Way back in 2011, former WWE star Matt Cardona (FKA Zack Ryder) was making a name for himself online. His YouTube show Z! True Long Island Story was very successful and it led to a short push for him.
While speaking with David Penzer on Sitting Ringside, Cardona discussed his WWE run in 2011 where he said he was top three in merch sales for the company. Here is the quote, courtesy of Wrestling News:
“Eventually, I did get put on TV and I was doing some cool stuff. I was doing some stuff with Hugh Jackman, one of the biggest movie stars in the world. I won the United States Title. I did a run-in in Madison Square Garden and the whole building was chanting my name. I’m in a storyline with John Cena, the biggest name in the company. I thought, ‘This is working. It’s finally working.’ At one point I was in the top three merch sellers, and then all of a sudden, boom, it’s over.”
Cardona’s push ended soon after it began, losing the United States Championship after only four weeks. He never again reached the same level in WWE only getting a moment of glory at WrestleMania 32 when he won the Intercontinental Championship in 2016.
Matt Cardona is now working for IMPACT Wrestling, although he has noted he is not under contract.