Cody Rhodes dropped a bombshell on AEW Dynamite this week when he declared that, starting with next week's episode, he'll defend his newly-won AEW TNT Championship every week going forward in an open challenge. His first challenger will be determined by the winner of a battle royale, but it sounds like the line of challengers is already starting to form. Matt Cardona, formerly known as Zack Ryder in WWE, popped up on Twitter shortly after the promo and teased challenging Rhodes.
Ryder was one of the 30+ active WWE wrestlers to get released back in mid-April, and unlike The Revival (who arrived on Dynamite as FTR earlier in the night) he has a 90-day no compete clause that will keep him from making the jump to AEW for a while.
Open challenge.........👀— Matt Cardona (@TheMattCardona) May 28, 2020
In a recent interview with Busted Open Radio, Cardona admitted he was on the fence about staying with WWE long before his April release.
"I never re-signed my contract, so my deal was going to be up in August and I had been dealing with contract negotiations for over a year," Cardona said. "The anxiety I had about it, like 'Do I stay, do I go.' It was really eating me up. When the call was made and I was released, the decision was made for me. Instantly, I was relieved. Because the anxiety that I had for over a year, consciously or subconsciously, it was instantly gone. I felt so excited."
Check out the full results from Saturday's Double or Nothing below:
- (Kickoff) Best Friends def. Private Party (AEW World Tag Team Championship #1 Contender Match)
- Brian Cage def. Darby Allin, Colt Cabana, Orange Cassidy, Joey Janela, Scorpio Sky, Kip Sabian, Frankie Kazarian and Luchasaurus
- MJF def. Jungle Boy
- TNT Championship: Cody def. Lance Archer
- Kris Statlander def. Penelope Ford
- Dustin Rhodes def. Shawn Spears
- AEW Women's World Championship: Hikaru Shida def. Nyla Rose
- AEW World Championship: Jon Moxley def. Brodie Lee
- Stadium Stampede Match: The Elite (Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks, Matt Hardy and Hangman Page) def. The Inner Circle (Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Ortiz, Santana and Jake Hager)