|Ring Names|| Brett Major|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||214 lbs (97 kg)|
|Born||May 14 1985|
|North Merrick, New York|
|Resides||Long Island, New York|
|Billed||Long Island, New York|
|Trained by||Mikey Whipwreck|
Matthew Joseph Cardona Jr. (May 14, 1985) better known by his ring name Zack Ryder, is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE working on its Smackdown brand and is the current WWE Internet Champion. Upon making his debut in WWE, Ryder formed a tag team with Curt Hawkins where they would go on to capture the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Professional wrestling career
New York Wrestling Connection (2004-2006)
Cardona debuted with New York Wrestling Connection (NYWC) in 2004, using the name Brett Matthews. By 2005 he began regularly teaming with Bryan Myers and the duo of Myers and Matthews went on to defeat the NYWC Tag Team Champions Dickie Rodz and Mason Raige by disqualification, for which titles do not change hands. At the next event on June 4 they won a rematch decisively to become Tag Team Champions. Later that month they were attacked by The Dead Presidents (Lo Lincoln and Boog Washington) to set up a feud where they eventually lost their titles against them in July. on August 27. On September 23 they were entered into a three way match with the champions but Team Tremendous (Dan Barry and Ken Scampi) ended up with the belts. After continuing to win matches they re-earned a match against Team Tremendous and won the titles for the second time on January 25, 2006. They held the titles until they faced The B.S. Xpress (Tony Burma & Mike Spinelli), who defeated them for the gold on March 26.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Tag team; La Familia (2006–2009)
On February 24, 2006, Matthew Cardona signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment. In Deep South Wrestling in Georgia, he was renamed Brett Majors while Myers was renamed Bryan Majors. By October they won the DSW Tag Team Championship from The Untouchables (Dice Domino and Deuce Shade) and held them until the end of November, losing them to Urban Assault (Eric Pérez and Sonny Siaki). After the titles were vacated in the following year, they became two-time champions defeating the new team of Siaki and Afa, Jr (The Samoan Swat Team) and The Blue Bloods (William Regal and Dave Taylor). Later in 2007 they moved to Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) and won the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship once, reigning from June 15 to 29.
The team was moved from the developmental league to the main roster in May 2007, changing their last names from Majors to Major. They worked on WWE's ECW brand, winning only their first match until they were drafted to SmackDown! in June. On November 9 they won a battle royal to receive a WWE Tag Team Championship match, but didn't win.
At Armageddon, the duo dressed up like Edge and interfered in the World Heavyweight Championship match, replacing Edge at several points along the match to help him win the title and thus turning heel for the first time in their WWE career. On December 21, the Major Brothers were revealed as an acquaintance to Edge and his lover, SmackDown General Manager Vickie Guerrero. The Major Brothers were repackaged and renamed, with Cardona being renamed Zack Ryder. Occasionally referred as The Rated-R Entourage by commentators Michael Cole and John "Bradshaw" Layfield, the group allied with Guerrero's nephew, Chavo Guerrero and his enforcer Bam Neely as the group La Familia which dominated SmackDown's storyline through 2008.
At The Great American Bash on July 20 Curt Hawkins (the former Bryan Major) and Ryder won the WWE Tag Team Championship from John Morrison and The Miz in a fatal four-way match which also featured Jesse and Festus and Finlay and Hornswoggle after Hawkins pinned Jesse. Their victory meant that they were the youngest team to hold the championships. By SummerSlam, La Familia had begun to fracture and Ryder, with Hawkins, went back to appearing on their own. On the September 26 airing of SmackDown, Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder lost the titles to The Colóns (Carlito and Primo Colón) in their first televised title defense. On April 15, 2009 Ryder was drafted back to the ECW brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft, separating the team.
Long Island Iced Z (2009–present)
Ryder made his return to ECW on May 5, 2009 in a backstage segment with General Manager Tiffany. He now sported short hair, tanned skin, sunglasses, a headband, half-trunks/half-tights, displaying something of an arrogant Long Island guido character and more frequent uses of catchphrases "woo woo woo" and "you know it", that he had used sparingly in the tag team. He lost to Finlay on his first singles match, on May 7's Superstars and would not gain victory until the May 19 episode of ECW on Sci Fi over a local competitor. On September 15, Ryder won a 10-man battle royal to earn contendership to the ECW Championship but lost to the champion, Christian, the following week. On the November 3 edition of ECW, Ryder entered a love angle with Rosa Mendes who became his valet. He also feuded with Tommy Dreamer, culminating in a match on December 29 where Ryder won to force Dreamer to leave the company.
When the ECW brand came to an end in February 2010, Ryder and Mendes moved to the Raw brand, making his debut on the February 25 edition of Superstars, defeating Primo. Ryder made his Raw debut on March 1, losing to Montel Vontavious Porter in a Money in the Bank qualifying match. He participated in an untelevised 26-man battle royal at WrestleMania XXVI, being the last person eliminated by the winning Yoshi Tatsu. Mendes was drafted to SmackDown as part of the 2010 Supplemental Draft without Ryder, so Ryder sought a new valet, trying to impress Alicia Fox and Gail Kim while they watched his matches at ringside. During a match with Evan Bourne on the May 10 edition of Raw, Fox attempted to interfere on Ryder's behalf but was stopped by Kim, leading to Bourne winning the match. The two new pairings faced off in a mixed tag team match on the May 17 edition of Raw, which Ryder and Fox lost. Ryder had a return win over Bourne on May 27's Superstars. The next week on Raw, Fox attacked Ryder with an Axe Kick after Raw guest host Ashton Kutcher put a bounty on Ryder's head. During the June 7 Viewers Choice Raw, Ryder was voted to team with The Miz, defeating John Morrison and R-Truth. The next week, Ryder had a title shot in a Fatal Four Way match for the WWE United States Championship but lost; months later in August he was given a WWE Championship match against Sheamus which lasted 11 seconds, which was the second-shortest WWE Championship match in WWE history, in an attempt by Sheamus to circumvent the company's 30 day championship defence policy.
During this time, Ryder became a mentor on the second season of WWE NXT to Titus O'Neil. They debuted in a losing effort against John Morrison and Eli Cottonwood; O'Neil was the first rookie eliminated from the second season, on June 29. On the July 27 episode of NXT, Ryder lost against Percy Watson, making him the first mentor of season 2 to lose to a rookie in a singles match. For the remainder of the year and well into 2011, Ryder mostly became used on the non-branded Superstars show, occasionally teaming with Primo. Ryder won a 2010 Slammy Award for Most Annoying Catchphrase in December. On the eleventh episode of Long Island Iced Z, WWE named Ryder the first ever Undisputed WWE Internet Champion.
The Ryder Revolution
In June 2011, Ryder would make his first Live Raw appearance, losing to Kofi Kingston. After this loss, upset about his place in the company. started a YouTube show called Z! True Island Story. Which at first WWE heads were upset Matthew made it without their permission and using WWE talent and logo. They saw the growing popularity of Matthew's Ryder character and decided it was time to give him a push. Through out July 2011, Ryder was given many things, one, an official recongniaton as WWE Internet Champion by COO Triple H, becoming Assistant GM of Smackdown, and a United States Championship Match.
Throughout the later part of 2011, Ryder would start a feud with Dolph Ziggler over the US Championship, getting an official Main-Event Match. In December 2011, Ryder would get his fourth singles loss of 2011, losing to real life and on screen friend John Cena, before defeating World Heavyweight Champion Mark Herny with John Cena's help. The next night on Smackdown, Ryder would defeat Heath Slater. Following his win over Slater, Ryder would team up with Randy Orton to beat Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett. Following this, Ryder would defeat Ziggler for the US Championship, team with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk to beat The Miz,Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler, on Smackdown would defeat Cody Rhodes and the following Thursday in an unaired match for WWE Superstars, would defend the US Title against Ziggler and Swagger. Ryder would be attacked by Resurrected Kane and injured. Despite being injured, John Laurinitus would have Ryder defend his title against Jack Swagger, and although he kicked out of two gut-wrench powerbombs, he still lost due to his back injury. After the match it was revealed he was no where near cleared to compete, but John still made the match official. Ryder's friend John Cena attacked Jack Swagger, possibly taking Swagger out of action in retaliation for Ryder losing the US title. After a month of not appearing on-screen, Ryder returned in late March 2012 to confront Eve about her lying to him about being friends, her heel turn and trying to use Cena as a way to skyrocket to the top. Ryder would have his first match since being taken out by Kane, in a losing effort to former on-screen friend Daniel Bryan(in the same arena the two made The TLC Trio, in a losing effort. Ryder would then make an apperance on Smackdown, getting Teddy Long to have him and The Great Khali be placed on Team Long at WrestleMania. At WrestleMania, Ryder lost the match after being turned on by Eve. After WrestleMania, Ryder would be used rarley on TV again. Throughout the Summer and fall of 2012, Ryder started a team with Santino Marella and started a feud with Antonio Ceasaro.
In other media
Ryder began a YouTube web series called "Z!, True Long Island Story" in February 2011. The show is a collection of short comments from Ryder, containing comedic allusions to wrestling and pop culture; it also features cameos from his various WWE colleagues.The show also featured The Miz, Primo, John Cena, Standford, Big O, his father and more WWE wrestlers.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- With Curt Hawkins
- "The Long-Island Loudmouth"
- "The Long-Island Iced-Z"
- "The Ultimate Broski"
- Entrance themes
- "What I Want" by Daughtry (DSW/OVW)
- "In the Middle of it Now" by Disciple (WWE)
- "Radio" by Watt White (May 2009–April 2011)
- '"Radio (remix'" by Watt White (April 2011 – present)
Championships and accomplishments
- New York Wrestling Connection
- NYWC Tag Team Championship (2 times) with Bryan Myers
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked Ryder #117 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2010
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- ↑ Rhodes Scholars def. Santino Marella & Zack Ryder...: "The Ultimate Broski had his work cut out for him against Rhodes & Sandow."