Matt Cardona Shares Funny Story Of WWE Hall Of Famer Wanting To Fight Him
If somebody is nicknamed “The Hammer” it’s probably best to not try to make jokes with them, just ask Matt Cardona.
A lot of wrestling fans know Matt Cardona from his decade-long run as Zack Ryder in WWE along with his very successful “King of the Indies” run using his real name. Matt has accumulated a lot of titles along the way and usually gets a lot too.
In addition to his wrestling career, Matt Cardona is an avid toy collector that has a podcast dedicated to that life and also is known for buying expensive items as well.
This is a long story by Cardona’s own admission, so here is what he told Busted Open Radio about his near “fight” with WWE Hall of Famer Greg “The Hammer” Valentine at Wrestlecon in Los Angeles during WrestleMania weekend.
“Okay, I’ll try to keep a long story short, but there’s got to be some context here. In a WWF magazine in like 1990, 1991 there was this Toys R Us ad like go get the new tag teams, there was Demolition, Rockers, Bushwackers, and Rhythm and Blues. And long story short, the Rhythm and Blues never came out. The Greg with the black hair, it was never released.”
“Years later, I bought that prototype from that ad; it’s worth over $20,000. It’s like the Holy Grail of wrestling figures. But I’ve said in interviews, I’ve said on my own podcast that I bought it not because I’m a fan of Greg Valentine. I’m a fan of the figure and the history. Not that I’m not a fan of Greg. I’m just not a fan of Greg Valentine.”
“Then last week at Wrestlecon, a fan went up to Greg Valentine and said, ‘Hey Greg. That’s the guy who has your prototype.’ He’s like, ‘That Zack Ryder guy? Let me find him!’ And he didn’t realize it; Greg has heat with me because, in interviews, I’ve said that I’m not a fan of his.”
“So he came up to me. He’s waving his f**king fist at me with his Hall of Fame ring and said, ‘I heard you’re not a fan of me!’ And I was like, ‘Greg, I mean, I did say that.’ So I couldn’t backpedal because I’ve said it on multiple occasions that I’m not a fan of his. Not that I dislike Greg Valentine. I just didn’t grow up wanting to be the third member of Rhythm and Blues. It all worked out. We smoothed it over. We took a picture.”
Matt Cardona also explained that the Greg Valentine figure may not be worth as much as it used to be.
“But yeah, and then another part of the story is that Mattel, the company that makes the WWE figures now, they kind of recreated that Greg Valentine figure. So it’s not worth thousands of dollars. It’s worth whatever, 20 bucks. But it looks like the old figure did, and Brian Myers, he got it signed by Greg Valentine at Wrestlecon, and he put it up for auction, and I won the auction because I want that figure autographed, but I don’t want to go up to Greg and get him to autograph it.”
Tommy Dreamer, who is a Busted Open Radio co-host, asked Matt Cardona about Valentine being angry.
“At one point, I thought for sure he was going to swing at me, and even Brian Myers came over like, ‘Oh, what’s going on here?’ and kind of backpedaled when he saw how furious he was. I did not want to fight Greg for the record. I respect Greg. I would never fight Greg; he would probably kick my ass, especially with that ring on.”
“But he was upset, and I understand, but I don’t think he realized that I wasn’t trying to be insulting. It’s just because I think even you, Tommy, said, ‘Oh, you must be such a big Greg The Hammer Valentine fan to want to spend 1000s of dollars on this figure.’ I’m like, no. It’s the figure that I didn’t have as a kid. Not that I really care about Greg Valentine or not.”
As for a potential WWE return, Matt Cardona has said that he would want to use his real name instead of Zack Ryder if he ever comes back to WWE.
H/t Wrestlezone for the transcript above.