In an interview with Fightful Select’s Sean Ross Sapp, AEW star Matt Cardona (formerly Zack Ryder) has revealed that while he liked him personally, he hated working with former tag partner and SmackDown star, Mojo Rawley.
During the interview, Cardona had the following to say about his personal and professional relationship with his former “Hype Bros” tag team partner. He also noted he has Mojo to thank for meeting his fiancee:
“I text Mojo [Rawley] every once in a while. I love Mojo personally. I hated working with him professionally. No, when we first started as the Hype Bros in NXT I didn’t know anything about Mojo, he didn’t know anything about me. It was Triple H, I believe it was his idea to put us together, and if it was Triple H’s idea and this was an opportunity for me, I said, “Alright, let’s do it. Let’s make this work however we can.” Actually, it’s because of going down to NXT so often that I ended up moving to Orlando. So, it’s actually all because of Mojo, really, that I met Chelsea [Green]. ‘Cause I met her in Orlando. So, really I gotta thank Mojo for all of this.”
Matt Cardona also opened up about working on the main roster and in NXT at the same time, even recalling that he teamed with Mojo at Axxess the day before winning the Intercontinental title at WrestleMania 32:
“He was always a hard worker and always wanted to try different things. He always wanted to learn. But, at the point where we became the Hype Bros on WWE TV, I was kind of over it already. We’d already been doing the Hype Bros for a year or so in NXT. Not really doing anything in NXT, just being there. I think the plan was to just do a couple of months and then call him up right away, but that never happened. So, I was doing the WWE stuff, nothing significant, but then doing NXT, then WWE, NXT. Just working all the time, which is great. I loved it. But, then eventually, I somehow became the Intercontinental Champion. But, the day before, I’m at Axxess teaming with Mojo as the Hype Bros. Like, do I really have to do this Axxess match for NXT the day before the biggest match of my life? Like, what if I get hurt?
The former United States Champion even opened up about being relieved when he got an injury because it meant that the Hype Bros would be no more, or at least that’s what he thought:
“I got injured and the first thing that popped in my mind was, ‘Oh, my God, yes! The Hype Bros are done!’ Then Mojo went on to win the WrestleMania battle royal that year. I was like, ‘Oh, my God, they’re definitely done.’ I was so excited. Listen, everything changes all the time. But, the plan was for me to come back and be in the Money in the Bank match that year,” Cardona recalled. “I say plan, like, things change all the time. But, I ended up coming back the week before, making my big comeback in a backstage pre-tape with Mojo saying, “I’m back, bro.” Then we worked on the kickoff match against Epico and Primo. I’m like, ‘Well, back to the Hype Bros again.'”
Despite what he had to say during the interview, Cardona still believes that Mojo Rawley is good, saying the following to Sapp during their interview:
“He has a great promo. He can do it all vocally and in the ring I think he’s great, too. I think he’s a great, great heel. I think as a babyface he’s too annoying for me, personally. Sometimes I would literally face palm and shake my head on the apron for real when we were teaming. But, I actually love working Mojo, believe it or not. A lot of fun and he listens and he’s good. I can’t believe I just said that publicly. ‘Matt Cardona admits Mojo is good.’ He’s a big dude though. He’s big. I think, deceivingly big. You don’t look at him and see how thick he is and how tall he is until you stand next to him. Hopefully WWE will try to give him that mini-push for the twelfth time and it’ll take off.”
You can check out Cardona’s full interview with Fightful by watching the video below, or by clicking here.