackDown. Cardona and Myers joined Edge and Chavo Guerrero to form La Familia. The stable dominated SmackDown in 2008. Ryder interfered when Edge faced The Undertaker at WrestleMania 24. After Mania, Ryder and Myers won the WWE Tag Team Championship from Miz and Morrison at The Great American Bash. They lost the titles to The Colons on SmackDown.
During the Draft, they drafted Ryder to ECW. Cardona reinvented himself during his time with ECW. He completely changed his attire and look to fit his Long Island persona. After making a name in ECW, Ryder was drafted to RAW. He went after the WWE and United States Championship but failed to win either. Ryder became a mentor during NXT Season 2.
In 2011, Ryder made a series of videos for his YouTube channel. He used YouTube as a platform to elevate his status from the card. The videos became popular and fans demanded for Ryder by chanting his name during shows.
In 2011, Ryder won the United States Championship from Dolph Ziggler. The fans were enjoying his run on-screen and YouTube. Ryder was involved in a love triangle between him, Cena, and Eve Torres. On RAW, Ryder lost the title to Jack Swagger.
Ryder was brutally assaulted by Kane and was put in a wheelchair during their storyline. At WrestleMania XXVIII, Ryder joined Team Teddy. However, Torres turned on Ryder, which cost the team.
In 2012, Ryder's career took a U-turn. He went back to being a jobber and appearing on Superstars. Ryder entered Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, but won nothing significant. From 2012 to 2015, he had no major feuds or championships.
In 2015, Ryder was sent back to NXT. During his time, he teamed up with Mojo Rawley to form The Hype Bros. They heavily featured the team in NXT's tag team division. At WrestleMania 32, Ryder won the Intercontinental; Championship in a ladder match. However, his reign lasted a day when he lost the title to The Miz on RAW.
After being attacked by Rusev, Mojo Rawley made his main roster debut to assist Ryder. At Draft, Ryder and Rawley were drafted to SmackDown and reformed The Hype Bros. The team was heavily featured on SmackDown and won a battle royal to face the champions. However, Ryder busted his knee and was out for six months.
After returning from an injury, the team reformed and faced the Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. The team broke up when Rawley attacked Ryder after a loss. At Clash of Champions, Ryder faced Rawley and lost.
In 2019, Ryder teamed with his former partner, Curt Hawkins. The team reunited to take on The Revival. At WrestleMania 35, they won the RAW Tag Team Championship from The Revival. They lost the title in less than a month. Ryder appeared in several tag team matches before he departed from the company.
After being released, Cardona worked for various high-caliber promotions, such as GCW, Impact Wrestling, and AEW. In AEW, he teamed up with Cody and won. At All Out, he teamed up with QT Marshall, Dustin Rhodes, and Scorpio Sky to defeat The Dark Order.
In 2021, he made his GCW debut. He climbed the ranks and faced Nick Gage for the GCW Championship and won. He lost the title to Jon Moxley. In December, he made his NWA debut by attacking the NWA World Heavyweight Champion.
In 2021, he made his Impact Wrestling debut. He often teams up with Eddie Edwards and Chelsea Green in tag team matches. He is currently feuding with Moose for the Impact Championship. At NWA PowerrrTrip, Cardona defeated Trevor Murdoch to win the NWA World Championship.
Matt Cardona is dating Chelsea Green.