Matt Cardona surprised everyone when he showed up during Impact Wrestling's latest pay-per-view Hard to Kill, and he quickly showed how dangerous he can be in the ring. Now all eyes turn to tonight's episode of Impact, which will have Cardona teaming up with The North's Josh Alexander to take on Ace Austin and Madman Fulton, though many are also wondering if Cardona will be sticking around for a while in Impact Wrestling. ComicBook.com had the chance to talk to Cardona after Hard to Kill and ahead of tonight's match, and that topic definitely popped up during our conversation, though we also talked about the future of the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast, possibly crossing over with AEW, and more!
First though we wanted to know how the opportunity to be a part of Hard to Kill came about, and while they had discussions previously, the actual talks to be part of the event were very last minute. "So I had, I've had some communication with Impact for the past couple months, but it was nothing concrete, just some casual talk," Cardona said. "And Friday, while I was at the gym, I got a text saying, 'You want to come to work?' And I responded, 'Always ready.' And that's how it happened, baby."
That's when we asked about his future with Impact and if there is a contract in place, which there is not at the moment.
"No. So, I don't have any long-term contracts like that, but I am definitely here for right now, and let's see what happens," Cardona said. "I think Impact is a perfect place for me. The locker room is awesome. I think it's one of the most underrated locker rooms in the history of the business. So much hunger, and that's what I'm all about, too. So many people scratching and clawing for an opportunity, and that's what I feel like I will have at Impact, is an opportunity. That's all I've ever wanted, but I'm not here to pass the torch. I'm here to light it and carry it myself. I'm here to do me, do my thing, and I'm here to capitalize on the opportunity that it is."
The differences were quickly apparent after his first backstage interview with Impact, and it's part of what makes Impact different from other promotions, and Cardona sees it all as an opportunity.
"Well, for last week on Impact, I had a little backstage interview, if you will. There was no script. There were no bullet points. It was just, 'All right, why are you here?' And I said it from the heart, it was no gimmick, it was no storyline," Cardona said. "I'm here for an opportunity. I'm not here to prove doubters wrong. I'm here to prove my supporters, my fans, right. And I'm here to prove myself right. I say I'm always ready. Well, this is my chance to back it up. I've always wanted an opportunity. This is opportunity. And if I fail, at least I have the opportunity."
Tonight's match is just one more opportunity for Cardona, though while he is teaming up with Alexander for this one match, he is not interested in being just another tag team.
"And as for Impact this week, with Josh Alexander, hell of a talent, hell of a competitor, but we're not, we're not in the tag team business. He did it, been there, done that. I've done it, been there, done that. Tonight, we have a common goal, a common enemy. And that's it, it's a one-time thing, but. We're going to work together. We're going to make sure we get that W."
Part of what makes Impact so exciting for Cardona is the wealth of talent on the roster, and many of the stars here are people that he's never had the chance to get into the ring with.
"I love everything about Impact, so far. I loved getting to hear that awesome downstate music. I love getting to walk out with some gear. I love being able to show what I can do in the ring. Everything so far, has been awesome, and I'm really just excited about the future," Cardona said. "I'm excited to work with all these other competitors. Some of these guys I've never wrestled before, or guys like Eric Young or Tommy Dreamer, who I've wrestled, but it's been a long time. Or Gallows and Anderson. Or guys like Sami Callihan, Moose, guys I've never wrestled, so it's a whole mishmash of competitors, and I'm just really excited."
"There are so many guys, and listen, I'm a fan of wrestling so I've been watching the product," Cardona said. "I always follow what's going on in Impact. So someone like Ace Austin, I saw right away, I'm like, 'This guy is a star.' And after being in the ring with him, yes. There were only a handful of minutes, but I could tell, 'This guy is good.' You know what I'm saying? There are only so many guys you get in the ring with, and you can tell right away, like, 'This kid is good,' and he's going to be great. But, in the tag match, I'm sorry, you're not going to be good enough to beat us. So, sorry pal."
We, of course, had to talk about the Impact AEW crossover, specifically if he thinks that more of this type of thing should happen in wrestling.
"Oh, I think it's amazing for the fans. Imagine, during the Attitude Era... We had the little glimpse, when ECW and WWF were together, but imagine if there was more of that," Cardona said. "I feel like that's what's going on right now with Impact and AEW, where it's like, can't miss TV. You know what I'm saying? 'Who's going to show up, where?' And that's when wrestling is at its best, when you can't predict what's coming."
Cardona is a unique position, as he's been part of both Impact and AEW, so we had to ask if he is going to be a part of that crossover at some point.
"I think that's the duty of being always ready. I'm ready to do, whatever. Right now, I don't have any contract with anybody, so I can just show up, wherever. And I think, right now, dude. It's ridiculous. Someone tweeted this bit, to me. I have a T-shirt, on WWEshop.com, shopImpact.com, and ShopAEW.com." I could be anywhere," Cardona said.
Whenever Cardona isn't in the ring, he's busy with Brian Myers working on the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast, and 2020 obviously brought its challenges, it ended up being a big year for the podcast. So much so in fact that 2021 is off to a big start as the show expands to not just a spinoff show but an entire network.
"Well, the beauty of 2020. On paper, it was a bad year for me, but in reality, it was a great year," Cardona said. "It was one of the best years of my life, and to have the creative freedom and the time to build The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast up, and thanks to the fans, we call them the Major Marks, for making everything so successful.
That this week we had Major Fest, a week-long event, all different, cool things, every single day. So we announced that The Major Pod Network, where we will have some spinoff shows. And one of those will be, MC! True Long Island Story. It's going to cover the old YouTube show, episode by episode, a deep dive into what was going on in my life and my career. And that's just, it's fun that we have these opportunities now, to do really whatever we want. Brian and I are having so much fun, and it's a lot of work, but it doesn't feel like work when you're having fun doing it. I mean, at the end of the day, we're talking about wrestling figures. Sometimes, Chel can get mad at me. I say, 'Babe, I'm working, but I'm in my office, doing figure photography.' It's the greatest life. I love it."
All that hard work has resulted in Matt and Brian getting their very own figures courtesy of Super 7, but that line is expanding with The Good Brothers, and Cardona hopes that is just the beginning.
Yeah. So you're talking about our own action figures, and while we were still with WWE, the podcast, we were kind of doing. We weren't hiding it, but we were kind of doing it under the radar, being really smart about it. So we released our own line of figures through Ringside Collectibles, and we had Lucha Masks on. So it was like, 'Was it us? It's not us.' But now, since we're free, we are taking the masks off. It was us, all along. So we have a whole new line through Ringside Collectibles. We've had Micro Brawlers and then the Super 7 was where, oh my God, super excited for, pun intended, and now Gallows and Anderson are joining the line. I really want this to be super successful."
Speaking of expanding the line, it does seem like the perfect opportunity to get more Impact figures. "And I would love, maybe for Impact to get involved," Cardona said. "Impact is the biggest...we've got the Micro Brawlers, which are awesome. I think they all sold out really, really quick. So, why not get some Impact guys in that Super 7 line, and just build up the figure world? Because we're living in this big figure renaissance, where it's the best time ever to be an action figure fan, because you have figures from WWE, AEW, and they're at the same scale. So now these Super 7 figures, you're going to have Gallows, Anderson, Myers, and Cardona from Impact. It's the coolest thing ever, so I want to get as many figures on the shelves, as possible."0comments
With older Impact figures going for higher prices and harder to come by, here's hoping Impact joins in on the fun because we need more figures ASAP.
You can watch Cardona in action on tonight's episode of Impact on AXS TV and Twitch starting at 7 PM Central, and you get all the details on what's next for the podcast on the official website. You can also get more coverage on Impact right here on ComicBook.com, and you can always talk all things Impact Wrestling and action figures with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!