Matt Cardona is just days away at getting the chance to reclaim a championship that he never lost. Earlier this year, the self-proclaimed Death Match King captured the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title from then-champion Trevor Murdoch at NWA PowerrrTrip but was forced to vacate it just four months later. Cardona suffered a torn bicep in a Game Changer Wrestling bout with Blake Christian, which kept him out of action for the remainder of the summer. Despite the setback, Cardona returned to the ring three months ahead of recovery timetable this past August and has been back to his regular schedule ever since.
It's now been three months since he returned, which means the full six-month recovery timetable has elapsed. Even with the added physicality in the back half of that period, Cardona emphasized that he feels "great."
"I feel great. I'm not lazy," Cardona told ComicBook.com's Liam Crowley. "The doctors and surgeons said five to six months, but that wasn't going to be my timetable. Dr. Matt Cardona cleared me just under three months. I feel good. Listen, you've got to be careful in the ring because you can't avoid injury. If it happens, it happens, but I'm going to be as careful as possible in the ring. But so far, so good."
Cardona now approaches the biggest match since his return to the ring, as he faces both Tyrus and NWA Worlds Champion Trevor Murdoch in a three-way bout for the National Wrestling Alliance's top prize. Beyond the fact that there's an extra body in this title opportunity, Cardona added that this championship match has more psychological differences.
"Trevor showed a lot of guts in that last match [in February], and if you watch that match, he is covered in blood. He's oozing blood. There was blood all over my beautiful white gear. He ruined my gear. But I gained a lot of respect for him because he didn't quit," Cardona said. "And now, I think he's even more hungry after losing the title, regaining it. So, he's not taking me lightly. You add Tyrus into the mix, who wants to become a world champion for the first time, and the odds are probably stacking against me the most. But I have to go in there and win. I never lost the championship. I had to relinquish it.
"This is my opportunity to not only regain the championship, but save the NWA. I've said it the whole time I've been here. I'm not here as an outsider. I'm not here to take over. I'm here to save the NWA, to help the NWA out. The NWA, it needs some relevancy, and that's where Matt Cardona comes in."
Outside of his quest for gold, Cardona has been tangled in a feud with WWE Hall of Famer Bully Ray. The two began their war of words online and eventually met face-to-face in the NWA before it was announced that their long-awaited singles match would come this December in Battleground Championship Wrestling.
When it comes to building a storyline across multiple promotions like he has done with Bully Ray, Cardona noted that the uniformity of his persona has made it easier.
"I don't have a contract anywhere. I go anywhere I please. I do whatever I want," Cardona said. "The version of Matt Cardona in all these different promotions are a lot more uniform now, but there's still differences in each one, which I think is really, really fun. In impact right now, with Brian Myers being the Major Players. But you snap your fingers, we could be the Major Players in GCW. We could be the major players in NWA. It's fun that it's all uniform now, but different at the same time."
Cardona competes for the NWA Worlds Title at NWA Hard Times 3 this Saturday, November 12th.