Matt Cardona, formerly known as Zack Ryder, made his IMPACT Wrestling debut at Hard To Kill.
The former WWE Intercontinental Champion would make his official debut, facing off against Ace Austin.
Cardona recently filed new trademarks.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 17, 2021
Commentary would note, “He’s with IMPACT Wrestling” – seemingly confirming Cardona’s Hard To Kill appearance isn’t a one-off.
Further tapings are planned this week for IMPACT’s upcoming weekly televised programming, and Cardona’s friend and podcast partner Brian Myers is a part of IMPACT, but it should be noted that Cardona also worked with AEW last year – on a five-appearance contract.
Cardona, who is a former Intercontinental and United States Champion, was released from WWE after 15 years with the company in April, 2020 as part of a company-wide personnel cutback in response to COVID.
Debuting for AEW in July, Cardona would wrestle two matches after a triumphant debut where he saved close friend Cody Rhodes. His final appearance for the company was in September at All Out where Cardona wrestled in an Eight-Man Tag Team Match.
Following the final appearance, Cardona spoke of his desire to one day return to AEW.
“That’s the place to be right now. To be there even for a month, and do a couple of matches, was a lot of fun. It was great to just be out there and be myself again. Hopefully, we’ll do it again soon.”