Last week, following Rhodes’ weekly defense of the TNT Championship against WARHORSE, Dark Order would strike. WARHORSE tried to fight them off, but failed, prompting a debutting Matt Cardona (fka Zack Ryder) to make the save.
This week, he makes his debut in-ring appearance alongside an old friend. He has proven to be a good merch mover for AEW with his first shirt going to number 1 best seller last week, but can he prove himself within the ring?
Matt Cardona Was Always Ready
Cardona would be in the best shape of his career with a new theme song and pyro, already looking better than he has in years. Combined with Cody Rhodes in his corner, the result of this match seemed very obvious. However, anything can happen in a match, but Silver & Reynolds winning would be an upset for sure.
Rhodes would start the match with Silver, going for the single leg but instead sending Silver to the corner. A drop down into a throat thrust followed by a delayed suplex would just see Cody showing off, but Cardona would be tagged in.
He’d come in with a forearm, followed by a huge flapjack. Silver would fight out and tag in Reynolds, who would try for a suplex but Cardona countered into a neckbreaker. A quick double team from Cody & Cardona would show tag team promise, but Cody would be thrown across the ring. He would attempt to slide out of the ring, but hit his arm hard on the ring post.
Silver would drive the arm into the apron, and he’d have one arm at this point. Cody would be isolated, and the beatdown of these hungry members of the Dark Order would be brutal.
Rhodes & Cardona Clean House
Cody would nearly counter with a matchbox cover, but only got a two count. Silver & Reynolds would maintain control of the ring, and would counter a sunset flip and trap Cody in the middle of the ring. Cardona would just have to watch as his long time friend would be beat down. Another counter would only lead to a brief moment of freedom, before he’d be shut down again.
Cody would get fired up after taking some hard kicks, and manage to hit a smooth scoop powerslam. This was his best opening to tag in Cardona, who would finally get back in. He’d hit a big missle dropkick, a diving forearm in the corner, and hit a double underhook powerbomb for a near fall. Cody would come in to hit the Cody Cutter to take out one member of the Dark Order unit.
This wouldn’t work, and Cardona would be hit with a furious flurry of offense for a near fall. Cody would once again try to make the save, taking Silver out in the process. Cardona hit The Radio Silence for the win.
Cody Sees His Next Challenger
This match was just a device to show how good Cardona can be. Cody was beat down by a low level tag team, showing how good even one of the weaker tag teams in AEW can be, but Cardona comes out looking like a hero.
After the match, Scorpio Sky would confront Cody and make it clear that he wants the next shot at the TNT Championship. He’s been winning match after match on AEW Dark, and is sick of being kept there. Sky is one of two men to have pinned Chris Jericho in AEW, with the other being Jon Moxley. Cody might finally have met his match.
Were you impressed by Matt Cardona in the closing moments of this match? Will Scorpio Sky get his TNT Championship match? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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